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Mellel 4.0 is out!

Mellel 4.0 is out!

It’s been a long time in the making — but it’s finally here: the glorious, unabated, preponderant and heavily procrastinated Mellel 4.

We’ll get to the what’s-in-it part soon, but we’d like to lead with some thought (interspersed with shameless plug-ins) regarding major changes.

Externally, as you can see, we have a new web site, which is gorgeous, but on the other hand is also awesome. Take special note of our Learn Section, which we’ve modestly named Mellel U. Here you’ll find a huge collection of completely new video tutorials, which will instruct you how to unlock Mellel, whether novice or old timer.

If you combine this with the really nice and cracking Online Help, you can really shallow (or steepen) the learning curve quite a bit.

Back to the Awesome

And via this awkward segue, we’re back with our spiffing Mellel. We did try to make Mellel 4 as compelling as possible to you.

To start, and if you go by the numbers, there are 95 new features and enhancements, which is impressive enough. Some of those new features are important, but more subtle — but others are simply huge! We know bullet points are like showing pictures of your newborn baby: extremely interesting to us — and extremely boring to all others — so I’ll focus on just one interesting new feature, and a few tidbits about others.

What we adore about Mellel 4: the Index feature. Usually, when we create a new feature, we start with two basic questions: what’s the problem? And, can it be fixed? All Index tools and index applications offer essentially the same way to create an index: take the final manuscript, go through it, and when you notice an item that is index worthy, jot the page it’s located.

There’s nothing wrong with that method, but it has two pain points a) indexing is slow and cumbersome; b) it’s not dynamic at all. Essentially, every time you add something to your manuscript, the whole index you’ve created is rendered either useless or inaccurate. It only goes one way: either you plan ahead carefully and lay out your index, or you’re in big trouble.

So our fix: make the index creation process dynamic, make it faster. So, you can create it as you go along, not just when you’re done. The main tool for this task, from our point of  view, is the Quick Index.

The Quick Index allows you to create the index quickly. It has efficient search capabilities and is able to search the text for headings, bold-face text, and so on; and it allows you to work dynamically. If you wish to create all your entries beforehand, there’s no problem with that. Go ahead and do it. But if you wish to work more freely — adding an entry here, searching for several items at once there, going after marking for a third entry, and so on — that’ll work just fine, too.

The Final Awesomeness

Then there are the little things.

For example, take our Welcome to Mellel window. This is not something unique to Mellel, and here we were not trying to innovate for innovation’s sake: the problem we’ve identified was that we did not offer a convenient way to access recent documents and to templates: the solution we’ve found was to do just that — allow an easy way to access recent documents.

Our take our markers. This feature in Mellel was awfully handy, but a bit rigid. People told us they wanted to name the markers easily, set the color, and get rid of that wretched mess of set-it-in-document-setup-no-in-the-preferences-no-in-document-setup thing that was going on. Now its straightforward and simple, and much more flexible.

Mellel already had the best outline around. So the solution here was to flex the outline where it was rigid. All following user requests and common sense, we’ve added inline editing of outline items, creation of outline items from the outline pane, wrapping titles, and some nice-to-have options to add notes, tag and mark an outline item… which dove tailed nicely with the outline filter — making it easy to hide non-essential items or focus on items of interest based on their tags or markers.

All that invariably leads to the conclusion you all knew was coming.

We’re awesome.

Mellel is awesome.

And you’ve made the right decision to have and hold it.

Oh, you don’t have yet? Well, here’s an idea: get it.


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