Mellel 5.0.7 is out
While franticly working on the next big version of Mellel, Mellel 5.1, we received several reports about nagging issues (i.e. bugs) with the current version of Mellel. We therefore decided to devote some time to fix these issues and also took advantage of the occasion to streamline document creation, renaming and drag & drop on the iPad version of Mellel. The fruit of our labor is all there in Mellel 5.0.7 which is the best Mellel version since Mellel 5.0.6.
Mellel’s docx import filter is a wonderful piece of computer software but it needs to deal with documents created by all sorts other applications, some of which stray sometimes from the standard as defined by the all mighty Microsoft Corporation. This can lead to some misunderstanding which is another way of saying Mellel refuses to open these documents. Mellel 5.0.7 address some such incompatibilities and is now much more graceful and forging and allows you to open these documents despite their format-defying sins.
On the Mac-specific side we also fixed some “issues” that caused Mellel to unexpectedly quit (which is a very nice way to say crash) when editing auto-titles in some very specific ways. We also discovered that the accessibility option of “speak selection” was not functioning correctly on macOS 11.0 Big Sur so we fixed that as well and while on the subject, you might find this “speak selection” feature useful even if you don’t have any difficulties reading the text on the screen so here’s how to use it:
Enable Speak Selection by opening System Preferences, clicking on “Accessibility” and then clicking on “Speech”. In the Speech panel, check the “Speak selected text when the key pressed” and take not of the key (by default it is Option+Escape but you can configure it otherwise).
Make Mellel speak the selection by selecting the text and then pressing the Option+Escape (or any other combination you setup).
Going back to Mellel 5.0.7 Mac-specific changes, after fixing “speak selection” on Big Sur we finally addressed Mellel’s inexplicable refusal to enable the Accept/Reject selected Changes menu items (Edit->Track ChangeS) when working inside a table cell.
Having finished all the Mac-specific issues we decided to focus some extra attention to the iPad version of Mellel.
Recently we’ve received several reports about Mellel getting stuck sometimes showing a blank document with no ability to close it. This was a very hard problem to reproduce in our labs but we finally were able to discern that this happens when Mellel needs to restore its state with an open document after a long period of time it was in the background. It seems that we made a rather embarrassing mistake in our state restoration code and this caused a lot of frustration for our iPad users.
Having to deal with this document opening/closing issue on iOS also made us think about creating new documents on the iPad and how giving them names is actually quite difficult. This is because up until now, new documents were created with a default name (untitled) and immediately opened for editing. In order to give them a name you’d need to close them and then rename them by tapping on the name in the document browser. This already hard procedure was made a bit harder because when you closed the document, there was no guarantee that the new document would be visible in the document browser.
To fix the issue we’ve added a new screen that is shown when you tap the + button to create a new document. This screen allows to name your document before starting to edit it and as a bonus, also allows you to cancel the operation in case you get cold feet. We’ve also made sure that when you close your document, the underlying document browser will be scrolled so that the document you’ve just closed will be visible and the animation will zoom right from the document window to the document icon/preview.
Speaking of the preview icon, this had the tendency not to be updated immediately after you closed the document and this also led to some confusion and to the question: “has my changes been saved?”, well they were saved but for some (not-very-good) reason, Mellel didn’t update the preview to reflect them. This has been fixed and now things are looking much more snappy and up to date in the document browser.
Mellel 5.0.5 introduced drag & drop support for the iPad version, this support was rather rudimentary and left much to be desired, with Mellel 5.07 we made some very noticeable progress in this area. When you drag text within a document, the drag is considered to be a “move” (cut+paste) and not a “copy” (copy+paste), the accuracy of positioning the drop is improved and some cases where the drag was refused are now gone.
Finally, we made some small changes with significant impact, it seems that under some circumstances, especially when using iCloud (that is, always) Mellel was busy doing redundant things like scanning your documents folder for new additions or changes in the details of documents while you’re editing a document. This led to performance that was not optimal and also increased Mellel’s power consumption. These issues are gone and now Mellel’s performance on the iPad is even better without sacrificing the battery.
That’s it for now, if you wish to see a complete list of changes in Mellel 5.0.7 and previous versions visit our release info page here.
Thanks for reading and see you next time.