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Video — A Tour of Mellel

Video — A Tour of Mellel

A Wonderful new video is here: This time, it’s an introductory tour of Mellel. But we believe that all Mellel users may benefit from it, as it sets the record straight and clear about many Mellel most used features.

Following is a transcript of the video:



Welcome to Mellel. Today, we’ll make a brief introductory tour of Mellel, learning how to install it, how to style a document, how to number pages, how to use auto-titles, and how to add a bibliography. 


Installing Mellel is easy. Just go to Mellel’s web site at www.mellel.com, click the Download button, and Mellel will be downloaded to your computer in no time. What you’ll be downloading is the full version of Mellel, which can also run in trial mode. Once the download is over, double click the file whose name starts with “mellel” and ends with “.dmg”, and the Disk Image window will open. Drag Mellel’s icon over to the Applications folder icon to install it. Once done, you’ll be able to find Mellel within your Applications folder and run it. When first running Mellel, you’ll see a warning dialogue intended to make sure you understand that you’re running an application downloaded over the internet — Which is what you just did. Click Open.

Trial and Licensing

As you did not register your copy yet, Mellel will run in trial mode. Mellel gives you 30 days to try it out — with minor limitations: a watermark when printing or saving to PDF, and a recurring reminder that you are, indeed, trying Mellel out. 

Once you buy a license, or if you have a license already, you can simply register Mellel and work in regular, non-trial mode. Click “Enter Code” and enter your User name and Registration code.  Every license is good for up to five computers.

Writing and styling text

Mellel, just like any other word processor, allows you to enter text, select it, cut it, paste it, and perform all other standard editing actions. However, Mellel differ from other word processors in that that the control of text attributes such as font and size is not performed from the toolbar but through the palettes. The palettes allow you to control every aspect of characters, paragraphs, pages, tables, and so on. For example, to change character attributes we’ll click the Character palette. We’ll change the font via the Font pop-menu, the size via the size pop-up menu, set underline via the Line menu, colour via the colour well, and so on. 

The character attributes you’ve set can be saved into a style. Using the Styles tab in the Character palette we can view the character styles list of the document. You can add a style by clicking the Add Style button. In the Add Style dialogue you can name the style, and further change and set attributes. To finish, click Create and the new style will be added to the styles’ list. From now on, you’ll be able to apply this style to every text in the document by selecting the text and double -clicking the style name in the palette.

And what about paragraph attributes? These are controlled via the Paragraph palette. Here you’ll find all the usual suspects: alignment, line spacing, space above and below paragraph, and more. The palette allows you to set the margins and indent, although those are easier to set and change via the ruler, which also allows us to add and set Tab stops. 

A Paragraph style can be created similarly to the way we’ve created the character style: You switch to the Styles tab in the palette, click the Create a New Style button, and then name the style and make additional changes to the style. Note that character attributes such as font or font size are not part of the paragraph style. Mellel strictly differentiates between different types of styles and there is no overlap between style typs. Instead of including the character attributes as part of the paragraph style, you can simply associate a character style to a paragraph style.

Once done, you can click Create to add the new style to the styles list. Paragraph styles, just like character styles, are applied by double clicking the style’s name in the styles list. 

Page Attributes, headers, footers and page numbering

Mellel’s regular template displays page numbers at the bottom of each page. That’s fine if that’s what you want — but what if you wish to paginate pages differently? How does this thing work, actually?

Well, in this document we have a footer, and within this footer there is a page number element. To control displaying or hiding the footer, we can open the Page palette. The Footer checkbox controls the display of the footer. Similarly, checking or unchecking Header controls the display of a header in the page. 

You can edit the footer or header text by clicking within it. You can enter text here and edit it like you would anywhere else in the document. You can add a page number via Insert > Page Variables > Page Number. You can also add the variable “Total number of pages” so you can edit the footer text to look like: “Page so and so out of some number of pages”. You can also style the text, change the alignment, and so on — Again, just as you would with any other piece of text.

A common request when numbering pages is to number all pages except the first page. You can easily achieve this by checking the Different first page checkbox in the Page palette. This option sets the first page to have different attributes from the rest of the pages, so you can turn off the footer only on the first page, add a header with a logo on the first page only or avoid having any first page header or footer.


A unique feature, which got Mellel to be moderately praised throughout the galaxy is Auto-titles. This feature is easier to show then explain, so let’s see: In order to enter an auto-title let’s expose the Auto-title palette, and double-click one of the items in the list. To enter a major heading, double-click Heading 1.

Mellel enters a heading and gives it a default title: untitled. You can enter the title by typing it. Note that the entire heading is a single unit and you cannot edit the heading’s numbering. 

Why is that so? Because this is exactly the part Mellel handles automatically. 

Let’s move to a different area in the document. Here we have a heading, but it appears as simple text. Let’s select the heading and double-click Heading 1. See now? Mellel automatically numbers the various sections in the document, and provides identical styling to all headings of type Heading 1.

When we make changes in the document, adding or removing auto-titles, Mellel will take care of automatically and immediately renumbering all the other headings in the document. 

We do not have to settle for the default options. Mellel gives us full control over any aspect of the headings. Let’s click the Edit title flows button in the Auto-title palette to open the title flows sheet. Mellel offers you 10 levels of headings — in Mellel-speak these are called “flows” — and you can set each level with its unique attributes. In addition to that, you can also create “Tag flows” which allow you to number non-structural elements in your document, such as drawings, tables, or images. 

Click Heading 1 in the Title flows list to edit the attributes of auto-titles in this flow.

This part of the sheet displays the auto-title’s format. Here we can see the heading’s number, a point, space and the title itself. Instead of a point between the number and heading, let’s put a line break. Let’s change the point to a colon. Now, let’s select the title element itself and set it with a more condensed font. Click OK and there it is: the changes are applied immediately throughout the document.  

Auto-titles allow us to define the document structure explicitly, setting parts, chapters, sub-chapters, illustrations, and so on. Mellel leverages this information to create its unique Outline view. Click the Outline button at the bottom of the document window to get a bird’s eye view of your entire document. Click an item and voilà! — you’re there. Click another one, and Mellel jumps right to that location.

The Outline is not static: you can edit a heading from within the outline by selecting it in the outline and clicking it a second time. You can then edit it like any other text. Changes are reflected, of-course, in the document itself.

You can also use the Outline to build your document from scratch: Let’s open a new document, open the Outline view and click the Plus (or Add Outline Element) button. Mellel creates a new item and we can edit its title. Press Return and Mellel will add a new item below that, press Return again and another new item appears. The corresponding autotitles are added to the document as we go along. Let’s open another item and click the Increase Level button. The item becoms a sub item of the item above it and when we press return, we continue to create items on that level. There are keybord shortcuts to do all that, of course. 

The Outline offers plenty of other features, such as tags, editing the document structure, and more, but we’ll skip those to leave a little time for one last thing: Bibliography. 


Mellel is uniquely integrated with a reference manager named Bookends. The two applications know how to talk to one another and allow you to create and maintain a bibliography in your document with ease.

Bibliography is mangaged using the bibliography palette. To insert a citation, click the Switch to Reference Database button (or simply click Bookends’ library window). In Bookends, select the citation and click the Copy Citation button. Bookends inserted a citation object into our Mellel document. You can also drag citations from the Bookends window directly into Mellel. 

To create a bibliography, click the Scan button in the bibliography palette. Now, Bookends takes control and allows you to select the bibliography format. At the end of the process we’ll have a bibliography in the document. We can continue working with the document, adding, removing, copying and changing the positions of citations, and then update the bibliography by clicking the Scan button. You will not need to select the bibliography format again — Mellel will remember your choice.

If clicking the Scan button is tedious, you can simply use the Live Bibliography feature: Check  the Live Bibliography checkbox in the Bibliography palette, select the format and, well, that’s it: the bibliography will update automatically. Remove a citation? The bibliography gets updated. Add one? It’s updated too. 

Well, that concludes our tour of Mellel. 

Mellel has many other features to offer. This is just a taste. Check our YouTube channel to view other videos that drill deeper into features, and of course you can always refer to Mellel’s user Guide by choosing Mellel Guide in the Help menu. You can also g et in touch with us and ask any question by choosing Help->Support and filling in the form. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible. 

Thanks for watching. Don’t forget to like us and subscribe to our channel.

See you next time.


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