Mellel 4 introduced a new tool called Story. This tool allows you to add to your text story points — allowing you to document events in a story or a script add characters and locations, set the time of an event, add tags and, of course, sort the story points, the characters and the location based on their importance, chronologically (a timeline, which helps if your story unfold non-chronologically), and more. This new feature is meant for writers and script writers, but not just. You can use the feature with just about anything. Battles are locations. Historic figures are characters. Carbon Dioxide is a character too. The Story points appear in the text in a non-intrusive way. That is, they appear in the text, but do not alter layout and do not appear when printing. To learn more about Story in Mellel view our special videos: Inserting Story Elements and Using the Story Pane
Find and replace
Find and Replace serve two purposes. One is obvious: finding stuff and replacing it with something else. Another, less obvious, purpose is to keep tabs on linguistic and stylistic issues in your manuscript. To find and replace, Mellel offers you an excellent set of features: it allows you to search your manuscript for a specific string, for a more generalised category (like an alphanumeric character, a character range, and so on), to set where the find will be performed, limit it by styling, and use a Regular expression-like search language which allows you just about anything else. But that's just half the story. The thing about Find and Replace is that it is very often Find, Replace and Repeat. If any part of your work involves editing, you're probably painfully aware of that. And here is where Mellel is one of a kind. The simplest repeat task is re-using a find expression (find anything in parentheses, any word, anything in bold, etc.). Mellel allows you to save such expressions as Find Expressions. More complex is saving a Find and Replace action, which you use often (e.g., eliminating double spaces and other gremlins). To facilitate this, Mellel also allows you to save Find Actions you can run at any time. But then again, you probably need to run 10 or 20 or 300 of those with any text, or run a different set of Find Actions with different tasks. And Mellel does that too! All your saved Find Actions can be managed, organised in sets and run all at once via the Find Sets dialogue. A Find session that would have lasted for hours can be squeezed into 2 minutes of running the entire set all at once. To learn more about Find and Replace in Mellel view our special videos: Basic Find Actions, Advanced Find and Replace Actions, Find and Replace Expression, Managing Find Actions, and Managing Find Sets.
Script with style
Word processors started out as no more than glorified typewriters. Their initial 'claim to fame', so to say, was their ability to use styles: that is, a set of formatting options that can be applied to a piece of text, thus saving you time and hassle applying things one-by-one. The only problem was: it didn't work. Styles were ill-defined, inconsistent, and clumsily implemented, and writers were left to fend for themselves with various style "brushes" and other gadget. Now, go "brush" a 500 pages manuscript. Mellel is all about styles, and in a good way. It was written with efficient styles in mind — and delivers the unthinkable: a style system that works. Styles in Mellel are clearly defined, and do not trespass into each other's territory. A Character style is applied to characters, A paragraph style is applied to paragraphs, and so on with Page, Section, List, Note or Index Styles. This clear definition allows for a clear implementation. For example, with a character style in Mellel you can use up to 8 variations (for bold, italics, background colour or whatever). You can apply a paragraph style to this text, and the character variations do not get mangled. Ever. And, of course, there's the thing about recycling. Mellel recycles. If you have a set of styles, they are saved within a Style set. This style set can be local (i.e., used with a certain template or document) or global — that is, available for any new document. So, if you've invested several hours designing your styles, you can easily re-use them with any other document. To learn more about Styling in Mellel view our special videos: Formatting Characters, Formatting Paragraphs, Formatting Sections, and Formatting Pages
Mellel was and still is the best multilingual word processor. It's in its genes. Mellel's support for multiple languages, and especially bi-directional text, is at its core: it was written that way. It thinks this way. Every option and every feature in Mellel was written to support text running in every language, in every direction, and with every script, from Syriac to CJK, and from Greek to Arabic and Hebrew. One of Mellel's strengths in this area is in its character styles system. Within every character style you can set a secondary font, matching scripts, font-face and font size. This way, you can combine texts from different scripts with the optimal setting for each. And if the automatic tools fail, you can always tweak things manually setting the direction for a letter (or a style variation). To learn more about Multilingual text in Mellel view our special videos: Introduction to Multilingual Support and Managing Languages