Thanks. I appreciate the discussions on this topic.
A big challenge I have with Manuscripts as a tool to "write stuff efficiently" is the over-reliance on mouse actions to enter content. As near as I can tell, here again are few examples that I cannot handle without going to the mouse ...
- Unable to exit equation mode and start back to text mode directly
This sounds like a good idea indeed. For instance, place the cursor after the inline math element when exiting from the editing popover, and in the equation's caption in case it's a paragraph level equation. I've made a note of that.
- Unable to end a list entree and start back to text mode directly
Good point. We'll improve that.
- Unable to add content above the current location
This is discussed above.
- Unable to start a list from the current blank location or after the current location
This is available in two forms, both of which have a keyboard shortcut:
- Format > Convert To > Numbered / Bullet List if you want to convert the current paragraph into a list item.
- Insert > Numbered List / Bullet List if you want to insert a list under the current paragraph (or at the current position in case the paragraph you are in is empty).
As far as not wanting blank line returns to mess up the document format ... OK. However, does that leave an inconsistency where return might do something in one case but something different in another? That would be ... frustrating.
It simply forbids certain moves in the space of possible manuscripts
I have a suggestion for a compromise. I notice that a new template has light gray text in otherwise "empty" paragraph slots. Why not have a return at an empty paragraph fill the slot with an equivalent light gray text "Put text here for this paragraph"? I would MUCH rather have something like this happen than be "stalled" continually with trying to type returns.
And, even when I know a return will not work at a blank line, I will keep on pounding on my keyboard to make it work somehow (and keep wondering why the darn thing is beeping at me).
Here is my use case for this ...
- Create a Section with a title "Methods"
- Realize that I have a paragraph that I want to put at the start but that I do not want to type it right now
- Leave a blank line that says "Put text here for this paragraph"
- Start the next idea at the paragraph below
You can simply hit Enter at the end of the section heading. This creates an empty paragraph after it. What seems to be causing confusion is the fact that we do not allow the manuscript to contain multiple empty paragraphs in row. We are certainly prepared to listen to feedback regarding this behaviour though.
The placeholder idea is interesting but seems pretty noisy or confusing in its own way: either it would need to be there for all paragraphs (at which case it's quite noisy), or it would need to be there for the 2nd etc paragraph (which I'd count as confusing unfortunately). And again, there really should be no need for it, there's a workflow described above doing just what you would like to happen. I will certainly look into designing a more soothing beep sound for it, it's not quite as critical an error as what the current error sound suggests.
CEO & Co-founder of Manuscripts.app Ltd