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Author Topic: Writing tools  (Read 2239 times)

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Offline MysticMoon

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Writing tools
« on: August 24, 2011, 09:42:30 PM »
Maybe this has been done before, but I couldn't find anything on it.

I'm curious to know what tools other Strolenites use for writing and posting subs.

For myself:

I started out using Google Docs. At first I used the standard formatting tools in Docs and would just copy and paste into the editor here. But then I noticed that all of the formatting was copied over, including fonts and font sizes. So I started copying and pasting from Docs into a text editor (gVim) so that I could get rid of the formatting and manually add HTML tags.

That worked ok, but became tedious for updating subs. I started writing using markdown, which is dead-simple to use and doesn't get in the way.  Then I would copy and paste the text into the markdown dingus tool to get nice HTML that I could just paste into the editor as source.

The problem with that method is that I like printing out my subs to keep in a notebook and I lost the native formatting that Google Docs provided.

Along the way I discovered pandoc which could turn markdown into HTML and PDFs for printing. I've been using that combination for months now and it is working well for me. A bit geeky, of course, but I consider that a plus.  :up:

I've since stopped using Google Docs altogether and now use writemonkey when I'm on Windows and PyRoom when I'm on Linux. I was using Dropbox to keep it all synced, but I've since switched to something quite geekier (a VCS that syncs to a cloud server and lets me view old versions of each sub; I won't bore anyone with the details.)

I can't be the only one who has struggled with formatting issues between the editor I write in and the one used for posting. (I use "struggle" loosely, as I enjoyed playing with each possible solution.) What other methods do the Strolenati at large use?
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Offline Strolen

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Re: Writing tools
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2011, 09:52:44 AM »
 :up: pyroom!!


Not that I am crazy active with subs but I use most anything to actually write it. LibreOffice documents in my dropbox folder so they are available at all my computers.


Depending on the formatting you can use the "Paste from Word" button that will strip the office crap and leave it as purer html or do a "Paste as Plain Text" and format it in place.  Either way I usually go to "Source" and do some hand updating.


What I hate about the editor is that it usually leaves an extra paragraph break at the beginning of the summary and sub so there is that extra space in it.

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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Writing tools
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2011, 07:58:16 AM »
I would actually be pretty keen on having a basic word processing program for my iPhone, I could be continually working on this and that, kick it out to an email destination and go from there with finalizing. Or do some revising on the laptop/desktop and then kick it back to the smartphone.

But searches for word processing programs in the iTunes store is a joke. I can find all sorts of document readers, and word of the day apps, and scrabble, and crap like that, but noooooo basic document composition. There is a Note tool that lets me write on lined yellow 'paper' but once written, there is no formatting possible, and once it is exported, there is no coming back to work on it more later.

end rant


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Offline MysticMoon

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Re: Writing tools
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2011, 12:23:09 PM »
I don't have an iPhone but I did a quick search and found some text editors that sync with dropbox: writeroom ($4.99) and plaintext (free) seemed to have decent ratings.

These are only text editors, so may not meet your needs. As I posted above, using a simple format like markdown lets me write in text editors and then convert to other formats when finished. I'm attaching the source file for The Undead Knights of Knonii as an example. If you want to see it in action, try copying and pasting the content into http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/dingus.

I never need to tweak the formatting for posting with this method. Markdown produces clean HTML. I think it looks clean natively as well. A markdown document is much easier to read than HTML source is.
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Offline dark_dragon

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Re: Writing tools
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2011, 09:36:36 AM »
Notesy has native markdown support and full screen reading and editing, as well as dropbox syncing to an arbitrary folder. It can also show text in fixed-width font if you want to hack on a shell script on your iPhone.

I tried tons of other ones, and notesy came out on top for me.

You can also have a look at some others on this guy's comparative reviews of iPhone note taking apps.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 09:40:02 AM by dark_dragon »
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Offline Kassy

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Re: Writing tools
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2012, 03:58:44 PM »
Well considering that I currently only have my iPad.

I use the "Notes" app that comes pre-installed. I have yet to actually upload anything to Strolen's using it though.

Normally I still write rather traditionally, using quill and parchment (ok, paper). I find the quill to be inspirational. Although at the moment it seems to be quite demotivational. (there's a sub in that somewhere :P)

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Offline MysticMoon

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Re: Writing tools
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2012, 04:15:22 PM »
I think I would find a quill annoying, but I did recently pick up some notebooks from Rogue Journals. They use oil tanned leather and handmade mulberry bark paper to good effect. I don't usually do more than scribble out ideas on paper, simply because longhand is sooo sloooowwwww, but I figured I might find the medium inspiring.
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Offline Kassy

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Re: Writing tools
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2012, 04:22:03 PM »
Ooh! I picked up a really nice moleskin sketchbook in A5 a few months back that I like to write in when I'm on the move. The things are expensive though >.<

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Offline MysticMoon

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Re: Writing tools
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2012, 11:06:15 AM »
I wrote my last few subs in MarkdownPad and really like it. The live preview is nice and the copy to html feature is quite handy.
Chosen of Aktagarti – Divine Synod Guild – Level 1
Might: 2 | Agility: 3 | Wits: 4 | Charm: 3 | Spirit: 4 | Power: 2

The old man, grey-haired, braid hanging down.
He is clothed in faded brown robes.
His craggy face is turned up, bathed in moonlight;
He looks for his goddess to smile upon him.