Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Saturday, May 10, 2014

ConstEdit v1.11.2000 Is Available

ConstEdit v1.11.2000 is now available. This version concentrates on increased usability while making the app more suitable for use in a business environment by providing support for relative links. You may download it from the Download Page as usual. Here is the changelog :
  • It has been verified that there is no impact of Windows 8.1 Update to ConstEdit.
  • ConstEdit is now signed with a Verisign Certificate. You should not see any Windows SmartScreen warning anymore.
  • You can now mid-button click (besides double-click) on the unused space of the main menu bar to create a new file tab or mid-button-click (besides double-click) on a file tab to close it.
  • A "Check For Updates" item is added to the Settings Menu.
    • The new item allows you to perform an on-request checking for updates. An internet connection is required.
    • If you enable the "Automatic" checkbox on the item, a checking for updates will be done automatically at each application startup. This option is enabled by default. 
  • The Document Properties dialog function on the Document Toolbar is enhanced.
    • The Html Title is now shown and can be changed in the Dialog. The "Title" button is removed from the Document Toolbar.
    • The dialog now shows the html Base Element in the document, if any.
  • The Open Recent Files actions have been enhanced.
    • You can specify to open any of the recent-files as read-only selectively.
    • ConstEdit now stores the last viewing/editing positions of documents. The next time the document is opened, it is brought back to the same position so that you can start working immediately from where you stopped. The last position is stored only for files in the recent-files list. The restored position may not be correct if the application window has been resized. Note that this functionality is applicable only to standards mode html documents as well as plain text files.
  • Relative links are now supported for both read and write actions.
    • Using relative links is a better option in a company environment where documents are shared by users on different machines. In this case relative links remain the same to all users, as long as the relative structure of the file system remains the same across these machines. Absolute links to the same resources however can be different in different machines. Using relative links increases the portability of documents.
    • A "Use Relative Links" item is added to the File Menu, which is enabled by default. When this option is enabled, all links to local resources in the document are converted to relative during save. When it is disabled, no conversion will be done (note that in this case any relative links pre-existing in the document will not be converted back to absolute during save).
    • A "Use Relative Links" item is added to  the Actions Menu of the Design Html StyleSheet Dialog, which is enabled by default. When this option is enabled, all links to local resources in the stylesheet are converted to relative during save. When it is disabled, all links to local resources will be saved as absolute in the saved stylesheet. 
    • Links to the internet are not converted in all cases.
    • ConstEdit no longer supports opening html documents with Base elements to edit.
      • This is because Base element causes confusion in the interpretation of relative links.
      • When an html file containing a Base element is opened for editing, a dialog will be prompted for the user to make a decision : EITHER to remove the Base element automatically from the file and then reopen to edit OR to reopen the file as read-only.
  • There are minor changes in wordings in some tooltips and menu-items.
  • There are minor cosmetic changes to the user interface.
  • These bugs are fixed.
    • Some links are rejected in the Hyperlink dialog even though they are valid.
    • Go To Bookmark function in the Find And Replace Toolbar now shows all bookmarks as well as all element id's within the document, instead of just showing bookmarks.
    • Line-breaks are now removed from the text produced from the Copy Html function, which are causing unnecessary line-breaks when the html code is pasted to some blog authoring tools.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Comparison of ConstEdit v1.11 with other word processors

A table comparing the features of ConstEdit and those of common word processors can now be found in the Features page. It is also given below for your quick reference. Also a new version of ConstEdit is to be published very soon.

featureConstEdit v1.11*Common word processors
Features comparison between ConstEdit and common word processors
User Interface
Single-window multi-tabbed (each file is opened under its own file tab in a single app window so that the taskbar won't get over-crowded)✔✘ supported by some word processors but not all; many are using the multi-window approach with one window per file
Conventional menu and toolbars✔ toolbar button size is automatically adjusted to fit window width; there is no unused space in the toolbars✔ some uses the more sophisticated ribbons in place of toolbars, but which occupies more screen space than toolbars
Shortcut keys
File formats supported for editingHtml, plain text (both of these formats are supported by common web-browsers in all platforms)odt, rtf, doc, docx, html, plain text are the commonly supported file formats (only html and plain text formats are directly supported by common web-browsers; all other formats are viewable only by using dedicated web-browser add-ons or using dedicated viewers or with the word processor itself)
Privacy-related metadata such as author and company name✘ ConstEdit does not store any metadata regarding privacy✔ you have the choice whether or not to store such metadata in the document, though the data can be passed on  unnoticed and unintentionally
Word count
Compare documents
Recent-files list✔ You can select multiple files from the recent-files list. The selected files are restored to the last editing/viewing position upon opening (this feature requires ConstEdit v1.11.2000 or above)
Export as pdf✘ ConstEdit supports only exporting to the web-archive .mht format or the complete html format
Print Preview / Print / Page Setup
Create blog post✘ you can copy the html code of the selection to the clipboard to facilitate blog authoring✔ only available in the more sophisticated word processors
Email✔ only available in the more sophisticated word processors
Fax✔ only available in the more sophisticated word processors
Print/Page layout view
Web layout view
Full-screen mode
Show / hide toolbars
Document Structure
Support of "section" (this is the common understanding of section in a document, i.e. a portion of the document content, not the section that defines the beginning of some page formatting style as is quoted in many word processors)✔ ConstEdit uses the common understanding of section, which is independent of the styles formatting of its content.

✔ The scope and the level of a section in most word processors is implied from the heading style that is applied to some text.

Insert section✔ In ConstEdit, the action is very intuitive : select the "Insert Section" item.✔ Not intuitive : you choose the heading style that corresponds to the section level.
Automatic and multi-level numbering of section headings✔ The numbering is done automatically for the section level according to the stylesheet applied to the document. No user action is required.✔ you need to specify the numbering style
Section demote / promote / move up / move down✔ drag-and-drop is also supported in the Sections Outline View
Generate Table Of Content
Visualization of document structure✔ the Sections Outline View supports drag-and-drop for you to change the structure easily
Spell-Checker✔ not available in Windows 7
Auto-correct for spelling✔ not available in Windows 7
Auto-convert from abbreviations
Grammar checker✔ you'd better be the one to judge the reliability of such checking
Bibliography✔ only available in the more sophisticated word processors
Graphics editing✔ only available in the more sophisticated word processors
Math/Equation ✔ only available in the more sophisticated word processors
Mark changes while editing
Text direction (ltr / rtl)
Paragraph move-up / move-down / indent / outdent / align
Bulleted list / numbered list
Figure / diagram
Auto-numbering of table / figure / footnote
Audio / Video✔ The attached audio and video can be played back directly in ConstEdit when the file is opened as read-only, or when the file is opened in Internet Explorer, or in other web browsers depending on their compatibility.✔ only available in the more sophisticated word processors
Smart quote
Endnote✔ the "footnote" as in ConstEdit is actually endnote with cross-reference
Cross-referencing✘ but you can achieve similar result by inserting a link to bookmark
Comment / annotation
Link (hyperlinks, links to files, links to bookmarks)
Multi-column layout✔ may not be supported by some web-browsers
Change case
Insert symbol
Insert quick text (inserting a string of predefined text)✘ not difficult to implement but not available in most word processors; or maybe this is a useless feature to most users except me
Insert fields, such as date✘supports inserting current date text only; no variable field is supported
Insert pagebreak
Find and Replace through all opened documents✘ Not supported in most word processors.
Go to a particular section / bookmark / link in the doc✔ you may need to set up a cross-reference in order to achieve this
Format copying
Separation of content and layout / styles formatting✔ The styles formatting of the whole document can be changed by simply applying a different stylesheet. The content and document structure are not affected in any way. Styles formatting is not "burnt" into the document content. ✘ The styles formatting is "burnt" into the document content. Changing the styles of the content can even affect the document structure.
Automatic styles formatting✔ Styles formatting is done automatically according to the stylesheet that is applied to the document. Element types (section, sub-section, heading, paragraph, bulleted list, numbered list, etc) are styled to the desired look on-the-fly automatically while these element types are inserted into the document. You can concentrate on the content authoring part.✘ In most conventional word processors, styles formatting must be done at the same time of content authoring. You need to specify the styles explicitly and repeatedly to give the document the desired look because content is not separated from styles formatting. A large portion of the effort of writing a document is spent on styles formatting.
Document, section, paragraph, object, table, text "inline" styles formatting✔ when there is a need to override the stylesheet styling, you can still choose to apply styles that are burnt into the content
Text highlight marker
Designing customized stylesheets✔ you can design your own stylesheets to be used for your documents with the Design Html Stylesheet option in Settings
Translate✔ only available in the more sophisticated word processors
Data binding✔ only available in the more sophisticated word processors
Macro ✔ only available in the more sophisticated word processors

* the mentioned features of ConstEdit are mostly applicable only to html documents, not plain text.