Posts tagged ‘text editing’

SGML nostalgia

When I switched to Linux in the late ’90s, I needed a way to write reports and correspondence for work. At the time, there weren’t any open source word processors worth mentioning, and I was done with wordprocessors, anyway. So I set up a report-writing workflow based on SGML, HTML’s big brother, and groff, the…


Cleaning up my Markdown table cleanup script

Way back in 2008, I wrote a script that made it easier to have nicely formatted tables in a Markdown1 document. The idea was to take a hastily written table like this, | Column 1 | Column 2 | Column 3 | |—|:—:|—:| | first | second | third | | column | column |…


Better Markdown folding in BBEdit

One of the few things I don’t like about BBEdit’s Markdown language module is the way it handles section folding. Here’s a simple example document, similar to the format I use when writing a report: Title: A simple report in Markdown Author: Dr. Drang Date: June 11, 2014 Client: Markdown Industries, LLC 1029 Race St…


Unix text tools to the rescue

Yesterday at work, I wrote a report summarizing a bunch of tests I’ve been running for the past month or so. There were several tables of results, including one that listed, among other things, all of the parts and the temperatures at which they were tested. The table had a few dozen rows and five…


Leveraging little lab labels

I’m starting a long series of tests at work involving many different parts exposed to a variety of chemicals. Devising the test setup was interesting, and I expect analyzing the results to be interesting, too. But this middle section—actually doing the tests—is going to be pretty boring. Lots of bookkeeping, not much thinking. This is…


OmniOutliner 4

I’ve never been much for mind mapping, but I do like a good outline. When I returned to the Mac in 2005, my iBook G4 came with OmniOutliner preinstalled and that’s what I’ve used ever since. It wasn’t the ideal outliner, but it was good enough, especially after I updated to the Pro version. After…


My report writing workflow

Blame Kieran Healy for this. Last night he posted a nice account of his writing workflow, with flow charts, lists of tools, examples of input and output, and, most important, a cogent explanation of how and why he developed his way of working. If you haven’t already seen it, go there now—I’ll wait. ♫ Tall…


Open Recent macro for BBEdit

One of the things that frustrates me about BBEdit is that the File‣Open Recent menu item has no keyboard shortcut. This morning, I fixed that with a Keyboard Maestro macro. BBEdit has its own builtin preference system for assigning keyboard shortcuts to menu items, but the Open Recent item isn’t available for assignment. Hence the…


A simple Drafts tip

Most of the tips for Drafts that you run across on the internet have to do with its extensive set of Actions that send your text to and from other apps. This is altogether fitting and proper, as Drafts’ developer, Greg Pierce, is the creator of the iOS x-callback-url spec that makes that interapp communication…


Drafts and diet

Bad habits are insidious and hard to shake. As my wife went through cancer treatment, I began to eat poorly and too much. The modest discipline that had allowed me to lose 15 pounds a couple of years earlier seemed unimportant, and I adopted the attitude of “at least I’m not drinking.” Now it’s time…