User Guide

Changes to Quoll Writer in version 1.4

Listed below are the new features, changes and bug fixes made to Quoll Writer in version 1.4.

New Feature: Warm-ups

The Warm-ups feature is aimed at helping with the following common problems for writers:

  • Warming up before tackling your main story.
  • Combating writer's block.
  • Boredom, with over 300 prompts to choose from there will be something that takes your fancy.
  • Looking for something new. We've all suffered from the shiny new project syndrome where starting something new is much more fun than completing an existing project.
  • Rounding out your writing skills.

The brain, like other muscles in the body, needs warming up before it is at it's best. The warm-up selection window is shown below. When you start a new warm-up you can select a writing prompt and then free write for a fixed amount of time or until you reach a certain number of words.

All the warm-ups are stored in a separate Warm-ups project so you return to a previous warm-up and work on it further or convert it into a new project. The main warm-ups window is shown below. It is very similar to the normal project window.

New Feature: Problem Finder

We all make mistakes whilst writing, often we don't want to break our flow to check to see if we are using suspect phrases or repeating ourselves. Even during editing it can be easy to overlook some of the problems that have crept into the prose. The Problem Finder feature is aimed at helping to find these problems. It will look for the following types of problems:

  • The use of certain words, phrases or punctuation that tend to be frowned upon.
  • The use of adverbs to modify a speech verb, such as "he shouted effusively".
  • Overly long sentences.
  • Sentences with too many clauses.

An example is shown below:

And closer in:

It is important to realize however that these problems are only an issue in certain circumstances and you may not, for your particular writing style/preferences, consider them problems at all. They are there as a guide rather than for enforcement. Each of the individual problems found can be ignored and the various types of problem can be ignored if required. It is also possible to add your own rules for words/phrases you consider to be problems and you would like to avoid.

New Feature: Added Sparklines to the word count popup summary

Sparklines are basically mini charts and an excellent way for seeing at a glance how something is progressing. Two sparklines have been added to the popup, one to show the word count progress over the past 7 days for the current chapter and another for all chapters for the previous 30 days. This allows you to easily see whether the word count for the chapter/book is going up or down.

New Feature: Can select the chapter to display in the Chapter Word Counts chart

This feature allows you to see the word counts for selected chapters.

An example is shown below:

New Feature: Notification bar

A notification bar has been added to the main window and will be displayed when important messages need to be conveyed to the user, such as when a new version of Quoll Writer is available for installation. This feature also allows removal of the popup window that was displayed when an automatic snapshot of the Project was created.

An example is shown below:

New Features: New Export Formats

It is now possible to export your project as PDF, HTML or EPUB. Just use the Export Project option from the Project menu.

New Feature: New Tools menu

A new Tools menu has been added to the Chapter tool bar. Print Chapter and Edit Text Properties have been moved to that menu along with Find Problems option.

New Feature: Allow urls and links to other objects be used in all multiline text boxes

This feature allows the user to use website links and references to other objects such as Characters and Items in multiline text boxes, such as the description for a Character. The links are highlighted and can be clicked on to go to that page or object tab.

An example is shown below:

New Feature: Allow tab key to move between text fields

This feature allows the user to move from one text entry box to another using the tab key, even for multiline text boxes.

Changed Features

  • Modifications to DOCX exporter
    The DOCX project exporter has been modified to respect the font, font sizes, line spacing, text alignment and indentation for the project in the output .docx files.
  • Changes to text size
    The editor font sizing has been modified to match the screen resolution. In short, this means that the size you see on screen will be the same as what is printed.
  • Changes to text properties
    Setting the text properties will set them for all chapters in the project and the settings will become the default for the project.
  • Changes to line spacing
    The line spacing has been corrected so that it is accurate given the screen resolution and font size.
  • Improved A4 page count calculation so that it is more accurte.
  • Improved the look of the charts in the Word Count panel.
  • Number formatting tweak on the word count popup.
  • Changed the find to start finding from the current caret rather than the start of chapter.
  • Streamlined the startup handling so that Quoll Writer starts faster, especially for larger projects.
  • Can contact support/report a problem straight from Quoll Writer itself rather than via email.

Bug Fixes

  • Changing the Display value for the Total Word Counts chart now works.

Internal Changes (dull techie stuff)

  • The fonts/font sizes used has been standardized across all UI components.
  • Modifications to drop shadows
    The drop shadows on the left hand panel and popups have been made more rounded and consistent. The popup drop shadow has been made more prominent to ensure that it looks raised.
  • Dropped the primary key from the wordcount table.
  • Made all popups derive from a single implementation.
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