Styled text

I accidentally posted this on a different thread and immediately deleted it. Now I have to add some text or the forum software wont allow me too post as it is “too similar” to what I just posted – Which was immediately deleted - Akkkkk.

@jessegrosjean. I saw in an earlier thread where you commented (on a thread about shortened links) that this might be an idea of interest to you “maybe someday”.

As I begin to use TaskPaper more in my outlining and writing organization process, I once again wish there was a way to add simple effects to words ala styled instead of plain text. I was wondering if the work that would have to be done to make hyperlinking text work would be the same work to be able to bold or underline or color text in TaskPaper? If so it would be like killing two birds with one stone so to speak.

Of course, if I recall, some here are probably not going to be fans of anything but plain text. I wish there was a way to make it work for plain text or styled text but the programming skills to understand that argument are beyond my reach. Still, it would be nice not to have to make a sub section just to have your main point in a section stand out in a bold or colored way. Illustration attached.

Yes, it will be handled using same system.

The design with be that the editor is rich text, but when you save the file it will be saved as plain text. The rich text spans will be saved using Markdown formatting.

I’m pretty sure this will happen in TaskPaper 4. But I’m pretty sure that’s still a long way off. In the meantime I’m working to make the same system work for WriteRoom 4 which I’m working on now. In the meantime you could use Markdown formatting in your Taskpaper document to (for example) bold text. Then later whenever TaskPaper 4 comes around that formatting will appear as bold text. Instead of just plain text sourounded by **'s.

I’ve been giving the idea some thought. The best parts of Taskpaper as far as I can tell, have nothing to do with Markup. I am a big fan of how in Taskpaper I can; fold text, focus on a section of an outline, put tags anywhere that can not only provide instant searches, but can also direct extra formatting, save custom searches to the sidebar, and, use a less file to adjust the typography exactly to my liking.

And yet, it occurs to me that there are some here who are real fans of Markdown as a styling tool. I mean no disrespect when I say, I am not one of those fans. I have purchased Marked2 and I have used it to test out the Markdown method. Why write something, save it, then drag it over a Marked2 icon just to view passively what you just wrote? I would much prefer to follow my writing - as I write.

Markup just does not appeal to me. I know that some prefer to write html using BBEdit or another plain text editing method. I prefer RapidWeaver or some other method that shows formatting as I type and then outputs clean code. Granted, the code sometimes has to be tweaked and you have to understand the code to do this. I prefer this to writing in plain text using html or Markup symbols for later output.

If using Markup is the goal of the design of TaskPaper I am afraid I will always be a bit on the outside, looking in. Again, no disrespect but, Markup is just not a selling point of TaskPaper for me. The features I love in TaskPaper are going to be there, regardless of anyone’s added interest in Markup as an output solution.

I think my explanation of how the feature will work wasn’t clear enough…

Assuming I can predict the future for TaskPaper 4 (ie this is the plan, but who knows) you should be able to select text and choose a “bold” command in TaskPaper 4. The text will then appear bold. You won’t ever see any additional Markdown syntax, such as **. You would only see that if you looked at the file outside of TaskPaper… editing within TaskPaper would look and act just like any other rich text editor.

OK, that would be great. You are right, I didn’t understand that completely. That would also mean that in a future iteration of TaskPaper, it could read Markup? If I put asterisks around a word right now in TaskPaper, it does nothing.

Further meantime: If you use Markdown in a TaskPaper document, and view it in a Markdown viewer, you get this:

I appreciate the thought, but, what I was just saying is that writing markdown and then viewing it in a viewer does not really appeal to me.

There are those who use TaskPaper who are totally into the Markup language and then using an external viewer. I have such an external viewer. It just doesn’t appeal to me.

Then why do you choose to use an app that is advertised as a plain text to-do list?

OK, lets not get personal here. :wink: If you read my post, you will see that I am not trying in any way to disrespect the plain text markup oriented crowd. If you read my post, I think I have made a solid argument already for all the great things that TaskPaper can do - that have absolutely nothing to do with markup or with plain text.

Markup has to be viewed in a separate editor like Marked2. There was a time when I enjoyed writing in code and using a browser to view what I had written (in html). That way has it’s benefits. But what I am writing now, needs active editing, and the layout is important (to me) during the writing process.

Perhaps it is because I once did professional tech writing and tech editing. In those years, I used Word and I had to be very careful about formatting as I went. I am glad I don’t have to do that anymore, but I do still enjoy some formatting, such as bolding, underlining, embedding links, and line and paragraph spacing. The less file allows me to address line and paragraph spacing and really, TaskPaper is fantastic in that regard.

If it stays as plain text then, so be it. Please allow for a passionate fan and daily user of TaskPaper (for some years) to voice an opinion. I am in no way trying to suggest that I have a better way, but only that I have learned that I have to do my work, my way. Your mileage may vary of course. :wink:

@jessegrosjean I am looking at a FoldingText video here. May I ask where TaskPaper and FoldingText converge and where they separate? In the video it appears that using markdown, FoldingText will in fact bold a character in FoldingText. This is something that TaskPaper will not do. It also appears that you have to use a Markdown hash tag before a line - but the line will get a heading style if you do. This is similar to TaskPaper using a colon to end a line.

Does FoldingText also use a less file like TaskPaper does? Or is that one of the current differences between FoldingText and TaskPaper? I am also not clear if FoldingText will allow multiple levels of collapse and expansion as TaskPaper can?

The only real problem I have using Markdown is that it cannot be used other than in a separate viewer. I would not have a problem using Markdown in an app (like FoldingText) if doing so had an immediate payoff such as bolding, underline, etc.

I am very happy using TaskPaper for my lists and for my tasks. I am exploring the writing of my outline now and I am just wondering about the differences between TaskPaper and FoldingText.

Well, we are in a discussion forum, so I felt fine asking a personal question about your choice, and opinion of such. If you don’t want to directly answer the question, that is your prerogative.

From what I can infer, you are looking for a rich text editor with outlining functionality. Along the way, you have (justifiably, IMHO) taken a liking to TaskPaper’s features, including tags, focus and folding.

The inherent danger of this is that TaskPaper may never fully meet your needs/desires. You are trying to shoehorn a to-do list manager into a writing environment.

Things are further complicated by TaskPaper’s support of stylesheets and scripting, which are tools that may solve some of your needs/desires, if you roll your sleeves up and dig into them.

So, if you decide to stay with TaskPaper, you have to either: put up with a shoehorned tool; wait for Jesse to add features in a future version (which may or may not happen); or try to create suitable scripts and a stylesheet that helps to improve the display of your text.

I would suggest trying a tool better suited to styled writing (as opposed to plain text task management). For this, I’d heartily recommend Scrivener or Ulysses. Unless you have fallen in love with TaskPaper, I’d bet that you would be happier writing in one of these two apps.

Just my 2¢.

It is common on a forum like this for users to offer comments and requests for new features. Why this should bring comments that I must be in the wrong place … seems odd.

I would have to say that, rather obviously, since Jessie replied that he had already thought of adding styled text in version 4, I am not the first person to have suggested this idea. Jessie also made no time frame available for this or even a concrete decision about doing it but, it does seem at least possible in the future.

Why the attachment to the idea that plain text alone is what TaskPaper is for is beyond me. As I have attempted to point out, plain text and markup is only a part of what TaskPaper can do. TaskPaper is a commercial product, and a good one at that. And, the developer actively listens to the community of users of his products. As I have said, many times, I offer no disrespect to those who are fond of using the plain text, Markup language here. I would not offer such condescension as to suggest that someone else might be happier using another program instead of TaskPaper just because they are using it differently than how I am using it. I can only hope that others would have the same courtesy and respect for me in the way that I like to use TaskPaper as I would offer them in the way they like to use TaskPaper.

I never said you were in the wrong place—I simply offered suggestions to easily solve your issues. TaskPaper doesn’t currently do what want. My other two suggestions do. It isn’t “condescension” to offer helpful suggestions. Use them or ignore them. But I never said you in the wrong place. Odd that you took it that way.

It isn’t an attachment—it is an observation.

Note that the first thing you see, under the TaskPaper name on, is the subtitle: “Plain text to-do lists for Mac” :slight_smile:

All of that said, just so there is no confusion (and this is not sarcasm): please use TaskPaper however you like. Please feel welcomed here in the forums. And if my suggestions aren’t helpful, please don’t use them.

With that said, I’ll wish you luck on your journey. Unless you have specific comments for me, I’m moving on from this thread.

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