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View Full Version : A tool for ya'll - to make submitting your writing here easy


Michael Parks
03-21-2008, 02:15 PM
Easy and pretty on the eyes.

I don't know about you, but I like reading books on paper, with paragraph indents, etc. Reading online, it's hard to get that, and on a forum, its just not possible....

So tonight I wrote a Visual Basic app to act as a workaround, and I want to share, free of course. It's quite simple:

-Copy your text from your favorite word processor
-Paste into the window of the app
-Select a font and a font size
-Click the button at the bottom to format
-Your text will be formatted to look like this (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2179401#post2179401). (hoho shameless plug!)
-And automatically be copied to Clipboard for pasting in your message

How does it manage the indents? By adding three white X's at the start of every paragraph using VBCode.

It also adds line spaces 'tween paragraphs.

I took the liberty of putting AW on it, but with an obvious disclaimer. If this is a problem, please will an admin PM me and I'll "unbrand" it. I won't make it available until I hear word on that.

Here's a screenshot of the app (for PC only):
http://michaelparks.info/images/aw-indent.jpg

I know I appreciate the easier to read format, and I hope you might, too.

Available as soon as an admin advises on the logo, etc. Source code available upon request. I'd like to do a web-based version, but I'd have to spend a bit longer on that. Maybe someone with mad php/.net/javascript skills will crank that out ;)

Maryn
03-21-2008, 06:53 PM
Michael, this could prove very handy. Sometimes I decide that reformatting a story or chapter to post here is more bother than it's worth, so I blow it off. I do believe I've just run out of excuses!

Maryn, tipping her hat (what, the rest of you aren't wearing hats?)

Perks
03-21-2008, 08:07 PM
Very interesting and most enterprising of you. And very cool.

Michael Parks
03-21-2008, 10:51 PM
Thanks. The time it took to post my chapter was my motivation.

I took another program I'd written to remove carriage returns and line feeds from text and tweaked it to inject the formatting, so I didn't reinvent the wheel.

I just unbranded the app and put it up for download (http://michaelparks.info/add-indent.zip). It's in a ZIP file, once you download it (to a folder you know you can navigate to), just double click on it to browse it. The file is called "add-indent.exe".

To get it ready to use, once you've opened the ZIP:

Simple method: drag and drop it to your desktop

More exact method:
- Right click on it, and select "Copy"
- Use My Computer to navigate somewhere you want to run it from
- Right click on the file window, and select "Paste"

It can accept around 7,800 words at a go, or about 45,000 characters (including spaces... though I think the actual limit is 65,000, I didn't check it exactly). Your latest story segment will always be stored in c:\aw-post.txt.

Click here (http://michaelparks.info/add-indent.swf) for a demonstration of how to use it. (Requires Flash)

It's tiny (7 kb), and virus-free (if downloaded from my web server). Source code is here (http://michaelparks.info/source.txt). If you find any bugs or can think of way to improve it, let me know. If you find it useful, give me a shout. :)

Enjoy.

http://michaelparks.info/images/add-indent.jpg

sandyn
03-21-2008, 11:25 PM
Thanks so much. This is great!

James81
03-22-2008, 02:53 AM
User CP > Edit Options >

Scroll to the bottom until you see this:

http://img245.imageshack.us/img245/4127/editoropqe2.jpg

From the drop down menu select:

"Standard Editor--Extra formating controls"

does essentially the same thing. lol

It's the WYSIWYG editor in vbulletin that screws up the formatting of copy/paste. But doing the above turns that off.

James81
03-22-2008, 03:00 AM
Ah so it does. heh - but having a nice shiny lil application that does it is for you is still pretty cool...

Oh yeah, it's pretty awesome.

I just hate to see the guy spend all that time on something that can be fixed so easily. :tongue

JennaGlatzer
03-22-2008, 03:00 AM
Very nice of you, Michael. Thanks!

Michael Parks
03-22-2008, 03:12 AM
Oh yeah, it's pretty awesome.

I just hate to see the guy spend all that time on something that can be fixed so easily. :tongue

It took about 45 minutes total. :) Actually, none of options in VBulletin (that I've found) allows for the first line paragraph indenting, that makes it format like a book's paragraph. Which is really what the proggy was for (the other formatting options were just easy to throw in).

If I'm missing something on how you can make VBulletin do that, I'm all eyes! :]

Very nice of you, Michael. Thanks!

My pleasure. I've already received back way more than the effort it took... from the content here and individual critiques I've received (and I've only been here a couple days!).

Michael Parks
03-22-2008, 04:49 AM
I just noticed a bug, and fixed it (http://michaelparks.info/add-indent.zip).

Bug: If you hit "Clear text" after you've already formatted text, and repaste new text to format, it holds onto the old formatted text. To workaround it, you'd have to close and reopen the program.

I've fixed it and updated the file on my server.

StephanieFox
03-22-2008, 05:32 AM
What's an app?

Michael Parks
03-22-2008, 05:54 AM
Application :]

Soccer Mom
03-22-2008, 07:02 AM
OMG! A technogeek! :hugs and squeezes new BFF Michael P:

Silver King
03-22-2008, 07:33 AM
This helpful tool should find a place in Tech Help eventually, or perhaps even Share Your Work; but not before folks who visit Office Party have a chance to use it first. Then we just might share it with others. :)

SpookyWriter
03-22-2008, 07:36 AM
This helpful tool should find a place in Tech Help eventually, or perhaps even Share Your Work; but not before folks who visit Office Party have a chance to use it first. Then we just might share it with others. :)I'm afraid of sharing my tools with this mob. :D Unless it Jayc.

Silver King
03-22-2008, 07:41 AM
I'm afraid of sharing my tools with this mob. :D Unless it Jayc.
I actually thought of that while writing out my post. I almost swapped "tool" for "application," but I wasn't sure if that was correct. The OP called it a "tool," though, so that felt safer. :)

SpookyWriter
03-22-2008, 07:48 AM
I actually thought of that while writing out my post. I almost swapped "tool" for "application," but I wasn't sure if that was correct. The OP called it a "tool," though, so that felt safer. :)Some programmers have a different set of tools to help them perform better. :D

Soccer Mom
03-22-2008, 08:29 AM
http://images.icanhascheezburger.com/completestore/2008/3/14/linuxcatznot128500333702812500.jpg

Michael Parks
03-22-2008, 08:34 AM
:ROFL: nice!

William Haskins
03-22-2008, 08:39 AM
welcome to AW, michael.

this was very nice of you.

Matera the Mad
03-22-2008, 08:56 AM
Bedad and begorrah, not so bad. I can stop wishing I could explain to the benighted Wordites how to use a text editor and whatnot. :D

MacAllister
03-22-2008, 09:40 AM
Hi, Michael, and welcome to AW. This was an awfully practical and kind thing to do. Thank you. (And yes - admin is fine with it.)

Michael Parks
03-22-2008, 10:17 AM
Bedad and begorrah, not so bad. I can stop wishing I could explain to the benighted Wordites how to use a text editor and whatnot. :D
lol

Rare is the knave who can use both with equal dexterity.
Who are you calling a knave? :D

Hi, Michael, and welcome to AW. This was an awfully practical and kind thing to do. Thank you. (And yes - admin is fine with it.)

Thank you, AW is a wonderful net destination, I'm glad I finally found it. I love writing, and everyone here does, too. That makes for one helluva cool hangout, IMO. Good times, good times, as Isaac recently told me. :]

I'm glad people find the tool as useful as I do. I just updated it once more with feature enhancements that might be useful to some. It still works the same. The updated video (http://michaelparks.info/add-indent.swf) demonstration illustrates the features.

JennaGlatzer
03-22-2008, 10:20 AM
Did he... did he just say updated video demonstration? How did I miss that link the first time?

Michael, take off your shoes. Can I get you a cup of cocoa? We're keeping you. :D

Michael Parks
03-22-2008, 10:29 AM
Can I get you a cup of cocoa?


Soooo weird you said that... I don't drink coffee: I'm a hot cocoa fiend, and I have a cup almost every night before starting to write. I relate good writing time with hot cocoa! That's too funny! Thanks Jenna, anything I can do to help, let me know. I'm a webby [web tech] from way back.

Michael Parks
03-22-2008, 11:46 AM
lol - we're both IT geeks...so technically i guess we're both knaves because i'm pretty sure this is the definition of an IT geek as well:
Yep :D - but without us the world stops revolving...

Aye, then we are knaves, and knaves with the gears o' the world under our control! <evil laugh>

Michael Parks
03-22-2008, 11:54 AM
holy crumboly.. what kind of sql is that? I do believe it made my eyes cross! :]

Michael Parks
03-22-2008, 12:34 PM
Just to be clear, that was some intense code, SpookyWriter. *hats off*

dpaterso
03-22-2008, 03:28 PM
Heck, I'm still using QuickBASIC 4.5

-Derek

JJ Cooper
03-22-2008, 03:57 PM
Spooky had to delete the posts with the code. Got a phone call from some kid.

JJ

writin52
03-22-2008, 04:09 PM
What a cool way to introduce yourself, this looks great, mIcheal, a thousand :welcome: 's to you (and not just because we love a technogeek, especially SoccerMom):D

Shadow_Ferret
03-22-2008, 08:47 PM
Guess I didn't realize replacing one return with two was so difficult. That's all I do when I post stories.

Matera the Mad
03-23-2008, 07:48 AM
Sholy hit. I just downloaded and tested the thing. Except for one thing, it is the answer to an ignorant word-processor-user's prayers. Automatic paragraph spacing! That is priceless! I have seen so many run-together messes. The indenting of the first lines is esthetically pleasing, and of course the white text hack is about the only way to go in some forums.

However, the bb-code indent tags that it is adding are not only not necessary, they are a PITA for the reader of the post. That really should go. The "indent" tag is more or less the equivalent of "blockquote" in HTML. Each application of the tag further narrows the column of text, not a desirable effect.

Me likes testing softwarez

Wyatt
03-28-2008, 11:49 PM
Cool. I am going to give this a shot.

Cranky
03-28-2008, 11:53 PM
Thanks, Michael! And welcome to the funnyhouse. :D

mscelina
06-03-2008, 04:22 PM
And naturally, it won't work for me. I suck. :(

Pardes
07-11-2009, 08:45 PM
What a handy dandy little tool. Thanks!