Formatting bulleted lists in rtf

Can someone give me a recipe for formatting bulleted lists in rtf output? I just don’t understand what is going on. My lists look fine when I open the rtf in NeoOffice, but when I use Mellel the indent after the bullet is too big, and when I use Pages the lines after the bulleted line are about 1/2" wide (1 cm for those of you in the rest of the world) and run down the right margin. I don’t use Word.

I don’t want to use “preserve formatting”. Some of my settings are shown in the attachment.

I think I am going to invest in Nisus Writer Express, which appears to be the best rtf editor out there (I just couldn’t get Mellel to do what I wanted). I think my issue with bulleted lists is now moot.

NWP/e really is the best you can get on the Mac for RTF in my opinion, and I’m even partial to Mellel; it’s my preferred word processor when I need to use one. But nothing else outside of the monstrosity that is Word handles RTF as good as Nisus does. Mellel is really close, but fails on a few points. Hopefully they will address these in time. To my knowledge, the second best RTF editor on the Mac is Scrivener itself. I could be missing a program though—but most either depend entirely on Apple’s basic Cocoa code, which is really rather basic, or have RTF built-in as a bit of an afterthought, like Mellel—all excluding Word of course. It’s the best in terms of pure feature support, but not so much in elegance and all that.

Anyway, that aside, there is very little control in Scrivener for bullet formatting. This is all Apple’s glorious black box of magic. How other word processors read Apple’s lists is up to them, but I’m sure most have ways of adjusting formatting en masse, as that is rather what a word processor is intended to do.

One thing to try is experimenting with turning this option on or off in the “Layout Options” of Compile:

It’s there for this exact situation. During development of 2.0 it was brought to my attention that the indents of lists were really messed up in Word. Looking into it further, and opening up lists in various applications, it turned out that many applications handle the way the RTF records the indents differently. The RTF syntax just says, “This is a list item, it has a left indent of such and such, a first line indent of such and such, and tabs at such and such locations…” How programs interpreted this information varied wildly. Some would place the bullet at the indent location and then start the text at the first tab; others would start the text at the indent location and place the bullet halfway between. I thus ended up adding an option for this given that there was no way of knowing which program the user would take the file to or how that program would interpret the bullets.

The default - “Use Word-compatible…” should work well in Word and, I think, Nisus. But it won’t work so well in programs that use Apple’s RTF importer, and thus this option should be turned off there.

I do second Ioa’s recommendation of Nisus Writer, though. Second to Word it is the best RTF reader on the Mac, it’s a wonderful word processor (my own preferred word processor in fact), and has some great developers. In fact, one of the reasons that Scrivener’s RTF reading/writing is pretty decent is that Martin, one of the Nisus developers, is so nice and helpful, and has given me various tips, code snippets and help over the years.

All the best,
Keith

I’m going to buy Nisus Writer Pro immediately (should have done that a long time ago).

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