TextSoap at reduced price

Just in case anyone is interested, the developers of TextSoap are offering it for 28 USD instead of 40 USD until 9 September. See unmarked.com/textsoap/index.html

Best wishes,

Martin BB.

I had a look at it but, maybe I’m bit too tired today to think straight, couldn’t really understand the value of it. Can you give some real world examples of how it could be used? I’d like to understand the benefits of an application like this.

Same here, I never really understood the purpose of this app. I downloaded it to try find a purpose but failed to put it in my workflow.

Still would love to here some good examples as maybe I just had the wrong ideas.

For my writing I use a lot of reference material coming from all sorts of sources in all sorts of text formats. I’m quoting from web pages, PDFs and so on.

All of these text chunks come in different shapes—fonts, font size, line and paragraph spacings, indent, quotation marks and such differ, sometimes there even is a line break after every line although it isn’t poetry.

Scrivener seems to be the only program that has inbuilt some features to generate a consistent look for a text made from chunks coming from different sources—Convert To Default/Compile Text Style, most underrated feature!

But it does not cover all of the inconsistencies and annoyances. Plus in my case the first app I normally store new files in is my notebook app Together because this is the place I put the stuff that is still on a pre-project stage. And it has bookmarklets for browsers so importing and tagging comes very handy.

And after I had added a text to Together with ONE key combination TextSoap cleans it up to make it fit into whatever text it will end.

Another scenario: I convert a Text into HTML. There are dedicated programs to do this, I know, but my TextSoap cleaner does a little more than them—I have special “markups” or simpler: abbreviations for certain elements I recurrently use. For example, the texts are for Joomla! and a simple “===” is replaced by its readmore code. The web page I’m treating texts for (I’m actually not the author) is from a football (soccer!) club and I have an abbreviation for both of the club’s two sports fields that not only do get expanded by TextSoap to the full name but also have an underlying link to the page with the Google map that shows how to get there etc.

In general: TextSoap is a macro program which is not per-app but works system wide in all text apps. If you don’t use text related macros in one app you probably will have no use for TextSoap neither.

While text expansion apps like TextExpander, TypeIt4Me and Typinator (and their lame cousin that is inbuilt in Snow Leopard) are indispensable helpers while you’re writing TextSoap is the cleaning product for a text that’s already there.

Although I do not ever want to do without TextSoap I have to admit that I always found it a little pricey.

PS: And I love its icon.

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I’ve asked on the Nisus forum, too:

Anyone able to compare Textsoap and Nisus macro abilities (aside from ease of the pre-configured ones in TS)?

I’ve always used TextSoap, along with Spell Catcher, to complement other application’s strengths. TextSoap and Spell Catcher even complement each other. If they could be combined with a suitable writer, they could lead the market the way Tex-Edit Plus once did. It’s still an awesome product. I wonder whether it’s possible to create a similar minimalist but powerful configuration inside Scrivener (or Keith’s brain, whichever is in control). Then journalists like me, who never write more than 300 words at a time except on rare occasions, could have both intellect and brawn.

That said, Nisus’s customizing features are all beautifully thought out and smoothly executed, perhaps more so than any competitor. The macro process baffles me but must be a piece of cake to anyone with half a brain. It also looks beautiful and has a powerful new Document Manager.

I’ve never fathomed TextSoap but it’s been indispensable to me for centuries. Not only power but ingenuity, like Spell Catcher.

I must admit that a combination of a typing expander—Spell Catcher is one too and much more—and a macro cleaner like TextSoap is something I have dreamed about too.

Wouldn’t that be awesome if one key combination would give a text from whatever source the same form texts written on your Mac and in your favorite writing app have?

You can do this already (and indeed I do) with two apps but you have to “sync” the lists of replacements for both manually. (Actually I think both lists could not be 100% identical because expanding on the fly sometimes works a little different than after-processing a text.)

As I am not a Nisus user I don’t know how good its macro functionality is—but it is scriptable so I don’t see any limits to it. And even if: Macros inside of an app are generally better because they “know” more about the text.

That said, I would not want Keith to spend time on developing such a functionality for Scrivener. When I switched to Mac I was looking for programs with macro functionality and text expansion and I didn’t see the point in buying these extra.

But I found it more comfortable to have this functionality in every app involving text.

One other feature that sets Nisus apart is the quick and easy yet powerful ability to modify key assignments from within the program.

There is a Christmas holiday Sale at Unmarked Software. The TextSoap single user license is $10 cheaper and the family pack $20.

http://www.unmarked.com/textsoap/index.html

Not just set and modify them, but to use multi-key shortcuts … Cmd-RR for red, Cmd-BB for black, Cmd-BL for blue in my case, and others …
And on the macro side, it is extremely powerful, combining applescript, Perl and I don’t know what else, together with the regexp that you get with the find and replace anyway. I’m not a macro-scriptor, but Nisus has Martin, who’s brilliant, and it’s own Ioa-alike in the form of Kino, who on occasion has even out-classed Martin, and is incredibly generous with his time and skill for anyone who asks for help with macros.

Mark