Preparing formatting and tables in Brainstorm

tips and hints on using BrainStorm with other programs

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tbeek
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Preparing formatting and tables in Brainstorm

Post by tbeek » Mon Jul 17, 2006 3:54 am

I have found an on-line text-to-html conversion utility for this. So with a simple markup language, called Textile, you can put in your Brainstormfile already a lot of formatting. Even nicer, I use it to make tables! As the normal Office macro in the Word at my office doesn’t work, I found this very useful. The utility is a service of the people of the Textile markup language.

The markup for the formatting is f.e.:
_emphasis_
*strong*
??citation??
-deleted text-
+inserted text+
^superscript^
~subscript~

Numeric list: #
Bulleted list: *
Headers: h(number).

To insert a table:
|a|table|row|
|a|table|row|

There is a lot more markup to get even the most complicated table. Working with a fixed fontwidth is recommended.

At http://textism.com/tools/textile/index.php you can find this text-to-html conversion utility. There are a few rules, but the site speaks for itself. The most important or limiting rule to me, was that headers must be separated with an empty line (or entry).

In Brainstorm, output must be generated with the ‘Write to text’ and checkmark the ‘use the clipboard’ and set the indentation at 0 (zero).

david
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Post by david » Mon Jul 17, 2006 5:31 am

If you want to incorporate the generated HTML into your BrainStorm model for later web-publishing, you could select the part of the current list which contains the markup, copy/paste it into Textism, then copy/paste the results back into BrainStorm.

If you want to include tables, you will need to switch off the JavaScript option when web-publishing the model and settle for the outline view.

I notice that Textism adds vertical spacing between entries. You may want to replace some of the <p></p> pairs and put in <br /> instead. As you'll see in the example that follows, I substituted the first line's </p> with a <br />. I removed the second line's <p> and </p> pair and just put a <br /> at the end. Then I removed the third line's <p>.

I also crushed the table up into a row per line. You're right about needing a mono-spaced font. A shame really. However, if you add a border="1" to the table section, it will come out as a grid, regardless of font chosen. I've added it to the example below, to illustrate.

Code: Select all

<p><del>Strike</del> through<br />
<em>italic</em><br />
<strong>bold</strong></p>
<table border="1">
<tr><td>table</td><td>1</td><td>2</td><td>3</td></tr>
<tr><td>row1</td><td>a</td><td>b</td><td>c</td></tr>
<tr><td>row2</td><td>d</td><td>e</td><td>f</td></tr>
</table>
David Tebbutt

alx
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Post by alx » Tue Jul 25, 2006 4:06 pm

Thanks Tbeek, this is brilliant.

Does anybody know of a utility that works like Textile but off-line? I work with Brainstorm on the road very much where I don't have access to web tools.

alx

david
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Post by david » Wed Jul 26, 2006 2:57 am

I'm on dial-up, so my searching is somewhat limited (by time/cost) but it might be worth looking at Markdown. This is available as a php module and can be integrated into other programs - blogs, bulletin boards...

http://www.michelf.com/projects/php-markdown/

I think it's available as a standalone for the Mac but I'm not sure.

Hope this helps a bit.
David Tebbutt

tbeek
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Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 1:36 am

Post by tbeek » Wed Jul 26, 2006 3:12 am

At http://instiki.org you will find Instiki, a Wiki-engine written in Ruby. With it you can use the markup languages Textile, RDoc and Markdown. Instiki also has multiple webs, category's. Just put in your text in the editmodescreen, save it and scrape off your formatted document. Instiki itself is very small and easy to install, but you also must have Ruby installed. Instikidevelopment has slowed down the last year.

Instiki works better in Editmode with Firefox than with IE. I don't know why.

At http://pimki.rubyforge.org/ you will find Pimki which I like more than Instiki. It is built on an older version of Instiki, but has more features geared toward a PIM.
-The find is advanced. You can use more than one searchterm
-the Searchresult has the name of the page and some of the text on the same line.
-it has a Mindmapfunctionality with Graphviz (very interesting!)
-a lot more
-future: there are plans for further development.

Some excerpts:
# Expanded Search:
* Search also tries to match the page names (not just contents).
* Now showing part of sentence around match in search-results page.
# Advanced Search - An advanced search form with many options:
* Case sensitivity
* Search as regex, phrase or words
* Search pages and bliki entries
* Search in page names / contents
* Limit search to selected categories
* Limit search to selected authors

Mind Map: a graph of wiki connections (made with GraphViz). All graphs can be laid-out with the 4 GraphViz engines. There are several options for what pages to include in the map. Graph contents can be arranged as:
* Page → linked pages
* Authors → pages
* Categories → pages

alx
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Post by alx » Wed Jul 26, 2006 10:17 am

Warm thanks for the references; it will be a while before I have the time to test them, but I will be back with some feedback eventually.

I imagine that a lot of this "intelligent transcribing" could be done with extensive use of regular expressions, as long as one can save the full settings.

alx

srdiamond
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Post by srdiamond » Mon Aug 13, 2007 7:27 pm

david wrote: You're right about needing a mono-spaced font. A shame really. [/code]
If that's because you associate Courier and maybe something like Lucida Console with 'monospace,' check out Consolas and Estrangelo Edessa.
Stephen R. Diamond

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