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Reply to: Adding Styles for Conditional Text

Hi Thomas,

Thanks for getting back to me. I've been using XMetaL for about a year now, and this is the first time I thought to submit comments/ask for help via the forums. I'm really happy to know that someone on your team is listening and is so responsive. It encourages me to write more.

Here's my perspective on the available conditional styling:

  • I pretty much can't use the Format styling, except for the overline and possibly double-underline, because using the other styles would hide any bold, italic, or underline text in my content. I mean, if I have Bold as a conditional style, then how do I know if I have made any text inside that conditional block bold?
  • The overline and underline styles make my text difficult to read, so I avoid them if at all possible

So that leaves me with preferred styles using text or highlight colors, and you're correct about not wanting any combinations like yellow with tan. In general, the lighter colors are difficult to see, so they're out, and other colors are sometimes painful to see. And I try to limit my conditional style to either highlight color or text color, but not a combination of both, because that makes it easy to identify when I have multiple conditions applied to a block of text.

Ideally, I would be able to use a color picker, and also, ideally, I would be able to share my conditional styles with anyone else on my team. I understand that it's possible to do so with the file C:Documents and SettingsuseridApplication DataSoftQuadXMetaL6.0ct_preferences.xml, but it would be nice to have this available in a more user-friendly way. Although since it does exist now, I would classify this last request as nice-to-have, while having more conditional styling available as a high.

Ideally, when I roll over the conditional block of text, a tooltip would popup saying the conditions that are applied to that block.

Also, from a usability point of view, it would be much easier for me to have conditions and their styles alway available as a pallette, like the Element List, so I don't have to keep making the dialog pop up in order to apply conditions. It really messes up my train of thought the way it's implemented right now.

This might not be the best place for this, but in general, I really wish that XMetaL was a whole lot more like Dreamweaver. They got so much right with their interface that XMetaL could really learn from. For example, the Element List could be improved greatly by simply making it so that I can add an element by just clicking the element name, instead of having to click it and then click Apply. Ideally, that would be the default behavior, with Change still available as it is now. I could decide if I want the default behavior when clicking an element be either Apply or Change.