How do you use styled text?

(Nick) #1

I’ve been playing with RapidWeaver for some weeks now, building and rebuilding a site to try to figure out how I want to use it.

My initial thought was to put in text, use the formatting buttons for bold/italics/etc., and to do section headings using the standard HTML tags. But the headings look awful when rendered, because RapidWeaver inserts break tags all over the place.

Alternatively, I could just format the headings manually by adjusting the font size and colour - not using the HTML header tags at all. But then I would lose the advantages of CSS to make section headings uniform - making a change in heading style would require manually reformatting every heading in the web site.

How do you use Styled Text? Do you use HTML section headers and tweak the CSS to make it look good? Or do you manually format everything? Or is there another approach I’m missing?


(Mathew Mitchell) #2

Why not just use the Markdown stack and end the misery? Markdown conversion works very cleanly in RW. None of the headaches of styled text.

(Nick) #3

Thanks Mathew. I have been using Markdown - you and I have even exchanged some discussion about it earlier!

I just can’t help but feel that Markdown is not deeply integrated into RW, and using it feels like swimming up-stream. There is no automatic support for linking to another page in your project. It is awkward to reference images in your resources (I have to look up the funny referencing format every time). You need to drop back to HTML whenever you want to do something even remotely fancy, like positioning or resizing an image. Buggy smart-quotes that break HTML keep coming back no matter how many times you reset them to normal quotes. In short, when using Markdown, I constantly feel like I’m fighting something, rather than just getting my content written.

(Mathew Mitchell) #4

@Nick Got it. In your case it may just be choosing the lesser of the evils: i.e. no approach is going to work perfectly for you.

I find Markdown to be very easy and enjoyable to use (especially relative to Styled Text) but …:

  • I find it easy to link to other pages or images. I realize you want the super-easy way supplied in Styled Text. But realistically I find finding/using the full URL approach very easy.
  • image positioning or resizing: I never do this in Markdown except for when I want simple designations: 100% or 70% or the such width. Easy to implement with HTML via TextExpander (or similar)
  • doing anything fancier with images would lead me to use another stack anyways (doesn’t matter if I’m using Markdown or styled text): two column stack, Pro Gallery stack, etc. So I don’t run into the same problem as you.
  • smart quotes is a crazy lingering issue. It really should be fixed. That said, I don’t think of RW as a writing tool, but as a design tool. All my text is written in Scrivener (or iA Writer) then copy/paste. This avoids the smart quote issue. But I understand the pain others feel when they encounter this issue.
  • I don’t use resources: I warehouse all my materials directly. So maybe this is a bigger pain-in-the-a##.

In my workflow I feel like I’m always fighting something when I don’t use Markdown! To be fair my websites tend to be text heavy (course websites) with a decent inclusion of videos, audio, and images.

Finally I definitely tweak CSS so all my headers, paragraph text, block quotes, etc. look just as I want them. But I would do this no matter using markdown or styled text. The “fiddling” with sizes, bold, etc. etc. in Styled Text on an individual level would drive me nuts.

… so in the end there may not be a perfect scenario for you. Is HTML, Markdown, or Styled Text the best compromise for your needs? I’ve chosen Markdown. Who knows, perhaps in a few years I’ll choose HTML. But styled text approach drives me crazy: the only (very small) advantage it has for me is the linking feature.

(Nick) #5

Ok, I guess I was dumb to post this just as RW7 was coming out, and the forum got busy with everyone’s feedback and issues.

But… I’d still love to hear about how you all use Styled Text in RW.