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Black Border

Posted: 2019-05-28 23:49:20
by iHedgie
Far be it from me to bring the room down this sunny morning, but still:

What's the best way to make a black border around the name and surname when mentioning a deceased person in a footnote?

Wishing everybody long life,

A. S.

Re: Black Border

Posted: 2019-05-29 08:29:02
by xiamenese
It's anything but sunny here in London, but you can draw a box round the name using the shape tool, and set it to have no fill, which should do what you want.



Re: Black Border

Posted: 2019-05-29 10:14:11
by martin
Mark's idea of using a shape (box with no fill) will work, but it's going to be awkward if you need to do a lot of these.

For starters shapes are not automated. You can't just apply a style to each deceased person's name. You'd have to draw each box manually. Also, although floating shapes can automatically reposition themselves if the anchoring text (the person's name) changes its vertical position, these boxes won't reposition themselves if the horizontal position changes. For example, if you add or remove text on the same line.

Let's see if there are any other techniques you might use to solve this sunny problem... 💀☀️

Can your deceased person's name reside on a line by itself? If so, you could maybe assign it a paragraph border. But I assume this won't help, as your names probably need to be within a paragraph holding other text. Table cell borders are not feasible for the same reason.

Instead of a black box, could you consider using a black fill? That is, white text on a black background. You could easily create a character style to enforce such formatting.

Re: Black Border

Posted: 2019-05-29 13:57:42
by adryan
G’day, all

Sad to relegate the deceased to a footnote, but….

Other ideas include:–

(1) highlighting
(2) raising or lowering the baseline (according to one’s religious persuasion perhaps)
(3) conjoining an appropriate emoticon or pictograph
(4) following the name with the conventional “ (d.)”
(5) using a superscript (dagger, bullet, other pictograph, text)
(6) adding a link to a relevant URL (entry in Who’s Who, mausoleum photo, my bank account details for intercessional services, whatever).

It’s probably useful to choose a method amenable to a Find operation: all of the above methods fall into this category.

Here in Tasmania there’s a decided chill in the air.


Re: Black Border

Posted: 2019-05-29 23:29:46
by NisusUser
I noticed that the OP is writing from Russia. In Russia and at least some of the countries influenced heavily by its culture, it is common to put a black box around the name of a deceased person (in some cases). I don't know that I've seen it in footnotes, but especially when there were co-authors of a book and one of them died before publication (or before publishing an updated version), then that person's name will be surrounded by a black box. As with many traditions, this one is probably a hard one to modify due to modern desktop publishing limitations. Of all the above suggestions, the only one that seems remotely likely to be understood and (possibly) acceptable would be the black background one. However, I cannot know how publishers and other stakeholders in those cultures would respond to this innovation. Here's what it would look like (using "Character Styles"), assuming "Author Three" died before typesetting the book:
SampleBookPublishedAfterAuthorThreeDied.png (93.45 KiB) Viewed 4614 times
CharacterStyleSettings_DeceasedAuthor.png (58.94 KiB) Viewed 4614 times

Re: Black Border

Posted: 2019-05-30 05:07:45
by adryan
G’day, all

First, if it absolutely has to be a black-bordered transparent box that is a widely accepted practice somewhere, I’d suggest investigating how others (with other word processors or desktop publishing software) go about it. That might offer some clue as to what one could do with Nisus Writer.

But bear with me while I think out loud — mainly for the intellectual exercise.

If we imagine a chunk of text inside a black-bordered transparent box and then dissect it appropriately, we start to get the idea that it may just be possible to start with a different construction kit and end up with a reasonably equivalent result when assembly is complete. Essentially, we want the components of the kit to be Unicode characters.

The sides of the enclosing box are easily simulated by vertical lines (or possibly left and right square brackets). The bottom of the box is easily accommodated by underlines. It is the top of the box that is the sticking point.

If one considers an individual character, one is led to wonder whether fonts are available that feature horizontal bars above and below each alphabetical character. Of course, for this particular purpose we require that the overhead bars all lie at the same height above the baseline, so that contiguous overhead bars form a continuous horizontal line, regardless of whether they traverse uppercase or lowercase letters. (Simple macrons won’t do.) With access to font creation software, it should be possible to modify an existing font accordingly, if a suitable off-the-shelf font is not available. Perhaps this font solution is the one adopted by specialist publishing houses.

Failing that, we retreat to the shed and rummage through the Unicode toolbox. In the Combining Diacritical Marks tray, we find the Combining Overline (U+0305). But once again we face the problem of the shifting height above baseline. However, this can be overcome by insertion of a Zero Width Space (U+200B) or a Zero Width Joiner (U+200D) of appropriate height in the appropriate place(s). These characters are helpfully provided in the Spaces tray in Nisus Writer Pro’s Special Characters toolbox — er, Palette. The height is adjusted by choosing the fontsize. Just in case it’s needed, we keep the Kerning hammer handy.

Boldfaced left square bracket of increased fontsize; Zero Width Space/Joiner of appropriate height; Combining Overline; desired alphabetical characters; repeating these elements as needed; maybe a deft bash or two with the Kerning hammer if required; boldfaced right square bracket of increased fontsize; underlining of everything between the square brackets. Looks a lot like text enclosed in a black-bordered transparent box to me. As it says on the lid, some assembly required.

A macro might use these techniques to “draw” a black border around a text selection. (Feature request?)

So it is possible to do this in Nisus Writer. Without a special-purpose font, though, it’s tedious and not very elegant. A macro could remove these objections.

I should add that a complete solution would take cognizance of Find operations, line wrapping (especially if forced subsequently), and alterations in font and/or fontsize. Again, it’s worth trying to find a font with inbuilt overlines.


Re: Black Border

Posted: 2019-06-06 07:36:17
by iHedgie

Thank you very much for your concern with my problem.


A. S.