Stepper Buttons in Nisus Writer

Even if you’re not familiar with the term, you almost certainly know how to use steppers. They are those little up and down arrow buttons you see next to numeric controls on your Mac. For example, you’ll see steppers next to the paragraph spacing controls in Nisus Writer:

As you probably already know (or can guess!) clicking the arrow buttons changes the spacing by ±1 point.

What’s new in Nisus Writer Pro 3.1 and Nisus Writer Express 4.1 is an enhancement for steppers that refines how they react to clicks. By holding down a modifier key as you click, you can increase or decrease the adjustment amount:

• Hold the Control key to trigger smaller changes.
For example, the font size will change from 12 points to 12.1 points.

• Hold the Option key to trigger larger changes.
For example, the paragraph spacing will change from 6 points to 12 point.

The adjustment amounts are sensitive to context and ruler units. For example, changing the paragraph indent using the Option key may result in a difference of ±1 centimeters vs ±0.5 inches.

There are a few mnemonics to help you recall which modifier key does what. You will notice that the relative order of the Control/Option keys on your keyboard matches that of the minus/plus keys. This is in harmony with the Control key triggering smaller changes (minus), and the Option key triggering larger changes (plus). Another way to think about it is that the Control key gives you greater control over the measurement, since the adjustment is finer.

We hope this improvement helps you dial in exactly the measurement you want, and reduces some repetitive clicking.

How to Change the Font Size of Comments

Nisus Writer Pro users often write in and ask us how they can increase the font size of comments in their document. The good news is that it’s easy to change the font size (and other formatting) of all comments in your document en-masse.

Whenever you add a comment to a document, Nisus Writer Pro will automatically apply a paragraph style called “Comment” to your new comment. By default this single style controls the formatting of all comments in your file. So to change the font size of all comments you need only edit this style like so:

1. Switch to your document’s style sheet, eg: use the menu View > Style Sheet
2. From the list of styles on the left, select the “Comment” paragraph style.
3. Edit the style’s formatting by using any available tools, eg: the menu Format > Size, the Character palette, etc.

In most situations that’s all you need to do. Once you switch out of Style Sheet view you should see that all your comments have been updated to account for the edited style’s formatting.

Manual Formatting and Comments
One potential complication is manual formatting, which is merely formatting that is not enforced by a style. In other words, the formatting was applied directly to text. That kind of formatting will override formatting in the “Comment” paragraph style.

This is an infrequent occurrence for comments, but you may encounter it in files imported from other apps. If your comments don’t react to your style changes, you may need to remove manually applied formatting. Luckily that’s easy too.

To remove manual formatting from all comments in your document:

1. Place the insertion point (caret) inside any comment.
2. Select the entire comment using the menu Edit > Select > Select All.
3. Use Select All again to expand the selection to all comments in your file.
4. Remove all overrides via the menu Format > Remove Formatting Except Styles.

After removing all non-style formatting, the formatting enforced by your “Comment” style should shine through as intended.

How to Batch Rename Files

Have you ever wanted to rename more than one file at a time? Me too. So how do you accomplish this?

  • Switch to the Finder.
  • Locate the files you want to rename.
  • Select all the files you want to rename.
  • Use the menu File > Rename X Items, where X is the number of files you’ve selected, eg: “Rename 2 Items”.
  • A dialog box will appear. Choose from the many options as desired and click the “Rename” button.

That’s it! Your files will be renamed the way you chose. 

If you have a tip or a trick please let us know. We would love to feature your tip in our newsletter and our blog.

Quick Tip: Hide the Menu Bar

Did you know you could hide the menu bar on your Mac? You can! Open System Preferences > General and checkmark “Automatically hide and show the menu bar”.

Bonus tip: you can customize the order of icons on the right side of the menu bar. Hold down the command key as you click an icon to start dragging it. If you drag the icon off the menu you can eliminate it altogether.

New Nisus Writer Pro Review has posted a review of Nisus Writer Pro.

As a Mac based word processor, Nisus Writer seems like a solid investment if you want a feature rich writing tool that can also perform most of the formatting and page layout functions you need to publish. It’s not as potent as Scrivener for research or plotting out a story, but Nisus Writer’s focus on being a writing tool shows.

Thank you Paul@Lulu for your thorough review of Nisus Writer Pro.