The question of RTF and translating one document or another clearly is a difficult one, and one that is close to the hearts of many NW users. The discussion on this forum and on the Beta forum about the ability to track changes when interacting with Word users is indicative of that. We have to live and work in a bigger world that demands we interface with it on ITS terms, not our own. That means NW must translate whatever "RTF" other programs throw at it.
For most of us (99.9%?) telling us that there is a non-standard character used in an incoming document tells us nothing -- we can't do anything about that and neither can the ordinary user at the other end who supplied us with the document. They, like us, have simply used the tools they have purchased !
I use NWE/Pro, I expect it to produce a standard RTF document that can be opened by all other RTF-enabled programs. And vice versa -- I expect NWE/Pro to do the same, to be able to open RTF documents produced by all other programs.
Doesn't happen. For example, NWE/Pro and Text Edit differ in how they handle some documents. I have a document in AppleWorks 6 -- I save as to RTF format, and open that document in NWE/Pro and Text Edit.
* NWE/Pro loses the font information, failing to recognise Adobe Caslon, which is definitely present, although it retains character styling. It substitutes Verdana throughout ("Normal" Style) except for a few words in Zapfino. It ALSO does not recognise how AW 6 has encoded quote marks and em dashes. It substitutes various symbols which, when selected, turn the Verdana font name red in the Type Palette. Is this a symbol of its embarrassment?
* NeoOffice surprises me. It substitutes a sans serif font, probably Helvetica, for the roman parts of Adobe Caslon, but when selected, it still calls it Adobe Caslon, and when I copy and paste an example into Text Edit, it appears as Adobe Caslon. When I copy and paste it into NWPro, it appears as Verdana -- my default Style font in new files. Bold is handled similarly, but Italics are real Adobe Caslon type! All punctuation is fine.
* Papyrus asks me for a substitutes for the Frutiger and Adobe Caslon fonts, presenting its font dialog, then opens the document with all fonts (including the few words of Zapfino) intact and the character styling, punctuation and what not all correct.
* Text Edit opens with fonts, styling and all punctuation fine!
ALL translations lose all bits of the text enclosed by those double carets used to mark fields in mail merge documents.
NONE recognised AW 6's header with page number -- the page number is included in the text with a page break after it (INCLUDING in AW 6 when I round-trip the document), except in the case of Text Edit which doesn't include pagination and didn’t include the page number.
NWE/Pro does the worst job of opening this document. It is a problem.
It should translate fonts and punctuation in other RTF documents at least as well as Text Edit does.
Given NW's performance on this simple test, we users are not in a position to tell others that the way their program works is not right! It may be that it is not right -- it may be that AW 6's RTF export filter is rubbish -- but the fact is that other programs can handle its output, rubbish or not, while NW cannot.
NW must. This is an area that needs urgent work, I would suggest.
Geoffrey Heard, Business Writer & Publisher
"Type & Layout: Are you communicating or just making pretty shapes" -- Revealed! The secrets of how you can use type and layout to turbocharge your messages in print. See the book at http://www.worsleypress.com