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General part 1

Centring a line on a specific character
Copying paragraph attributes
Current time
Decimal tab
Document templates (blank)
Drag and drop
Effects in text file imports
Force a complete reflow
Importing style sheets
Inserting filename
Linked frames and autoflow
Mailmerge preview
Maths and foreign symbols
Missing info pallette
Page x of y
Pause while printing
Printing thumbnails
Save and reload as DDL (corrupt documents)
Selecting lines

Return to complete hints and tips index

For copying rulers, or other paragraph attributes, from within the same document, there is a little known Ovation Pro feature, viz. if you have the caret in some text, and then shift+adjust click over another paragraph in the same document the paragraph attributes will be copied to the paragraph with the caret. This is particularly useful for copying special rulers, if they have not been set up as separate styles.

If you have a document which you think has become corrupted in some way, and the problem persists when reloading the document, then try saving the document as DDL, and then create a new document from this. It seems to often cure such problems.

Q :– Occasionally, when drawing lines, one of the lines cannot be selected to be adjusted or be erased!
This may happen if the line coincides with a guide line and the guide lines are set to "Guidelines to front". Go to Misc>Preferences>View and click on the "to back" button.

It is sometimes because the line is very thin, in this case either zoom in by holding down Ctrl and Alt and clicking select repeatedly then try again or hold down Ctrl and Shift and drag a rectangle around the line with the mouse to select it.

It is sometimes because the line you want to select is underneath another transparent frame. If when you click on the line another frame is selected send this frame to the back with Object>Back and try again.

Q :– I have produced several stylesheets for business stationery such as letters, invoices etc.. They have a master page with several frames on containing logo, address panel, date etc. and the main text frame occupying two thirds of the page. The problem comes when I need a second page. The master page repeats, as it should, with all the frames. What I need is a full blank page with the text frame full page size. I can delete the address etc. frames so that only the main text frame is present, but I can't alter it to make it larger without altering the frame on the first page. It won't allow me to make it a local frame.

Firstly, consider the difference between a stylesheet, and a document with no text in the default master frames, and no local frames either.

The stylesheet will only contain frames that are on the master page and that leads back to the original problem of having frames on the first page via the master page and not on subsequent ones.

So the suggestion is this. Instead of using stylesheets, set up a document, with a full size default master frame. Close the master pages, then on the first document page, set up your logo, address panel etc.. If the master frame is too big, then just overlay it with a frame to make it the right size.

Save this document to use as your template. When you load it, you'll get the blank frames, for filling in the address etc. When you enter text that flows, subsequent pages will be of the form of the master page - full size frame with no logo boxes etc..

Q :– When I do this, I invariably overwrite my blank document with one containing lots of text.

You should, of course, make your blank document file "read only". To make doubly sure, save the blank document as a DDL file. When such files are reloaded, the full pathname is not retained in the new document, but only the leaf name. Thus you always have to either drag to save, or enter manually a full path.

Ovation Pro does support drag and drop to other programs. So if you want a marked area of text copying to Edit, just hold down ALT and drag it across. That is less action than copying to the clipboard, clicking in Edit, and then pasting. It also works for pictures.

Q :– How can you print several pages on one sheet of print? In Impression this is set by "Fit Lots" in the print setup.
You need to have the Imposition applet installed, then you can use the thumbnails print format (menu icon near the top right of the print window).

Q :– How to print 2 copies of one A5 page on A4?

Create A5 page. Open print window. Print Format menu, choose Thumbnails, and from the sub menu select 'all same' and 'paper area(2x1)'. Expand print window (Print setup) and select 'sideways'.

Q :– How to print 2 copies of one A4 page on A4?

Same as above, but set the print scale to 70%

Q :– The manual states that words added to the hyphenation dictionary are only used when a piece of text is re-flowed. Is it possible to re-flow the entire document without fiddling with each chapter individually?

Yes. A typical trick to fool Ovation Pro into doing a complete reflow is to change the Bodytext style definition in some trivial way. For example, change the background colour to white (assuming it is already white).

It is worth knowing that you can drag a style sheet from one document to another documents style editing window or colour editing window, and so transfer styles or colours.

Q :– I make up a document with a master page containing, for example, 7 rows of 3 across labels. Link each one to the next so that a file of addresses with page returns dropped onto the first label 'ripples through' and fills the page with one address per label. The problem is that when the listing reaches the last label on the page it overflows rather than goes on to a new page.

How does the concept of the 'master frame' being the one to throw a new page work when there are 21 little frames on the master page? I just can't get a link running on to the new page.

On the master page the last label must be linked BACK to the first label. New pages will then be thrown as per normal.

This uses the auto-link feature of OvnPro that was new with version 2.46. The facility is very flexible. Suppose you want 4 frames on a page for a flowing story and a fifth for a picture or some blurb.

On the master page, set up the frames, and then, using the link tool, link 1 - 2, 2 - 3, 3 - 4 and 4 - 1, which means that overflow in frame 4 will produce a new page. The link from 4 to 1 will be displayed in green to indicate its special function. Frame 5 is not linked with itself and therefore will not generate new pages, but will simply overflow.

linkdemo.gif - 3112 bytes

Q :– How does one produce a set of columns which are independent of each other, but which flow over pages, such that column 1 always flows into column 1 on the next page, while column 2 always overflows into column 2 of the next page, and so on?
Create a master page with the appropriate number of columns. Normally the linking is set up automatically to fill each column in turn. Therefore create a new frame over the top of each column. Select the link tool, and then, for each frame in turn, link the frame only to itself (by dragging with select and dropping while still in the same frame). You will now find that each frame will now overflow into the corresponding frame of the next page. The Master page should look like the following diagram when the link tool is selected.

linkdemo2.gif - 3263 bytes

Insert current time
Insert filename
Insert page x of y
Q :– Is there any way to get Ovation Pro to put "page x of y" automatically on each page (i.e., page 1 of 4 on the first page, 2 of 4 on the second, etc)?

Q :– Can I insert the document filename into the document automatically?

Q :– Can I insert the current time into a document?

Put the MERGE commands shown below into a file, set its type to OVPDDL, open a blank Ovation Pro document and drag the OVPDDL file to it. Then use Misc/Insert/merge tag to insert the necessary merge fields. You can then preview the document using File/Mail Merge, clicking on the 'First' button to see the results. The merge commands given allow you to also insert a filename, and a current time.

MERGE_02={merge 901 "time" "{gettimestring(\"%24:%MI:%SE\", macv)}"}
MERGE_03={merge 902 "filename" "{fileinfo(currentfile(), macv)}"}
MERGE_04={merge 903 "numpages" "{int i,n,f,c; f=currentfile(); c=documentchapters(f); for(i=0; i<c; i++)n+=chapterpages(i,f); macv=itos(n)}"}

Note: Merge requires that the CSV field has a valid entry. The First button works OK, but when you try to print without a CSV entry it produces an error
Filing system ADFS: must be given a file name

Any CSV file will do because the merge does not actually read any data from there.

Q :– How do I view the page of labels on the screen before printing
Use File->Mail Merge... and investigate the buttons on the mail merge window, First, Next and so on.

It's all described in the Ovation Pro manual in chapter 12 (Printing and Mail Merge) in the section pp 177–183, in particular p. 179.

Q :– How to use the mathematical terms (xbar) and (ybar) in the body text of a document.

The !Critic applet will happily do this. To get x-bar, type "x(Ctrl-U)_" (the last is the underscore character). That sequence actually puts a macron over any letter, not just x or y.

Q :– Any thoughts as to how I can produce a 'c' with an upside down circumflex on top?
(1) Get the !Critic applet. You need to install three fonts (supplied with the applet) and define some styles. To get a hacek over a letter first type the letter, press Ctrl-U and then '5'. The Critic fonts contain a variety of diacritics in a number of positions; the applet automatically selects the right position so the diacritic is centred on the letter underneath it. (You can use the fonts in other programs, of course, but the Critic applet makes it particularly easy in OP).

or (2) Buy a font with that particular character in it. You could contact EFF for this.

or (3) Modify an existing font using FontEd and save it under a different name. Printing should now work and you will also be able to output it to PostScript without a problem, as all fonts are downloaded in the PostScript output file.

Q :– I have encountered the "Missing info pallette" bug when using the Risc OS version of Ovation Pro on the Iyonix. A look though the archives confirmed that this was a bug, but I couldnot find what to do about it.

People seem to have managed with the advice offered in the past. Use OP choices and toggle the "attach" setting. Between settings move the info palette with the mouse.

Q :– Can anyone advise me as to why the 'pause' option in the printer dialogue does not pause printing between pages? I want to turn the page to print on the back, but it won't stop! Help!
This does work... but only if you have OPro set up to poll whilst printing. In the file !OvnPro.Autorun.!Choicesl you will find the line
You need to have 0 as the first argument in the above function.

See page 226 in the OPro reference guide.

An alternative solution is to go into the Configuration window for the printer driver and set the paper feed to manual instead of auto. The printer then pauses awaiting confirmation after printing each sheet.

Q?:– How can I get Ovation to centre on the = in the following:-
1 ton = 1.02 tonne
1 foot = 0.305 metre
1 yd = 0.91 metre
1 mile = 1.61 km
1 chain = 20.1 metre

It depends on what you want. Do you want...

tab1.png - 4Kb

Then you set two left tabs (or a centre tab + left tab) and type:
1 ton{TAB}={TAB}1.02 tonne

...or do you want...

tab2.png - 4Kb

Then you set one right tab, one centre tab and one left tab and type:
{TAB}1 ton{TAB}={TAB}1.02 tonne
The leading tab is essential to get the wanted layout.

You can use this method for a range of tasks, for example, chemical or mathematical equations

tab3.png - 4Kb

Q :– I tried to put together a pricelist in OvPro v2.77 (RISC OS). I seem to be having a problem with decimal tabs. I can define a tab ruler, set the tab leadering and the decimal tab character, but OvPro seems to ignore my choice of tab character and uses what seems to be most non-numeric characters.

e.g. Set a decimal tab character as x, so I can write "1234zsx9876" and the "1234zs" should come to the left of the tab and the "9876" to the right of the tab. This doesn't happen because OvPro puts the z at the tab and places "1234" to the left and "sx9876" to the right.

2nd e.g. Set the decimal tab char as . so I can use a proper decimal tab in prices. If I type "12.36" this works correctly, but if I type "from 12.36" this doesn't as it places the space at the tab.

Am I missing something? Is this a known problem? Anyone know any way round it?

Centre tab and decimal tab do not position text in the same way. Any token at a centre tab is positioned exactly in the middle of this tab.

Although you can, in principle, specify any character as the decimal tab character, the decimal tab code "understands" numbers. In other words it treats 0123456789+-e specially. The decimal tab code is written specifically to deal with what it thinks are numbers. 'Non-numeric' characters are treated as 'end of number', despite a particular character having been set as the decimal tab character. If there is not an actual decimal point before the first non-numeric character then the decimal point is understood to occur at that position. Thus '100abc' would be treated as '100. abc'.

Q :– When importing plain text files into an OvationPro frame, is it possible to have control characters or escape sequences in the text file which will produce effects such as Bold and Italics?

Absolutely. These effects (and a lot more) are taken care of by the !TransDDF filter, found in the Filters subdirectory within OvationPro.

To enable Bold, for example, insert the following code into your text: {Bold on} ...text to be boldened... {Bold}. Or, if you have defined a Bold style in your Ovation document: {"Bold" on} ...text to be boldened... {"Bold" off}

Read the Help file of the !TransDDF filter for details.

Q :– My only problem now is that !TransDDF seems to throw away my form-feeds (\f). I tried {newpage}, {off}{newpage}{on} and even {off}\f{on} but to no avail. Is there a DDF {newpage} type of instruction?


The DDF manual is available from:

The DDF document is also in the Ovation Pro RISC OS section of the Ovation Pro part of the web site:

When importing DDF files into Ovation Pro, it is best to ensure they have filetype DDF (0x707).

navigate.gif - 3804 bytes

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