Well, the new beta5 version can be downloaded from here (781k).

This beta is somewhat selfish because some features are implemented only because I wanted to have them.

  • The keyboard-entry cursor stops blinking (and is pale-colored) when the software does not have the keyboard input focus. It happened to me many times too often to start typing into MoM just to realize that I am typing somewhere else.
  • To start the typing mode (and to do some other mouse-click operations, like ‘place-down’) you must mouse-click quickly now. If the mouse-click lasts for more than cca 300ms the operation will not be performed…. Too many times I tried to move and object or to select it with my mouse, only to start the typing mode because I did not aim correctly.
  • Similarly, you need a longer mouse-click, 100ms or longer, to paint a single point. (Note: the single-point painting is only possible with the line-drawing tool.) I guess that nobody uses this feature anyway so it is not a big drawback. On the other hand, I accidentally often mouse-clicked while holding the line-drawing tool and created many unwanted points all over my document. This is why I don’t like the touch-pad on my computer – it creates clicks when you only look at it.
  • It is possible to select the “Auto-resize” toolbox size now: View -> Toolbox and context menu -> Auto-resize. This way the toolbox size will change as you resize the main window. I actually did not implement this for myself, but I thought it could be useful to some people.
  • It is possible to draw horizontal and vertical lines even when you have rectangle or ellipse drawing tool selected: just draw a very thin rectangle/ellipse and it will be converted into a line. I think this could come handy sometimes because you don’t have to change the drawing tool so often.
  • The “vertical-spacing-adjust” feature now respects the grid (if the snap-to-grid is enabled). If you don’t remember, the vertical-spacing-adjust feature is when you mouse click-and-drag at the vertical ruler to create/reduce spacing between document elements. Until now the grid was not respected and objects would ‘fall off grid’ if this feature was used while the snap-to-grid was enabled.
  • For some time now it is possible to use the mouse for multiple pick-up operation. That is, it is possible to select more than one element of an equation by a simple mouse click-and-drag operation, and then to pick-up the selected elements by a mouse click. From this beta it is also possible to place down over multiple elements (overwrite) by similar mouse-only procedure: when you carry anything with the mouse, just mouse click-and-drag to select more than one elements, and then mouse-click to overwrite. (Until now, if you were carrying anything with your mouse, it was only possible to select multiple elements by using the shift key.)

I was trying to implement the /p command line option – printing from command line, but I am not sure if what I did is acceptable. For instance, I don’t know would it be better to close the software once the document is sent to printer or to leave it open (it stays open, at the moment).

I also changed and improved the feature from previous beta – adding a newline by a mouse click. Now this feature does not depend on guidelines any more, but is self-standing. A mark similar to an insertion point will be shown if you point your mouse pointer just below a left-bottom corner of an existing text field or an existing multi-line math field. You can click at this insertion point to start keyboard entry, you can place-down at this insertion point and you can quick-type at this insertion point.

I would like to mention several key problems where I don’t see an easy solution:

  • Typing Greek symbols (double-letter typing) interferes with the usual typing in some cases. Most notably, typing millimeters (mm) generates Greek mu (micro) symbol.
  • When the Arial font is used, there is no difference between lowercase ‘L’ and uppercase ‘I’. Using Times New Roman font would solve the difference between ‘l’ and ‘I’, but I am not sure about readability at low resolution. What do you think?
  • Typing measurement units is difficult, especially for non-common measurement units. I was thinking to provide a key (the ‘%’ key) to convert what you typed into a measurement unit. For example, if you type 10 k g m / s^2 % to be converted int 10 kg m / s^2. However I am not sure this is a good solution because I can only work this way with common measurement units (that are recognized by MoM).
  • Switching between math-typing and text-typing mode is still problematic. One often forgets to switch and enters more than few characters before realizes what he/she is doing – it must then delete and start over. I am searching for a way to quickly convert from text to math and vice versa. Found none.
  • When you draw something (a line, a rectangle, a curve… whatever), you can find that you did not preselect the right color and/or line size. There is no easy mouse-only way to select what you made and modify or even delete it – instead, you usually need to use the keyboard.
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