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"Unimportant" Text

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  • "Unimportant" Text

    Unfortunately, I cannot edit my other posting, so I make a second.

    I do NOT understand the help in the help file, and the help in this link

    and I don't understand the Text Compare - Session Settings dialogue since my 3 grammar elements are listed in a box "These settings define items that are IMPORTANT to the comparison" whilst in fact, it should read UNimportant to the comparison since I do NOT want those 3 elements listed to be considered important.

    Please help me with this, for the time being I am UNABLE to use BC for any text comparison, since I don't understand how those comparison rules are set up.

    BTW, UNchecking the 3 elements in above-mentioned dialog doesn't bring any result.

    I cannot find real help for setting up rules how to compare text, whilst this must be the core competence of this program, so having to find out these things by just trial and error seems way beyond my patience. Do I overlook the real help for these settings?

  • #2

    The Importance dialog lists all items that are defined for the current files. Checking an item marks it as important, and unchecking an item marks it as unimportant. Unimportant items will appear as Blue and still be treated as differences; but you can toggle on Ignore Unimportant Differences to hide all blue text as black/equal text.

    If unchecking your items does not change the text to a blue or black color, and remains red, then the grammar definition does not match your current text.

    You can see the currently detected grammar the cursor resides in (or, immediately to the right of the blinking cursor) in the bottom status bar of each pane.

    Would it be possible to email in a pair of sample files and your current support package (from the Help menu -> Support -> Export) to [email protected] ? If you email us, please include a link to this forum post for reference.
    Aaron P Scooter Software


    • #3
      If you want the different length strokes to be considered equal to each other, you might be better off creating a single grammar:

      i.e. Grammar name: Strokes
      Grammar type: List
      Enter each unique stroke character on separate lines.

      Unchecking a grammar rule makes it unimportant. Sometimes moving a grammar to the top of the list can help if another grammar rule is superceding your new one.
      BC v4.0.7 build 19761


      • #4
        Hello Aaron and Michael,

        Thank you very much for your kind answers. In fact, having no access for hours to my posts (not published), I had to try on my own, and after having posted the logical edge, I continued to try upon it.

        Please let me say that way of doing things is NOT intuitive, especially with the absence of real help in help file, etc.:

        If I do a grammar rule for a special sign, I of course expect it to be the EXCEPTION to the general rule that "all is important if not stated otherwise", and as a beginner, I do NOT tend to carefully read the slug above the field which turns every logic you might expect there, around into its opposite!

        So the help file - and that tiny separate help page - should tell exactly what you tell me here, and what I had finally seen for myself:

        - beware of the color blue, it always shows "unimportant" differences; if you want them to be hidden, select "show important differences only" (or more precisely, I didn't understand then that the "unimportant differences" button was an option for the "show differences" button, and it's not clearly indicated if it's pressed / on or not / off (I didn't see / realize the vertical line between the buttons), so I was trying to select that button instead (!) of the "show differences" button - perhaps buttons on the same level would be helpful (buttons "show all differences" vs. "show important differences"), or, as said, better help; please remember these are things every newbie must overcome, so they must be included in those parts of the help a newbie would read first!

        - if you make a rule, in order to make an element "unimportant", be advised that just stating it has got only declarative value, since in its default (!) state, it's declared as important (!) yet, as everything that's in that field, and checked by default; if you want to declare something as UNimportant, you must UNcheck it there!

        Of course, on the level of logic understanding, that remains difficult for me: Why have rules that are contained in the global "all is important" rule anyway? Just for toggle them between important and unimportant: That, I understand, but then, unchecking logically would mean, unimportant-as-exception, the meaning of "unimportant" comes into way.

        So why not doing it the other way round, without the double negation (from which the slug above the field is just the first part you first have to discover!!!), and renaming "important" to "relevant": relevant vs. irrelevant elements would be understood by anyone (I hope), and checking would make them irrelevant: the EXCEPTION to the "all is relevant" rule would be checked.

        If you have reasons for your "inverted logic", please develop on them, but in any case, the help must be bettered.

        Finally, the list hint seems to be interesting, I'll follow it.

        Once I had understood the double negation, AND the different function of those buttons (4 and 5 being variants for 1, 2, 3, where I had thought they were all alternatives), BC worked like a charm for me!

        But even then, it's a pity for every element of the grammar I must ask for help here, since the non-intuitiveness of that part of the program is beyond my spontaneous understanding!

        Another thing: Would it be possible to have keyboard assignments not only for "load file into selected pane" but also for "into pane 1" and "into pane 2", and would it possible to have such commands not only within the program, but from elsewhere? Technically, you should be able to do it, since you have that very fine function "original file has been changed - reload?" that checks outside the program, and it would be very helpful to have a key combination, in other programs, that'd load the current selection there into pane 1 or 2, THEN switching to BC - would avoid repeated switching forth and back as it is now.

        I forgot:
        So I have now some 8 rules in my "exceptions" field, all UNchecked since they are UNimportant, but (only) the first one is always greyed out, and all of them are marked "for this view only". Why?
        Last edited by purchase; 27-Oct-2011, 12:49 PM.


        • #5

          Thanks for the detailed feedback. Improving our interface and declaration of unimportant text is something we are working on.

          I'm not sure if I follow how you would like the clipboard commands to work. BC3 can have multiple tabs and windows, and may have files already open or a different compare type open (Folder Compare, for example). There may not be just one Text Compare window to Open Clipboard into.

          Could you post a screenshot of the grayed out exception rule? Are you in the Importance tab? The top item starts as 'selected' or highlighted.
          "Use for this view only" and "Also update session defaults" in the Session Settings dialog applies to all of the Importance session settings (and alignment and replacements) at once when clicking Ok.
          Aaron P Scooter Software


          • #6
            Hi Aaron,

            Thank you very much for your answer. I see that there's more than two panes which complicates things.

            As for the first greyed-out entry in the field there in the importance tab, well, I opened it in order to make the screenshot -

            btw, you say the first item in the list is highlighted, but is "highlighted" in light gray here?

            - only to see that ALL my rules there were gone, so I have to start anew. I had NOT closed BC in the meantime (and not shut down the pc of course), just loaded many different text / rtf files into the two panes, but into the same "session" - and my rules are gone notwithstanding.

            Is there a possible explanation for this?

            EDIT : There is indeed. I happened to have two texts from clipboard in the two panes; if I replace at least one of them with a text FILE, the settings come back.

            So, the "highlighting" is in light gray? Normally, light grey is "greyed out" = inactive, not highlighted?

            But then, if there are differences, many a time, the rest will not be re-accorded by BC, whilst that should be possible, even manually. Is there a way for me to insert, in BC, enough blank lines, and then start anew with the comparison from there on? Problem is, when there are cascades of differences involving different line numbers, e.g. in file 1 there are 5 lines more than in file 2, BC does not insert those 5 lines as blank lines into file 2, but shows many, many FALSE "differences" from then on.

            This is very important for me, I'm currently doing MANUAL comparison to come by, there must be a better solution to this problem! (I tried "Edit", but to no avail: there, also, are beginning difficulties to overcome perhaps.)

            What to do, please, with such differences involving "surplus" lines which cause BC to see "differences" later on where in fact there ain't any?
            Last edited by purchase; 27-Oct-2011, 03:48 PM.


            • #7

              Highlighting is normally a bright blue color in Win XP, but is controlled partially by your current Windows Theme.

              The currently visible grammar elements in the Importance tab are dependent on the currently used File Format. The File Format is automatically picked from the File Formats list; the topmost match for the current extension mask. If you open a file, it'll run down the list and pick the match for that file. If you paste from a clipboard, it won't have an extension, so it'll use "<default>". Either pane (left or right) can potentially use different file formats, depending on the file loaded. If you are flipping between file types, or clipboard, you would see different lists of grammars available. Default has no grammar items (by default).

              If you are on the Home screen and edit the default here, all grammar items from all file formats are listed.

              Does this explain the behavior you are running into? I'm not sure what "surplus" lines you would be describing or running into. A screenshot, or even better, a video, would be helpful. You can take one with a program like Jing:
              *Please note, Jing is not a Scooter Software product and is not supported by Scooter Software.

              UPDATE: The File Formats list is in the Tools menu -> File Formats. Also, if you are ever in the Text Compare, you can manually override the current format used using either the toolbar button (effects both panes) or the status bar text over a specific pane (affects just the current pane of the status bar).
              Last edited by Aaron; 28-Oct-2011, 10:08 AM. Reason: Update: File Formats list. Manual selection.
              Aaron P Scooter Software


              • #8
                Originally posted by purchase View Post
                all of them are marked "for this view only". Why?
                The drop-down with the "for this view only" option doesn't reflect the current state of your grammar rules. The dropdown is only used to define the context of your grammar rule settings when you save them. The default context is "for this view only" so that you can modify your grammar settings for the current session without changing the your global grammar settings.
                BC v4.0.7 build 19761


                • #9
                  Aaron and Michael, many thanks for your detailed answers. They show the intuitiveness of BC can be enhanced. I am aware I'm "stupid" sometimes with new programs, but this "stupidity within the first steps" is exactly where many a customer trials a program, gets stuck, and, instead of posting, and thereby showing his "stupidity", carries on to the "next" program.

                  Since BC is really very good in most respects for text comparing - I am also trying the very expensive Araxis Merge, and I do NOT see any real advantages in text comparing for me there (perhaps it's "better" in merging, I don't do merge, so perhaps its price is justified by its merging capabilities) -, this "early leaving" would be really bad, for them and for BC, so I hope you consider these intuitiveness considerations in order to enhance the GUI / dialogs / etc. here (and elsewhere).

                  [ EDIT : I'LL OPEN A NEW THREAD FOR THIS :

                  For my problems with large differences within the texts, spanning many lines, and then BC NOT seeming to be able to bring then-identical-lines-again parts of text afterward into accordance again, I cannot bring details now yet since I simply did not get into some rearranging in the original programs yet and thus have not understood yet how to solve these problems for me, manually.

                  But it seems that BC's feature "x filtered lines" between differences, put up for identical lines, works well for identical lines (of course), and for SOME blank lines only (?), whilst it's not able to compress MANY blank lines "on one side" when there ain't but a few, or NO such blank lines "on the other side".

                  Perhaps I'm erroneous here, and perhaps I didn't set some option right ??? (see below)

                  I know that BC - as its contenders - is not able to bring straightforward mixed up "lines" / paragraphs, as XDiff should be. Of course, such a feature would be extremely helpful for a comparison after heavy manual rearrangement / editing of your texts : You'd have your original text, would work on its "architecture" a lot, and then you would like to know, "which paragraphs (from the original text) are maintained in my text as it is today, and which lines / paragraphs / subjects did I delete within my editing process ?".

                  Please note that I'm not criticizing BC for not having that feature yet, but please comment on your plans of integrating such a feature. If you do not plan to integrate it, I'd accept that for BC's very big value outside of this lacking and would be willing to use XDiff for those special purposes : I know that for most people, myself included, that special need is for very special purposes only, perhpas 10 p.c. of their comparing needs or less.

                  EDIT END ]

                  I am aware I'm mixing up a lot of problems here in one thread, but all this is "beginners' problems with BC", so perhaps it's justified to mix them up here. There is another thing with BC's GUI that intervenes with my workflow in a very awkward way, but for that, I'll start a new thread. ;-)
                  Last edited by purchase; 01-Nov-2011, 07:29 AM.