Allow the user to choose the default Type in the Formats Manager

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Philologist
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Allow the user to choose the default Type in the Formats Manager

Post by Philologist »

One thing is particularly annoying in Bookends. Every time the Formats Manager is opened the Type defaults to Journal article. When I select my favorite Type Book and then change the format (by clicking on a different .fmt file) the Type is also silently changed and defaults back to Journal article, without any warning whatsoever.

I have lost countless format-parts, just because I thought I was editing the book type, whereas Bookends had in fact silently flipped to the Journal article format.

In the Preferences > Refs the user can choose the "Default new reference Type" and that sticks when new references are created. There is no logical reason why the type in the Formats Manager should behave differently.

The book type is the most important text type in the humanities. I almost NEVER need to enter a journal article in Bookends; 1.6% of all my entries are Journal articles.

I wished you would give the user more freedom to decide which Type he or she wants to use primarily in the Formats Manager. I don't want Bookends to take this decision for me.

I hope this can be changed; the current state is unsatisfactory and really annoying.
Thanks.
Last edited by Philologist on Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Jon
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Re: Allow the user to choose the default Type in the Formatting Manager

Post by Jon »

When opening the Format Manager Bookends sets the index to 0 (meaning that the first option in the list is shown). At this time, if you don't want it to be Journal Article, you can make it whatever you want (Book, in your case). It takes a few steps but it's not something that needs to be repeated. Assuming Journal Article is the first Type and Bookends is the second. Select Journal Article and then -> Remove Type. Now Book is the first selection. This isn't perfect, but as I said its a workaround for now.

Jon
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Philologist
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Re: Allow the user to choose the default Type in the Formatting Manager

Post by Philologist »

Select Journal Article and then -> Remove Type.
If I do what you suggest and delete the Journal article type, will then the field order of journal articles be permanently deleted too? Or in other words, I certainly don't want to be completely without the possibility of being able to enter Journal articles once in a blue moon. So, when I perform "All Type" (from the Type drop-down menu) in order to add the type Journal articles again, will I get my old field order for Journal articles back? Or will it be gone forever? And will the Field Order field be empty?

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Re: Allow the user to choose the default Type in the Formatting Manager

Post by Jon »

You could of course add back the Journal Article Type at any time. It would NOT be what was there originally. So if you were to do this, I'd copy the Primary Order field (and Subsequent, if not empty) and paste it into something like TextEdit. Then when you recreate the delete Journal Article Type, paste them back from TextEdit. I'd make a copy of your format and try this, to see how it goes.

I'm thinking of how to better address this in the next update.

Jon
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Philologist
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Re: Allow the user to choose the default Type in the Formatting Manager

Post by Philologist »

if you were to do this, I'd copy the Primary Order field (and Subsequent, if not empty) and paste it into something like TextEdit. Then when you recreate the delete Journal Article Type, paste them back from TextEdit.
Yes, that's what I wanted to hear. I was thinking about this too. Losing the field order would be bitter.

1.
If I delete the Journal Article Type, what happens then to the references which used to be classified as articles? Are they deleted too? I DO have some important Journal articles in my database that I wouldn't want to lose.

2.
Or do they get assigned a new type, for example a book type? That wouldn't be good either because then I would suddenly have a number of references to which a wrong type had been assigned: a bunch of articles carrying a book type flag.

3.
When I recreate the Journal Article Type, will the old journal articles in the database then automatically pick up the new correct Type again?

4.
There is one additional thing I would like to know before I embark on this unknown journey. Let's assume I'm using Chicago 17th style now and delete the Journal Article Type. Then I recreate the Journal Article Type. I understand it would NOT be what was there originally, as you pointed out. But what about the other style formats I use: MLA, APA, and the many custom styles I have created for special purposes? Will the Primary Order field and Subsequent for the Journal Article Type of these formats also be gone? That would then require me to copy and paste the Journal contents of all the formats (into TextEdit.)

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Re: Allow the user to choose the default Type in the Formatting Manager

Post by Jon »

1. They'd still be Journal Articles. But without that Type they'd be formatted like Books (or whatever the default first Type is in the format popup menu). When you added the journal type back to the format they'd be formatted as Journal Articles again.

3. Yes. You're not changing the *references* Type, you're just removing that Type from the format. Realize that no format has all possible Types, yet you can assign any possible Type to a reference. They are disconnected.

4. Each format is a separate file. Editing one has no effect on another. BTW, when you edit a format Bookends creates a COPY of that format and moves i to the Custom Formats folder. The original format is still there, but you can't see it. If you were to delete the new custom format it would appear in the list again. Alternatively, you can select the format of interest and click the plus button. Rename it, say, "APA 17th revised" and now you'll have the original and the new format, side by side in the list. You can copy from one to the other (no need to save bits in TextEdit or anywhere else). You can also make a backup of your Custom Formats folder to be absolutely sure nothing you do is irrevocable.

After going through this entire exercise, may I suggest you wait to do this? I'll be playing with possible solutions to the original problem soon.

Jon
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Re: Allow the user to choose the default Type in the Formatting Manager

Post by Philologist »

may I suggest you wait to do this?
Yes, I'll do that.
Alternatively, you can select the format of interest and click the plus button
Yes, I have done that many times in the past, and that's exactly one of the dangerous moments when Bookends silently switches back to the default Type and any changes are automatically saved, thus often making me accidentally destroy parts of the Journal Type.

Because a correct field order in a Type is of paramount importance, I think it would be best if the user (1) can choose the default Type himself or herself, and that this default type (2) can only be changed *manually*. That would guarantee that the user knows what he is doing and prevent any accidental losses. That would be major improvement.

Thanks for looking into this.

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Re: Allow the user to choose the default Type in the Formatting Manager

Post by Jon »

You can choose the default reference type now, it's just not applied to the format popup menu. But I think it could be.

Jon
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Philologist
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Re: Allow the user to choose the default Type in the Formatting Manager

Post by Philologist »

You can choose the default reference type now
It seems you misunderstood me. I'm not talking about Preferences > Refs > Default new reference Type. I'm talking about Biblio > Formats Manager > Bibliography Options > Type

Until now, this pop-up menu permanently defaults to "Journal article", no matter which Type has been entered in Biblio > Formats Manager > Bibliography Options > Type.

Or in other words, these two Type-settings do not talk to each other, one setting is not reflected by the other.

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Re: Allow the user to choose the default Type in the Formats Manager

Post by Jon »

I understood you. I'm thinking showing the default reference type when a format is opened (regardless of its position in the popup menu!).

Bookends does *not* permanently default fo the Journal Article Type. That's what I was trying to explain. It defaults to the *first* Type in the popup menu (which are ordered as they were entered). To convince yourself, do this.

1. Make a new dummy format (Test) based on APA 5th.
2. Delete the Journal Article Type (which is at the top).
3. When you next show Test, it will default to Book Chapter (which is now the first in the popup menu).
4. Add a new Journal Article Type. It will appear at the end of the popup menu.

If you want to continue this, please contact tech support directly at support@sonnysoftware.com

Jon
Sonny Software

Philologist
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Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:17 am

Re: Allow the user to choose the default Type in the Formats Manager

Post by Philologist »

Jon wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 5:47 pm
Bookends does *not* permanently default fo the Journal Article Type. That's what I was trying to explain. It defaults to the *first* Type in the popup menu (which are ordered as they were entered).
Yep, I understood that already. Mea culpa, I should have written "It defaults to the *first* Type in the popup menu."
No disagreement here. :–)

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Re: Allow the user to choose the default Type in the Formats Manager

Post by Jon »

Please contact tech support: support@sonnysoftware.com

There is a beta build with this feature that you can try.

Jon
Sonny Software

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