Welcome to WordGrinder
Important note for Windows users
WordGrinder is a port of a Unix program, and a few things don’t map well onto the way Windows works. There are some things you need to know.
There’s more information on using WordGrinder with Windows further down in this file.
WordGrinder is a word processor for processing words.
WordGrinder is not WYSIWYG. It is not point and click. It is not a desktop publisher. It is not a text editor. It is not do fonts and it barely does styles.
What it does do is words. It’s designed for writing text. It gets out of your way and lets you type.
All your favourite navigation keys should work. Just type and it should do the right thing.
Important things you need to know:
You can load and save files using the File menu. A Document Set is a file on disk. Each file can contain multiple Documents. Pay careful attention to whether WordGrinder is talking about Documents or Document Sets. There’s more information below.
Some operations (applying character styles, cut and paste) require you to select text. To do this, move to one end of the area to mark; press CTRL+SPACE; move to the other end. The operation will be applied to the highlighted text between the mark and the cursor. Note that the marks are always placed on the left side of the cursor. Pressing CTRL+SPACE again will remove the marks.
That’s it. Now you can work WordGrinder.
WordGrinder supports the following character styles:
That’s all. To apply them, select some text and then use Style_→_Italic (CTRL+I) or Style_→_Underline (CTRL+B) to apply. To remove styles, use Style_→_Plain (CTRL+O). When you type type new text, it will always appear unstyled (even if in the middle of a styled word).
Tip: to type a new word in a particular character style, make sure nothing’s selected, press CTRL+I, CTRL+B or CTRL+U to toggle the insertion state (look down at the right hand side of the status bar), and then type.
WordGrinder supports a number of paragraph styles. See Style_→_Paragraph Styles (CTRL+P) for the list. Each style applies to a complete paragraph. If you want to see what style each paragraph has set, use Style_→_Set Margin Mode_→_Show Paragraph Styles. The style names will be displayed in the left-hand margin.
Paragraph styles are not currently customisable, but they may become so in the future.
The RAW paragraph style is interesting as it allows you to embed arbitrary chunks of data into your document which, when exported, are emitted intact into the output file. I use this to insert HTML into documents I’m writing.
Documents and Document Sets
Each WordGrinder file can contain multiple pieces of text. A file is referred to as a Document Set; each piece of text within the Document Set is a Document.
You can have as many documents in a document set as you like (within reason). You can manage them using the File_→_Manage Documents... menu item, and can quickly see and switch between documents using the Documents menu (ESC, D).
Documents have their own text, selection, viewing style, cursor position, etc. The clipboard, however, is shared across the entire document set. This allows you to move pieces of text around within the document set using the clipboard.
Importing non-WordGrinder files always results in a new document being added to the current document set.
You can change any of the keyboard shortcuts assigned to menu items. These are then saved as part of the document set, so each WordGrinder file takes its keyboard configuration with it.
To do this, open the menu, navigate to the entry you want to change, and then press CTRL+V followed by the key you want to bind. You can’t bind the text entry keys. You also can’t bind a key that’s already in use elsewhere. You can remove a binding by navigating to the appropriate menu item and pressing CTRL+X. You have to manually remove a binding from a menu item before you can bind a different key to it. Watch the status bar while a menu’s open for reminders.
All WordGrinder keybindings (except ESC, and menu and dialogue navigation) appear on the menus, so they’re all configurable. Things like the cursor keys appear in the Navigation menu.
If you get irrecoverably confused, you can reset all the keybindings by opening a menu and doing CTRL+R.
Note: WordGrinder’s keyboard support is at the mercy of which keys your platform supports, and this can vary wildly from platform to platform. For example, on some platforms that use ncurses it doesn’t seem possible to bind CTRL+arrow keys. In addition, some platforms have keys that I don’t know about. WordGrinder will support these, but they’ll be labelled as UNKNOWN_1234 or similar. If this happens to you, please get in touch so I can make it display a sensible name.
If you don’t want to write a document from scratch in WordGrinder, it’s possible to import documents in a small number of other formats using File_→_Import new document. These all add a new document to the existing document set, rather than replacing the current one. The followng formats are available:
Once you’re done with your document, you can export it to a small but growing variety of other formats using the File_→_Export current document menu option. The following formats are available: