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Monday, November 10, 2014

New "Navigate" pane, and other exciting enhancements - SI BETA 4.5.3

(as always, click heading or 'read more' link for the full post, this is just a summary.) If you use SpecsIntact very much and are interested in trying a very cool new release before it get pushed out in 2015, this one is really worth taking a look at. SEE ALL NOTES BEFORE USING, AND EMAIL SUPPORT TO SIGN UP FOR INTERIM UPDATES.

My favorite new feature is the "Navigate" pane.

Notes from the developers:

Sunday, October 12, 2014

SI Tip of the Day: Repeatedly double-clicking expands selection true to XML

SpecsIntact users, you've got to try this out, if you haven't stumbled onto it already.

After you double-click once to select a word, try double-clicking again. And again. And again. What you will see is that your selection expands, to each higher level in the XML structure of the document. This is an easy way to then delete things that don't apply to your project, without breaking the XML structure.

One double-click, for example with title (TTL) tags.

And another, selects the whole title.

Again, selects the whole subpart.

Hit the delete key.

Test: Alt, t, v, file is valid.

Or you could keep double-clicking to select the next higher nesting subpart, etc., etc.

(Be aware if your project's governing district has rules like using the word OMITTED / Omitted for deleted items that affect subsequent numbering, that you can't just delete, so this feature cannot always be used for a District with such a rule, e.g. Savannah. But for everyone else, and for any paragraphs whose deletions do not affect subsequent numbering....WOOHOOO!!!, this is a great feature I did not know about until reading the fine print in 09 06 90.)

Monday, October 6, 2014

SI Tip of the Day: Easy way to undelete

If you want to undelete something, often the easiest way is to just delete the tag.

You have to have tags turned on. You have to have Revisions tracking turned off.

Then you can delete any beginning or ending DEL tag with the backspace or the delete key, to undelete the struck text.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

SI Tip of the Day: Shift+Delete Keystroke to Delete Blocks of Text

TIP: A little-known keystroke Shift+Delete can be used when your cursor is at beginning of an XML tag such as SPT, TXT, LST, ITM, to instantly and correctly delete everything enclosed by the start tag and its associated end tag.

Screenshots - Before:


Still a good idea to use Alt, T, V to check validity. 

AND BE AWARE that any nested subparts will also be deleted if you delete a parent SPT tag and all that is within it using Shift+Delete.

(This information is found in the built-in help system, under SpecsIntact Editor > Using the SI Editor > Tips & Techniques. Along with a lot of other good tips & techniques ;)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Troubleshooting Tip - Editor window crashes after changing from multiple monitor to single monitor setup

Found an unusual problem this morning, and managed to help someone in our office resolve it without a support call to KSC. This is related to working with two-monitor setup, and temporarily changing to a single monitor. It will not affect the majority of users most of the time.

SpecsIntact doesn't seem to recognize the change to the monitor setup quite right for dialog boxes that were previously closed in the secondary monitor. It remembers the position the dialog box was last closed, and if that was in the secondary monitor (which now no longer exists), the dialog box is just "out there" somewhere. It appears as though the editor window is locked up, because the dialog box is off the screen and is a modal dialog box, meaning control is not allowed back to the editor window until a selection is made. Trying to end the task with Ctrl+Al+Del gives a message saying the system is waiting for a response from the user. Even after ending the task, restarting SI, updating to latest version - it still does the same thing. In our case we were trying to use the RID (Reference Identifier) button. We also made sure the display properties were set correctly, having the secondary monitor inactive.

Solution: Imagine there is a dialog box you can't see, and you need to somehow move it. Sorry, telekinetic powers don't seem to work with computers. The workaround I used is Alt, Space, M (to invoke the dialog box's move command in the application menu), hitting any arrow key at least once to grab the title bar. At this point it is possible to freely move the dialog box with the mouse to the active monitor, then choose a reference or blank tags, and close dialog box (IMPORTANT: Don't just hit cancel, or you will have to start the process over). Now SpecsIntact remembers that this dialog box was closed in the main monitor.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

SI Tip of the Day - light gray for deletions improves readability of SpecsIntact sections

UPDATE: If your project requirements include UFC 1-300-09N, Don't try this for anything you submit to the Government for review (because it conflicts with UFC 1-300-09N - but many projects may only UFC 1-300-02, which has less specifics on revision format). But whatever the case, you & your designers might really like it for internal use. Just remember to change it back before publishing design submittals.

This is a one-time change, even though it is done in the editor window. Open any section, click Format menu, Font, choose tag name Deletion, foreground color Light Gray (or Gray if you like). You can also change header and note to Gray (or Cyan if you are using Gray for deletions).

Here is the cool part - deletions now recede so it is much easier to pick out the retained text and new text at a glance, while still having the benefits of seeing in context the other options that may exist.

These settings are stored in C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\SpecsIntact\INI_Files\SECTION.INI, so you could easily have two copies of it saved somewhere to make switching back & forth much easier. Sometime when I get a chance, I might try to write a simple DOS batch program or Python script that makes this as easy as clicking a button.

Click thumbnail below to view an example:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

SI Tip of the Day - don't forget to reset revision format

If you have updated to the new version of SpecsIntact that was recently released, just a quick reminder -
Time to re-customize font settings for revision marks per UFC 1-300-09N Design Procedures 10-4.3 on page 71 of pdf:

10-4.3 Specifications or RFP Development.

Provide edited, red-lined specification sections, showing deletions from and additions to the master guide specification sections. Red-line other parts of the RFP when required by the contract. When using SpecsIntact, deletions should be shown in bold print and lined out. Additions should be shown in bold print, italicized, and underlined. This special editing feature will have to be reset each time SpecsIntact program is updated. To do this, open a job; go into a section and select “Format.”
I'll have to pass along a feature request that the program could be taught to either (a) remember the user's settings (preferred), or (b) at least have default settings that correlate with UFC required formatting -- instead of requiring us to remember to change it back every time we upgrade!