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PatrickOfLondon

Oddities with spelling options and find-and-replace in Affinity Publisher

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From using and experimenting with the spelling and find-and-replace functions in Affinity Publisher 1.7.3.481, the following behaviours seem like bugs – or at the very least, strange, unhelpful, and unintuitive – to me. Am I alone in thinking this?

 

Set-up

A test file is attached; or... create a new document; make a text frame and fill it with some text (real text, not filler text). Put a few instances of the word “cat” into the text, in different places.

 

Test 1

Go through these menu items: Text > Spelling > Show Spelling Options

In the dialogue box (entitled “Spelling”), type the word “cat” (without quotes) into the upper box. Press the Find Next button.

Nothing happens. Why not?

If you now repeatedly click the Change button, it repeatedly inserts whatever is in the upper box, into the text

This is not really a "change" operation (changing one thing into another thing). It's just a "text insert" function, with no apparent purpose, or relationship to spelling options (nor to find-and-replace).

 

Test 2

Close the Spelling dialogue opened in Test 1. Put a few instances of the word “horse” (without quotes) into the text, in different places.

Open the Find and Replace dialogue by typing Ctrl F. Type the word “horse” (without quotes) into the Find box, and “pony” (without quotes) into the Replace with box.

Nothing happens, which seems strange; it would seem logical for the cursor to move to, and select, the next instance of the word “horse”, but it doesn’t – unless and until you click the Find button.

When you do that, the instances of the word “horse” appear, in context, in a list beneath the Find / Replace / Replace all buttons.

Now click the Replace button, repeatedly. Each found instance of the word “horse” is replaced by “pony”, but the list of found instances does not update. It continues to show, and cycle through with each click of Replace, the original list of instances of “horse”….

….unless, or until, you click the Replace all button. Only then does the list update, by (as would be expected) disappearing completely.

bugs query - affinity publisher spelling options and find and replace.afpub

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I think you've got a point. Probably poor UI rather than actual bugs.

in test 1 I cannot see the point of the upmost box being editable. It does not seem to find the next occurrence of the user-specified mispelled word as a search operation (in a situation where the specified misspelled word actually exists in the text). Basically the box just shows the next misspelled word always in the order determined by the spelling check function. It won't show "cat" because that's en English word and not marked as misspelled. The box could well be read-only. (UPDATE: Cannot, because that's where the replacing word is typed, too; there is no separate Change to box, which also means that each occurrence of the same error needs to be manually typed over and over again.)

In test 2 it would certainly be more intuitive if the list would be updated as the found entries are replaced. This way you can also see which occurrences were not replaced and return to them if necessary. Once the found entry is replaced the point in text can also no longer be brought in focus so it is basically useless to show them in the list of found occurrences any longer (in the form of searched text; if the text were updated, there would be point, and the text point could then possibly be brougt back in focus, as well)..Or perhaps there is some logic I just fail to see.

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12 hours ago, PatrickOfLondon said:

Open the Find and Replace dialogue by typing Ctrl F. Type the word “horse” (without quotes) into the Find box, and “pony” (without quotes) into the Replace with box.

Nothing happens, which seems strange; it would seem logical for the cursor to move to, and select, the next instance of the word “horse”, but it doesn’t – unless and until you click the Find button.

It sees perfectly logical to me that nothing happens until one clicks Find. All the other software I have works the same way.

 

12 hours ago, PatrickOfLondon said:

Now click the Replace button, repeatedly. Each found instance of the word “horse” is replaced by “pony”, but the list of found instances does not update. It continues to show, and cycle through with each click of Replace, the original list of instances of “horse”….

I could see some good benefit for that, if it worked a bit differently. It might be useful, for example, to be able to double-click on an entry earlier in the list to undo a replacement. Say, if you had 5 entries in the list, and when you got to number 4 you realized you should not have replaced number 2. If you could go back and double-click that entry in the list.

But as that function is not provided, I can see no reason for keeping the old entries in the list, and I agree they should be deleted.


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 1909 (183623.476), 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00Gz, GeForce GTX 970
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.481 and 1.8.0.486 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.7.3.481 and 1.8.0.486 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.7.3.481 and 1.8.0.502 Beta

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1 hour ago, walt.farrell said:

It seems perfectly logical to me that nothing happens until one clicks Find. All the other software I have works the same way.

Certainly, a lot of software does work that way, and it is indeed one of the possible logical approaches.

But some software takes an arguably equally logical, but more helpful approach; for example, Microsoft Word, and many web browsers, after pressing Ctrl F, start finding and highlighting instances, as you begin to type your search-term.

Thanks, Walt, and Lagarto, for taking a look. We all seem to agree that the the list of found occurrences isn't working as one might expect it should.

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