Editor Interface, Left Side

Spintax and Attribute Panels

The left side of the editor interface has dialog panels for managing spintax and changing document element attributes. Step-by-step procedures for common document changes are given in the document editing chapter. This section describes the controls and functions used in those procedures.

The Spintax Panel

The spintax panel displays phrases used in spintax segments, adds spintax to documents, and modifies existing spintax. The panel consists of fields for the phrases in a phrase set and tool buttons that control the panel and change the document. The picture below shows the spintax panel and points out its features.

Spintax editing panel

Phrase Fields

The phrase fields are text fields for each phrase in a phrase set. whirlDOC currently supports a maximum of eight phrases for a phrase set. Phrases have no restriction on length.

Adding or changing a phrase in a phrase set used in a document will change all spintax segments in the document that use the phrase set. So it is easy to change multiple spintax segments at once instead of being forced to change each spintax segment individually. Changes to the document are made immediately as the panel is changed. There is no need to save the phrase set like the thesaurus editor.

Normally phrases should be entered in all lower case. whirlDOC automatically capitalizes spintax used at the beginning of sentences. In the case of proper nouns or phrases that have words that are always capitalized, phrases should be entered with capitalization.

The Empty Phrase Check Box

whirlDOC supports an "empty phrase" in spintax. This check box enables it for a phrase set. When spintax without an empty phrase is resolved when spinning a document variation, one of its phrases is chosen at random. With an empty phrase, the spintax will randomly resolve to one of its phrases or nothing.

For example, consider this sentence: "She saw the red house." The word "red" could be replaced with spintax using the phrases "red" and "rusty colored". If the empty phrase was enabled then the sentence could resolve to the following variations.

She saw the red house.
She saw the rusty colored house.
She saw the house

The empty phrase needs to be used carefully. It can produce sentences that make no sense. The above example produces grammatically correct sentences, but using the spintax in the sentence "The house was red." could produce the incomplete sentence "The house was ."

Note that if it is intended for document variations to retain spintax instead of resolving it so the variations can be fed into third party applications then make sure the third party app supports empty phrases. whirlDOC’s built-in master thesaurus does not contain any phrase sets with an enabled empty phrase.

The Matching Phrase Sets Drop Down

This drop down list contains phrase sets that share one or more phrases currently in the spintax panel. Whenever the phrases in the panel are changed, whether by typing in a phrase field or loading the entire panel by clicking on spintax , whirlDOC’s thesauruses are searched for phrase sets that share one of the panel’s phrases. Those phrase sets are put in the drop down list in spintax form. An example of the format is "{red|rusty colored}".

Selecting a phrase set in the drop down will load the phrase set into the spintax panel. Any spintax segments in the document that use the phrase set will be marked in red.

The matching phrase set drop down makes it easy to choose between multiple phrase sets for a word or phrase in a document. For example, a phrase in a document can be selected with the mouse. This will add the phrase to the panel. All phrase sets in the "master," "user," and "document" thesauruses that contain the phrase will show up in the drop down, so one of the phrase sets can be chosen for the selected phrase. The "Create Spintax" button could then be used to convert the selected phrase to spintax that uses the phrase set.

Find Phrases

The "Find Phrases" button highlights phrases in the document that match one of the phrases in the spintax panel. Phrases within a document’s folded sections will not be highlighted. Usually the "Create Spintax" button is then clicked to convert the highlighted phrases to spintax. Before creating spintax, highlighted phrases that should not be converted can be unhighlighted by clicking on them.

Magic Find

The "Magic Find" button is similar to the "Find Phrases" button. It first searches the document for phrases in the spintax panel. If no phrases are found then the document is searched for text contained in phrase sets in the "master," "user," and "document" thesauruses. Found phrases are highlighted and the spintax panel is loaded with the phrase set. Clicking the "Magic Find" again will search the document starting after the last phrases found. The entire document can be searched by repeatedly clicking the magic button.

This tool makes it easy to add spintax to a document. The magic button highlights phrases in the document, and the "Create Spintax" button converts the highlighted phrases to spintax. This find and convert process can be repeated until the entire document has been searched.

Delete Spintax

The "Delete Spintax" button changes marked spintax segments to plain text. This function ignores marked spintax in folded document sections. When a spintax segment is left clicked, it will be marked in red along with all the other spintax segments using the same phrase set. Segments that do no need to be deleted can be clicked to unmark them. The delete button can then be used to convert the remaining marked spintax segments to plain text.

Right clicking marks only the spintax segment clicked, so right clicking should be used if a single segment needs to be converted. For larger documents, folding can be used to fold areas of the document not being worked on so deletion does not affect those areas.

Clear Panel

This function clears the spintax panel, which is usually done in preparation for creating a new phrase set by highlighting text in the document. Highlighting text with the mouse only adds the highlighted text to the panel when the panel is clear or contains a new phrase set. Highlighting a phrase when the panel contains a phrase set used in spintax or from a thesaurus will not add the phrase to the spintax panel. The reason for this is that changes to the spintax panel immediately change the phrase set in the document thesaurus. If highlighted phrases were added then it would be easy to accidentally add unintended text to a phrase set when doing copying and pasting during editing.

Adding spintax for a new phrase set that does not come from a thesaurus is usually done by clearing the panel, using the mouse to select one or more phrases in the document, which adds them to the panel, typing additional phrases in the panel, and then using the "Find Phrases" and "Create Spintax" buttons to find and convert phrases in the document to spintax.

Create Spintax

The "Create Spintax" button converts highlighted text in the document to spintax. The highlighted text must match one of the phrases in the spintax panel. whirlDOC handles differences in capitalization.

Before creating spintax, highlighted text can be left clicked to remove the highlight. Sections of the document can also be folded to prevent spintax creation from affecting highlights in the folded sections.

Split Spintax

The "Split Spintax" function does not have a button on the tool bar or spintax panel. It can be found in the "Spintax" drop down menu. A document may end up with several spintax segments that use the same phrase set but a different phrase set is needed for some of the segments. One way to solve this is to convert some of the segments to plain text then convert them to new spintax segments. Another way is to use the "Split Spintax" function, which divides the segments into two groups, one using the original phrase set and the another using a clone of the phrase set. The original phrase set or its clone can then be edited so the original spintax segments use different phrases.

The split function breaks segments into two groups. Marked segments are put in one group and unmarked segments that use the same phrase set are put in another group. The marked group will use the original phrase set, and the unmarked group will use a clone of the phrase set. So to use the split function, a spintax segment is left clicked to mark all segments that use the same phrase set. Left and right clicking is used to unmark some of the segments. The split function is then used to divide the segments.

Auto Magic

The "Spintax" drop down menu contains an item for the "Auto Magic" function. This function does not have a button on the tool bar or spintax panel. It automatically adds spintax to the entire document by repeatedly using "Magic Find" and "Create Spintax" until no more document text can be found to convert to spintax.

The "Auto Magic" operates without user control, so synonyms selected for spintax may not be grammatically correct. For example, the word "draw" in the phrase "draw a conclusion" could be replaced with spintax for synonyms of "sketch".

Adding spintax with "Auto Magic" can be useful for spinning documents that will be used for article marketing. If spun documents are intended more for search engines than human readability then grammatical correctness may not matter.

The Attribute Panels

The attribute dialogs change the attributes of document elements. How to use the panels is explained later. Just like the spintax panel, changes to the attribute panels immediately change the document.

There is one panel for each level of of the document structure, the root document, paragraph group, paragraph, line group, and line. Clicking anywhere in the document will load the panels with the attributes for each element. The image below shows the panels.

Attribute panels

Each panel except for the root panel has a section for line text. For lines this is the beginning text of the line. For higher level elements it is the first part of the element’s first line. This text is an indication of which elements are loaded in the panels.

The panels include the modes for how an element selects and combines its child elements. Each of these modes is arranged in a column. Examples of how these modes work are given later. Also there is a field for setting the element’s frequency, which controls the odds of being selected by a parent element.