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Known Issues

Avoiding Unwanted White Space Between Lines
(Line Breaks vs. Carriage Returns)

NowComment inserts a line of white space after every carriage return, because 99+% of the time (standard prose) that's what's desired.

But… when you don't want a line of white space after each line (e.g. between lines of a stanza in a poem, between lines of a mailing address, between the title and subtitle of a document, etc.) insert a Line Break instead of a carriage return. To insert a Line Break:

  • MS Word — end a line with “Shift+Enter” instead of just “Enter”
  • HTML — use <br /> instead of </p>.

Each line that ends with a Line Break is treated as its own sentence to allow line-by-line commenting (e.g. within a stanza of a poem). Use normal carriage returns when the white space is desired (e.g. between stanzas of a poem).


Automatic Override/Removal of some Formatting from the Final Document Display

NowComment strips some formatting from the final document to avoid potentially problematic display issues (unfortunately this has to happen after the Document Preview stage):

  • Line-height, margins, fixed widths and heights, positioning, and a few other attributes are entirely removed; you can't override this.

  • Font size and font face are respected, but the trick is to add your own span tags and put the styling there. Here are some examples:

    <p><span style="font-family: helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:11px; font-style:italic;"> IN GENERAL, FONT SIZE AND LINE HEIGHT NOT STICKING IN PARAGRAPH TAGS. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Donec id vulputate nunc, non aliquam nisi.</span></p>

    Things like text-align should still be attached to the paragraph tag, but everything else can go in the span tag:

    <p style="text-align: right;"><span style="font-family: helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:11px;"> - control over text-align as well</span></p>

    Another example:

    <p><span style="font-family: helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10px; color: #be10e1; margin-bottom: 50px;"><em>Reading for Understanding</em>, pp.91-94</span></p>


Video Uploads

If you're having a problem here are some things to check:

  • See our uploading videos documentation for details about copying embed codes rather than the media player itself, and using the appropriate Paste command from your operating system to avoid extraneous HTML formatting of the embed code that can sometimes be applied by the site you're copying from.
  • Many web browsers now block Adobe's Flash plugin by default. If you're having trouble with a Flash video, check your browser preferences to enable Flash.

Browser Issues

  • When copy-and-pasting web content, don't use one browser for copying and a different browser for pasting. Odd problems can arise if, for example, you paste HTML content copied from a Safari window into a Chrome window. [See also Firefox below]. This isn't a NowComment bug, it's a general symptom of slight incompatibilities between browsers.

  • Newer versions of browsers almost always work much better, faster, and more securely than old versions; you'll avoid many problems by upgrading! It's free and very quick and easy to do, so if you're having any problems that's the first thing to try. Here are some old versions that you should upgrade right away:
    1. Internet Explorer 6 and earlier are notoriously buggy and problematic; you won't regret upgrading to a new version! Even the newer versions sometimes have trouble with features that all other browsers handle fine.
    2. There are some JavaScript bugs with Apple's OS X 10.4
    3. Old versions of Firefox run JavaScript very slowly, and our site uses JavaScript for almost everything!

  • Different browser handle Adobe Flash differently — Chrome, for example, integrates its own version of Flash, not necessarily the latest version. These differences can cause minor differences in browser behavior. For example, newer versions of Firefox and Internet Explorer don't play embedded videos on pages you land on unless you click the play button; other browsers begin playing the embedded video right away.
  • Most browsers don't render the Tiff graphics format (Mac Safari and Microsoft Edge/Internet Explorer do).
  • Firefox (perhaps depending on what extensions you're running) occasionally doesn't render embedded videos properly; the video is all black and there's no sound. For relevant Firefox tips try http://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/789053 or http://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/776670.

Microsoft Word Issues

  1. Microsoft Word documents rarely fail to upload. If one doesn't, one of these is the likely cause:

    1. Your document may use “absolute positioning” of graphic elements, most likely for “overlays”
    2. There may have been a temporary glitch in our system; if you re-run the document it may be fine the second time.
    3. Some documents can have basic encoding problems that keep NowComment from rendering them properly. If you can't upload a Word document twice and another Word document (especially one from another source) will upload, then you've probably encountered one of those rare encoding problems. If so, edit the document to remove things like odd page layouts, unusual field codes, rare fonts, outline or master document formatting, and other aspects that aren't very important for online discussion and then upload the edited document.

  2. If your document does upload, here are some known minor formatting issues that shouldn't interfere with your discussion:

    1. Highlighting and Comments from Word are not carried over into the online document.
    2. Footnotes (which appear at the bottom of individual pages in MS Word) are moved to the end of the NowComment document (i.e. become “endnotes”).
    3. HTML does not have double underlining, so we render them as single underlines.
    4. An extra space is sometimes inserted when a hard hyphen is the last character immediately before a word wrap.
    5. There are some cases where single quote marks and double quote marks nested inside each other can lead to an extra space character at the end of the sentence (and the final punctuation mark connected to the following sentence). This is a very rare situation though.
    6. To avoid a variety of formatting problems, NowComment will convert multiple “hard spaces” (non-breaking spaces) into a single regular space, so there's no way at present to control horizontal formatting via space characters.

Machine Quirks

  • Various display issues with Asus machines.
  • On 10.7 and newer versions of Mac OS some vertical scrollbars throughout the entire system are hidden if the computer (usually a laptop) has a trackpad or magic mouse. Apple's idea is that you don't need the scrollbars if you're scrolling using a touch device. While this does de-clutter the screen, it confuses some NowComment users who are used to the RH scrollbar from using NowComment on a desktop machine.

Miscellaneous Minor Quirks

The My Library page comment count doesn't reflect private reply comments — In the rare case that there are private replies, the My Library comment count won't match the count shown when viewing the document. For most documents there aren't any (let alone many) private comments, so this is a low priority fix for now.


Bugs we're looking into but haven't fixed (yet!)

Graphics in the relatively rarely-used .svg graphics format that also have text within the image can't be uploaded (images with text that are in JPEG and PNG formats work fine). Two workarounds, both starting with taking a screenshot of the problem image:

  1. The easiest is to save the screenshot to your machine and then append the image to your document via “Add to Document”; you may want to substitute a textual “see Figure 1” for where problem image is current.

  2. More work, but gives a more elegant end result:
    1. upload the screen capture to a web server
    2. copy the initial article, images and all, into the NowComment web content paste window (but don't submit it yet)
    3. delete the problem image from the data entry paste window and replace it with a copy of your screenshot from your web server (cannot be from your personal machine!)
    4. only then submit your document for processing.

Limitations

  • “Unresponsive Script” errors — If your machine has a heavy processing load (or is just old and slow :->), or if you're using an older browser which executes JavaScript slowly, you may get an error message such as “There is an unresponsive script...”. You should click “Continue” to give the script more time to execute and all should be well. Upgrading to the newest version of your browser (see below) usually makes these problems go away completely.

  • If you number your paragraphs and put space characters in front of those paragraph numbers that will (for some reason) defeat the line breaks and all the text will be together in a single paragraph (but with the numbers showing).



[Last updated: March 22, 2018]

© Copyright 2018, Paul Allison.
“NowComment” and “Turning Documents into Conversations” are registered trademarks of Paul Allison. All rights reserved.

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Quickstart: Commenting and Sharing

How to Comment
  • Click icons on the left to see existing comments.
  • Desktop/Laptop: double-click any text or image to start a new conversation (paragraph# for a video).
    Tablet/Phone: single click then click on the "Start One" link (look right or below).
  • Click "Reply" on a comment to join the conversation.
How to Share Documents
  1. "Upload" a new document.
  2. "Invite" others to it.

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