"The main problem with floating images and wrapping text around images is that they tends to slow down any application considerably," says Eyal Redler, RedleX's CTO. "This is not a problem with page layout applications, where people expect the precision of a Swiss watch, and accept that it will require them to have the the patience of Swiss watchmaker. If it's very-very good, it's expected very-very slow."
But such slow performance is not acceptable in a word processor. "To keep Mellel going fast, we had to rethink and rewrite parts of Mellel," Says Redler.
It worked. Mellel 2.7 is still the fastest and sturdiest word processor around, and offers smoothest experience working with images. As a bonus, the major changes allowed RedleX to introduce several other new features, and add some long asked-for features.
Mellel 2.7 introduce 20 new features and enhancements, and adds a host of bug fixes and mini-improvements. Following is a summary of the most important among those:
* Floating images: Mellel now supports having floating images (alongside inline images) in documents. It also offers an Arrange menu to order the images when they are one on top of the other.
* Wrap text around floating and inline images: allows users to force text to flow to the right, to the left, on both sides, skip, etc. around images. Users can also control opacity and the extra spacing around images.
* Background image: One can now assign a background image to a page range, controlling its opacity and position in the background.
* Snow Leopard compatible: Mellel 2.7 (as well as Mellel 2.6.2) are compatible with Mac OS 10.6.x (Snow Leopard).
* Object palette: allows easy control of many Image attributes (and will later allow control of other graphic and text objects).
* Insert before: allows users to automatically insert a Return, a page break, a column break, etc. before a heading in the text.
* List separately in ToC: allows you to set if figures, charts, images, etc. will be listed as part of the Table of Contents or separately.
* Reset numbering: allows you to set if the numbering of a heading will be reset or not with a higher level heading. This is useful, for example, when you have a book divided into parts, but want the chapter numbers to be continuous throughout, and not reset with each part.
* Keyboard navigation in tables: The arrow keys (with or without the Cmd key) can now be used to navigate inside a table, into it and out of it.
* Other improvements: Auto-titles (headings) in Mellel can now span more than 6 lines and can start anywhere in a line; The Page palette and dialogue are easier to work with (and look nicer); and much more.
Mellel 2.7 is a free update to all registered users of Mellel who've purchased Mellel after August 2007. Users who've purchased or updated Mellel earlier can purchase an upgrade (US$19). The upgrade includes two years of free updates.
Mellel 2.7 is available for download now. The price for a single user license is $49 (USD), Educational license is $35, 5 Pack license (5 separate licenses) is $99. A Boxed Edition of Mellel is also available for $64 (including shipping costs).