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File Manager Manual

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Help / File Manager Manual - 20 Jun 2013 15:02

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The File Manager lists the files stored within ProseEdit and provides the tools required to manipulate them.

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1 File Names

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The base file name is limited to 50 characters. More details can be included in the file comment, see below. Accents are stripped and awkward characters (like ‘/’ or ‘:’) which are likely to cause issues for iOS, other file systems or during file transmission are replaced by ‘_’ when they are entered. The characters ‘{’ and ‘}’ are reserved for defining comments.

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1.1 File Comments

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Any file can be given a comment. The comment is encoded into the filename internally. This means:

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  1. The content of the file is not affected in any way

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  3. The comment will be visible for all recipients of the file - should you email it for example

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  5. The length of the comment is restricted. ProseEdit limits the total length of the comment to 100 characters.

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Comments are included in the filename within ‘{ }’, so for example ‘report \{comment}.prose.html’. This formatting will only be visible when the file is emailed - at other times the File Manager splits out the comment and displays it separately.

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Comments provide a human-readable encoding for awkward characters (like : or >) so the content of comments is not restricted to the same extent as filenames. However ‘{’ and ‘}’ remain as reserved characters. Note also that all the encodings are longer than the single character they replace (for example ‘:’ → ‘{colon}’), so using such characters will reduce the length available for the rest of your comment.

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You can edit the comment of a file via its details [how]. The validity of the filename including the comment is confirmed while it is entered, and a warning/explanation will be given if it violates any restrictions.

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Comments are used internally to date-stamp files - when they are trashed for example. They are also used extensively as part of archiving. Archived files further encode a simple version number into their comment [more].

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1.2 Folders

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ProseEdit supports nested folders and subfolders down to the overall path name limit imposed by the iOS operating system. Provided your folder names are not overly long this means you can organise your work how you like.

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A folder name is subject to the same constraints as a file name.

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Subfolders called ‘Archive’ will be treated as holding archive copies of content. Archive subfolders are generated automatically as part of the archiving process.

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A folder can also be given a comment, though these are best kept brief, especially if the folders are deeply nested. There is a separate internal limit for the total length of the complete path description of a file.

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2 File Format

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ProseEdit documents use XHTML, a variant of HTML which can be read by virtually any browser, and opened in Word® and other word processors. In addition to the visible content it embeds all the information it needs to continue editing the document, including the document history for example.

ProseEdit has no ‘helper’ files nor separate internal storage. With the exception of linked in images (which are held as external files, as normal for HTML documents) the ProseEdit document itself holds the document's complete content.

ProseEdit is not a general HTML editor - instead it uses HTML as the basis of its own format. This means ProseEdit cannot edit HTML files created by other means directly - though it does have a limited import facility.

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3 ProseEdit File Extensions

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ProseEdit uses the extension .prose.html to denote files which are in its document format.

An extension of ‘.prose.txt’ is used for text files which have been created by converting a ProseEdit document into plain text.

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4 Tabs

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Any file or folder can be tabbed [how]. Tabbing a file serves to make it easier to return to.

Tabs are shown in the folder listing [illustration], and you can list all tabbed files in order quickly open them to go to their folder [how]

Unlike the recent file listing, a tabbed file remains tabbed until you untab it.

Tabs on documents are entirely independent of tabs on chunks within the document - tabbing a chunk in a document doesn't make the document itself tabbed.

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5 File Operations

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5.1 Selecting Files

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Selecting files forms the starting point for performing operations on them. You can select a number of files and folders [how], provided they are all in the same folder. Selecting a folder also selects all of its contents, including any subfolders.

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The selection is not dismissed by browsing to another folder. This means you can select some files, and use Find/Recent/Tabbed to go to the destination folder then perform a move/copy directly to there.

The selection is reset by selecting a file which is within a different folder.

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5.2 Deleting Files

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ProseEdit offers a 2 stage approach to deleting files. To remove a file of folder you〔Trash〕it [how]. This moves it to the Trash folder and updates its comment with a date-stamp stating when it was trashed. You can view the Trash folder just like any other folder.

If you are currently within the Trash folder, you are offered Delete instead of Trash. Deleting a file is irrevocable, the file is permanently deleted from the App on this device.

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The number of files in Trash is checked when ProseEdit starts up to stop it becoming unmanageable. If it is getting unwieldly, you'll be offered choices of what old content to empty out. This emptying is permanent.

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5.3 Moving And Copy Files

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Selected files can be moved to another folder in one operation [how]. Similarly selected files can be copied to another folder or duplicated in their current folder [how].

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5.4 Archiving

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ProseEdit provides a simple means to create date-stamped archive copies of files. The purpose is to keep previous versions of a document safe for future reference.

Archiving a file simply copies it to an Archive subfolder and amends its comment to have a simple version count and the archiving comment you give. No compression or zipping is involved - the contents on the file remain unchanged.

As archiving only involves a change of name, any type of file can be archived. Archived files can also be handled like any other file, except the editor will only open archived documents as read-only. If you email or share an archived file it will be clear to the recipient that the file has been archived.

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Archiving complements ProseEdit's undo buffer. The key difference is that archive copies are permanent. They are stored on the disk separately to the current version, and are safe from being edited. You can still trash archive copies should you wish though.

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It is possible to archive a folder, but some care should be exercised, especially for nested folders. Firstly the same total path length restriction applies to archives as it does to all comments, which will lead to problems if there are several levels of nesting. Secondly the contents of an archived folder are not renamed - this can lead to confusion between the versions of contained files. The File Manager uses a grey background [illustration] for files and folders which are within an archive to reduce the risk.

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The idea behind archiving is to grab an archive copy before making significant changes, or whenever you want to secure a particular version of a document for future reference. You can archive a file at any time in the File Manager [how]. You can archive a file as often as you wish.

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You can also Archive a document from within the Editor, via the Done Menu. This makes it easy to generate an archive copy before making substantial changes. Indeed you can even archive the document as it was before you started editing it, should you forget.

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5.4.1 Version Numbering

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Archiving uses a simple version number to order the archive copies. Everytime the same file is archived to the same place, the next integer is used.

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So if you were to archive

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Document

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You end up with

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Document

Archive / Document 001 \<comment>

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Where ‘Document’ is unchanged, and ‘Archive / Document 001...’ is the newly generated archive copy held in the Archive subfolder. ‘\<comment>’ is whatever comment you gave as part of archiving. The archive copy's date and time shows when it was archived.

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If you then archive ‘Document’ again after further editing, you'll get:

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Document

Archive / Document 002 \<comment>

Archive / Document 001 \<comment>

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By this means you can create a number of archive copies of your document .

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Caution: the number generation is based upon the highest number present in the Archive folder at the time of archiving - there is no central count. While it is not thrown by the removal of earlier versions, if the latest version in the archive is removed, a version number can end up being reused.

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5.4.2 Reinstating

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Reinstating is the opposite of archiving. By reinstating an archived file you replace the current version with this archived one - effectively reverting the document or file to what it was when it was archived. The current version is archived first, so nothing is lost.

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So if you had:

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Document

Archive / Document 002 \<comment>

Archive / Document 001 \<comment>

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And reinstated ‘Document 001…’, you end up with:

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Document

Archive / Document 003 Replaced by reinstating 001

Archive / Document 002 \<comment>

Archive / Document 001 \<comment>

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And now ‘Document’ would be the same as ‘Archive / Document 001…’ - until you edit it further. ‘Archive/Document 003…’ is the same as ‘Document’ was just before the reinstating was performed.

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Reinstating the entire document is not the only option for retrieving past work. Archived documents can still be opened in the Editor (as read-only), so you can additionally transfer specific now-wanted content from an archived document to the latest version (or any other document) via Scratch.

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5.5 Printing

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The printing of ProseEdit documents is performed using the Document Preview [how]. The Document Preview contains its own page renderer and will print ProseEdit documents complete with the headers and footers and page margins as set in the document's settings [more].

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Other files can be printed using the standard Preview tool.

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6 Finding Files

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ProseEdit includes a comprehesive find feature, which can find files with matching names or matching content [more].

The content search uses qualifier phrases to control how to look for the given text. You can also directly extract the matching content from a file.

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A find can be instigated from any folder [how], and searches recursively from there.

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7 Transferring Files To and From ProseEdit

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There are a number of ways to transfer content into and out of ProseEdit:

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8 Exporting Documents

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ProseEdit's native format is directly readable by all browsers and can be opened in Word, whilst maintaining its formatting. Hence there is no export function as such.

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ProseEdit documents can be converted into plain text [how] for importing into other applications.

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You can also copy the text of chunks on to the iPhone's pasteboard from within the Editor [how]. This text can then be pasted into other apps directly.

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9 Importing Documents

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9.1 Importing From HTML

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While ProseEdit creates its documents using HTML, that does not mean it can automatically read all HTML documents.

ProseEdit can convert HTML files into ProseEdit documents [how], but the import is limited. Basic text, sections and items as recognised, but styling is not preserved currently. The import capabilities are expected to be improved in future versions.

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The ‘HTML Import Template’ is used a basis for documents created by converting from an HTML file. You can edit it; it's in the ‘Resources / Converting’ folder [more].

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9.2 Importing From Word

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While Word® can read documents created in ProseEdit and retain all the content and the vast majority of formatting, the opposite is not true currently. Word documents can be imported using ProseEdit's HTML import, provided the Word® documents are saved suitably as HTML [how]. This import recognises sections and items, but styling is not preserved currently. The import capabilities are expected to be improved in future versions.

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9.3 Importing Text

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In addition to HTML, the convert function can create a ProseEdit document from a plain text file [how]. ProseEdit uses UTF-8 text encoding by default, but will attempt to recognise other encodings.

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The ‘Text Import Template’ is used a basis for documents created by converting from a text file. You can edit it; it's in the ‘Resources / Converting’ folder [more].

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When converting text:

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You can also copy text directly from ProseEdit's Preview browser, or other apps and paste it directly into a chunk in a ProseEdit document.

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10 System Folders And Files

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ProseEdit provides a number of folders and files. These folders and files will be recreated upon the next full start-up if they aren't present.

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10.1 Welcome Document

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ProseEdit / Welcome.prose.html

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The Welcome guide gives a brief introduction to ProseEdit. Unlike the other help files, it is expected to be opened in the editor itself.

You can edit the Welcome guide as you like. If you delete it, a copy of the original document will be added into the Help folder upon the next full startup, lest it's useful in the future.

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10.2 Jottings Document

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ProseEdit / Jottings.prose.html

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The Jottings document holds notes created by tapping〔Jot〕. Unlike other system files it is only recreated as needed, not every startup.

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10.3 Documents Folder

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ProseEdit / Documents

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The Documents folder is provided for you to store your own work. You can add other folders, or place files in the root ProseEdit folder itself, should you wish.

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10.4 Help Folder

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ProseEdit / Help

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Holds all the documentation provided with ProseEdit, including this document.

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10.5 In Tray Folder

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ProseEdit / In Tray

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The In Tray folder is the place where incoming files (i.e. ones which have been opened in ProseEdit from another app) are stored.

The expectation is you will move the files to a more appropriate folder.

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10.6 Resources Folder

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ProseEdit / Resources

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The Resources folder holds a number of documents which are used by the Editor.

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10.6.1 Converting Folder

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ProseEdit / Resources / Converting

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Holds resources which are used when documents are converted. Currently this includes templates used when importing from text or HTML files [more].

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10.6.2 Lexicons Folder

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ProseEdit / Resources / Lexicons

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Holds lexicon documents which can be used by the editor [more].

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10.6.3 Style Palettes Folder

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ProseEdit / Resources / Style Palettes

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Holds documents which define the appearance of styles when they are set [more].

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10.6.4 Templates Folder

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ProseEdit / Resources / Templates

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ProseEdit documents within the Templates folder or a subfolder are offered as templates when a new ProseEdit document is created [more].

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10.6.5 Text Splitting Rules Folder

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ProseEdit / Resources / Text Splitting Rules

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Holds documents which define how the editor's text splitting feature works [more].

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10.6.6 Typing Reactions Folder

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ProseEdit / Resources / Typing Reactions

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Holds documents which define reactions which can be loaded into the editor's typing recogniser [more].

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10.6.7 User Edit Menus Folder

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ProseEdit / Resources / User Edit Menus

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Holds documents which define the user portion of the editor's Edit Menu [more].

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10.6.8 Crash Log

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ProseEdit / Resources / Crash Log.txt

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ProseEdit records program details about any crashes in this short plain text file. The crash log is automatically attached to the email generated when you 〔Report Crash〕from the File Manager.

You can view this file and withhold it if you wish, though it contains no document content.

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10.6.9 Scratch Document

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ProseEdit / Resources / Scratch

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This is where the Editor's Scratch document [manual] is saved. You cannot view or edit it directly. You can however delete it, as a means to recover if it has become corrupted and is preventing the editor starting up.

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10.6.10 Useful Characters Document

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ProseEdit / Resources / Useful Characters.prose.html

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The Useful Characters document contains a large number of symbols and other characters which are supported by ProseEdit, but are impossible to type directly on the iPhone keyboard.

You can copy and paste from it directly into your text, or set up a User Edit Menu Button or a Typing Reaction to make a particular character more available [how].

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10.7 Trash Folder

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ProseEdit / Trash

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The Trash folder holds files which have been trashed [more].

Trashed files only get fully deleted if you delete them from here, or select an empty option when the trash folder gets too full. Nothing is deleted behind your back.

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10.8 Archive Folders

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Any folder named ‘Archive’ will be treated as containing archived files [more].

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11 App Settings

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Settings made in the File Manager apply to the app as a whole, so will affect the editing of every document. The app settings are detailed in the App Settings help document.

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12 Starting Up

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ProseEdit always starts from fresh, in the ProseEdit folder. You can quickly resume what you were doing by tapping〔/Recent\〕and selecting the top (most recent) entry.

At startup, all the system-provided files and folders are checked and any missing ones replaced with original versions. For this to happen, you need to fully quit the App, not just dismiss it to the background by pressing the Home button once.

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To fully quit ProseEdit, or any App: In the iPhone's home screen; double tap the Home button, and press and hold any App's icon in the list which appears until red and white ⊝ buttons appear. Finally find ProseEdit in the list, and tap on its button to fully close it. Tap the home button when done.

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This is a ProseEdit Help File. You can edit as desired to add notes. If you delete the file, it will be replaced the next time ProseEdit starts up.