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Updated and Expanded Synopsis

February 17, 2012

Last semester I had a chance to devote a lot of time to the development of my synopsis in Mellel. I was able to increase it from 14 pages to 109 pages. The new version includes the complete Sermon on the Mount, Eschatological Discourse, and Passion Narrative. It also includes much of Luke’s central section (Lk 10.25–17.6) and two appendices which follow the Didache’s sectio evangelica (1.3b–2.1) and the Apocalypse (16). In addition, I have included random pericopes that I felt are of importance or that I simply needed to color for my own research.

For the majority of this synopsis I have followed the model of the Aland Synopsis. Every now and then I have digressed and supplied different parallels or arrangements. For instance, a few places in the Sermon on the Mount I included the relevant portion from the Didache. One alteration can be found at pericope 227 on Divorce. Also, many of the pericopes are cross-referenced by versification and pagination. (NB, the pagination is cross-referenced to its place in my document, not as it is in the Aland Synopsis.)

I have provided a PDF and a Mellel file. If you have Mellel, you can set up the colors in the style variations, which makes coloring fast. Also, errors are easily corrected! For help on doing this, see the Synopsis Coloring page on this site. Another very helpful feature in Mellel is the side outline panel, which allows you to quickly find any pericope in the document, without scrolling through the entire document.

The PDF copy would be beneficial for students who have been assigned to color a pericope but cannot afford the buy a synopsis. Furthermore, for anyone who has to turn in a copy of their colored synopsis to a professor, this makes it very easy. If you make a mistake, throw it away and print off another (something I wouldn’t suggest doing with your $70+ synopsis). The PDF copy does not contain an outline of the pericope divisions in the side panel, so you will have to scroll to the desired pericope. If anyone knows how to create these “chapter markers” in a PDF, I’m all ears.

While there really is no substitute for buying a synopsis (some include a textual apparatus, other possible parallels from non-canonical sources, helpful indices, etc.) this is a good place to start. Enjoy!


Work Around for More than Two Different Typefaces

January 26, 2012

This is probably something I should have written long ago but the thought of writing about it delayed me from doing it. But someone finally asked a question about it on the blog, so I felt obligated to finally put it down in writing.

The issue is that Mellel only provides a primary and secondary font option. But what if your writing demands three or more different type faces (e.g., Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, etc.)? Until the tertiary font option is included in a future upgrade, I have come up with a work around. This may look very complicated but it is not as bad as it looks. Some things are just easier to explain when you can show it, but when it is written down it looks overwhelming. Give it a try, I think you will find it easy and fast!


If you have downloaded one of my templates, this will be easier to follow. I will be explaining based on the “Paper Greek Base” template.

The default secondary font is GFS Didot (Greek). If you open the Edit Style Sets panel and click on “Paper Greek Base” (this assumes you have downloaded the template) you will notice in the “character” panel there is “Regular” and “Reg. Hebrew” right beneath it. Also both of those should be assigned hot-keys cmd+1 and cmd+2 respectively (if not, go ahead an assign them). If you double click on the “Reg. Hebrew” you will see that the secondary font is Ezra SIL and the script is Hebrew (even if you have not downloaded these fonts, you should see the name in the box). This is the work around.

So if your main secondary font is Greek and you want to (quickly) write something in Hebrew, simply hit cmd+2 (this switches to the character setting with Hebrew as the secondary font), switch your language setting to Hebrew (cmd+space), and start typing. Switching back to English (cmd+space) will allow you to use you primary font again (the primary font should remain consistent through all the various character styles of this work around). Eventually you will want to switch back to your Greek secondary font by hitting cmd+1.

In short, cmd+1/2 simply changes your secondary font. So if you want to add an Arabic option, simply create a new character style (easiest way is to click on “regular” and choose the “duplicate” button) and make the secondary font your preferred Arabic font and change the script to Arabic. Assign it a hot-key (say cmd+3) and your ready to go.

NB: I do not see any reason to create a new paragraph style to match the new character style. There may be some unforeseen issues that will demand it, but I have yet to run across any. In fact, with this work around, I think it would actually create problems if a paragraph style was connected to each variant character. As it stands now, each paragraph can contain unlimited scripts and fonts. If you connect a paragraph to each script, then each paragraph would be limited to only one secondary font option. (I think)

Updates (Mellel Templates and Style Sets): 8.23.11

August 23, 2011

Good news. The updates made in the new Mellel 2.9 allow us to have 1″ margins on every page.  And this represents the biggest part of the updates I have made to the Mellel templates and style sets (all templates and style sets have been updated, minus the Synopsis templates and sets). Here is how you go about updating your own sets.

If you are in the middle of a dissertation or thesis it will not benefit you to download the updated templates. Instead, download and replace the style set you are using to write you dissertation or thesis (place the new style set in user/library/application support/mellel/style sets). Once you have replaced it, open your document in Mellel and drop down “Style Set” and choose the set you just replaced. Choose “match by style name” (the middle option). This will correct your paragraph and page settings in the edit menu but not on your paper. This means you have to manually assign the appropriate settings to your paper. But this is very easy.

In the “Layout” option at the top of your screen, there is a sub drop down option of “page layout.” If you have followed the appropriate steps so far, you should see page style options fanning out from “page layout.” The options will be “New Chapter,” “Appendix cover page, “Appendix,” etc. I have tried to make these as self identifiable as possible. In other words, to correctly set the pages in a given chapter of your document, simply place the cursor on the first page of a new chapter and select “New Chapter” as the page layout. This will change all the pages within that chapter. Repeat this step for every chapter. That’s it! Just do this for all the respective places in your document. So place the cursor at the first page of your bibliography and select the “Bibliography” page layout. And so forth.

If you have not yet started your thesis or dissertation, simply download the updated template and the updated style set. Likewise, if you will be writing more general papers you will need to download the DTS paper template and the appropriate style sets.

NB: If you happen to be looking at the document setting for any of these templates or style sets you will see that the top and bottom margins are set at .75″. This is intentional and should not be changed! The margins are set at .75″ instead of 1″ because Mellel places headers and footers in the body of the paper instead of within the margins. So in order for you to have 1″ margins on the printout, the headers and footers are set to .25″ and the margins are set to .75″ for compensation. Thus, the reason for header and footer fields on every page. If a header or footer is removed, the margins of your body will be off.

As always, if anyone finds any errors in the templates or style sets, please inform me so I can make the appropriate changes.

Mellel 2.9

August 13, 2011
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Exciting news, Mellel users. The update to Mellel 2.9 is coming. The projected date is August 15. For those who already have Mellel, remember all updates are free! For those who are interested in buying Mellel, a special price of $19 is offered to students. Note sure how long this deal will last.

Some cool upgrades are featured in this new version. One that will be particularly beneficial is new page design. Hopefully this will take care of the 1″ margin problem we have been facing. They also claim that it is easier to use. That’s always good.

No word yet that we will finally have our much awaited tertiary font (I haven’t checked the forum page for this info so forgive me if it is posted somewhere). Guess we will have to wait and see (cross your fingers while you wait).

I’m not sure how the current version of Mellel is running on Lion but Mellel 2.9 is supposed to be fully compatible with Lion.

I’m looking forward to August 15. I’m not looking forward to making the necessary changes on the templates. Bear with me as this change may take some time. I have a lot on my plate and I will also have to become acclimated with the new version.

Leading the Mellel Group and Updating Templates

April 5, 2011

I will be graduating this May and am looking for someone to take over the Mellel Group. Leading this requires a fair competency in using Mellel. While this would not necessarily require holding a Q & A session periodically throughout the semester, it would entail making sure the templates are corrected when deficiencies are detected. This is really not that time consuming as the legwork as already been done.

If anyone is interested, let me know by responding to this post.

Mellel Group Meeting

April 5, 2011

The last Mellel Group meeting will be on Wednesday, April 6. It will be in CAC 204, from 12:00–1:00. So if you have any questions before you write your big end of the semester paper, be sure to join us.

Outside of general questions, I hope to do some instructing on how to create your own Auto-Titles. This will be helpful for when you leave DTS and need to create your own for publications, sermons, or whatever else you may be writing.

Mellel style sets update

March 18, 2011

I just made a simple but crucial update to all the Mellel style sets. If anyone has tried to apply one of the style sets to a new Mellel document (not a template) then the footnote numbers would have been identified with the incorrect style set. That has been corrected.

Since the update is very simple, it may be easier to fix the problem yourself instead of download the file and place it in the right directory. To correct it yourself: open the Style Sets window (command+shift+A). Under “Style Set” select the select the appropriate base. Then at the bottom right you will see the dialogue box “Note:.” Simply drag the DTS Footnotes above Endnote. You will need to do this for all the style sets you have downloaded from this site.