eclecdec Windows

This version is now in the Microsoft Store.

The primary (really, the only) goal of this version is to minimize the opportunity for data loss. Out of a years worth of use (by myself and others), I finally got that email that developers dread: data loss.

eclecdec stores projects in zip files (a la Word, Excel and PowerPoint). it’s a neat and tidy way to organize a set of files (metadata and content, to be precise) into a single package that you can easily move around.

But, as they say, “sh*t happens”. It could be a power loss, it could be a bug in the OS or in one of the myriad frameworks that we all use, it could be a bad sector on disk, or a cosmic ray or…even a bug in the app which, of course, is highly unlikely.

Regardless, data protection (or rather, mitigating the potential for data loss), is pretty critical. eclecdec already had a form of that with the ability to backup/restore/sync. But what if you don’t use these things, as so many of us don’t.

The solution, for eclecdec, was somewhat aggressive. I haven’t noticed any performance effects myself, and I write every day in it (and, just BTW, have never experienced any of the above problems).

Basically, whenever you open the project’s zip file, and before the open actually happens, eclecdec now examines the existing file for integrity. If it is ok, that file is saved. Effectively, eclecdec now keeps a rolling backup of “the last good file”. Kind of like Word does.

In the event that a project zip file has become corrupted for some reason, opening the project will substitute the last “backed up” version. This is different than backup/restore/sync since it happens behind the scenes. And doesn’t require explicit user action.

I think (and hope) that this aggressive tact prevents any more of the emails that I dread. Still, please, back up your data.

eclecdec Windows

This update is now in the Microsoft Store.


  • Add ability to use a cover image in the project picker, because visual inspiration improves productivity
  • Move some global settings to “per-project” settings
  • Add next/previous story card navigation controls in Editor to facilitate reviewing


  • Cards marked “done” will now appear in the card-peek lists in the Editor, with a “done” visual indicator

A couple of the features deserve some brief explanation.

One item that seems trivial but which has been “on the list” for a while is the ability to use images in the project picker:

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eclecdec Windows

This update is now in the Microsoft Store.


  • Find and replace in editor
  • Include score, definitions and word type in Better Words
  • Add the ability to have notes per Story card and folder


  • Minor ribbon cleanup in editor
  • Mark done/not done tweaks in editor
  • Fix crash when printing from compiled view

eclecdec Windows

This update is now in the Microsoft Store, and is a fairly minor (in terms of what you can see) update.


  • Improved typing performance (specifically, periodic lag while typing at-speed) in the editor
  • Fixed average word count and estimated completion dates in Project Statistics.

eclecdec Windows

This update is now in the Windows Microsoft Store.


  • In order to help answer the age old question “What’s a better word for some_word ?”, eclecdec now uses the Datamuse cloud service to offer word suggestions. This is available by clicking on the “Better Words” ribbon button in the Story Card editor.
  • Add the ability to edit the current card title in the Story Card editor. This is available by clicking on the “Title” ribbon button.
  • Added the ability Story Cards to be treated as individual chapters titled with their title, rather than scenes with chapter titles based on folders. This is configurable in Settings.
  • Reorganized editor ribbon.
  • The current card title is displayed as the window title when editing a Story Card.


  • Improved selection in the editor. Selected text will remain visually selected when focus is changed. This is only fixed in the Windows 10 October 2018 update (1809).
  • Fixed a bug where project statistics could lump the word count for a day into the previous day’s count.
  • Minor wording fixes in project statistics display.

Windows UWP Version Adaptive Code

UWP applications are the constant recipients of new functionality. This is, obviously, a good thing for those of us who’d like to build a meaningful user experience a la WPF or WinForms.

My first experience with writing Version Adaptive Code comes as a result of trying to remove the super-annoying selection flyout in the RichEditBox (which, unsurprisingly, I use for editing in eclecdec). This appeared in the Windows 10 October 2018 Update (1809), and has been driving me crazy, because I already provide the formatting options in the eclecdec ribbon, and I find it gets in my way and disturbs my flow:

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eclecdec Windows

This version is now in the Windows Store. There are only a couple of minor changes:

  • Cards can now be imported/exported in HTML and plain text format as well as RTF and Word
  • Included one time non obtrusive dialog box to beg for rating

The first item – import/export changes – are an attempt to make it easier to get “stuff” into and out of eclecdec.  Individual cards, specifically, in this case.  Primarily, I’ve been using this to exchange cards with eclecdec for Android, which I haven’t written about yet here, and which (yeah, I know) uses a different storage format than eclecdec for Windows.  More on the dichotomy between the two applications (usage patterns as well as functionality) in the New Year.

The second item should be self-explanatory.  Please rate the app if you use it.

Happy Holidays!


UWP Apps & the On-Screen Keyboard

It seems that I’m always surprised that Windows 10 can be used in tablet mode.  I mean, intellectually I know you can do it, but in practice I rarely do.  I suspect this is more tied to historical use patterns than anything else, and I suspect that a lot of (most?) users are in the same boat.

The problem that arises out of this blind spot though, is that we (okay, me) as developers don’t necessarily put the same kind of effort into good tablet operation as we might on a touch-first platform like Android or iOS.  So we (I) create a vicious circle  where apps don’t “do the right thing” in tablet mode, and users avoid it.

I ran into this a week or so ago when I pulled the keyboard off my Surface Go and started doing some editing in eclecdec.
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I’ve just submitted eclecdec 1.1.73 to the Store.  A couple of interesting things in this version:

Split screen peek cards

While I like the idea, when I’m writing, to be able to pull up other cards for reference.  What I found, though, was that I often had to flip back and forth between the reference card (in, effectively, a dialog), and the actual editor surface.

Enter split screen.  Peek cards now appear as a pane to the right of the editor (both sketch and rich text).  I’ve found this smooths out my workflow quite a bit.
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