Frequently asked questions

If you have a question that has not been answered, please use the comment feature below.

1. Do I need to use Google Chrome, Chromium, Safari or Edge to run Fidus Writer?

The current version is made mainly with Chrome in mind, but it is also used in other browsers. Currently we require for users to use desktop computers. Mobile browsers will likely be supported in the near future.

2. In the Fidus Writer editor, everything looks just like one gigantic page to me and the footnotes are displayed on the side. What’s happening?

True, but try to go into the print dialog (CTRL+P or from the editor’s menu. You will notice in the print preview that page numbers, footnotes, etc. are formatted the way you expect them to be.
As for the editor: We spent a year on creating an interface like that of Google Docs where everything was WYSIWYG. We used an experimental technology developed by Adobe called “CSS Regions” for this. Unfortunately the Google Chromium team decided to remove this technology from their browser and Firefox never even started implementing it. This is why the “one large page” solution is the best we can do for now, unless someone finances a team of hundreds of developers for us so that we can compete with Google.

3. How can I add a large list of item to the bibliography without leaving the editor.

You currently have the exit the document editor and go to the bibliography list in order to import Bibtex files. We are working with integrating it so it can be done from the editor itself. In the editor you can currently only add items one by one.

4. How can I share a document with another user?

First add a new contact from the share dialog using their email or username. You can then share the document either through File-> in the document editor or by clicking on the access rights icons on the document overview page.

5. I have shared a document with another user, but he now only has read access to the document. Why?

Make sure to enable write access in the document share dialog. Click on the icon in the column “rights” and select appropriately.

22 thoughts on “Frequently asked questions

  1. Great idea. But… You may find problems convincing people of your editorial competence if you continue to allow poor proof-reading: spelling and punctuation errors spoil your pitch.
    And you could do well to investigate Courier Prime instead of the ugly old Courier New you appear to be using.
    And you really should talk about word-processor “styles” and name them as such. After all, that is your main point.
    As I say, great idea. Needs a little polish. Good luck.

  2. Dear John,
    thanks for the feedback. We will try to look out for punctuation errors, etc. in the future.

    As for the fonts — we didn’t change anything so far. However, for the next version we will be looking at Courier Prime. From what I have seen so far it’s not entirely clear to me whether it supports characters of other languages. That is quite essential for us.

  3. A bug in a splendid application: insert the default equation into a document, it appears on screen as expected, delete it from the document, insert the default equation into the document, a blank space appears in the document. (I’m using Chrome 28.0.1500.72 m on a PC.) Best of luck. — Jared

  4. It would be helpful if you were more forthcoming as to the programming language used in your development.

    • Dear Rambo,

      very good question. We should probably set up a page with technical details one of these days.

      Fidus Writer is using the Django (Python) Framework for the backend code. In the frontend we use Javascript. Overall, it’s rather “frontend-heavy”. What that means is that we make the individual user’s computer do a lot of the work while the server does less. For example, when you export a document or a book to an Epub — traditionally a task for the server — it is in fact the client computer that does most of it.

  5. I have just been playing around a bit with the beta and I have missed a way of entering special letters in the text. Actually, on my german keyboard I can enter “ç” [alt-c] and it works, but “ã” [alt-n + a] does not. When I use the character viewer in OSX it works.

    • Hi jotjot,
      thanks for your comment! we are trying to make sure that Fidus writer works for as many as possibly. We have therefore tried to make sure that the fonts we ae using for at least all the latin basd languages. I am myself currently learning Brazilian Portuguese and have been testing for compatibility with the special Brazilian characters.
      As for your problemw ith entering characters: Are you able to enter those characters in general while using Google Chrome? If you are able to use them in other places but not in Fidus Writer, we will investigate. If it is a general problem of entering those characters, then it would probably make most sense to find a more general solution to enter Brazilian characters on your German keyboard.

      • It is a specific issue with Fidus Writer, in this comment box I can enter the characters normally. But in the Writer I have to use the character viewer, it does not combine the letters in place.

  6. How’s the image support? I have a friend who is a professor, who wants to set up a collaborative editing site based around a set of documents that are available as images (they are photographs of a handwritten text document in Hebrew script — each photograph is one page of the document).

    So I guess my question is really about both image support and multi-lingual support :-). This would be for both collaborative translation and, potentially, for collaboratively writing articles about the original document(s).


    • Hey Karl,
      interesting project. What we currently have is figure supprot. That is basically an image (JPG/PNG/SVG) that will be rescaled to a maximum size of the page widht (when printing), has a caption, and can be added to one of three categories: figures, tables or photo. Each one of these categories is numbered. We take it as a given that the writer is smart enough only to put SVGs that represent tables into the category tables, only photos as photos, etc. . It’s the basic support for figures you see in many scientific journals.

      The project you mention — does it need a text editor, or is it really just about showing images? A few weeks ago we were talking about one potential project in which we would put images of scanned in pages next to the scanned in text, so that people could help improve the scanning by fixing the text. So far nothing came of that project, but it would absolutely be somthing that could be programmed into a speicla version fo Fidus Writer without too much pain.

      As for multi lingual support: We tried to make sure that the fonts we use for the three included document styles both look good enough for profesisonal print and support at least the Latin based languages. if you want to work with other languages, you may have to create a new document style that includes a compatible font. Another issue, which jotjot discovered above, is that we have some issues when a letter is built up by several consecutive key strokes. This is because we intercept each individual key stroke to make sure the browser is doing what it is supposed to do (unfortunately, Chrome as well as all other browsers, is quite broken in that regard). So we will need to go in and find out exactly what key is pressed firts and what second and how to ensure that we don’t intercept the chain of events in-between. I don’t know if that is an issue with Hebrew as well.

  7. I can only access the app when on the localhost, how can I make it run so it can be accessed remotely through the servers domain name?


    • Found the answer in your bug tracker, I just needed to pass my IP when running runserver.

  8. What if I’m working on documents that are provisionally confidential, or where I have privacy concerns for short-term strategic reasons? Is Fidus Writer built in a way that protects my content from possible injection attacks etc.? ie., if my boss is skiddish about the privacy implications of using online collaborative software rather than the (arguable) certain confidentiality of the old MS Word documents, what can I tell her?

    • Fidus Writer is as secure as the server you install it on. If you install it with an SSL-based solution, you should be pretty safe.

  9. Fidus would be exactly what I’m looking for but I don’t have dedicated hosting on my server… 🙁 Do you know of any way to host a Fidus Installation for free anywhere?

    • Unfortunately not. Fidus Writer is quite a complex piece of software and unless you find an institution that is willing to pay for your hosting somewhere, you are likely out of luck.

  10. A question: suppose you want to (have to!) follow a different standard, such as ABNT in Brazil… can you configure Fidus Writer to produce an appropriate document in that case? How would you go about it?

    • If your institutions installs Fidus Writer on its own server, it can add citation and dodocument styles. Instructions for how to do that are to be found among the install instructions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *