Last updated on October 9, 2018
Why another word processor? A friend on Facebook recently asked me this and I wrote what became a long post about it, which may be published soon. Here is a list of specific capabilities my word processor Liquid | Author brings though:
I see authoring as a process of dealing with complexly linked information and sewing it into a coherent, linear argument as clearly and credibly as possible. A consequence of this perspective is that authorship becomes a process of managing context. This means managing citations and the use of jargon.
For the management of citations I have built citation creation and checking in Author to be fast and accurate: Quick searches for the information and quick checking (the citation information comes up on a click and the reader can click through to the source, whether web page, book or even within a video at a specific point).
For the management of jargon I am part of building what we call a hyperGlossary which allows quick creation of glossary entries and flexible ways to see them while reading, along with the Doug @ 50 group.
Author is initially focused on student writing, since academia at least holds the torch for well thought-out writing. This means that Author does not export documents but rather features a Publishing module where the user can specify not only what format the document should be in for submission but also how the citations should be presented, including appending a list of References/Bibliography at the end and choosing whether citations should be shown with superscript numbers or names and years in brackets in the body of the text.
cmd-P on the Mac traditionally just means Print but in Author it opens a dialog for Publishing/Exporting via a wide variety of document formats where the author can decide how the citations should be handled. The citations are automatically appended to the back of the document, with either References or Bibliography and either with the name in brackets or by using superscript numbers in the body copy of the document.
Any word is connected to a myriad of others, sometimes explicitly, such as with a hyperlink and other times implicitly, such as a word and its entry in a dictionary or jargon and its use in the field and it’s entries in glossaries. Liquid | Flow provides the user (in the capacity of an author or reader) with the ability to look up any text, and even images, in any online search engine or reference work within half a second through keyboard shortcuts. The tool is free and available from www.liquid.info which is also where Liquid | Author can be found. Please have a look, the tool has many other functions, some of which I hope you, dear reader, will find useful.
In Author I have changed the way the Search command works to accommodate a more focused interaction for the user question of ‘what does this term mean, wasn’t it introduced earlier in the text’? and ‘where else does this document cover this text’? In Author the user selects the text in question and hits cmd-f which changes the view of the document to only show the full sentences with that text. The user can then click to jump to any of these sentences or click in the margin to return to the regular view.
In Author the reader can pinch in on the trackpad to compress the document into showing only headings–all the body text is hidden–providing a quick access to a table of contents, leading onto the future work described below, and as an author, the user can re-arrange the headings in this view:
This is the area I am focusing on now, building what amounts to a digital Post-It Notes space where the author can put ideas all over the place, visually group and connect them and then collapse them into a traditional word processor view in order to linearise their argument, then explode it back out again, and back, as desired: liquid.info/view.html