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Visible-Meta Example & Structure

Last updated on July 30, 2019

The Visible-Meta appendices are automatically inserted at the end of the PDF on export, after any References or any other user-added appendices, with a normally formatted heading ‘Visible-Meta’. After the heading the text @{visual-meta-start} is inserted to tell the reader software to parse the following, with @{visual-meta-end} at the end. (for performance the reader software actually parses from the end of the document since there will be less text to parse before the visual-meta is found).

The format is in the style of the BiTeX Export format, though collapsed to safe space. This was chosen because of the ubiquity of the format and the human and machine readable style. It should be trivial for software to parse normally line-broken BibTeX to and from the visual-meta layout.

The font size is suggested to be 9 point to save space but this is not ‘read’ by the reading software so is up to the specific implementation choice.


  • version, generator & source
  • citation meta – bibtex
  • document name
  • formating
  • citations
  • glossary
  • special
  • generator

The explanatory text shown below each heading is to be included in the actual Visible-Meta to aid in its readability and adaptability.


In this mockup all the descriptive text should be in the actual visible-meta document to make it clear for the reader (human or software) what the sections are. Note that the BibTeX entry for citation information follows the BibTeX layout but is collapsed to save space, in line with all the other sections.

Note, in the first example both ‘generator’ and ‘source’ are listed but only one would be used: generator if the visible-meta was added to the document on document production and source if the visible-meta was added after the document was produced, most likely by the user though a web browser plugin or other means.


Visible Meta


Version, Generator & Source An explanation of what this section is and code for for reading this is available (at the time of writing) from The generator is the software used to produce the document and source is the software or system which provided the citation information if the visual-meta was not added by the generating software (this also shows the date):

@{{visible-meta}} version = {1.1}, generator = {Liquid | Author 4.6}, source = {Scholarcy, 2019,08,01}, }

Citation Meta – BibTeX Describes who the author of this document is in order for the reader to cite this document. The order of information follows the BibTeX format:

@article{ author = {Douglas Carl Engelbart}, title = {AUGMENTING HUMAN INTELLECT – A Conceptual Framework}, month = jul, year = {1962}, institution = {SR1},

Document Name The document name can be used to find the document, as described in this post


Formating Describes how the text, including headings, is formatted:

@formating{ heading level 1 = {Helvetica, 22pt, bold}, heading level 2 = {Helvetica, 18, bold}, body = {Times, 12pt}, image captions = {‘Times, l4, italic, align centre},

Citations Describes formatting of the inline citation style and the References section in order for the reader to parse how citing is done in this document:

@citations{ inline = {superscript number}, section name = {References}, section format = {author last name, author first name, title, date, place, publisher},

Glossary Describes glossary terms with plain text definitions and relationships with other terms:

@glossary{ term = {Name of glossary term}, definition = {freeform definition text}, relates to = {relationship – “other term”},  term = {Name of glossary term number two}, definition = {freeform definition text}, relates to = {relationship – “other term”}, }

Special: Dynamic View Any section prefaced with ‘Special’ in the header describes specific, special views the authoring software supported. As with the other formatting, it is optional to implement in a reader:

@Special{ name = {DynamicView}, { node= {nodcname, location, connections},


Published inThoughtsVisual-Meta


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