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Category: Liquid | Author

Write, Cite & Publish

Write#

A Pleasant Picture#

In Author you can quickly change from focused full-screen to regular view with the ESC key. When you settle down to write you have no formatting options to distract you with but you have control over your typeface to choose bold and italic which appear as they should, not as code which is how they appear in markdown. 

Please note that Author uses a slightly warm background to reduce eye-strain. It looks quite strong to stat with but ceases to be noticeable in full screen after only a short while. 

You can type away or tap the ‘fn’ key twice to dictate.  

The Big Picture#

Thinking is sometimes simply called ‘organising your thoughts’ and in Author you can pinch to see only the headings in your document, which you can re-organize to reflect your growing understanding of the topic you are writing about.  

A very useful thing is to pinch into this view before you even start typing, where you can hit the + button (or the ‘enter’ key to add headings and move them around to prepare the outline of what you need to flesh out. 

View Based on a Question#

While you are writing a longer and more involved document you may question if you have used a word or phrase earlier. Just select it, cmd-f and only sentences with that text will appear-in full. Click on one to jump to it, cmd-f again or ESC or click in the margin to return to your regular view.   

Details#

Liquid | Author’s companion Liquid | Flow allows you to select any text and instantly carry out useful operations. For example, look up a word in Wikipedia. You can also translate, convert, search copy in different experimental ways and share via email, and more.  

Another Perspective#

If you need someone to look over your work, just do cmd-shift-d, same as ’send’ in Mail, and the document will open in a new message in Mail, ready to send to someone to have a look through it. 

Cite#

Add a Citation#

To cite something you have read in a book you select the text in your document which contains the quote, or paraphrase, and cmd-t to get the citation dialog. Here you can press ‘a’ for Amazon and you can search Amazon for the book and it will auto-fill your citation.  

You can similarly search Mendely for academic documents. 

If you copy something from a web page you will get the option when you paste to paste as Plain Text (default option, just press enter) or As Citation (hit ’t’). If you choose to paste as citation Author will capture additional information for you but you still need to type in the author’s name. 

This brings up citing from a video on YouTube. You can ctrl-click inside the video to copy a URL to the exact time in the video you have frozen at and then in Author when you do cmd-t you have the option to cite using your YouTube URL. If you do, you will also need to enter the author’s name since different people can of course speak in a single video.  

Publish#

When you have written your work and you are ready to publish to a teacher or a journal, you can cmd-p which does not bring up a traditional Print dialog but a series of options for how to Publish your digital document; to .doc, .pdf and also to paper via Print.  

When you choose what format you want to Publish in, you can also specify whether your citations should be automatically appended to the end of the document under the heading of ‘References’ or ‘Bibliography’. You can also specify how the citations should appear in the body of the document; as superscript numbers or authors names and dates in brackets.  

If you choose to Publish as an Author document, you can choose to lock the document to prevent changes being made. 

[NEW] You may already have entered your name and organisation at the back of your document. If so, Author will have remembered and you only need to fill in the name of your course. This information will automatically become the document cover sheet. 

Before you Publish you may want to share the Author document with someone to have a look at it and for this you can use the Share menu, which does not allow you to change format. A tip: cmd-shift-d will immediately take your document and put a copy in a new Mail message, with the subject of the message being the name of the document. 

If you like, you can even use Liquid | Flow to post your work to your blog, in about a single second. Liquid | Flow also allows you to instantly create glossary terms for your blogging (show video) which is very useful but outside of the scope of this Author walk-through.  

Reading (as Native Author Document)#

If you choose to Share or Publish your document as a .liquid document, which is the native Author document format, there are a few capabilities worth highlighting: Author features a Read Mode as well as an Edit mode which is toggle-able by clicking the button at the centre of the bar at the bottom of the screen. In the Read mode your reader can do the following: 

Use the spacebar to jump down a screen and select text and hit the spacebar to have the text read out. 

In addition to pinching in in their trackpad to get the instant outline, the reader can pinch out to expand the text into flow mode, where dense sections can be easier to read, breaking the lines on command and double breaking on period [NEW] 

Liquid | Flow works as well in Read mode as in Edit mode so any and all text can be instantly looked up. 

Your reader can check your citations quickly and easily: If it’s from a book, they can click on the text and have that book open in Google Books, right in the section cited [NEW] or look the book up in Amazon to see its ratings.  

If the citation is from a video, your reader can click on the video citation and the video will play from that moment of time right inside Author. This gives your writing more veracity through transparency and contextualisation. 

And that’s it. 

But we at the Liquid Information Company are only getting started. These are early days and we thank you for your support in continuing to develop ever more powerful interactive text software: Thank you! 

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Liquid | Author workflow: Write, Think Cite & Submit

This is my script for a demo/pitch for Liquid | Author which I have sent to a few friends, including what I am proposing to build to make it a smoother experience, marked [NEW] in the document. The point is simple, this is the workflow Liquid | Author supports and this is how simple and effective it is:

Write

In Author you can quickly change from focused full-screen to regular view with the ESC key. When you settle down to write you have no formatting options to distract you with but you have control over your typeface to choose bold and italic which appear as they should, not as code which is how they appear in markdown.

You can type away and tap ‘fn’ twice to dictate.

Please also note that Author uses a slightly warm background to reduce eye-strain. It looks quite strong to stat with but ceases to be noticeable in full screen after only a short while.

Think

Thinking is sometimes simply called ‘organising ones thoughts’ and in Author you can pinch to see only the headings in your document, which you can re-organize to reflect your growing understanding of the topic you are writing about.

[NEW-MAJOR] You can choose to view your headings in the companion application Liquid | View, where the headings become nodes in a free-form concept map view. Any changes you make there are reflected in your Author document and vice-versa. This application will also be able to use nodes from other sources so that you can visually think with nodes without leaving the power and long-form environment of your word processor or blog, for example.

Liquid | Author’s companion Liquid | Flow allows you to select any text and instantly carry out useful operations. For example, look up a word in Wikipedia. You can also translate, convert, search copy in different experimental ways and share via email, and more.

While you are writing a longer and more involved document you may wonder if you have used a word or phrase earlier. Just select it, cmd-f and only sentences with that text will appear-in full. Click on one to jump to it or ESC or click in the margin to return to your regular view.

Cite

To cite something you have read in a book you select the text in your document which contains the quote, or paraphrase, and cmd-t to get the citation dialog. Here you can press ‘a’ for Amazon and you can search Amazon for the book and it will auto-fill your citation.

When someone reads your document in the future they can click on the citation and choose to see the book in Amazon or [NEW] to search Google Books to see the cited passage in context, to better understand your citation and to check its veracity.

You can similarly search Mendely for academic documents.

If you copy something from a web page you will get the option when you paste to paste as Plain Text (default option, just press enter) or As Citation (hit ’t’). If you choose to paste as citation Author will capture additional information for you but you still need to type in the author’s name.

This brings up citing from a video on YouTube. You can ctrl-click inside the video to copy a URL to the exact time in the video you have frozen at and then in Author when you do cmd-t you have the option to cite using your YouTube URL. If you do, you will also need to enter the author’s name since different people can of course speak in a single video. Your reader can then click on the citation and the video will play from that moment of time right inside Author.

Submit

When you have written your work and you are ready to submit, you can cmd-p which does not bring up a traditional Print dialog but a series of options for how to Publish your digital document; to .doc, .pdf and also to paper via Print.

When you choose what format you want to Publish in, you can also specify whether your citations should be automatically appended to the end of the document under the heading of ‘References’ or ‘Bibliography’. You can also specify how the citations should appear in the body of the document; as superscript numbers or authors names and dates in brackets.

[NEW] You may already have entered your name and organisation at the back of your document. If so, Author will have remembered and you only need to fill in the name of your course. This information will automatically become the document cover sheet.

If you choose to Publish as an Author document your reader will have special controls in Read mode from what you had in Edit mode. You can toggle the modes at any time by clicking at the button at the centre of the bar at the bottom of the screen BTW. In Read mode you can use spacebar to jump down a screen and you can select text and spacebar to have the text read out to you.

If you like, you can even use Liquid | Flow to post your work to your blog, in about a single second.

And you are done.

But we at the Liquid Information Company are only getting started. These are early days and we thank you for your support in continuing to develop ever more powerful interactive text software: Thank you!

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Symbol Space

In Doug’s Capability Infrastructure Diagram the human system and the tool system are clearly shown as vertical columns with lines connecting in myriads of ways to create capabilities in the centre. For example, a tool system capability to ‘copy’ will only be useful if the user knows how and why to carry out the command.

What is missing from the diagram though are two things though: The technical infrastructure and the symbol space.

The technical infrastructure is document formats and network protocols. This is what either allows tools to give the user certain capabilities or constrain them. For example, the user cannot create a citation link to a specific section of a commercially bought and copy protected book, unless the vendor opens the software to allow this type of tool use.

The second issue is harder to explain and define and I’ve decided to name it the ‘Symbol Space’. What it entails is more on the Marshall McLuhan media side of things, it’s about the digital media; what it can enable–what the opportunities are and what the constraints are. The basic notion is that what a human manipulates thorough the computer is symbols.

This is where issues of symbol manipulation, view specs and high-resolution addressing comes in.

These are ‘things’ which can be implemented in technology, or ‘instantiated’ in many different ways, depending on what the infrastructures allow for. This is one thing I wish I had the opportunity to discuss with Doug.

I have put up symbolspace.info as a place to investigate this further from.

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