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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
[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.
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:
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]
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.
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!