Rich Interaction



Author is built on the belief that the written word is a fundamental unit of knowledge and as such, how richly we interact with the written word in large part determines how richly we interact with our knowledge - and each other.


Interaction with symbolic representations is a deep part of what makes us human, something I will discuss below, but first a look at rich interaction in Author. At the heart of Author is the view that tools should be within hands reach while the workspace should highlight the work, not the tools or any other clutter, which is why in addition to providing direct interaction (drag and drop clippings, page turn on tap etc.), Author relies heavily on keyboard shortcuts. They are not that hard to remember, at least they are designed not to be, and save huge amounts of time from hunting for icons to click on cluttered screens. I hope you will agree with this design principle; provide power, not buttons.


Here is a list of examples for how Author provides rich interaction:


  • Headings/Instant Outline Use a keyboard shortcut to assign a heading (cmd-1 through to 6) then click or tap on the heading to collapse your text into an overview Table of Contents view.
  • Cuttings - Multiple Clipboard Whenever you cut something in Author, Author remembers it, until you paste it again. Hold down shift-cmd-v and you get a list of all previously cut items. Copied items are not listed, since in the act of copying you have not removed anything from your document.
  • Liquid|Info Author is deeply integrated with Liquid for quick interaction with your text, in Author and everywhere else on your Mac. This means that searches, reference look ups, translations and more are less than a second away.  For Author iOS Liquid's basic searches are built in, with in-app Web browsing.



The hand is the cutting edge of the mind.


Jacob Bronowski