Layouts are the heart of the YourOtherMind writing environment. They are where the user places the notes they create.
Creating a Layout
Select FILE|NEW LAYOUT to add a new layout. This creates a blank layout with a single Text note (there is also a linktable added too, all notes require them to handle any linking the user does between notes, but you can generally ignore except when you need to troubleshoot).
Working with Layouts
Layouts have several components. We will use this close-up view of a layout to go into more detail on each aspect.
The topmost toolbar is called the HEADER BAR. From left to right the components are:
- Name. This is the title, which we’ll change shortly. By default all layouts are called “default name”. If you mouse over the name it will tell you how many days since the last edit to this layout happened. If you click on it it will ‘select’ this Header and make it the active layout.
- Stars. This is a simple way to rank content. The more stars, the more important.
- (Edit). This is the KEYWORD container. Click Edit to select keywords. These keywords then appear on the HEADER BAR. Clicking on the keyword will then filter the NOTE LIST on the SYSTEM PAGE by that keyword.
- Notebook. Consider this the highest level filter.
- Section. Each Notebook can have a list of sections associated with it. This allows the user to categorize a layout by Notebook and then by Section.
- Subtype. This is a general bucket to put a layout into (i.e., novel or story)
- Status. This is a special filter. Not only is it used for filtering, whenever the status of a work changes, a TRANSACTION is added, to help monitor the state changes that a layout undergoes.
- Name. The first field is the name of the layout. To change it edit the text and then press the ENTER KEY.
- Blurb. This is a one line summary that may be attached to a layout. It shows up on the NOTE LIST when a particular note is selected in the list.
- Source. This field is used to jot a note about where the idea for this particular story came from, or if writing an essay, perhaps referencing a source.
- Words. This is the length of the text, if a written work (like a story or novel). Exists for use by AddIns.
- Background Color. The background of the layout may be changed here.
- Info. brings up the info box, as discussed on the LINK NOTE page. In addition to links it also shows status updates (and AddIns can also write information out to this transaction system, allowing a bird’s eye view, in context, of every important operation performed on this layout). The image below is of an info box on a layout that has had several status updates.
These are categories into which a layout may be assigned. You may customize these properties on the SYSTEM page. They are used to help filter the list of layouts on NOTE LISTS. To edit any of these select the menu option and a submenu opens up with a drop down menu. Select the option you want.
This is the toolbar right below the HEADER BAR. Unlike the HEADER BAR, the LAYOUT BAR appears both on layouts and on Panel Notes.
- Add Note. Select the type of note you want to add. The note will be added in the top left corner. The core notes (Label, Text, et cetera) can be supplemented via AddIns. (Which is why, if you pay careful attention to some of the demo videos, you will see more note types, because I’m running with all the current AddIns enabled).
- Paste Note. If the user has used the PROPERTY MENU on a Note to copy it, this is how it is pasted onto the layout. Keep in mind that notes may be copy and pasted between layouts.
- Random. By modifying the list_randomtables Table Note on the SYSTEM PAGE, users may define random lists, that can then be accessed via this menu from any other layout. Examples of use for this might be scene prompts or character generators.
- Tabs. There are two options on this menu. If SHOW TABS is selected, then the TAB BAR (described below) is visible. If MAXIMIZE TABS is selected, when notes are selected via the TAB BAR, they will be maximized. Disable this if you want them to remain the size assigned to them.
If the SHOW TABS option is selected under TABS, on the LAYOUT BAR, then the tab bar appears. Here’s an example tab bar.
Pressing the name of a note will bring that note to the front.
The TAB BAR is a nice alternative to using a Storyboard Note because it is automatic, and hence is useful for simpler layouts (or for organizing a handful of layouts within a Note Panel).
While working on my Lazy Designer game design books I used Panels to organize each major section, with each section containing 4-5 Text Notes inside them, each of those representing one chapter.
The FORMAT BAR is used to modify the formatting on Text Notes.
The available format functions, from left to right, are: Bold, Italic, Underline, Strikethru, Bullets (dropdown expands to choose between normal bullets and numbered bullets), a button to set text to the default, insert a line, and finally, a zoom feature. See the Panel Note page for more a more detailed break down.
At the bottom of the layout there is a final tool bar. This FIND BAR is used, again on Text Notes, like the FORMAT BAR. But instead of modifying the text, it shows status information about the current Text Note and allows search and replace operations.
Just enter the text to search for in the text field and press enter. If more than one term is found press enter again to navigate to the next found item. Or use the arrow keys to navigate between found items.
Click the drop down button beside the word FIND. A menu appears with a text field. The text in the FIND field is what will be replaced. Enter the replacement text on the text field revealed by the dropdown and then press the REPLACE WITH BUTTON. By default REPLACE ALL is selected. If the user desires to make only one text replacement deselect this before doing the replace operation.
Other Findbar Features
The number of words found (from the search) is listed, as is the user’s position in cycling throught hem. Beside that is a progress bar, which shows the proportion of selected text versus all the text (if half of the text is selected, the progress bar is filled halfway). Beside that is a word count (selected/total) and page count (current/total).
The final label shows the name of the current, selected Text Note.
The core behavior that users will engage with on the layout won’t be any of the previously described features! Most of the time users will be adding Notes, moving notes around and working within the specific note type (i.e., editing text on a Text Note).
Moving Notes around will be familiar users as the behavior mimics that of applications in the windows environment.
The HEADER BAR turns red when the user clicks and holds the button down on it. This signifies a move option, allowing the user to drag the note where they want it to be.
If the mouse slips off the note, it remains in move mode. To clear this, press the ESCAPE key.
Notes can also be resized by grasping the grip in the bottom right corner and dragging.
Pressing the F6 Hotkey, will hide the system layout. Pressing it again will bring it back. Likewise, Clicking the right-most button on a layout (as with any note on a layout) will maximize that note. The button to the left of it, will minimize the note. And double-clicking the HEADER BAR will toggle between maximized and the last “set size of the layout”.
It is intentional that most of the operations available on a layout mimic those of a note within that layout because every layout is actually a note inside the System Layout! They are just loaded inside a special “note” container. So once the user is familiar with manipulating notes on a layout, they will also know how to manipulate layouts, within the larger system layout.