About Viewspecs

"A skilled user will readjust his view to suit immediate needs very quickly and frequently" - Doug Engelbart, 1968[*]

Viewspecs – short for "view specifications" – allow you to control your view of a file. Augment supports a variety of viewspec options to specify, for example, an outline view, or show/hide Augment address numbers, show/hide blank lines between paragraphs, show a filtered view based on a find, show/hide anchor names or the "statement signatures" (time/date each paragraph was last modified and by whom).

A viewspec is entered using a single character shortcut code. You can specify viewspecs in a command with the Viewspecs button (Augment Browser Class 2 level UI) or when you are prompted by "V:" (Turbo Augment, or regular Augment). To specify viewspecs, type any combination of single character viewspec codes. If you do not want to specify viewspecs, simply leave that field blank, finalizing the command with "OK". Enter the code exactly as shown, either lowercase or uppercase, since these codes are case dependent.

Viewspecs have no effect on the file contents. Also "Viewspecs" is not a special mode to work in, it is simply the view you have asked for at any given moment for precise and efficient browsing, studying, editing, printing, and so on. For example you can quickly skim a document at a high level and then zoom into the precise information you are looking for, print an outline view with address numbers showing, or rearrange your file in outline view and then do a find/replace all affecting only those paragraphs that pass a content filter you have set. You can investigate who changed a particular section of the document since a given date/time, or show all the anchor names where you are currently browsing to help you easily create a link to this exact location and send it to a colleague.

All the Augment viewspecs were implemented in HyperScope as well.

Watch an Augment Demo to see how viewspecs are used, and watch Clips 5 & 6 from Doug's 1968 Demo for the world debut of viewspecs. For additional background on viewspecs see the Controlling the Views section in Doug's Authorship paper (OAD,2250,7). For more on how viewspecs fit in the big picture, see About An Open Hyperdocument System (OHS), Doug's Vision Highlights: Augmenting Society's Collective IQs, and Doug's seminal 1992 article Toward High-Performance Organizations: A Strategic Role for Groupware.

For charts and screenshots showing the viewspec codes available to the user: