The Idea Space
The Curio idea space is the most flexible and magical notebook page you’ve ever used. Idea spaces are wonderfully freeform and allow you to place anything anywhere on the page.
An idea space is just a blank canvas. Like a giant whiteboard, you can write or draw anything anywhere within an idea space. However, unlike a whiteboard, you can also add images, documents, web links, movies, sounds, contacts, mail messages, and calendar events.
The key feature is the amazing, freeform environment supported by Curio’s idea spaces. An idea space can be as structured or messy as you wish emphasizing that it’s your project notebook and it can look exactly the way you like it.
An idea space style defines just the look of the idea space. You can apply a style to a new or existing idea space. The style includes color and grid information, for example, but does not include boilerplate text or other figure elements.
On the other hand, an idea space template is a re-usable idea space that defines the look and includes boilerplate figure elements, such as text figures, collections, and images. You cannot apply a template to an existing idea space, as that would wipe out your existing figures. When you use a template you are creating a copy of that original template.
If you change or update the original style or template Curio does not change any instances either in the current project or in projects stored on your hard disk. The change will only be reflected in new instances that you create or apply in the future. However, Curio Professional users have access to master styles and master templates that allow this functionality which we discuss here.
Working with Idea Spaces
Since an idea space is simply an item in the Organizer, see that section in the Documentation for more information on adding, deleting, and managing idea spaces in the Organizer.
Idea Space Styles
You can easily create new idea space styles containing its background color, texture, and notepaper or grid settings.
Create a New Personal Idea Space Style
- Click on an an idea space in the Organizer.
- Configure its attributes how you want them using its inspectors. For example, change the background color, grid settings, etc.
- Right-click on the idea space in the Organizer or on the idea space background then choose “Save As Idea Space Style”. Alternatively, you can also do this by choosing the Organizer > Save As Idea Space Style menu item.
- In the dialog that appears give the style a name. If you save a style with the same name as an existing style then it will simply be replaced.
- If you then make more changes to the idea space you can right-click and choose Update Style or you can create a new style if you wish.
Apply a Style to an Existing Idea Space
- Select an idea space in the Organizer to open it.
- Click the style button in the far left side of the the inspector bar to see the style gallery, or choose a style from the inspector shelf, or right-click on the idea space background and choose Apply Idea Space Style to bring up style gallery.
Create a Brand New Idea Space Based on an Existing Style
- Click the Add Organizer Item toolbar button then choose Idea Space Gallery.
- Choose a style from the gallery window that appears.
Managing Idea Space Styles Within the Idea Space Gallery
- Copy a style simply by drag-and-dropping it into your Personal or, for Professional users, their Master repository.
- Delete a personal or master style by selecting the style and pressing the Delete key.
- Share or copy a personal or master style via the right-click context menu.
Idea Space Templates
Curio Standard and Curio Professional users can easily create new idea space templates containing not only its look but also placeholder or boilerplate items such as text figures, mind maps, lists, and images. You can create new idea spaces based on a template.
Create a New Idea Space Template
- Click on an an idea space in the Organizer which you would like to copy as a template.
- Right-click on the idea space in the Organizer or on the idea space background then choose “Save As Idea Space Template”. Alternatively, you can also do this by choosing the Organizer > Save As Idea Space Template menu item.
- In the dialog that appears give the template a name.
Create a Brand New Idea Space Based on an Existing Template
- Click the Add Organizer Item toolbar button then choose Idea Space Gallery.
- Choose a template from the gallery window that appears.
Managing Idea Space Templates in the Idea Space Gallery
- Create personal template tags by right-clicking in the Personal area in the repositories list on the left and choosing “Add Tag”. These tags are unique to the idea space templates repository and won’t conflict with tags created for figures in the stencils repository, for example.
- Organize your personal templates by drag-and-dropping them into different tags. A template can be associated with more than one tag. So, a template can be in your “Favorites” and “Work” tagged collections.
- Curio Professional users will also see their project’s master repository of templates.
- You can also associate or disassociate a personal template with a tag by right-clicking on the template and choosing a tag in the menu that appears.
- Rename a personal or master template tag by double-clicking it and entering a new name.
- Delete a personal or master template tag by selecting it and pressing the Delete key.
- Copy a template from another repository simply by drag-and-dropping it into your personal or master collection.
- Edit a personal or master template by right-clicking on the template and choosing Edit Template.
- Delete a personal or master template by selecting the template and pressing the Delete key.
- Share a personal or master template by right-clicking on the template and choosing Send to Friend or Send to Zengobi.
Curio has many way to zoom in and out of the idea space.
With the Zoom Popup
- The default toolbar has a zoom popup which you can use to pick a specific zoom level.
With the Zoom Slider
- Right-click and customize the toolbar to add the zoom slider.
- Double-clicking or Option-clicking the slider will zoom to Actual Size.
- While hovering over the slider use the scroll area of your mouse to zoom.
With the Menu Bar
- The View menu offers several menu items with keyboard shortcuts to control idea space zoom.
- If you hold down the Option key and then click the View menu you’ll notice that Zoom to Fit, Zoom to Width, and Actual Size dynamically change to Zoom All to Fit, Zoom All to Width, and Zoom All to Actual Size, respectively, so you can easily change the zoom of all your idea spaces in the current section.
With a Mouse
- Zoom with the mouse by pressing and holding the Option-Command key and then scrolling your mouse or trackpad up and down over the idea space area.
With a Trackpad
- Use the standard pinch gesture.
Via Smart Zoom
Smart Zoom is a feature supported by macOS, if enabled via System Preferences > Mouse/Trackpad > Point & Click > Smart Zoom. Double-tap on your mouse or trackpad to zoom. Then double-tap again to restore the zoom.
By default, Curio will Smart Zoom the content visible within the idea space to make it fill more of the window, just like how Smart Zoom works in Safari.
However, you can also set advanced preferences so Smart Zoom will zoom to the selected figures or the hovered-over figures, or if no figures the hovered-over point.
With the Keyboard
- Like Photoshop, you can press the Spacebar and Command keys simultaneously and then click the mouse to zoom in.
- To zoom out, press the Spacebar and Option keys simultaneously and then click the mouse to decrease the zoom level.
- The pointer will change to a magnifying glass with either a plus sign or a minus sign to indicate whether you’re increasing or decreasing the zoom level.
- You can also quickly zoom to fit the idea space within the view by holding down the Q key.
- When you release the Q key, the view will return to its previous zoom level centered where the mouse was last positioned.
- This mechanism provides a quick way to navigate a large idea space.
Similarly you can temporarily zoom in for a quick close-up of content under your mouse pointer:
- Hover your mouse pointer over the figure you want to zoom into then hold down the Shift-Q key combination.
- When you release that combination, the view will return to its previous zoom level.
The following gestures can be performed on a trackpad:
- Pinch/expand zooms the idea space (as does ⌥⌘Scroll with mouse or trackpad).
- If not currently at Actual Size then a double-tap on your Magic Mouse or a 2-finger double-tap on a trackpad will zoom to Actual Size. Otherwise, if already Actual Size, that double-tap will zoom such that the current contents of the idea space fill the display, subtracting out any blank whitespace and centering the view on those contents. Note that you have to have Smart Zoom enabled in your System Preferences Mouse and/or Trackpad settings.
- 3-finger swipe up/down goes to the previous/next Organizer item.
- 3-finger swipe left/right goes backwards/forwards in history.
Note that you’ll need to make a change in System Preferences > Trackpad > More Gestures so that Curio can actually receive 3-finger swipes, otherwise the Mac’s system receives them instead.
In addition to the Dimensions inspector, described below, you can quickly add space to your idea space.
Insert Space to the Bottom or to the Right of the Idea Space
- With no figures selected choose either “Space at Bottom of Idea Space” or “Space to the Right of Idea Space” from the Insert menu.
Insert Space Below or to the Right of the Selected Figures
- Select one or more figures then choose either “Space Below Selected Figures” or “Space to the Right of Selected Figures” from the Insert menu.
- With these options, Curio will add some space to the bottom or right side of the selected figures pushing all figures on the idea space that are located below or to the right of the selected figures. This is useful when you want to add a big gap in the middle of a complex idea space, scooting everything down starting at this location
Insert Space Directly Below or to the Right of the Selected Figures
- Select one or more figures then while holding the Shift key choose either “Space Directly Below Selected Figures” or “Space Directly to the Right of Selected Figures” from the Insert menu.
- Now Curio will add some space to the bottom or right side of the selected figures pushing only those figures directly affected (recursively) by moving the selected figures below or to the right of the selected figures. For example, if you just want to scoot figures directly below the selected figures down, leaving figures to the sides as-is, then hold down Shift and choose the menu item.
To view the inspector panel for the selected idea space, make sure a figure on the idea space isn’t selected (click on the background of the current idea space if necessary) then either:
- Click an appropriate icon in the inspector bar, or
- Click the Inspector toolbar button to open the inspector shelf.
To change the background properties of the selected idea space either click the Background button on the inspector bar, or see the Background tab in the inspector shelf.
From a simple white background, to a piece of notebook or grid paper, to a colorful textured backdrop, you can completely customize the look of your idea space. You can even save these looks as personal styles to use them again and again.
At the far left of inspector bar you’ll find a Style button which displays a quick, popup gallery for the current idea space. Simply click on a style to update the look of your idea space.
You can also use the mini style gallery at the top of the inspector shelf to do the same thing. And, lastly, you can right-click on an idea space and choose Apply Style to choose a style from the gallery that appears.
All of these interfaces give you an opportunity to choose either a bundled or personal style that you have created. Curio Professional users can also select a master style.
Set the fill color with the Solid, Gradient, or Radial gradient button.
- For solid fills, click on the color well to choose a color from the matrix that appears. Or, Option-click on the color well to go directly to the standard color chooser.
- For linear gradient fills, drag the color stops to adjust the gradient ramping. Double-click on a color stop to edit its color. Double-click on the gradient to insert a new color stop. Drag a color stop down and off the gradient control to remove the stop from the gradient. The resulting gradient will be rendered along the angle specified by the angle slider.
- For radial gradient fills, drag the color stops to adjust the gradient ramping. Double-click on a color stop to edit its color. Double-click on the gradient to insert a new color stop. Drag a color stop down and off the gradient control to remove the stop from the gradient. The resulting gradient will be rendered with a center point located as specified in the point locator control.
You can change the color used to display page breaks by clicking on the page break color well and choosing a new color. To show page breaks, choose View > Show Page Breaks.
Paste or drop an image into the image control or choose an image or texture from the image collection browser. Curio includes several bundled textures, or you can choose one of your system’s desktop pictures, or select a custom folder for Curio to search for images. Curio now includes a sampling of textures from SubtlePatterns.com, as well. Thanks to Subtle Patterns for allowing us to include some of their textures within Curio.
You can adjust the opacity of the selected background image using the opacity slider. That way the image can appear on top of a solid or gradient background color.
You can also change the way the background image is scaled. You can choose to have the image tiled over the whole idea space, centered within each page of idea space, or stretched to fit each page of the idea space either proportionally or not.
Your idea spaces can have visible (or hidden) lined or dotted grids. Adjust the spacing and colors of the major and minor grid lines or dots. You can also independently toggle the visibility and snapping of the vertical and horizontal grid lines.
For Curio Professional customers, via the Curio > Preferences window you can specify a default transition to use when stepping through idea spaces during presentation mode.
However, this can be customized for a specific idea space if you wish using the transition inspector.
Choose the type of transition you’d like to use, or none if you don’t want any animation between slides. Your choices include Apple’s standard Core Animation transitions.
Once you choose the type the available transitions will be displayed so you can choose the desired transition.
The idea space dimension inspector allows you to set the size of the idea space and control whether the idea space can automatically adjust its size for its content.
By default the portrait versus landscape orientation for the idea space is inherited from the setting specified in the Page Setup dialog. This orientation is used when printing or exporting to PDF. You can override the default and force either portrait or landscape.
The margins button will bring you to the project inspector so you can specify the margins used on your idea spaces when printing or exporting to PDF. These margins are global for all idea spaces in the project.
At the top you can choose the units used to display the dimensions. You can choose either points, printed pages, or screens.
Width and Height
Enter a width and height and, when you press Return, they will immediately take effect.
You can also use the stepper control next to each field to increase or decrease the value. The stepper generally moves in increments of 1 but, if the units are set to points, you can hold Option to increment by 10, or hold Option+Shift to increment by 100.
Click Resize to Contents to reduce the size of the idea space to its minimum values based on the content currently displayed in the idea space. This calculation takes into consideration the chosen unit of measurement. For example, if you choose Pages as your unit of measurement, then Shrink to Minimum will reduce the idea space to the fewest whole number of pages required to display the current content.
If an idea space is set to automatically grow in size, then as content is placed beyond the current borders of the idea space, it will automatically grow to accommodate it. If you do not wish for the idea space to grow automatically then set both the vertical and horizontal popups to Manually.
A small warning icon will appear next to the width or height field if your idea space is very large – more than 7200 points by default, which is over 100 inches at 72dpi. This is just a subtle warning to remind you that you can spread your work across idea spaces instead of filling a single idea space. While there’s no hardcoded limit to the size of an idea space, very large idea spaces can be slow to render or work with depending on the content and your machine hardware.
Click Restore Defaults to reset the current dimensions to their default settings. Click Copy to Defaults to save the current dimensions and automatic resizing options as your new defaults for future idea spaces in this project and other projects.