Curio 3.0 Release Notes

Release Date

January 24, 2006


Curio 3 runs on OS X Panther (10.3) or OS X Tiger (10.4).


Unless otherwise specified any features listed are in all editions of Curio. Features only available in certain editions will be listed with color-coded words like this [ProK12HomeBasic]. So, for example, [ProK12], means that the feature is available only in the Professional and K-12 editions of Curio.

New Features

The focus of 3.0 is to help you better manage your projects. An overwelming number of our users are creating dozens of complex projects — organizing those projects and the items within those projects was our #1 priority!

Project Center [ProK12Home]

Now manage all of your projects from within Curio!

Create categories such as "Active", "Home", "Personal", "Senior Year Classes" or anything else you might want. Then drag and drop your projects into a category. One click brings up that project, or double-click to open the project in a new window.

A project can exist in more than one category. So your Toyota Campaign project can exist in both "Active" and "2006 Design Projects".

Presentation Mode [ProK12]

Presenting your project is an important step in the feedback process and now Curio makes it even easier.

With one click, your idea spaces are shown in full screen glory. Step through the slides with the arrow keys. Your idea spaces can be scaled to fit within the screen, or they can remain full size and scroll bars will automatically appear helping you navigate around the page. Scaling modes can be toggled during the presentation by pressing the S key to jump between scaled and full size modes.

Of course, we realize that you may be showing your Curio project to a group to collect feedback. So our presentation mode is a bit more interactive than what you find in other applications.

While presenting your project, you can click on any figure and press a number 1 through 5 to set its rating, or 0 to mark it as unrated. Or press the ` (backtick) key to toggle the Inspector visibility to set comments, flags, tags, or any other attribute of the figure. You can also check off items on to-do lists during the presentation.

Project Properties

A new Project Properties menu item can be found under the File menu to easily customize the following on a per-project basis:

  1. General project options such as:
    • Making all assets embedded within the project by default.
    • Enabling auto save just for this project.
    • Setting print margins — we now support borderless printing!
    • Organizer and Library preview image sizes.
  2. Customizable tags which can be used on project assets and text snippets for easy cataloging.
  3. Timestamps for user-friendly "what's changed since this date" searching.
  4. Organizer label text and colors can now be customized per-project! And they will be transferred with your project if you share it with another user.

Search Bar

A new, more powerful seach mechanism is now built into Curio. Pressing Command-F will show and hide a new Search Bar containing oodles of search options.

  • Text String
    Find all items with this string in their text, notes, URL, or tag name.
  • Tags
    Select one or more tags (see below) which must be associated with each item.
  • Rating
    Select a star rating, plus choose whether the item must have a rating equal to, less than or equal to, or greater than or equal to the specified rating.
  • Flags
    Select one or more flags which must be associated with the item: unchecked checkbox, lightbulb, flag, etc.
  • Type
    Select a type of asset: general document, text, image, movie, web link, or sound. Plus popular application types such as Address Book contacts, iCal entries, and TextEdit, Photoshop, and OmniGraffle files. The über-geeks out there can add their own types via Terminal like this:
    defaults write com.zengobi.curio "Searchbar User Types"
    "XCode files;.m,.h,.xcodeproj;iMovie movies;.iMovieProject"
  • Date
    Select a date range when the item was last touched: this editing session, today, since yesterday, within the past week, or two weeks, or month, or two months. Or even choose one of your custom timestamps like "First Draft".

When searching, only the idea spaces which contain items which match the search criteria remain in the Organizer — this makes it super easy to find your results.

Asset Contents Searching Support

Curio will now search the contents of any aliased or embedded assets. The search term index is created using SearchKit which, in Tiger, will automatically use Spotlight's super fast and extensible plugins. In Panther, however, SearchKit uses its default text extractors which only support plain text, PDF, HTML, RTF, and Microsoft Word files. Building the index is generally very quick and documents are only re-scanned if a change is detected.

Note that while SearchKit is case insensitive, it can only look for whole words so typing "cur" will not match the word "Curio" if it exists in a document. You have to type "curio".

Tags [ProK12Home]

You can now create your own text tags to be associated with assets and asset figures via the Inspector. These are keywords or categories that you can mix and match to help you track and find your assets.

  • Associate a photo with "Family", "Vacation", and "Sunshine".
  • Associate a document with "Toyota" and "Backgrounder".
  • Associate a text object with "Ideas".

You can easily manage your tags via the new Project Properties dialog. You can merge tags, like merging "Kat", "Katherine", and "Daughter" all into "Kat". And, of course you can delete tags, but we warn you if they are in use. Using the new Search Bar, you can easily find all assets and asset figures associated with one or more tags.

Timestamps [ProK12Home]

Timestamps make it incredibly easy to find and identify changes to your project. Create, modify, and delete your timestamps within the Project Properties window. Here are some sample timestamps:

"Initial Client Meeting"= January 14, 2005 10:35:20 AM
"First Draft"= March 3, 2005 5:02:10 PM
"Second Draft"= March 24, 2005 11:47:43 AM
"Client Feedback"= March 30, 2005 9:00:14 AM
"Final Release"= April 23, 2005 2:12:53 PM

Then, using the new Search Bar, quickly find all items which have been changed since a selected timestamp. Only those items which have been touched or modified since the selected timestamp will be visible, while the others will dim into the background.

Freeform Text Figures

The Text Inspector now allows you to enable "freeform sizing" for text figures, which means the overall size of the figure is now under your total control! Simply activate freeform sizing, then resize the figure to as big or as small as you want. Text within can be automatically top, center, or bottom aligned within the figure.

And, thanks to freeform sizing, you can now double-click on a shape to create an instant text figure! That has to be one of the most frequent requests we have received here at Zengobi so we're thrilled to provide that functionality to you. So, drag out some rectangles, clouds, or triangles, and just double-click to add some automatically vertically and horizontally centered text!

Dossier Export Options [ProK12]

When exporting your project as HTML, if you have a Dossier present then you can optionally choose to export the Dossier as an HTML page. The template used for Dossier exporting can be modified to permit a custom look including custom CSS styles.

Users can also choose to export their Dossier as an RTF file via the action button on the Dossier screen.

LinkBack Client Support

Curio now supports LinkBack client capabilities. What does this mean? Use other LinkBack-supporting products to integrate seamlessly with Curio. For example, draw a diagram in OmniGraffle 4. Then select it and copy and paste it into Curio. Quit OmniGraffle — no need to save that file! It now lives within Curio as a smart LinkBack object. You see an image representation of the diagram in Curio. Simply double-click it to edit the diagram back within OmniGraffle. As you work on the diagram within OmniGraffle choose the Save menu option to update the diagram immediately on the Curio page.

Web Archive Support

You can now drag web archive files saved from Safari into Curio. A preview of the web page is automatically generated for displaying in the idea space. Alternatively, you can click on an URL figure in Curio and choose the new Asset > Grab Web Archive menu item to have Curio go create the web archive for you and automatically embed it into your Curio project! Instant, one-click archiving and embedding of any web page!

iCal Support

We now handle iCal events dragged into Curio by showing a nice iCal object in the idea space. If the asset or asset figure is double-clicked we'll re-find and select the event in iCal if possible.

However, due to iCal quirks we have to use the original event name to do the lookup so (a) make sure it's unique, and (b) don't rename it in iCal although you can rename the Curio representation of that event to anything you want.

Sizing Idea Spaces by Screens

You can now size your idea spaces as multiples of your screen size. Your idea space can even grow automatically by screen size in addition to page size or by minimum number of pixels as you move, resize, and create figures. Separate control over horizontal and vertical auto resizing is also supported.

List Tweaks

  1. Clicking the List toolbar button will now create an empty list. This also occurs if you choose the new Edit > Create List menu item. However, if you want to collect the currently selected items into a list you can either hold down the Option key when you click the List toolbar button or choose the Arrange > Collect into List menu item.
  2. If a list item is selected or being edited, pressing Return or Shift-Return will create a new text figure either below or above the figure, respectively.
  3. After deleting a list item, an appopriate list item will then be automatically selected.
  4. If you hit Escape when a list item is selected then the list itself will be selected.
  5. Create a list title easily by selecting a list and pressing Command-Shift-Return.
  6. Select a range of list items from the last selected list item by holding down the Shift key when clicking.
  7. In a list, if the user is editing text and presses Option-Tab then it will insert a tab allowing tabbed-alignment for text in a list. We have to do this since a normal tab keypress indents the current list item.
  8. Likewise, the user can press Option-Return if they want to insert a carriage return into the text.
  9. If you select a list and choose Duplicate we now make a duplicate of the list instead of placing copies of all the items in the list to the end of the list.

Other Features

  • By popular demand, the Shadow and Opacity controls have been moved back to the main Figure Inspector!
  • Image, PDF, and movie asset figures now support a new checkbox in the Inspector's Extras tab which will control whether it is displayed as a preview or a normal asset figure with no preview. This style information can be stored as the default for that asset type via Format > Save as Default Style.
  • Images dragged in from Safari or Sleuth will now stay in their native format (like JPG or PNG) and not be converted into TIFF's (which can sometimes bloat their file sizes).
  • Embedding imported assets by default is now a global preference (as well as a per-project Project Property setting as described above).
  • If a figure is selected, pressing Command-Return or Command-Shift-Return will create a new text figure either below or above the figure, respectively.
  • A Notes tab has been added to the Figure Inspector so you can set notes for an asset figure directly — even text figures can have notes associated with them! While notes cannot be printed, they will be used when searching for items. This Inspector also allows setting tags as described above.
  • If the Library is visible then selecting an asset figure on the idea space will reveal the corresponding asset in the Library.
  • The Figures toolbar button popup menu is now greatly expanded to include all possible shapes.
  • Now showing snap guides when resizing figures. However, these guides do not appear when resizing a figure which is rotated on non-right angles (i.e. not 0, 90, 180, or 270 degrees).
  • New, smaller sizes (16x16 and 24x24) for Library preview icons.
  • The default style for images no longer curves the edges or adds a shadow, that way they look like their originals. You can of course add curved edges and shadows and save that as the default style via the Format menu.
  • You can now resize group figures even if they include text figures. Those text items are automatically converted into freeform text figures and will clip as the rest of the group resizes proportionally.
  • Curio can now play .aif (AIFF) files within the Curio interface instead of launching the file for playing in QuickTime Player.
  • [ProK12] Now including Adobe Illustrator CS2 and Adobe InDesign CS2 instant document templates.
  • [ProK12] When mailing your project for review, a helpful explanatory note is included with the message so the receiver knows what they have just received.

Notable Fixes

  • We no longer go into Quick Render mode when simply editing text. This means everything still looks nice and sharp while editing even when zoomed.
  • The title shown in the window title bar has been cleaned up: the filename is now stripped of its extension if necessary and "Read Only" is tacked onto the end of the window title if the project itself cannot be modified by the user.
  • If you press the spacebar to go into "grabber hand" mode, we activate Quick Render mode for much faster scrolling around the page.
  • The Grid Inspector now automatically highlights the active style being used in the idea space.
  • We're now smarter about filling in the Spotlight search criteria into Curio's search field. For example, using Spotlight as an application launcher and searching for "Curio" and then launching the app won't fill in the search field with the word "Curio" anymore.
  • Fixed a problem printing adornments (rating stars and flags) when scaled to a size of 32 pixels. They were printing as black icons, now that is fixed and they print correctly.
  • Fixed exception thrown error when the Library displays preview images for very tall and skinny images, or very short and long images.
  • Fixed exceptions getting thrown by the asset library if aliased files no longer exist.
  • When resizing a text box, you now see an outline of the box as the size is changing if it doesn't already have a border.
  • Fixed problem when editing text lists when trying to move the text cursor down using the Down Arrow keyboard button while zoomed out.
  • Actions set to None now correctly do nothing.
  • Fixed a problem with a thrown exception if a huge (>32,767 pixels wide) image couldn't be cached which could occur if you have a large amount of text which never wraps. We now force a wrap at 5,000 pixels which is the current max width of an idea space.