Scalar 2 User's Guide

Adding Text

This section describes functionality in Scalar's page editor, which is accessed by clicking the Media icon icon (if creating new content) or the Media icon icon (if editing existing content) in your Scalar header bar.

Title and Description

Every page in Scalar must have a title, and while it isn't required, it is highly recommended that every title in your book be unique. For example, a page with commentary about a video called "Cloudy Day" should probably not also be called "Cloudy Day"--otherwise readers searching in your book could get confused. Better to leave the video title as is and call the page "Cloudy Day Commentary". It's also useful to make your titles as self-contained and descriptive as possible, since you can never be sure how users will arrive at a given location. A page titled "Questions About Cloudy Day" immediately lets the reader know what it's about; a page just titled "Questions," much less so.

Page descriptions are optional, but recommended, as they appear in various places in Scalar (with more likely coming in the future) as a way to quickly let the reader know what a particular page is about. One sentence or so is usually a good length.

Body Content

Below the title and description in the page editor is a text editor, similar to what you might find in blogging software. This is where you enter the main content of the page. The text editor has two modes, Visual (the default) and Source. The Visual mode functions much like a typical word processor: text is displayed with styling and formatting, much as it will appear in the final page. A row of icons at the top of the Visual mode editor allows you to change the style and alignment of the text, to indent or outdent, add subscripts or superscripts, assign headings, create numbers and bulleted lists, and insert horizontal rules. The Source mode of the editor (activated by clicking the Source button in the top left) displays the raw code that will be saved with the page, and can be used when precision in formatting is essential.

Pasting Text into Scalar

Pasting styled text from a word processing program into Scalar (or any blogging software) can have unpredictable results. As the text editor tries to interpret and preserve the pre-existing styles, it's easy to end up with large quantities of redundant style code that can slow your book down, add unwanted fonts, and make editing more difficult later on.

Scalar's text editor provides two options to help address these issues. The "Paste as plain text" button (second from the left, the clipboard with a "T" on it) strips out existing formatting, including any text styling, from the text you paste. The "Paste from Word" button attempts to strip out irrelevant formatting, while preserving the text's existing styling.

If you do somehow end up with text in your book that has unwanted styling, you can easily remove it by switching the editor to Visual mode, selecting the text, and clicking the right-most button (a "T" with an "x" beside it)--this will delete any links and formatting from the selected text.

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