Using Ink Documents (handwriting)

Using Ink Documents (handwriting)

Through the use of a free Ink Editor, InfoQube can handle ink documents (i.e. handwriting) in its HTML pane:
The Ink Editor has exceptional support for ink, making it a handwriting word processor:
  • Insert / remove words
  • Reflow of words on a page
  • Support for columns, with reflow in each column
  • Bookmarks to ease navigation
  • Clippings pane (drag-drop to and from the document)
  • Multiple undo / redo
  • Multiple select tools
  • Handwriting hyperlinks
  • Combine sketches and text
  • Drag-drop images
  • Resize / rotate text and images
  • Customizable pen (tip size, highlighter mode), paper
  • Split view to show 2 sections of the document
  • Export to PDF and HTML
  • Uses Internet standards (SVG)
  • Real-time collaboration on the same document (Google Doc-like)
  • Demo video here
To use this feature, first install the Ink Editor. Details here: InfoQube Program Install and Set-up

1. Creating Ink Documents

To create an Ink document, do Menu > File > New > New Ink Document (or use the toolbar button):
The HTML page will now show a blank sheet of lined paper:
To edit, double-click on the page or click on the Ink Editor icon on the right of the main toolbar.
Using the Ink Editor is quite self-explanatory. See the above video for details.

2. Printing / Sharing Ink Documents

Ink documents use W3C standard format SVG and as such can be viewed in any modern browser.
  • The Ink file itself (i.e. file with .slink extension) can be associated with your browser so a simple double-click will show it.
  • You can also change the extension to .html and browsers will open it.
  • When sending the file by email, it is best to change the extension to .html, to ensure your recipients can view it
  • Ink documents can be printed
Also, while editing, Write can directly export your document in PDF or HTML formats:
Finally, through File > Print Preview, you can combine Items, field values with rich text and Ink documents into a single HTML document.
Use the ItemHTMLHeight field to control the height of the Ink document when exported.

3. Real-Time Collaboration

While still a beta feature, multiple users can now work on the same Ink document in real-time.  Ideal for brainstorming. Kind of like Google Doc for handwriting / sketches !
To enable this feature you must first create an account with StylusLabs here:
Mark down your user name and password. Note that the user name is currently case sensitive, so copy it exactly as entered.

3.1 Sharing an Ink Document

To share an Ink document you must create a Whiteboard:
  1. In the HTML pane, double-click on the Ink document to open it in Write
  2. In Write, click on toolbar to Create Whiteboard (or do (...) > Document > Create Whiteboard)
  3. Note the proposed ID or change it to something more meaningfull
  4. Send the whiteboard ID to other users

3.2 Connecting to a Shared Ink Document

Other users can connect to a shared Ink document to view / edit it:
  1. Open Write
  2. Click on toolbar to Open Whiteboard (or in Document view, click on Open Whiteboard)
  3. Enter the whiteboard ID from step 3.1 above
  4. Enter your StylusLabs user name and password
  5. The shared Ink document will show

3.3 Using a Shared Ink Document

  • When shared, the file name will have a "cloud" icon (top left of the window)If
  • All users can write on the document
  • Changes are sent as soon as a user lifts the pen from the surface
  • Undo / Redo is specific to each user
  • While sharing an Ink document, there is an additional menu item: (...) > Whiteboard:
    • Sync View: If checked, the position / zoom of the document will sync with other users
    • View Master: If checked, the user will control the display of users that have Sync View checked

4. Syncing Ink Documents with Android Devices

Write is available on Android devices. Compatible devices include Samsung Note series (4, 5, 8, 10).
  1. Download the App on Google Play. Recommended is Write 2.0 Beta, also on Google Play.
  2. Once installed, configure the Android Write as described in section 1.1 above.
When Dropbox is installed on the PC and on the Android device, it is possible to sync content between InfoQube and your device.
When properly done, any Ink document created can be viewed and edited on your device. Changes are synced back to IQ.
The are 2 methods:
  1. Manual, where you choose which Ink document can be used on your Android device.
  2. Automatic, where all Ink documents are synced. It requires the use of a sync app

4.1 Manual Mode

In InfoQube:
  1. Configure InfoQube to use Dropbox as described in 9.05. Synchronization between computers using Dropbox
  2. If full Dropbox sync is not desired, you must at least place your .Files folder under a Dropbox folder. This is set in Tools > Options > This file > .Files path (2.4.12)
    e.g.  .Files folder (MyIQBase1.SNDB.Files) needs to be a Dropbox folder, such as in \Dropbox\IQBases\MyIQBase1.SNDB.files
On your Android device:
  1. Open the Dropbox app
  2. Navigate to your .Files folder (e.g. IQBases > MyIQBase1.SNDB.Files)
  3. Find the ItemIDxxxxx.slink file to share, the arrow menu on the right and select Add to Favorites
  4. Repeat for all Ink documents you want access on your device
  5. Close the Dropbox app
  6. Open the Write app
  7. Tap the file link button on the top left corner
  8. Navigate to your Dropbox cache folder which is typically:
    / storage > emulated > 0 >storage > Android > Data > > files > scratch > IQBases > MyIQBase1.sndb.Files
  9. Tap the Ink document thumbnail preview
  10. You can now view / edit the Ink document on your Android device.
  11. Click save when done
  12. Close Write
Once configured, only steps 3 and 9 need to be done to view an Ink document. Don't forget to save when done (as Android will not save your file immediately when you close the Write app)

4.1 Automatic Mode

Automatic mode requires the use of a sync app. Two apps can be used:
  • Dropsync works fine and is free for a single folder pair.
    To sync just Ink documents however, requires quite a bit of setup.
    Also, it is not possible to disable deleted files sync, so use with care, and only delete files on your Android device that you "really" don't need.
  • FolderSync costs just $3.00 and is much simpler to setup. This is the recommended choice

5. Tips and tricks

  • Ink documents work best on a touch screen PC/Tablet with an active digitizer (Wacom, N-Trig or Synaptics), such as those from Microsoft (Surface line), Acer, HP, Lenovo, Dell and Toshiba (list here). A Wacom tablet is also a good option.
  • The blank Ink document is supplied with InfoQube and a copy is placed in your user files folder: NewInk.slink. To use a different blank Ink document, open this file in Write, configure your document (line type, page size, etc) and save. Restart IQ
  • Write has excellent palm rejection. Best is to have it open full screen so touching with your palm will not bring another window in focus
  • Write defaults to saving files with images down sampled (to reduce file size). So if you later on increase the image size, you'll notice significant image quality degradation.
    You can change this by adding this setting in the Write.xml config file:
    <int name="savePicScaled" value="0" />. The file is typically located in c:\users\YourUserName\AppData\Roaming\Stylus Labs