Voice Card  -  Volume 5  -  John Card Number 17  -  Sun, Mar 12, 1989 4:07 AM

For all you speed-hungry voice card readers I have added four interesting shortcuts to help you move more quickly from place to place. If you don't remember these tricks then no harm is done: the voice cards will still work just as they always have. But if you DO remember them, things will move along quite a bit faster!

First, I have modified the standard Archipelago button so that if you click on it WHILE HOLDING DOWN THE OPTION KEY you will jump directly to the transit stack. Until now the only official way of reaching the transit stack was to return to the main screen, push the "Make Contribution" button, and then the transit stack button. The new feature makes the same journey in one jump. I will start adding this same property to other Archipelago buttons throughout the system as stacks are re-released.

The second shortcut involves the member icon in the upper right-hand corner. As you'll recall, Tomás requested that this button jump to the member list stack, and I complied. This is still the case when that button is pushed FROM A HELLO CARD. But when it is pushed from any other card, it will now jump to that member's Hello Card.

Thus if you are reading Holly Card 14 and you reach up and click on the Holly icon in the corner, you will zip back to Holly's Opening Message. If you click on your own icon in a newly created voice card in the transit stack, you will jump to your own Hello card IF it has already been created. If you want to jump to the member list, click once to get to a hello card and again to jump to the appropriate member info card.

This shortcut is more useful than it seems at first glance. If you are in Robert card 26 and you want to get to an early Robert card, it's sometimes best to jump to his Hello card and then work your way forward. Or if you want to get to any other Hello card, use this feature to jump to the nearest one, and then use the special next and previous Hello Card buttons to hop quickly to the correct one. This feature has already saved me SERIOUS OODLES of time!

The third shortcut is for those who want to get to the bottom of things. If you HOLD DOWN THE OPTION KEY WHILE CLICKING THE DOWN ARROW, the program will keep moving back down the response tree, automatically clicking every down arrow, until it arrives at the original source, or "trunk" of the tree.

For example, if you move to the latest installment of the Crab Epic and option click the down arrow, the program will work its way all the way back to the first installment in Volume One. The cursor will change to a wristwatch during the descent; be patient - it may take awhile to reach the trunk depending on the speed of your hard disk. This feature makes it easier to retrace the history of any extended conversation.

The fourth shortcut is specially designed for you index hoppers. Upon examining the telemetry data (more about that next time), I was surprised at how often we hop back and forth to the index card, usually by pressing the bent return arrow in the lower right-hand corner. When first examining a volume I strongly recommend that you move forward from beginning to end, but as you re-read and respond you will often find yourself returning to the index again and again.

As before, pushing the return arrow returns you to the index even if you're in the transit stack. But now the button "remembers" what card you were in the last time you hit the return arrow. At any point in the future, IF YOU HOLD DOWN THE OPTION KEY WHEN CLICKING THE BENT RETURN ARROW, you will hop back to that last card. The button will remember up to the last twenty times it was pushed, and option clicking will work back through that list! [In HyperTalk lingo, every time you click it pushes a card; every time you option click it pops a card.]

For example, suppose you read Holly 12, then return to the index, then jump to Paul 14, then return to the index, then jump to Tomás 5 and return to the index once again. Now suppose you jump to Stuart 17 and realize that you want to re-examine one of the cards you recently visited. Just hold down the option key and click on the bent return arrow. Instead of returning to the index, you will jump to Tomás 5. Do it again and you will jump to Paul 14. Do it again and you will jump to Holly 12. And so on. If you ever come to the end of the list, the button will beep at you.

The program ALSO adds to the list whenever you create a card with either the RESPOND or NEW CARD buttons, and whenever you issue a FIND command. This can be EXTREMELY useful. For example, whenever you double click on a reference tag and use FIND to jump to a certain card, you can option click the return arrow to return to your original card. Or if you are reading along and then stop to create a new card, you can option click the return arrow from the transit stack to pick up where you left off.

The true usefullness of the option return shortcut will depend on your browsing style. The return button only remembers cards in which it was pushed, so if you move through a string of cards without returning to the index, none of those cards will appear when you option click. But if you read a string of cards, then return, then read another string, then return, the option return arrow will allow you to move back through your previous reading one string at a time. Just option click your way back to the end of a certain string of cards, and then work your way back from there using the previous card arrow.

In general, this feature tends to remember the "key" cards in your reading history; any time you want to return to a card you've read earlier give the option return shortcut a try - often you will jump right back to the card you want!

I can imagine other scenarios in which these shortcuts could prove useful. How much you use them is up to you; if you find clever ways to use these features, you can then try to incorporate them into your standard browsing pattern. And if you do find a particularly clever way of using one of these shortcuts, please pass it along to the rest of us! (All of these features are shown on the new Voice Help Card - just type ?)


  • OPTION Archipelago jumps to Transit stack.
  • Clicking Member Icon jumps to that member's Hello Card.
  • OPTION Down Arrow descends to trunk of current tree.
  • OPTION Return Arrow returns to a recent card.