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liquidtext in beta

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Posted by jamesofford
Oct 29, 2014 at 10:46 AM


Good morning:

Sometime ago(actually way back in 2011) Dr Andus posted about liquidtext, an app for the iPad that allowed you to take notes on files on the iPad by selecting text, copying, and doing all kinds of really interesting things. It was a demonstration of an academic project. The software was supposed to show up commercially on the iPad, but time passed, and it kept not showing up. The capabilities of the software were very intriguing to me-I read a lot of journal articles, and the things that you were supposed to be able to do in this app fit very well with how I work. I kept nattering at the developers, and eventually I was rewarded-the app is now in beta. I have been beta testing it, and it works well. The beta is very solid, no bugs that I have found yet. They need to get some decent documentation, but it looks pretty interesting.

If you are interested, here is their website:http://liquidtext.net/ There is a place where you can send them your email address. I don’t know if they are still looking for beta testers, but they have some useful demos up on their webpage.


Posted by MadaboutDana
Oct 29, 2014 at 12:39 PM


Wow, thanks for that, James, what an absolutely mesmerising concept! That’s got me really excited!

It’s high time people working with copious volumes of text found entirely new computer-based ways of handling it. This looks like a very promising and lateral-thinking approach, at least to single documents.

I’m looking forward to multi-document-handling systems that use similar models.



Posted by Paul Korm
Oct 29, 2014 at 02:01 PM


This is really interesting.  Thank you for posting.

A number of years ago Nate Matias (now at MIT) developed a stretchtext capability as a sort of bolt-on for the then-current version of Tinderbox on OS X.  Mathias’ concepts built upon Ted Nelson’s hypertext / stretchtext ideas from the late 60’s.  The LiquidText research paper does not cite Nelson, but the concepts are related—and the touch platform makes implementation much more attractive.


Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Oct 29, 2014 at 05:38 PM


Indeed, LiquidText does not very enticing. I’m eager to give it a go when they release it. Thank you for the heads up.

Steve Z.


Posted by Paul Korm
Jan 29, 2015 at 10:37 PM


My application came up on the beta list today, so I’ve been trying out LiquidText.  Very impressive. 

I very much like the abiltiy to send a web page from Safari to LiquidText using the Safari extension.  The page is imported with simplified formatting (no ads).  It can be marked up with highlights and comments.  Then exported from LiquidText as RTF.  This eliminates steps in the shuffle—no need to export pages to PDF,  then open the PDF in some annotation software, etc. 

I also like the squeeze sections of a document into a tiny space which can be used to bring related portions of the text close together along with their hightlights and comments.  (I’m not explaining this well - watch the demos.)

With LiquidText on iPad (maybe eventually on the desktop?) and the Highlights on the (Mac) desktop, we’re seeing a new generation of document annotation/note taking tools that go in a different direction than the old school Acrobat-style approach.  (Although, among its export options, LiquidText offers PDF export—with comments as sticky notes, and highlights.)


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