The concept

If you need to create documents with a lot of standard content but want more flexibility than a template provides, then blocs is for you. It speeds up document creation by letting you define commonly used phrases or sections, and inserting these easily into your documents.


How it works:

Sign Up

blocs is currently in private beta testing. Please visit the Sign Up page to request an invitation.

If you’d like us to let you know when we’re launching, please subscribe to our mailing list.

Definitions

Once you have your user details and have logged in, click on “Definitions” in the menu. Enter a Bloc Name of your choice – it can contain any combination of characters including spaces. Enter the text associated with the Bloc Name. This text can be anything from a phrase, to a sentence, to a number of paragraphs. Click “Save”.

definitions-compressed

Documents

To create a new document, click on “Documents” in the menu bar. Click the “Add New” button.

Now, when you’re creating your new document, simply click on the bloc you want to insert in the list of current blocs. The text you defined for that bloc name will be inserted at the current cursor position.

You can combine the blocs with literally entered text to customise the document. You can preview the document as you go along if you like. When you’re done, save it.

document-compressed

 To view your new document, click on “Documents” in the menu again, and choose it from the list. If you want to edit it, click on the “click here to edit” link at the top of the open document.

Line Spacing

By default, hitting the return key when you’re creating definitions or documents will create a new paragraph. If you want to create a line break instead, use shift + return.

Pasting Content

When you’re creating new bloc definitions, you can use content pasted from another source. This may cause a few unexpected formatting issues if you’re pasting from a word processing application as they often don’t play nicely with web-based editors. If this is the case for you, try pasting the content using the Paste as Plain Text button and then reformatting as you want within the blocs application.

Exporting

Once the document has been edited to your satisfaction you can export it as an OpenOffice document, a Rich Text File, a PDF, a Word document or an HTML file by clicking the relevant buttons at the bottom of the document.

Mobile Devices

blocs  is designed to work best on a Mac or PC. Most of its functionality is available on mobile devices, but some devices don’t support file downloads so you may not be able to export the final document. If this is the case, you can still create and work on documents on the mobile device and then use a Mac or PC to export them later.

Libraries

If you want to share some of the blocs you create with others, you can export them as a library. The library will be downloaded as a .zip file which you can then send to other blocs users. They can then import this library to their blocs account.

If you plan on creating blocs to export, try to give them distinctive names so they are less likely to clash with existing similarly-named blocs on the other users’ account. If this clash occurs, the new user will be able to choose which bloc to keep.

The buttons for exporting and importing libraries are in the Definitions page, under the list of current blocs.