The Library

The Library in iA Writer 5 offers great new ways to keep your documents organized and at hand.

From anywhere in the Library you can tap the < button at the top left to get you up to the Library Root. This is the heart of the Library, and from here you can access all the advantages it brings.

01. iCloud and Files From Other Apps

Any files created when inside the iCloud location will be stored in iA Writer’s iCloud Drive folder. These files are synced to your other iOS devices and iA Writer for Mac, too.

Tapping the Open… button at the root of the Library reveals iOS11’s Files browser for access to your text files from other apps. Any documents opened or created using this browser will be indexed in the Library and are listed in the From Other Apps location. These documents are still stored in the apps from which they originate—like Dropbox—but iA Writer provides a link to them so they can be edited in situ.
You can also use Quick Search to find and open any documents previously added to the From Other Apps location.

You can now add your most-used folders from iCloud to the top level of the Library for easy access. To do so:

  1. At the top of the Library, tap the Edit button
  2. In the “Favorites” section, tap “Add Favorite Folder…”
  3. Navigate to the folder you wish to add and tap it
  4. Click “Done” at the top-right

If you are already browsing the iCloud location you can add any folder to Favorites by swiping it to the left, choosing “More…”, then tapping “Add to Favorites”.

N.B. The Dropbox Sync API has been deprecated and so the Legacy Dropbox Library location will cease to be at the end of 2017. As such, folders within this location cannot be favorited.

03. Smart Folders

Normal folders are static; Smart folders are dynamic. Which files are found in a smart folder depends on the rules which govern it. New files can find their way into a smart folder with no user interaction at all.

iA Writer comes default with a single smart folder: Recents. This is a list of the 25 most recently used files, across the whole Library.

You can create your own smart folders too. At the top of the Library, tap the “Edit” button then “New Smart Folder”. You will be presented with a view where the parameters of the folder are prescribed.

  1. First, give your new folder a name
  2. Choose whether results should match all the rules provided or any (at least one)
  3. Tap “New Rule” to create a rule and repeat as necessary
  4. Choose whether to limit results to 25 items or limitless
  5. Choose a custom sort method for this folder, if desired

Creating Rules

Rules are read from the top of the screen down.

Search: With this selected, documents which match the provided text will be included.

Extension: Use this rule to include or exclude specific file extensions.

Kind: If you want to exclude folders from showing in your results, adding a rule of this type is a good idea.

Example

If you’ve been adding images to your Library since content blocks were made available, it might be nice to have a central repository. Time for a smart folder.

  1. Gives the smart folder the name “Images”
  2. Choose that any of the following rules will apply
  3. Create one rule for each image extension you want to include

04. The File List

Documents are listed with their title and last modified date, while folders are given a different icon to make them easily distinguishable.

  • Tap a folder to display its contents in the list
  • Tap a document to open it in the Editor

Swiping a document to the left reveals the following actions:

  • More to browse versions, rename the file or move it
  • Delete permanently deletes the document—a confirmation alert is shown before deletion

Tapping More on a folder in iCloud will also allow you to add it to Favorites.

Edit Mode

Tap the “Edit” button in the Library to select multiple files or folders. These can then be batch moved, renamed or deleted by using the buttons in the bottom bar. Tap “Done” when completed.
You can also create new folders from this function.

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