Speare Support posted on Feb 13 2017 3:08AM

How to Import Content into Speare

"I've invested years of writing in Microsoft Word and now I want to try out Speare. How do I get what I've already written into Speare?" - a Speare trial user

Okay. When a new and different way of doing something comes out, we'll often find out that the stuff we've invested a lot of money in (cassettes, VHS, CDs, etc...) are no longer usable in the new system, nor are they desirable to use since the quality is often so poor.

Well, that's kind of the way it is with the content you've written on paper, in applications, and on platforms all over the place such as on sticky notes, handwritten notes, in Evernote, Medium, Scrivener, Word, Google Docs, and dozens if not hundreds of other tools.

There is a way to do it.

If we're talking about getting content from Word, Google Docs or Evernote or any other blank page emulator, the best way to think about getting your content into Speare is in sections.

For example, if you've got a manuscript of your book written in Word and you want to port it to Speare, copy 1 chapter at a time into its own board in Speare.

Simply, select the chapter passage in Word and copy it. Then paste that copied chapter into the text box on the board and hit enter.

The reason for doing it this way is because this is the recommended way in Speare. With Speare you can compile many boards together to make a single document. So, if you've got 35 chapters in a book, you'd want to copy each one into its own board so that you now have 35 boards in a single Space.

Here's how to import the manuscript of a book into Speare...

  1. Select a chapter and copy it

    Open your document and scroll to the section you want to copy, then highlight it and copy it.

  2. Open a new board in Speare

    Click either the plus button on the Boards panel or the "New Board" button to create a new "Untitled" board.

  3. Paste the copied content into the text box on the board

    Note: the board will automatically be titled using the first sentence in the pasted content. You can rename the title by clicking the title of the board and renaming it.

    When you paste content into the text box on a board, sometimes you'll need to hit enter and sometimes Speare automatically grabs the content and turns it into building blocks without hitting enter.

    Why is that?

    If the last character you highlight and copy is the newline character, Speare treats that character as though you hit "Enter".

    If the last character copied is not the newline character then your content will be entered into the text box and you will need to hit enter to commit it to building blocks on the board.

    Note: the newline character is a control character that word processors use to indicate the end of a paragraph. It is an invisible character. The space between paragraphs in a word processor are there because the newline character was placed there.

  4. Repeat steps 1 to 3 for each chapter

    You should now have a board for each chapter. When your chapters are on different boards, it makes it easier for you to move them around and organize them in the sequence they should be in your book. You can do this by dragging the title of the board to a new location in the horizontal list of boards.

What if I want to import handwritten content?

If you've got a lot of handwritten content that you want to input into Speare, here's the best way to do that...
  1. Open Speare on your Smartphone

    Speare is a web app so you can use it on multiple devices and it will sync up to your desktop.

  2. Open a new board

    Navigate to the Boards panel and click the plus symbol to create a new board.

  3. Tap the text box

    When you tap the text box on your smartphone, the soft keyboard will pop up. You can see that on this keyboard the mic icon appears in a list of icons just above the numbers on the keyboard.

  4. Click the mic icon on the soft keyboard

    You should be able to find a mic icon on the keyboard. If not, you'll need to go into your keyboard settings and turn speech-to-text on. There are many different keyboards that you can download and use. Most keyboards have access to speech-to-text.

  5. Start reading your handwritten content into Speare

    When you click the mic icon, the mic screen appears and you can start speaking your content in. You can also tap the mic icon to pause when you need to.

    Note: we recommend that you say "dot" or "period" after each sentence. We also recommend that you say, "newline" or "new paragraph" at the end of a paragraph. That will automatically enter the paragraph in a building block and clear the text box for more spoken text.