How and Why to … Zoom in and out in Thortspace

Thortspace allows flowing seamlessly between viewing thinking at different scales at distances.

Thortspace supports viewing thinking structures at a whole series of different scales and distances.

You can zoom in and out in Thortspace by one of the following means:

  • Use the scroll-wheel on your mouse (typically there is a strip on the right-hand edge of track-pads that does something equivalent).
  • Use pinch-zoom on touch screens.
  • On desktop machines Use the Arrow Up and Arrow Down keys (when you’re not editing text). Each time you tap the arrow key you will zoom in or out by one useful step. 
    (Aside: Arrow keys Left and Right will move you to each group of Thorts on the sphere in turn, bringing that group to the front and centre of the sphere.)
  • On desktop machines Use the Control+w and Control+s keys or Command+w and Command+s on Mac. Each time you tap the keyboard key you will zoom in or out by one useful step.

When you zoom in or out using the mouse, if you have the mouse-pointer over a point on the current (central) sphere, that point will stay underneath the mouse-pointer as you zoom in or out. This allows you to zoom in or out on to a particular place on the sphere.

Similarly when you use pinch-zoom on a touch screen, Thortspace tracks the place between your fingers as the place you want to zoom-in on or out from.

Thortspace supports automatic precising as you zoom in and out. As you zoom out, thortspace identifies keywords (or you can designate your own with #hastags) and instead of the text getting tiny, thortspace drops out words that are not keywords, and tries to maintain the size on screen of the keyword text. This allows a sphere to be viewed at a whole series of different levels of detail, and seamlessly flow from one level into another.

Thortspace automatically applies algorithmic or user-defined precis to text as you zoom out.

Andrew is a Product Designer at Thortspace, the world’s first collaborative 3D mind mapping software. More stories here.