We’re always trying to make Cylix more functional, so it has been something of a work-in-progress as we build up and expand over the old functions. It’s like adding wings to your family home, and we’re excited to see how our users respond to these new additions.
Before the year ends, we have some great new features for you that we hope will make your experience with Cylix more fulfilling. You can already use some of these features, and we are all looking forward to finding out how they make knowledge management faster, simpler and more convenient for you.
One of the projects that have finally left the back burner and gone live in the Pro version is Spreadsheets. You already had a table feature in the Web WYSIWYG editor. But there are times when you’d like to draw up your budgets on Cylix and not have to skip back and forth to Excel, or when you want to store large tables of data for analysis. The new Spreadsheet brings more functionality into Cylix by giving you this much-desired capability.
Pro users will also be pleased to find Markdown support as well as an enhanced and encrypted storage option called UpscaleDb, which internally allows for more data storage, runs faster queries and analysis. As usual MacOS and Windows are the ones to get these features, with Linux following later on once we fixed all the daft issues we’re facing.
Here is a detailed look at what you can expect from the new additions to Cylix.
Spreadsheets are a necessary but often overlooked function of note-taking software and document management. Anyone in business who also uses Cylix will appreciate how valuable worksheets are for looking at everything from annual earnings and profits, to monthly expenses and employee checks. But they’re not just useful for accounting departments. They are great for building grocery lists, analyzing scientific records, making a quick list for home, drawing up an outline of your novel and organizing any project, of any size.
Basic features: Of course, cut, copy, merge and paste options are essential in any spreadsheet, as are sorting, aligning and filtering. Cylix Spreadsheets will give you these fundamental functions, and also allow conditional formatting so you can define how specific cells will be formatted based on their values.
Calculations: There is a set of pre-defined functions for calculations, that you can apply to columns and display the results.
Organization: The focus on our spreadsheet is an organization made easy, and some nifty little features make us particularly proud. Nested headers will let you group columns of data into hierarchies. When you’re dealing with a ridiculously extensive database where it’s easy to lose track of the columns or rows you are looking at or comparing, you want to be able to hide the columns or rows that are not immediately relevant. The Cylix spreadsheet function lets you hide any row or column to make your dataset less confusing when you or someone else is looking at it. You can also fix columns and rows, so they stay visible while you scroll down or across your table.
Viewer-friendliness: You can insert comments to help others understand precisely the contents of the spreadsheet. Cylix highlights the row or column that you’re currently viewing, as any self-respecting spreadsheet should do. You can also see the data in the form of Gantt charts, graphical charts and heat maps for analysis.
Status tracking: You can add checkboxes in cells for binary choices. This feature is useful for ticking off to-do lists or indicating employees or vendors that you have already paid, for instance.
Error-free database: To prevent someone from accidentally entering data or editing existing data, you can use the data validation feature (to control what data can be introduced into a cell), and the disable feature for cell editing.
Other useful options include autocompleting, a date picker, the ability to display custom HTML in a header or cell, and a line breaker that lets you enter a new line after the last element in a table. The spreadsheet allows you to create a drop-down list of choices inside a cell, mask cell values with asterisks, lock cells so no one can alter them, drag to populate cells, and more.
A markdown editor will make it easy for you to write plain text for conversion to HTML. Of course, some people will use the rich text editor that is already present on Cylix. But some users prefer documentation in a plain-text editor using markdown, as opposed to writing in a WYSIWYG system (what you see is what you get). If you’re unsure which editor is for you, you may want to try both out first.
The advantages of a markdown editor are many. They are super lightweight, they can handle code, and they are minimalist. The Cylix Markdown editor lets you add links and code use the standard Markdown syntax. Or you can use the quick access toolbar to add new paragraphs, quotes, and other elements.
Start lists quickly with an asterisk (if it’s unordered) or the number 1 (if it’s an ordered list). Press ENTER and the list automatically continues. It is a feature you’ll find in MS Word and other popular word processors, but it’s absent from plain-text editors like Notepad. A quick shortcut to end the list is to hit a double ENTER.
You can quickly add images and most importantly live preview right next to your plain-text code. When adding an image, you don’t have to bother about inline or reference style image embedding, as is the case with other markdown editors. Click on the relevant icon in the toolbar to add an image. Our editor also has a built-in spell-checker to keep your grammar error-free.
Overall, the Markdown Editor looks like a stripped-down version of the Rich Text editor, but you don’t need a mouse at all to work with markdown. This editor may be for those who dislike their laptop trackpads (is there anyone who doesn’t?)
Pro users are also soon going to enjoy the benefits of UpscaleDb, a new and better storage option for projects that will let you store encrypted data in the cloud. UpscaleDb is an embedded key/value database engine. While the technicalities of what this means won’t matter to users much, it marks improvement in performance and support for CRC32.
A key-value database is designed for users to store, retrieve and manage data much faster than the relational database (RDB) with which most people are familiar. In the case of RDBs, the data in the database is predefined in the form of tables containing fields with data types already defined. When you store data in the database, it optimizes data by data types.
The innovation in the key-value database is that it views data that you enter as a single collection. Every record in the group can have different fields. Apparently, there is a lot of flexibility with this type of database. Unlike the RDB tables, there aren’t any placeholders in key-value databases. So, a lot less memory is needed to store a database. If your database is large and cumbersome, this new database system can give you a considerable performance advantage.
Besides these new additions to Cylix offerings, you will be pleased to know that we’ll soon be releasing our an encrypted web clipper so that you can save content from the web for your projects, and a screen reader feature, to take screenshots and save them automatically in Cylix. You will find the encryption particularly useful when you want to clip email threads to Cylix.
These three features are part of the Pro users’ toolbox. Have you used any of these features yet? If you have, we will be happy to listen to any feedback you may have.