The more I work with “Arrange Mode,” the more I sense its potential. But what’s really missing is the ability to select multiple blocks/lines/sentences and apply actions to them - just as can be done to lists of drafts (which is really very powerful). This is a feature request that has been made a few times before: for multiple indents and, more generally, for selecting multiple items to arrange within a draft. But I’d like to streamline the request and then illustrate a couple of possible use cases. If others feel this is useful, please join in with further examples or just “like” this.
When you switch into “Arrange Mode” you immediately[^1] see the “handles” down the right side and empty radio buttons down the left side. You can then select multiple blocks (or lines, or sentences – whatever is selected) and apply actions to them.
- Formatting selected blocks as heading level 2 or quotation block or code block or bold or indented.
- Quickly selecting multiple blocks for deletion (without having to long-swipe or tap-and-confirm on each one).
- Inserting an extra line-space after each selected block (great for breaking up selected paragraphs).
- Merging selected blocks into the clipboard or a new draft.
- Multiple applications of “New Draft from Selection,” thereby breaking up long texts or an outline into multiple individual drafts – simplifying the workflow suggested by the incomparable Tim Nahumck.
- Ditto, but then also directly apply actions to the new drafts generated, in the background. (E.g.: selecting four blocks of text, and have them go out as a text message to someone in sequence of four separate text messages, or generating three reminders from selected sentences while journaling.)
- Appending/prepending text to multiple blocks (e.g. when adding Taskpaper-formatted due dates to multiple lines before exporting to a task manager
- The list goes on…
I think that there are lots of advantages here. In addition to being able to select multiple blocks, the beauty and power of “arrange mode” is that it’s so often much faster than touch-based selection, because everything is already divided up into chunks.[^2]
[^1]: I’m not seeing the advantage of the current implementation of arrange mode, where you first have to tap on “Edit”. It seems more intuitive to immediately reveal what you can do with the blocks.
[^2]: A nice additional touch would be to have the block that “focal” when activating Arrange Mode correspond to the last cursor position in the draft. This is particularly important for long drafts.