Sample Applications

  • This is an introduction to Thinker in the form of a file that is a direct HTML export from Thinker. Note that in Thinker each and every word of a document is a potential link whereas in HTML only those phrases so designated are links. Some of the instructions in this document don't work in the HTML version because of this difference. Here is a Screen Shot of first page of the example document.


  • A portion of the Thinker manual (Online mini-manual) which has been exported using the HTML option. The Thinker version is more useful because of the implicit links formed by every word in the document. There is an index at the end.


  • A bible study system based on Thinker (Context Bible).


    If you follow the instructions carefully you won't get lost. You may always use Jump Origin (select Jump Origin from the Jump Menu) to get back here.

    This tutorial illustrates some of the more important features of Thinker. For instance the word "statement" is defined elsewhere in this document. To see the definition of "statement" simply put the cursor over the word statement (statement) and double click the mouse button. Select "New Window" from the dialog that pops up. The definition of "statement" appears in a new window. Close the new window by selecting the window close box in the upper left corner.

    Now we will move this window to the definition of "return". After doing this we will want to return to this statement to read more instructions in the tutorial. Jump Return is used to return to previous places in the document. The instructions for Jump Return are found in the definition of "return". Place the pointer over the word "return" (return) and double click the mouse button. Select "This Window" from the confirmation requester.

    We have now Jumped to labels within this document and returned. Jump to the definition of "link" (link) and see more information about links, labels. Try finding the definitions of other terms by positioning the cursor over the word and double clicking the mouse button. You should be able to get back here using Jump return. To go on to read sections on manipulating the structure, use the scrol bar.

    The following sections (insert, delete, move, copy) deal with manipulating Thinker documents. These sections are very short and are present to give the reader a place to practice simple Thinker commands.

    Inserting new statements.

      Select the Insert tool (at the top of the window) and point the finger at this statement. Press the mouse button and select "After". A statement is added at the same level as this one. Type some stuff into the new statement (like "(new) A new statement"). By beginning the new statment with "(new)" you will add the label "new" to the document. You can jump to this new label in the same fashion that you jumped to labels in the previous examples.

      The Reorg menu has command for inserting statements relative to the statement which contains the cursor. These commands have command key equivalents.

      Insert is often used to add statements subordinate to the one pointed to. Select "Down" form the insert confirmation dialog and see what happens. What happens when you select "up"?

    Deleting statements.

      Select the Delete tool. When the Delete Dialog comes up, select the "Branch" option. Select the "Mark" option. Point the finger at the statement you inserted and select it with the mouse button. Confirm the delete.

      Use "insert" to add a statement below this one. Then use "delete" to delete it. Add several statements and delete some of them with "delete group" rather than "delete branch". Add statements at several levels and delete the high level statement. Notice that a branch with subordinate statements is treated as a single entity.

    Moving statements

      Select the Move tool at the top of the window. Select the "Branch" option. Select the "Mark" option. Point the finger at the statement that begins "(move) Moving statements" and select the statement by pressing the mouse button. Select the "Mark" option for the target. Point the finger at the statement that begins "(copy) Copying statements". Select the target by pressing the mouse button. Select the "After" option.

      Select "Revert" from the File Menu and confirm the operation. Repeat the above instructions but select "Down" at the confirmation. NOTE you will have to Jump Link "move" to return to the move instructions as the Delete Modifications operation loses the anchor position.

    Copying statements.

      Repeat the "Move" instructions but start with the Copy tool.

    You are now ready to experiment with Thinker with some confidence. Take the time to become familiar with all the options before creating your first Thinker document.

    Build your first Thinker document as an outline. Use Insert "After" and Insert "Down" to build an outline structure. Then go back and fill in your ideas in detail. If you find that you want to re-organize your thoughts, use Move "Branch" or Move "Group" to shuffle the document around.

    Statements may be pictures that are pasted in from other applications such as MacDraw. Pictures must be pasted into empty statments (no text) and are selected by single clicking over the picture. Picture statements are manipulated just like other statements except that they cannot be edited. Cut and Paste a picture into its native application for editing. See (pictures) for some examples.

    Option settings are not automatically saved with the file. The Save Options menu item in the File menu must be selected to save options. Also Options are not reset every time that one jumps to a new file. To set the options from a new file, select the Get Options menu item in the File menu while displaying the new file. The Options associated with a file are loaded with the file icon is clicked on.

    Selection from the Duplicate Label or the Jump Return dialogs does not currently require a double click. Selecting any item that is highlighted is sufficient. Selecting a non-highligted item highlights it. Therefor double clicking on a non-highlighted item does select it. I can see that double clicking should probably be required on highlighted items for consistency.

    Font selections apply to the entire document (they may some day apply to individual statments). Style selctions are character by character.


    Branch: A statement that has subordinate statements or branches. See (copy) and (move) for examples of copying and moving branches.

    Button: The switch located on top of the mouse See (select). Also, objects in dialog boxes that cause action when selected.

    Confirmation: Most operations require that you confirm the final execution of the command. Many times you are given options as part of the final confirmation. The confirmation dialog always contains a "Cancel" botton that cancels the operation.

    Cursor: When the pointer appears as a vertical bar, the pointer represents a cursor in the text. When you select the mouse button while the pointer appears as a cursor, a vertical line appears in the text. Typing will insert characters in front of the line. See (typing).

    Dialog: A selection mechanism. When a dialog appears you must select one of the words with the mouse button. All Thinker dialogs have a "Cancel" option.

    Document: A collection of statements and branches organized in a hierarchy. Thinker documents are stored in Mac files.

    Double: When the mouse button is clicked twice in succession within the time limit set in the control panel Thinker recognizes a double click.

    Group: A set of consecutive statements or branches at the same level.

    Hand: The pointer is sometimes in the shape of a hand with a pointing finger. This pointer is used when Thinker wants you to point at a particular statement on the screen that you want to operate on. See (select).

    Jump: The "jump" command is used to move the window around over various portions of a document. Jump Link is a special form of the jump command that uses the designated link to name to place where the window will be moved. See (Jumping), (Jump-Link), and (jump_return) for examples of using various jump instructions to move around a document. If you wish to use double clicking to select a word for editing. Select the Behavior "Command Key Jump" under the Behave menu. With this behavior selected hold the command key down while clicking the mouse to do a "Jump Link" command.

    Label: A string of characters surrounded by "(" and ")" at the beginning of a statement. The leading "(" must be the first character of the statement to qualify as a label. See (link) and (Jump-link).

    Level: A position in the hierarchy. Level 1 statements or branches are the most important with higher levels representing more detailed information. See (insert) for more about levels.

    Link: A portion of text with the same value as some label. The label may be in the same or different document. Links that reference another document use a "," to separate the portion of the link that names the file from the portion that designates the label in the document. An example of a link to this statement is (link) (or simply the word "link"). (Try_Me_first,label) is an example of a link to another Thinker document (which just happens to be the same as this document). See (Jump-Link) for instructions on using links to move around a document. Links may be followed by a sequence of positioning commands (dot commands). (Try_Me_first,link.s) means the branch successor to example,link. The recognized dot commands are "d" (down),"s" (successor), "p" (predecessor), "u" (up), "t" (tail of plex) and may be combined into any sequence which may or may not have meening.

      The link (thinkerlogo,) is a link to a PICT or GIF file. Thinker finds this out when you try to jump to the link and gives you the opportunity to show the picture.

      There are two special types of links. See-Through links extract statements from other Thinker documents and make them appear as if they are in the document with the link. A See-Through link is nothing more than a link at the beginning of a statement. Select "Enable See Thru" from the Opts menu and see what happens to the link below.

        <cookbook,butter.d> show statement down from label "butter" in file cookbook.

      The second form of special link is an External link. This link extracts ASCII text from non-Thinker documents. An external link specifies the filename, starting byte number, and number of bytes that describe what is to appear on the screen. As in the See-Through case, the external link must be at the beginning of a statement. Select "Enable See Thru" from the Opts menu and see what happens to the link below.


    Mark: When the mouse pointer is in the form of a pointing finger, the statement or branch pointed to by the finger is designated as a target for a jump or move/copy operations. See (select).

    Menu: A selection mechanism activated with the mouse button.

    Mouse: The Mac pointing device.

    Origin: The very first statement in a document is called the origin statement.

    Pointer: The gizmo on the screen that moves around tracking the movements of the mouse.

    Postion: An exact location in a document on the screen.

    Picture: An object that is pasted in from some other application. Below are two examples. Pictures are scaled to fit as best they can without being ridiculous. See (link) for an example of a link to a PICT file.

    Return: Jump Return is used to move the window to previous positions in a document. Move the pointer away from this statement and type the "R" key while holding down the Command key. This is equivalent to selecting the Jump Return command from the Jump Menu, or the Return option from the Jump tool dialog. Note that there are summations of several previous positions in the document listed in the requester. To return to the tutorial, select the topmost line of the requester (the line is "<....ME_FIRST>(introduction)Introd") and then the "This Window" selection from the confirmation requester. See (Jumping) for more on Return.

    Select: Position the pointer over a statement or button and pressing the mouse button.

    See-Thru-Link: When See-Thru is enabled, the statement that is linked to by a see through link is displayed instead of the link itself. A see-thru link must be the only characters in the statement other than the label. Only 1 level of see-thru is supported to avoid loops. See thru links may have dot commands. Below is a see thru link, try it by enabling the See thru option.


    Statement: A string of text within a hierarchy. See (insert) for information on how to add statements to a document. See (delete) for information on how to delete statements.

    String: A set of all printable characters including blanks and punctuation characters.

    Test: The character string that makes up the body of a statement.

    Tool: An item in the window that signals the Thinker program when it is selected by clicking the mouse button with the pointer over the tool. Thinker tools are usually textual. See (insert), (copy), (delete), and (move).

    Thinker: An idea processor. See (introduction) for the beginning of a tutorial on Thinker.

    Window: An intuition window is used to view a small portion of a Thinker document. The Jump command is used to move the window around the document.

    Word: A contiguous set of alphanumeric characters surrounded by blanks or punctuation characters is a word.