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New "Navigate" pane, and other exciting enhancements - SI BETA 4.5.3

(as always, click heading or 'read more' link for the full post, this is just a summary.) If you use SpecsIntact very much and are interested in trying a very cool new release before it get pushed out in 2015, this one is really worth taking a look at. SEE ALL NOTES BEFORE USING, AND EMAIL SUPPORT TO SIGN UP FOR INTERIM UPDATES.

My favorite new feature is the "Navigate" pane.

Notes from the developers:

 The following are some of the enhancements and fixes provided with this release:

  • Introduces the new and improved SI Editor with a new look, customizable skins, updated tool bars and new buttons
  • The SI Editor features a new Navigator to facilitate editing and navigating through a Section 
  • Submittal Wizard is now available to facilitate adding and editing submittals 
    • (Gotta interject right here, this is another really huge LIKE that I need to give the development team praise for, even though I have just been fixated on the Navigator in my comments. But I've used the Submittal Wizard so much I forgot it was from the new version! Screenshots below.)
  • SI Editor now uses the F5 button to refresh the Navigator and Section
  • Includes a number of other minor corrections and changes



Additional note from the developers:
This build updates the UFGS Section templates with a new sustainability note and text in the Submittal Article, and also corrects a recent beta issue where the Section Navigator wouldn’t properly stay hidden.

WHERE DO YOU DOWNLOAD IT? Please keep reading first. Using a beta product comes with a degree of responsibility. You might want to try it on a non-essential machine, and have another one still running the current standard build for your deadlines. Also, the best reason for beta testing is to give your feedback so the developers can enhance the user experience for everyone.

According to KSC, 4.5.3 has been in beta for quite some time and has proven to be a stable release. And they  have programmed it to be able to coexist with the previous version if you install it into a separate folder on your computer - still it may be wise to test out even this multi-version installation out on a spare machine first before deploying it to an office, for example, or if you are a one-person shop and have only one machine you may want to be extra careful to allow time in case there are any hiccups having two versions.

In my case, I have two laptops with similar configurations so I can test something on one of them, and always have one to fall back on. But it only took me a couple days to crave this version on both of my systems. I knew I had the previous version on a USB ThinApp I could revert to if needed - and I have not looked back!

One tiny thing about working on USB (THIS IS NOT A PROBLEM FOR PROBABLY 95% OF YOU who are not using a USB flash drive as your primary save location! And if you do, consider changing that, though it is not clear whether the slow saves I will describe began with this release) :

If your files are on a USB flash drive, certain specs e.g. those with tables may save slower because of Windows 7+ making quick removal the default when you format a flash drive, at least it has been my experience, and the dialogs here do confirm it is the default: That's likely because MS knows people do not practice "safely remove hardware" when they should. 

Soon I will try changing my flash drive settings to use write-caching and let readers know the results. I don't know if many people work on a flash drive often for SpecsIntact files. I just got into the habit with the ThinApp and found it to be a great, speedy way for my initial location of project and master data (of course I have a good backup routine and that is not my only copy of all my hard work). Anyway, somewhere along the line I picked up a new (to me) setting for AutoSave every 1 minute, and when there are tables and write-caching is turned off, it did slow me down.

READY TO TRY IT? Please email Support at to request the download link, or click here if you have an email client installed such as Outlook or Thunderbird:

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