Getting familiar with the screen

Getting Familiar with Swiftlight – A Guided Tour of the User Interface


Swiftlight User Interface – Timeline View Example


  1. A key design principle behind the user interface is "what you see is what you get" (WYSIWYG). The main working area of the screen looks like a page on a grey background, and this page is what you will get when you print, or when you export a view to Powerpoint or PDF. (The mental model is more like Microsoft PowerPoint than Microsoft Excel). Note that if there is more than one page in a view you can scroll or page down to see the other page(s).
  2. The main "Page Body" is the lower section of the page. In this case it contains the Timeline dates, Key Meetings, Key Milestones and the Activity Groups.
  3. The "Page Header" is the top section of the page, containing the project title, and in this case bullet boxes for Objectives, Deliverables and Success Metrics.
  4. At the top of the screen are standard menu functions and toolbar shortcuts for formatting and switching between views.
  5. The toolbox contains objects which can be picked up and dragged and dropped on to the working area of the page.
  6. Clicking on the small buttons with white arrows, open up dialogues which allow you to format the page header and, separately, the page body.
  7. Clicking on the view icons allows you to move to one of the other views.
  8. In general, double clicking on something in any view will show you more detail (if it is available). In this timeline example, double clicking on one of the Activity Group arrows takes you to the Activity Group Detail for that particular activity.


Adding / Editing Data in each View

Data entry is highly intuitive. For areas of text you can click and type (for example in the page header) to add content. To add other objects, such as Meetings or Activity Groups, you can simply drag and drop them onto the page from the toolbox (alternatively you can use the right click menu > add … ).

To edit items either click on the text, or select the object and move it, or use the right click or main menus. Double clicking on items will show more detail on that item, if it is available. Editing something in one view of the application automatically updates it everywhere else (e.g. if you change the name of a milestone in the timeline, it automatically updates itself in the Action List, Activity Group Detail, and Action List over Time).



As you add or edit data on each view, a Dynamic Formatting Algorithm (patent pending) automatically sizes and formats the content, within certain constraints, to optimize its display on the page. For example, you can insert a new row for Activity Groups in the timeline, and the other rows will shrink to allow space for it, provided this can be achieved within the constraints. This allows you to think about and create / edit your plan without having to worry about the difficulties of formatting it and making it look good.

In order to fine tune the automatic formatting, you can access and edit the pre-set constraints which affect both sizing (i.e. height and width of objects) as well as formatting (i.e. what gets displayed, font sizes etc), through the Page Layout menu, the Page Format dialogues, as well as with the toolbar.


Where to Go Next

For more information on the other views why not check out the following help topics to help you to get started using Swiftlight for your projects and initiatives:

If you can’t see what you are looking for here, please see the Help Menu topics for more ways to get help with Swiftlight.