Automation

Figures has an array of options that make editing your sheets faster and simpler. You can toggle whether to use these capabilities by going to Preferences > Editing. Most are in the Automation tab, but this article will also cover features in the Indenting tab.

Completions

There's a large and growing selection of values, functions, and other types of calculations built in to Figures. Add in those values you define yourself and it can be daunting to remember the names of everything. The completions window helps you quickly find what you're looking for and insert the correct names of the values you need.

Enabled by default, the completions window will appear under the line being edited with a list of names that match what you've typed so far. Each selection in the list has a name, an icon indicating what kind of value it is (variable, function, unit, snippet, and so on), and if available, a summary of the selected completion.

Completions window

To show the completions window, you can just start typing the name of the value you want. You can also press the Escape key to show or hide the completions window if the automatic suggestions aren't available. If you prefer using the menu bar, select View > Show Completions.

To select a completion from the list, press the up/down arrow keys to select the completion you want. Then press the Return key to insert it into the editor. You can also just double-click on your chosen completion. Once inserted, some completions have placeholders for values that you need to input to finish the calculation. For example, if you accept the completion for the random function, you'll see a placeholder for its first argument highlighted. Just type in the range of the random number, and it will replace the placeholder. Press Tab to go to the next placeholder.

Completions placholder

Matching Delimiters

Delimiters are pairs of characters that surround a calculation. For example, square brackets ([ and ]) surround a list, and curly braces ({ and }) surround a block of calculations. Since the left and right delimiters naturally go together, Figures makes it easier to match them up.

First, right-side delimiters will be inserted automatically. When you type a left delimiter, you can then just start typing whatever goes inside the delimiters. Figures will automatically insert the closing delimiter for you. For example, to enter (3 + 2) / 4, you would type the left parenthesis followed by 3 + 2. The right parenthesis will be automatically inserted as you type the calculation.

Figures will also "type over" right-side delimiters if they aren't needed. Using the above example, once you've typed 3 + 2 you then type the close parenthesis. Since the parentheses are already balanced, Figures will type over the existing one rather than insert another parenthesis.

You can also surround a selection of text with delimiters by entering the open delimiter. For example, selecting the text 42 × 2 and typing the left parenthesis will add both parentheses, resulting in (42 × 2).

Replacements

Figures recognizes both the multiply character × and the asterisk * for multiplication. If you prefer the multiply character, there's an option to automatically replace asterisks for easier typing (this is the default).

NOTE

If you use markdown in documentation comments, the asterisk is often used for emphasizing text. You can still leave the replacement option enabled by using an underscore _ instead of an asterisk for bold and italics.

Large numbers are pretty common, so Figures provides an option to automatically insert thousands separators as you type. Note that the option to insert thousands separators while you type is separate from whether to display them in the results. To toggle thousands separators in the results panel, go to Preferences > Format > Scale and check the box at the bottom.

NOTE

To change what character to use as a thousands separator, go to System Preferences > Language & Region and click the Advanced button

Indenting

By default, Figures adds indenting to your calculations when needed. This is particularly useful inside blocks of calculations to make it easier to see how they group together. Automatic indenting is handled as you type your calculations and when pasting text.

Figures also takes control of the Tab key to make indenting easier. You can control the action of the Tab key in preferences:

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