Library

The library stores values, functions, and blocks online, and it makes these tools available to use inside documents.

You can make your own libraries and fill them with items to use in your documents, and you can share these tools with others.

Examples library

The examples here will often make use of the Example library, which every account is automatically subscribed to.

Use library items in a document

Values and functions stored in a library can be used in formulas in a document.

There are three basic ways to do this:

  1. Use the long form name
  2. Assign a shortcut name to the long form
  3. Include the library in the file

Use the long form library item name

The long form name for a library item looks something like this:

 

Library.PrimaryLibraryName.SubLibraryName.ItemName

 

For a specific example:

The long form name starts with the overall library (Library) and works it's way down to the item location in the primary libraries and sub-libraries.

This works a lot like accessing a value in a frame with dot notation.

Assign a shortcut name to the library

If you're using a library a lot in a file, the long form name gets to be too much text real fast.

To get around this, use a formula to give the library a shortcut name, then use the shortcut name instead of the long form name in other equations.

Include a library in a file

When libraries are included in a file, you can reference the items inside directly. There's no need to use a long form or shortcut name.

The core libraries that hold basic functions like Sqrt() are included by default. This is how you can use them directly in an equation.

Include a library
  1. In the toolbar, select Library>Include Libraries.
  2. Click Add in the window that appears.
  3. Select the library you wish to include.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Click Close.

Once the library is included, you can use functions or values from it just like normal functions or values.

Use a library number value

To use a value stored in the library, use one of the methods to use a library item described above, and that's it.

Use a library function

To use a function stored in the library, use one of the methods to use a library item described above, and then use parentheses with the inputs, like a normal function.

Use items in a library frame

Entire frames (top-level or sub-frames) can also be stored in a library. This is a good way to store a lot of related values or functions.

To use the values in the frame, first reference the frame through the library, then use dot notation to access the values and functions inside. (Basically treat a frame as a sub-library).

Note that you can assign a shortcut name directly to the frame to make references shorter.

Use a library data table as function

To reference information from a data table stored in the library, first use a method to reference library items as described above.

Then treat the data table like a function. The first input is the row lookup, and the second input is the column lookup.

The steel shapes table is a good example.

Use library blocks

Blocks are mini-apps that can be used as calculation modules. They work a little differently from other library items like values and functions.

The Block deep dive how to use blocks in the library.

Core, built-in, and subscription libraries

The core libraries hold the basic functions used in Blockpad, like Sqrt(), Sum(), or Vlookup(). They include the Math, Lookup, Logic, and Text libraries, among a few others.

The core libraries come with any Blockpad subscription, and are automatically included in a file.

There are also built-in libraries that come free with any subscription but aren't auto-included, like the Scripts library.

To use these in a file, use one of the methods for accessing library items described above.

There are also libraries only available with specific subscriptions, like the engineering library.

Create personal libraries

Personal libraries give you the power to re-use your work across your documents or to more effectively share with others.

You can publish values that you've calculated, functions that you've defined, or even full calculation modules as blocks.

Your primary personal library

First, every user has a personal library based on their email address. It's best practice to treat this as your primary library and make sub-libraries inside.

You should see this library as an option when you save an item to your library or create a block. You can also view it online.

View your personal library online
  1. Got to the Blockpad home page.
  2. In the top banner, click Library.
  3. Scroll down to Custom Libraries
  4. You should see Examples and a library that looks like your email address.
  5. Click your personal email-address library.
  6. This should be a mostly empty page, unless you have saved anything to your library already.

Create personal sub-libraries

You can create sub-libraries in your primary personal library from the online page.

Create a sub-library
  1. Follow the steps above to navigate to your personal library.
  2. Click New Library in the top right.
  3. Type in the sub-library name.
    • MyExamplesLibrary, for example.
    • Because this sub-library is in your personal library, you don't have to worry about overlapping names.
  4. Click Create New Library.
  5. You will be taken to the new sub-library page.

From the new sub-library page, you can create deeper sub-libraries (think folders in folders). You can also navigate back to your primary personal library using the links at the top.

When you navigate back to your primary personal library, you should see your new sub-library on the page.

Save items to your library

Now let's add something to your library. This is done directly from the Blockpad app.

Save a value or function to the library

The first step is to create the value in Blockpad, then use the Save to Library tool.

Save an item to library:
  1. Create the item using a dynamic equation.
  2. Right click the item, then select Save to Library.
  3. Select the library or sub-library you wish to save to.
  4. Give the item a name.
  5. Click Ok.

The item should now be saved to your library. You can test it out by using that item in a file or navigate to that library online and see it listed.

Save a frame to the library

Saving entire frames to a library makes sense if you have a lot of related values in one document. You can upload the frame once, and then use the values from there.

Save a frame to library:
  1. Have your values ready in the frame.
  2. Right click the frame, then select Save to Library.
  3. Select the library or sub-library you wish to save to.
  4. Give the frame a name.
  5. Click Ok.

Save a block to the library:

See the block deep dive for how to save a block to the library.

Manage your library online

From the online page for a personal library, you can edit sharing permissions, create online documentation, and delete library items.

You can also view other library pages online, and subscribe to them.

Share a library

By sharing a library, you give someone access to all the tools you've created in your library.

Create sharing permissions:
  1. Navigate to the library page.
  2. Click Edit in the top right.
  3. Click New Rule.
  4. Select who you want to have permission.
    • To share with a specific user, provide the email address of their account.
  5. Select what kind of permissions they have.
    • Read access allows them to use the library items in a document.
    • Write access allows them to add items to the library.
    • Manage access allows them to control sharing rules and delete items.
  6. Create more rules as needed.
    • For example, you may want to allow anyone to read, but only give write access to another user. You can make one rule for anyone, and another rule for that user.

After the permissions are created, they can immediately use the library values and functions in their documents.

You can also share the url with them, so they can subscribe to it.

Library documentation

You can create library documentation for people viewing your library online.

Right now, you can only create this documentation with html. If you're not familiar with html, you can use a text to html editor. We like this one - wordhtml.com.

Create documentation for a library:
  1. Create the html for the documentation.
  2. Navigate to the online library page.
  3. Click Edit in the top right.
  4. In the panel on the left, click Page content.
  5. Paste your html in.
  6. Click Save.
  7. Click Publish.
  8. Navigate back to the library page to see the changes.

You can also create documentation for a specific library item. Follow the steps above, but select the library item after step 2.

Delete a library or library item

Sometime you just need to clear some space.

Delete a library or sub-library:
  1. Navigate to the online library page.
  2. Click Edit in the top right.
  3. In the panel on the left, click Delete.
  4. Click Confirm delete.
Delete a library item:
  1. Navigate to the online library page.
  2. Select the library item you wish to delete.
  3. Click Edit in the top right.
  4. In the panel on the left, click Delete.
  5. Click Confirm delete.

Library subscriptions

Subscribing to a library makes it more available to you. Specifically, it makes the library available for using blocks and including it in a file.

Subscribe to a library:
  1. Log in to your account on the Blockpad website.
  2. Navigate to the online library page.
    • For a shared custom library, the owner can send you the url.
    • For certain Blockpad libraries, you can navigate there from the Library page.
  3. In the top right, click Subscribe.

 

Table of Contents