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Mac handbook

Boards and cards

Boards are the foundational document type in Muse. They have an open canvas which you can write and place cards on. Boards are made to be nested within each other, similar to the folders on your Mac.

Boards are anchored to the upper-left, and expand to the lower-right as you add content. Board size is limited by which membership plan you are on. So if you run out of space, you might want to upgrade your account.

The outermost board is called your home board. It’s the starting place for everything else. Each time you want to think about something new, add a new blank board card to your home board, zoom into it, and begin your work. You can also use your home board to organize work into different areas, projects, or sections.

Pan a board

Two-finger scroll with trackpad

or scroll with mouse, and hold Shift to scroll horizontally

Space bar + drag

Zoom in and out

Pinch in / out with trackpad

or zoom in by double clicking a card

or zoom out with the back button in the toolbar

Esc

Any content you add to a board will be added as a card. Cards can be moved, resized, duplicate, and deleted as your Muse board evolves.

Boards The foundational document type in Muse; a nested open canvas on which your cards live
Notes Great for short annotations and fixed-size "sticky notes"
Images
Videos Can be played directly on the Muse board, or zoomed into for fullscreen playback
PDFs Full documents which can be opened, read, annotated, and excerpted within Muse.
Links Double click to open
Tweets Paste a twitter link to add, creating separate cards for each attached image and link
Files Any file you add to Muse will be copied to your Muse data; double click to open
Move a card

Drag

Resize a card

Drag from the lower-right corner

Add a card

New cards appear behind your cursor.

Move the card to where you want it and click to place.

Drag out to set its size.

Add a board B
Add a note N
Add a photo P (opens the photo picker), or just drop images from other apps into Muse
Add a file F (opens the file picker), or just drop files from other apps into Muse

Text

Muse integrates block-based text editing (like you’d find in Notion or Craft) into the open canvas of your boards.

Double-tap anywhere on the board canvas to add a text block. Each paragraph becomes its own block, forming a group with each subsequent block, in which they can be edited and reordered.

Text blocks aren’t restricted to linearity. You can move text groups anywhere on the canvas, and can even drag out individual blocks to continue your train of thought elsewhere.

Write

Double click anywhere on a board canvas to create a new text block.

Move text blocks

Drag a text block within its group to reorder it.

Drag a text block out of its group to place it elsewhere.

Hold Shift while dragging to move the whole group.

Resize text blocks

Drag the right edge of a text block to change its width.

Resizing a text block within a group will change the width of the whole group.

Selections

Select content

Drag on empty board space, images, or PDFs for band selection.

Add or remove a card from the selection Cmd + click on card
Edit selected ink Option + right-click on selection
Select all CmdA
Rename card Enter
Cut CmdX
Copy CmdC
Paste CmdV
Duplicate CmdD
Delete Delete
Undo CmdZ
Redo ShiftCmdZ

Inbox and excerpts

Stash cards onto the inbox stack on the left anytime. The inbox travels with you, like a visual copy-paste buffer. And it’s where new cards you add from outside of Muse appear, ready to be placed where you want them.

Excerpts are an important part of working with PDFs and images in Muse. Excerpt selected content to turn it into its own card, then place it on a board in-between other cards and text. And with Source Peek, you can always go back to the source document of an excerpt.

Move selected cards to your inbox

Drag cards onto the left edge of the app

or right click → Move to Inbox

OptionI
Excerpt selected content

Select part of a PDF or image, then drag it to the inbox.

or right click → Excerpt

OptionI
Source Peek an excerpt

Click the circle in the lower-left corner of the excerpt card to see its context in the source document.

Pinch in or double click to zoom into the source.

Getting things out

Once you’ve developed an idea in Muse, eventually it will be time to move it to a production app (like Notion, Keynote, or Photoshop). Muse makes it easy to take any of your content and move it to another app, or share it with a colleague, for the next stage of your work.

Drag into other apps

Option+ drag a card or selection to another app

Share a card Right click on card → Share (then select the app you want to share with)
Export a card Right click on card → Export
Share the current document Share button in the toolbar (then select the app you want to share with)
Export the current document File → Export
Export all your data Muse → Preferences → Data → Export all data

Devices

While Muse stores all your content locally on-device, it also automatically uploads a copy to our servers to sync across your devices. This custom local-first technology combines the reliability and speed of native apps with the convenience of cloud-based apps.

All edits are immediately synced between your devices. When you are offline, everything will continue to work as normal without spinners or loading screens. Any further local edits will simply be synced as soon as you come back online.

Muse indicates sync status in the lower right corner of the window:

  • A gray dot means that Muse is connected and all edits are synced.
  • A flashing black dot means that Muse is connected and currently syncing edits.
  • A black-outlined circle means that Muse is offline, with queued local edits waiting to sync when you come back online.
  • A gray-outlined circle means that Muse is offline, but you haven’t made any edits that would need to be synced.
View detailed sync status

Click the circle in bottom right corner of the app.

You will see the current status, and how much data remains to be uploaded / downloaded

Add a new device Log in on a new device with your email address to start syncing content
Log out your device Muse → Preferences → Membership → Log out (logging out will delete all local data)
Unlink another device Muse → Preferences → Devices → Unlink (unlinking a device will delete its local data)

If you have any questions, feedback, or ideas — we are just an email away: hello@museapp.com