Old saying, "Give a kid a hammer and everything looks like a nail."

New saying, "Give me Instructables.com and everything looks like an Ible."

I enjoy writing Instructables ("Ibles"). After I wrote my eigth one using the online Ible editor at Instructables.com, I decided I needed to organize my Ible projects on my laptop. Working offline would let me pop in and out with new ideas and new images. Writing offline is quicker and it lets me brainstorm Ible projects before I go online to publish them.

The IBLIT software was my solution. I wrote it for my own use but offer it here for you to try. Suggestions would be very much appreciated.

Here are the main features of IBLIT.

  • Structured project management
  • New-project creation tool
  • Graphics file organization (original and resized copies)
  • Text editing
  • Easy step creation and rearrangement
  • Graphics to be inserted into steps
  • Preview of online step appearance
  • List and view of all available graphics files
  • Tool to assist with Ible upload to online Ible editor
  • MSPaint tool
  • Batch image file resizing tool
  • Import text and image data from an existing online Ible

There are three components to IBLIT (Screen Grab #1).

1. The NotePad text editor that comes with Windows (Screen Grab #2).
2. A toolbar that sits above Notepad (Screen Grab #3).
3. A function-assist window that sits to the right of NotePad (Screen Grab #4).

Please Note that the IBLIT software only works on PCs because that is the only programming I know. The organization described next (Step 1) could be used on a PC, Mac or Linux machine.

Step 1: Organization

For me there are three parts to Ibles that needed organizing: the steps, the descriptions and the images.

I created a folder in the root (C:\) of my laptop where all my Ible stuff would go (C:\-INSTRUCTABLES-). Then I created a subfolder for each project. Each project folder would have a place for the Ible script (a plain text file with an ".IBL" extension) and two subsubfolders for the images: original graphics and sized-for-publication graphics.

This organization alone was enough to save me looking all over my hard drive for the Ible parts I needed as I planned and wrote.

Here is how I arranged my Ible projects on my laptop. You can do this manually or, if you use IBLIT, it can all be handled by the software (see the next step).

(The line numbers are for reference only.)

2:     \IBLIT
3:          \OriginalGraphics
4:          \SizedGraphics
5:          IBLIT.IBL
6:     \Project2
7:          \OriginalGraphics
8:          \SizedGraphics
9:          PROJECT2.IBL

Line 1: The default is as shown. If there is not such a root folder then IBLIT will ask you if you want to create one.

Lines 2 and 6 are project folders.

Lines 3 and 7 are subfolders for the source copies of your images.

Lines 4 and 8 are subfolders for the images that have been resized for publication. (I use a maximum dimension of 500 pixels and JPEG compression for all my images.)

Lines 5 and 9 are the Ible project text files created with IBLIT.
Beautfully awesome! One of the extremely few I'bles I've rated a 5.0 :-) This is a great programming job. <br><br>You realize that now you're going to get a load of whiners asking why you haven't already written the iPhone App :-/
Thanks. I wish I knew enough to write an iPhone app. (:
download Adobe Flash Builder and Flex, it's all GUI...
excellent idea i too am on the road quite a bit and am too cheap to purchase a cell phone iinternet connection so this is perfect for me thankyou for this excellent idea <br> <br>sincerely, <br>fidgety2
At the moment I have 14 Ibles partly done in IBLIT. I find it easier to chip away at them offline. I especially needed a way to manage the pictures. Writing the text of the steps as I go reminds me of the pictures I need to illustrate them.<br><br>Thanks for your comments!
Great idea. Adding some eye candy would make it even better, and if you got it widely used, you might even be able to have direct uploads instructables...
I thought about some eye candy when I was writing this Ible. I had a picture of me wearing only a Speedo, sitting in a beach chair with a netbook perched on my belly. My wife took one look at the picture and said legal trouble would follow if I put that out on the Web. (:<br><br>Uploads are pretty fast even now. When you get in the groove with the process you can upload 3-4 steps per minute. Photos take longer than steps do but are still pretty fast.<br><br>Thanks for your encouragement.
Congratulations, I know what it is programming and come out something acceptable. You can see my program at www.rimar2000.com.ar. It is in Spanish, but the difficulties are the same.
Nice site. (My wife helped me translate the Spanish.) Thank you for the encouragement.
Well, the site is pathetic, but the program is the best in its category (humility apart)

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