More robust Templates (for more streamlined Object creation)

I’ve been putting off testing out Templates, and now that I finally did I’m a bit confused…

I just did a comment about how I was expecting a Template to be “live”, meaning changes to it would reflect on all Objects created with it (or at least have the option to do so). But I found that all it does is create a static Object based on the Template. I commented about this here: How can I create a Template? What are Templates used for? - #2 by qualquertipo

I also thought I’d be able to define the Template in a way that would make creating new objects easier (streamlined, if you will). For example, having the option to add a dummy content to be “filled in” by just clicking on it (without needing to delete existing Template content, as it is now). This could probably be achieved by allowing Blocks to be set as “dummy” in the Template.

For example, for my Book template, I’d like to add a sample image with the desired proportion and/or width, and then set it as “dummy”. That way when I create a new Book object, I just need to click on that image and get the dialog asking me to pick an image or take a picture (instead of needing to delete the existing one, and add a new one in place).

For paragraphs, I’d like to be able to add a dummy text (such as “Type here a summary of this book.”), which disappear once its clicked (the same way as the “Type text or/ for commands” text disappear when creating new blocks in Anytype).

For the title, instead of “Untitled” i’d like it to show “Book title” (or whatever I define). Again, as dummy text.

I’d also like to be able to lock certain (or all) aspects of my Template, to avoid accidental changes for example (I wouldn’t want one book to have a slightly different cover width because I accidentally resized it when editing it…).

Going a bit further, I’d also like to be able to define custom UI for data entry, based on data type. For example, in the Release Date field, a drop-down that filters as you type, and in the Progress field, a slider that allows choosing a percentage between 0 and 100. (This is a Feature Request I plan to make for Relations in general as well)

Perhaps I’m completely misunderstanding what Templates are, and what I’m talking about is actually something else… Please correct me if I’m wrong! I haven’t been able to experiment with Anytype as much as I’d like, but I still want to try to bring up a few of my ideas and requests. So I apologize if I’m too far off here!

PS: This also connects to one of the concerns I have with mobile Anytype. I love how it’s so feature rich (very similar to the desktop app), however I’d also like to have the option to quickly create an object via a simplified custom interface. For example, if I’m away from my computer and I want to add a book to my Anytype, I’d like to be able to simply tap a quick-add shortcut I already have in my phone, which would (hopefully very quickly) open a very light-weight UI just for creating an Object of that type, with the cursor already on the title field. Once I’m done adding the info, I just press a button at the bottom (“Create”?) and the UI closes. I think this could be useful even in desktop. (I also plan to make a Feature Request about this quick-add idea eventually).


Image block already works as such. Adding an image block in a template without adding any images will work in the same way you’ve described.

This would be super useful. I prefer a placeholder text as well. So when the template is opened, it would display the placeholder text but when an object is created from it, it should be empty / Untitled

Templates are currently blueprints for new objects of a type to be created. As such, they are only used when a new object is created. This discussion has links to several different feature requests including template sync which would make templates work in the way you envisioned

Yes, but I’d like to have a placeholder image there. Helps to quickly communicate what type of content is supposed to go on that place.

Obviously not a huge deal… But it’s part of this greater notion I’m talking about, of having a more streamlined workflow for using templates…

Sorry if I’m not being so clear. Haven’t had as much time as I’d like to contribute here…

Actually what I’d prefer here is to show the title I set in the template, as a placeholder text, which vanishes on click (instead of “Untitled”).

“Untitled” isn’t very descriptive, which to me adds some friction to the process of creating new Objects.

If I want to add a book, I want the canvas to show on top something like “Book title”.

If I’m about to plan a trip and I open a new Trip object, I want the title to be “Name for this trip” ( or whatever else I set).

Again, this might be result of me misunderstanding what Templates are intended for…

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Yep! Thanks again for linking that.

I might make a post/request for this (so it’s not buried in the comments there).

Your feature request has turned into a Christmas list! :smile:

There are several ideas and obviously if you had followed the request form, you would have realized that you should have created a request for each one.

For me you don’t misunderstand the concept of templates, to be honest the placeholder idea is excellent.