Quickfields are a special kind of hashtag for factors and links. They are a refinement of hashtags for when you have a set of categories which is mutually exclusive.
You can add information about one or more dimensions using a format like this:
Crops improved / time:before
Crops improved / time:after
A field (in this case, a field called
time) will then be created in the factors table which you can then use for example to filter the maps, to search, filter and organise the factors, links and mentions tables, and to format the maps.
- capturing time before/after
- capturing factors which are explicitly or implicitly attributed to a particular project
- capturing the valence of a factor e.g. when a subject explicitly says the liked or did not like the fact that they had more work
- capturing things which apply only, say, to girls or only to boys
- organising ideas within a hierarchy
You can search for and display this information across all your tables and maps, not separately as they would be if you used ordinary hashtags like #before and #after, but together.
Here is more info about analysis with quickfields.
These are equivalent, you can
Crops improved time:after
Crops improved /time:after (optionally use a / just to separate the fields visually)
or you can use a hanging hashtag:
Crops improved; time:after (a so-called “hanging hashtag” which is perhaps a bit more readable and moves the quick field to a lower level of the hierarchy).
Quickfields must be composed only of letters and numbers, no punctuation or spaces. There must be no gap on either side of the colon (
More than one quick field
You can combine more than one quick field at once:
Crops improved / time:after / valence:2 (the / symbols here are not strictly necessary but improve readability.)
Quickfields become part of the factors table, you can even export them, but the values of the fields are always immediately overwritten if you change the labels. Values of fields derived from labels always take precedence, so there is no point roundtripping a quick field as it will be overwritten according to the labels. (You can always roundtrip other fields in the factors table which are not mentioned in the labels. So you can have a field called, say,
valence, which is not mentioned in the factor labels in the form, say,
Position in hierarchy
Usually quickfields are put at the end the labels. This makes it easy to find and manipulate the factor labels in the Factor Editor. But quicklinks can appear anywhere in a label and in particular anywhere within a hierarchy:
Anti-discrimination policy / theme:gender; disciplinary rules
Anti-discrimination policy / theme:race; awareness training
This makes particular sense when the lower levels of the hierarchy might differ according to theme. Hierarchy and quickfields are a powerful combination.
When you use filters which merge factors together (zooming and bundling factors) the values of quickfields for any factors which are lost because they are nested into the higher levels are not available.
Quickfields for links
Quickfields are now available for links too. You use the same syntax in the “hashtags” box as for quickfields for factors. This might seem like a small tweak but it means you can now systematically include information about the context of each link. Whereas previously you could mark that a particular link refers only to the context of before Covid by marking it with a hashtag like
#before-covid, now you can use systematic sets of hashtags like
#covid:after, which automatically then adds a column to your links table called
covid which can have values like
after, and anything else you type.