Quincy for Mac OS

The Tool Slider

The tool slider is located in the tool section at the bottom of the document's window. It shows a collection of buttons and display items. In addition the entire surface of the tool slider can be moved to the left or right dependent on its current position. Moving the tool slider to a different position effectively changes the application's main mode. Quincy has 3 operational modes: play, edit and draw. To select a different application mode you can use the slider move button as shown below or use the menu commands q, w, e for play, edit and draw modes.



Base Slider

Base Slider

Buttons in the tool slider can change color and fill state. The top image above shows the pen tool in the current draw color. It is also filled which indicates that it is active. The picture below has the color eraser filled instead and the pen tool just outlined. Thus the color eraser is active. In both images the clear button is filled as it is always active.


Play Mode

Base Slider

As seen above in the center there are 4 buttons: play, step, reset and Loop. They function pretty much as one would suspect. We'll get to them in a bit.

Slider Move Buttons

Way off to the right side is a slider move button. These buttons appear in all three states of the tool slider and serve two purposes. They indicate additional toolsets to the left or right of the current toolset. As seen above there is at least one additional toolset to the right side of the current one so clicking the button will reveal it.

BPM and Loop Indicators

Additionally there are small BPM and Loop indicators. These are purely indicators and are only visible in play mode. The number display below the Loop indicator will light up in orange if Loops are enabled.


Play and Reset Buttons

Base Slider

The Play Button

The play button in Quincy functions like a play button in an mp3 player or such. It turns into a magenta pause button as seen above when clicked and the application is playing. Also note that the step button is disabled as is the loop button while the Quincy is playing and that the reset button is now colored in red.

The Reset Button

The reset button in Quincy is akin to a stop button. The only difference is that it also rewinds the ainmation, meaning that the display goes back to showing generation 1 of our Life world.

NOTE: In any state the reset button also functions as MIDI Off button.


Pause and Step Buttons

Base Slider

The Pause Button

Tapping the pause button during playback (and it is colored magenta) renders the tool slider as seen above. The reset button has not changed, but we see that the Start button has reverted back to its triangular shape - lit up in green as is the step button. The display and all music are now effectively stopped. Tapping the Start button will resume where we left off and stepping will advance the animation to the next generation.

The Step Button

The step button advances the animation by one generation per click when Quincy is not in play mode. Note that the reset button is filled and active. Using it you can reset the animation. Stepping through an animation in stand-by mode can give you some insight as to how your drawing will evolve.

Tapping the play button after having stepped through an animation in stand-by mode will start play from that generation. Note that no sound will be produced when stepping through an animation in stand-by mode (i.e. the application is not playing).

As mentioned before the step button is not available during play. When Quincy is paused, however, as in the picture above, the step button lights up in green. Tapping it in this state will again advance the animation by one generation per tap and also play the generated sound.


Loop Button

Base Slider

The Loop button latches and changes its color to orange when engaged. As seen above also the number under the auxiliary loop indicator is now lit up in orange. Orange is the color Quincy reserves to indicate activity.


Edit Mode

Base Slider

We'll take another more in-depth look at the edit mode in a later chapter. For now let's just briefly review what happens in the tool slider. As seen above we now have a different toolset. The cut and copy buttons are enabled, the paste and rotate buttons are disabled. This has to do with selections and such, as we will see.

In this toolset we have slider move buttons on both ends of the tool slider. That means it will display another toolset. Remember that both buttons are indicators as well as buttons.

The Cut Tool

This button deletes content under the selection rectangle and places it on the clipboard. Quincy's clipboard is visible, so you will see the content you cut and can move it in the selection rectangle.

The Copy Tool

This button copies content under the selection rectangle and places it on the clipboard. Again, the copied selection will be visible in the selection view.

The Paste Tool

This button replaces the area under the selection rectangle with the content of the clipboard.

The Rotate Tool

This button rotates the content under the selection rectangle by 90º clock-wise. This option is only available for square selection. If the selection rectangle is a square, the Rotate button will light up.

NOTE: All of these buttons have associated menu commands that can be found in the standard edit menu and the selection menu for the rotation tool.


Draw Mode

Base Slider

Quincy's draw mode again has its own set of tools. And again - we will dedicate a chapter to this mode a bit later on. The pen button and the Color eraser button inherit their color from the current draw color. If you change it to another color in the Color Mixer or via the buttons in the Color Indicator, these two buttons will then take that color.

Of note here is that the pen tool is highlighted and thus the currently active tool. Inactive tool buttons are displayed filled and inactive once just as outline.

The Pen Tool

The pen tool indicates that Quincy is ready to draw. Drawing will take place in the color indicated in the color indicater. The style of drawing depends on the selected draw pattern. If a pen shape is selected, cells under the finger will turn to the selected color while dragging in a kind of smear effect. If a pattern is selected the tool functions like a stamp and will draw the pattern where the finger lifts off.

The Color Eraser Tool

Base Slider

As you remember every cell you draw in Quincy has a specified color. With the color eraser tool only the currently selected color gets erased even if you drag over cells with a different color. Please note that the erasers in Quincy also adhere to the current draw shape. That way you can fill an area and erase a draw pattern to get a 'negative' effect.

The Eraser Tool

The general eraser tool erases anything under the finger while dragging in the Quincy's display section.

The Clear Tool

The clear tool erases the entire display area.

NOTE: As you can see above we are left with one Slider Move button to the left of the display, meaning that there are no further toolsets to the right.



The tool slider is a very intuitive control even though it may look somewhat complex in print. The main point to remember is that this slider shows a mode's toolset and that it is also used to switch between the three modes: play, edit, draw.