Teaser: Reveal Section

Making a much loved Shorthand feature even better

One of the most used features of Shorthand is the Text Over Media reveal. It's achieved by using multiple Text Over Media sections in succession. We've all seen it. Whether it's layering arrows over a map, displaying a series of faces, showing cutaway diagrams, or going from a greyscale image to a colour version of the same image, the versatility of this technique makes it a favourite for editors and readers alike.

But, it has a couple of significant limitations.

The first is that the reveal works in only one direction: up. That's fine when the reveal isn't being used to convey direction, or if all arrows on a map are going from south to north. But what if we want to show George Washington's famous southward retreat from New York to New Jersey? What if the image you're bring over the top needs to reveal from the right because it looks better that way?

The second is that each image you add to achieve the reveal uses up a section in your story. We place a limit on the number of sections in your story because long stories have the potential to crash browsers, especially mobile browsers.

Our first priority at Shorthand is making sure we are offering the very best features for creating compelling stories, and so, while we love the current reveal effect, we knew we could do better.

So we've been hard at work creating a new Reveal Section that we know you're going to love. With it, you can reveal up, down, left and right. And, for something different, you can also reveal through, with a fade-in effect. That's five times more fun than the old way of doing things! With the Reveal Section, you no longer need to add multiple sections to create a reveal. Just add multiple images to the same section like you would with a Background Scrollmation section such as the one you're reading right now.

Another really cool thing: we achieved all this without resorting to scrolljacking on mobiles and tablets.

You read that correctly. Our new Reveal Section works as smooth as butter using stock-standard native scrolling on mobile devices.

That means you give your reader an incredible interactive experience without replacing the natural scroll feeling they're used to. We're pretty pleased with the result!

Keep scrolling for a sneak peak at the new Reveal Section in action!

You'll be able to add captions for each image, too.

We still have some final kinks to iron out, but we expect to have this feature in production in the next few weeks. Sign up to our newsletter below to be notified as soon as the new Reveal Section becomes available.