June 11, 2023
ScratchPad: AI Text Editor

ReadyRunner's new ScratchPad feature is a place to share a text document with the assistant in your chat. You don't need to paste long passages of text into the chat, you can put them in the ScratchPad, where the assistant will be able to see it and can answer questions about it, summarize it, and even edit it.

It's a cool feeling, writing text or code by giving instructions to an assistant rather than typing directly (you can also type directly).

The ScratchPad gives you a nicely separated area to put longer passages of text. When you send a message, the text is included with your message behind the scenes so the assistant can see it, then the assistant can respond back with answers, or edited text which will be shown in the ScratchPad.

As you iterate on text with the assistant, you can go back to the version of the text as it was from any of the previous messages using the arrows in the ScratchPad UI, or by clicking the ScratchPad icon next to the chat message bubbles.

Use it for coding

The ScratchPad system is awesome for code because you often need to work iteratively with the assistant to arrive at the result you want. Now you can do that with the code open in the ScratchPad and see the assistant type out changes you request.

The ScratchPad is a real code editor with syntax highlighting. You can specify the code language, and so can the assistant. When the assistant writes code into your ScratchPad, it can provide the language which will be automatically set in the editor.

  • Ask for original code to be written, then continue to ask for tweaks.
  • Paste in existing code and ask how it works
  • Put code in the ScratchPad and ask about an error message in the chat

During a normal chat, if you ask for code, you can click the ScratchPad icon to open that code block in a ScratchPad.

Read more about ideas for coding in ReadyRunner.

Use it for writing

You can start with a blank ScratchPad and ask for something to be written. The assistant can write into the ScratchPad where you can continue to edit, or ask for more changes. Iterating on text this way is more convenient than seeing the text repeated in every message you send.

If you have something written already, paste it into a ScratchPad and you can ask for changes, or editing. Have it correct spelling and grammar or translate into a different language.

Use it for questions

Summarizing text is a popular use case for AI chat. The ScratchPad makes this feel more natural, allowing you to paste text in alongside your chat, then ask for summaries, or specific questions about the text.

Saving text

You can copy/paste text out of the ScratchPad for use elsewhere using the copy button in the toolbar, or you can save a file to your computer using the save button.

Pro Tips

  • When the ScratchPad is open, the AI can still answer regular questions, but it will tend to assume you are asking about the text or for edits to the text. Close the ScratchPad panel to continue regular conversation. You can open it again later.
  • When a ScratchPad is open, the AI will assume you are talking about the ScratchPad text most of the time, so to resume regular chatting, hide the ScratchPad. You can re-open it later as needed.
  • The ScratchPad requires GPT-4, so you will need a ReadyRunner subscription which supports that model.