Softspace User Guide

Softspace User Guide

Softspace has an intuitive, natively spatial user interface that’s been designed to strike a balance between simplicity and power. The primary input sources are hand tracking and a paired Bluetooth keyboard.

Setting Up


Softspace runs on the Quest family of mixed-reality devices.

The best user experience is on the Quest Pro because of its superior performance, visual quality, and comfort.

However, we’ve also optimized Softspace to run well on the Quest 2, as this is by far the most commonly-owned headset.

We will support the Quest 3 on day 1 of launch.

Source: Meta Platforms, Inc.
Source: Meta Platforms, Inc.


Add Softspace to your Quest’s app library via its listing on the Quest Store.


For full functionality, Softspace needs input from two sources: your hands, and a keyboard.

Hand Tracking

Hand input can either come from the Quest controllers, or from hand tracking. We strongly recommend using hand tracking, because putting down the controllers to type on a keyboard adds a lot of friction to your workflow.


Bluetooth Keyboard

We’ve tried all manner of virtual keyboards, and the simple truth is that nothing comes close to the precision, familiarity, and speed of typing on a physical keyboard. Therefore, we have designed Softspace to be used with a paired Bluetooth (or USB) keyboard for text input.

Before running Softspace, please:

✅ Enable hand-tracking on your device

✅ Connect a Bluetooth or USB keyboard


We’ve worked hard to make the interaction model in Softspace as simple as possible, but no simpler. There are two major kinds of interactions: locomotion (which move the entire workspace relative to you), and manipulation (which affect specific items within the workspace).


Locomotion refers to your movement relative to the entire virtual workspace.

Most obviously, you can walk around your physical space to view the workspace from different points-of-view.

You can also use a hand interaction called gripping to move the workspace without having to move yourself.

To grip the workspace, make a fist with one hand, then move your hand around. You can also grip the workspace with two hands to rotate and scale it.



Manipulation refers to moving and interacting with individual items within the workspace.

To manipulate an item:

  • Raise your hand and hover over the item with the cursor that tracks your hand.
  • Quickly touch your thumb and index fingers together to click on an item.
  • Press and hold your thumb and index fingers together to grab an item.

Palm Menu

If you hold up your hand and look at your palm, a menu appears. You can press the buttons in this menu using the tip of the index finger of the other hand.



Contents in Softspace are organized into workspaces.

Managing Workspaces

To create, delete, edit, or open a workspace, press the workspaces button on the palm menu.

For now, only one workspace can be opened at a time.

Currently, workspace data is stored locally on-device. This means that your data is secure against external access. However, if you delete a workspace, you will not be able to recover that data. If you delete the Softspace app, this will also delete workspace data, but it may be recoverable via Quest cloud backup.

Workspace View Modes

A workspace can be in one of two view modes: Layout mode, and Free mode.

To switch between the two, press the button in the palm menu that looks like nodes connected in a network.


Layout Mode

Layout mode is the default mode for your workspace. In this mode, items remain where you place them. They will also snap to the same plane as nearby items.


Free Mode

In Free mode, items float freely, and their positions are determined by a continuous simulation that attempts to bring related items together, while pushing unrelated ones apart.


Command Prompt

When you’re not typing on anything, press the spacebar on your keyboard to bring up the Command Prompt. From here, you can quickly and easily create new text or topic items, search the web, or ask the AI.



The contents of a workspace are Items.

There are different types of items, which roughly correspond to different file types that are common across most productivity tools.

So far, four types of items have been implemented:

  • Text items
  • Image items
  • Bookmark items
  • Topic items

We are working on implementing others, such as PDFs.


Text Items correspond most closely to single paragraphs within a text document, or single text blocks within block-based tools like Notion.

Creating Text

There are several ways to create text items:

  • Using the Command Prompt.
  • Pressing Return while typing on a text item will create a new one underneath.
  • Pressing Return while typing on a topic title will create a new child text item.

Editing Text

To edit a text item, hover over it with one of your cursors, and tap your thumb and index fingers together to “click” on it. Then use your attached keyboard to type.

While you are editing a text item, you can use the cursor to jump to other parts of the text, or click-and-drag to select parts of the text.



Image Items correspond to image files, such as JPG and PNG.

Importing Images

Image items are not created within Softspace. Instead, they are imported, e.g. using the web browser or via the Dropbox importer (more on both below).

Supported Formats

Softspace currently supports the following image formats:

  • JPG
  • PNG
  • GIF (not animated)
  • BMP
  • TIFF
  • PSD


Topic Items are the primary container for organizing contents within a workspace. They correspond roughly to the notes or pages in a tool like Notion.

Creating Topics

There are several ways to create topics.

You can use the command prompt to create new topics by pressing Shift+Return.

Topic items are also created via reference from text items. To create a topic, surround any word or phrase inside a text item with double square brackets, like this:

[[Topic items]] in [[Softspace]] can be created by reference from within [[text items]].

A text item with the above contents would result in the topics “Topic Items”, “Softspace”, and “Text Items” being created within the currently opened workspace.

Finally, pushing one non-topic item into another will create a new topic that contains both.

Managing Contents

Topics can contain non-topic items.

  • To add an item to a topic, grab the item and “push” it into the topic item’s body.
  • To remove an item, grab it and “pull” it off the topic item’s body.

Deleting Items

To delete an item, grab it with one hand and press the Delete key on your keyboard with the other.


AI Features

Softspace incorporates several features using AI that speed up your workflow and give you greater insight into your ideas.

Ask the AI

When using the command prompt, press Alt+Return to prompt an AI language model. A new topic will be created whose title is the prompt, and whose content will be the AI’s response.

The language model received a high-level summary of the contents of the workspace, to improve the relevance of its responses.

Suggested Topics

When you enable Free mode, Softspace will use AI to generate suggested topics that relate to existing content in the workspace.

These topics appear in green, and are temporary. When you switch back to Layout mode, they are cleared away.

If you click on a suggested topic, it will be added to the workspace and elaborated on by the AI language model.

Semantic Similarity

When in Free mode, the items in a workspace are able to float freely. Their position in the workspace is influenced by their connections to each other.

Explicitly linked items will be drawn together, but so will items with semantic similarities (as determined by an AI similarity model).

Web Browser

A web browser is a core tool for any digital workflow.

Softspace features a desktop-class browser that lets you access the web from inside the app. It has custom features, like-image saving and bookmarking, that you’ll use frequently in any creative workflow.

To open the web browser, press the browser button in your palm menu.


To click on web UI elements, hover over them with your hand cursor and tap your thumb and index fingers together.

To scroll web pages, press your thumb and index fingers together, then move your hand.

You can also click on the browser controls underneath the browser window, and edit the text in the URL bar in the same way you edit text items. Press Return while editing the URL bar to navigate to the typed URL or send a Google search for the typed term.


Saving Images

If you hover your cursor over an image on a website that is downloadable, a small green icon will appear next to your cursor.

To save these images into the current workspace, touch your thumb and index fingers together, and either hold for ~1 second, or pull your hand toward you. The image will be added to the workspace as a new image item.


Dropbox Integration

A key requirement for any productivity tool is the ability to easily get work in from and out to the rest of your workflow. To facilitate this, we’ve implemented a Dropbox integration.

For now, we’ve only built a Dropbox integration. We are working on supporting other cloud storage and knowledge management tools.


Open the import UI by pressing the import button on your palm menu, and select Dropbox.

If you haven’t yet authenticated your Dropbox account, you will be prompted to do so. You only have to do this once, from either the importer or exporter.

The Dropbox importer allows you to import:

  • Image files in the supported formats
  • Markdown files
  • Folders of images and markdown


Open the export UI by pressing the export button on your palm menu, and select Dropbox.

If you haven’t yet authenticated your Dropbox account, you will be prompted to do so. You only have to do this once, from either the importer or exporter.

Select a Dropbox folder to which you want to export the workspace.

Workspaces are exported as a collection of markdown and image files.


Still have questions? We’re here to help!

Email → hi@soft.space


© 2023 Softspace Inc.