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Sentence outliner?

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Posted by Lucas
Feb 12, 2024 at 05:36 PM


Years ago, I came across an obscure outlining tool geared towards the K12 space, which, if I remember correctly, offered a unique feature: It included a granular outlining view where each sentence of a paragraph appeared as a separate bullet on a separate line. So, you could drill down to this sentence-by-sentence level, or go back to the normal outlining level where each paragraph is a bullet. (In other words, periods were the delimiter. Of course that could sometimes create problems, like with abbreviations, but it was still useful.)

Unfortunately, I don’t seem to remember what the tool was called. Does anyone know of any tools that have this ability to switch back and forth between integrated paragraphs and sentence-by-sentence view?


Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Feb 12, 2024 at 06:00 PM


This most likely isn’t the app you’re thinking of, but on the off chance it is… Inspiration was (maybe still is) an outliner aimed at K-12. It had the feature of being able to switch between outline and diagram view. I don’t think it had the feature of creating a new line with each period, however.



Posted by Lucas
Feb 12, 2024 at 08:11 PM


Thanks, Steve. That’s a great point about Inspiration, which continues to be a useful tool.

In the meantime, I found one way to achieve something very close to what I was looking for: In Visual Studio Code, with the “Markdown All in One” extension enabled and indentation-based folding enabled, create a Markdown document. A simultaneous preview window can be opened. Paragraphs can be written with a new line for each sentence (and with sentences indented/outlined as desired), but in the preview window they will appear as normal paragraphs.


Posted by Cyganet
Feb 12, 2024 at 08:32 PM


It sounds like you’re looking for semantic line breaks. They are described here: https://sembr.org/ and here: https://rhodesmill.org/brandon/2012/one-sentence-per-line/

Several markup languagues support them, including Markdown. Here’s how some markdown editors handle them:

In Typora, if you write your text using semantic line breaks in source mode, they disappear in live preview mode provided you have the ‘preserve single line break’ option turned off.

You type one sentence per line in Notepad++ and use the Markdownviewer++ plugin, which can show both texts side by side.

In Obsidian, if you have ‘strict line breaks’ turned on, you can type with semantic line breaks in live preview mode and have them disappear in reading mode.

Writemonkey 3 has a toggle option (Ctrl+F8) that will switch between one sentence per line and normal text. This one has the benefit that you type normally, whereas in the previous three you have to put single line breaks between sentences.

If you have existing text that you want to break up, you can paste it in here: https://www.onesentenceperline.com/


Posted by Lucas
Feb 12, 2024 at 09:46 PM


Awesome, Cyganet! Thanks for filling me in on the proper terminology and providing these resources. Very interesting. Have you tried granular outlining with these? Here’s how an outlined paragraph looks in Visual Studio Code:



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