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Scrivener-like outliner for Windows?

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Posted by JohnK
Sep 24, 2009 at 12:53 AM

 

Daly de Gagne wrote:
>I wish you well with the project. I am sorry it is tied to Word. Unless I absolutely have
>to I do not used Word. It’d be good to give people the choice of Word or
>OpenOffice.
> >Daly

The real problem with writing long works in Word is that working with multiple documents (say, one .doc file for each chapter) is a clumsy affair without add-ins. Managing multiple documents one of the main planned features of Edwin’s planned add-in.

The problem he faces is that many people using Word in this way already use the fine (and free) program Chapter by Chapter (http://pagesperso-orange.fr/sebastien.berthet/cbc/) which in my experience is very stable and does what it claims to do. The other planned features for Writing Outliner don’t, on the face of it, look compelling enough to draw people away from the free option. But no doubt I’ll test Writing Outliner when it appears.

 


Posted by Hugh
Sep 24, 2009 at 08:38 AM

 

It isn’t just clumsiness that has deterred long-form writers from using Word.

There used to be several blogs and sites offering advice on what functions to strip out of Word or leave unused before committing important long-form material to it. Some of these functions as I recall concerned its outlining and document map features, which were of course designed to make writing longer documents easier. There existed a serious fear of instability once it contained tens of thousands of words. I experienced this instability myself - Word 2000 was definitely flawed, but I can’t remember whether for me or more generally the problems also involved Word versions as recent as 2003, and I don’t know whether the causes have since been addressed in 2007.

If not, it’s hard to see how an add-in can provide a remedy.

H

 


Posted by JohnK
Sep 24, 2009 at 01:50 PM

 

Yes, I had the same experience myself using Word for (very) long documents. I came close to disaster once when I was up against a short deadline. Bizarrely, I saved the day by copying the file from Word for Windows to Word on the Mac, which proved much more stable with long documents. That was many years ago (Word 2000, I think). But I never use Word for long documents now.

But agents/publishers do often request Word files, so add-ins can help. The program I mentioned above, Chapter by Chapter, just makes it very easy to manage “projects”—effectively a set of short Word documents.

So typically, if writing a novel, you would have a file for each chapter, and they would be collected into a project in Chapter by Chapter, perhaps split into sections/acts/however you work.

Chapter by Chapter just makes it easy to manage, switch between, organise and merge the Word files, keep running word counts etc.

For those not tied to Word, programs like PageFour (http://www.softwareforwriting.com/) achieve the same thing in a single interface.

 


Posted by Edwin Yip
Sep 24, 2009 at 02:12 PM

 

Hi Daly,

Thank you very much :). Unfortunately, OpenOffice does not provide much API as Word does

Daly de Gagne wrote:
>I wish you well with the project. I am sorry it is tied to Word. Unless I absolutely have
>to I do not used Word. It’d be good to give people the choice of Word or
>OpenOffice.
> >Daly
> >Edwin wrote:
>>We have just started the Writing Outliner
>project at
>>http://writingoutliner.com
>>
>>It’s a outliner software designed
>for writing long
>>documents such as books or a series of related documents such as
>columns, it’s
>>developed as a Word addin which seamlessly integrates with
>Microsoft Word?.
>>
>>And of
>>course, the ideas are mainly inspired by Scrivener,
>kudos to Keith :)
>> 

 


Posted by Edwin Yip
Sep 24, 2009 at 02:43 PM

 

Hi John,

Thank you for the comment and the link to CBC, I didn’t know it before. I downloaded it and found that it’s a nice tool as a freeware, but Writing Outliner will be providing more features for writing writers, it’s integrated into, for example, instant full text search through all documents, tagging, viewing images/pdf files right inside Word, true outlining functionality (not just using a tree-view to manage documents), and it’s developed as a really add-in so it will be integrated more deeply into Microsoft Word.

And at the end, it will be providing mind mapping features by tightly integrating with MindVisualizer.


Edwin Yip
All-in-one writing software for writers
http://WritingOutliner.com

JohnK wrote:
> >
>Daly de Gagne wrote:
>>I wish you well with the project. I am sorry it is tied to Word.
>Unless I absolutely have
>>to I do not used Word. It’d be good to give people the choice
>of Word or
>>OpenOffice.
>>
>>Daly
> >The real problem with writing long works in Word
>is that working with multiple documents (say, one .doc file for each chapter) is a
>clumsy affair without add-ins. Managing multiple documents one of the main planned
>features of Edwin’s planned add-in.
> >The problem he faces is that many people using
>Word in this way already use the fine (and free) program Chapter by Chapter
>(http://pagesperso-orange.fr/sebastien.berthet/cbc/) which in my experience
>is very stable and does what it claims to do. The other planned features for Writing
>Outliner don’t, on the face of it, look compelling enough to draw people away from the
>free option. But no doubt I’ll test Writing Outliner when it appears. 

 


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