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Scrivener-like outliner for Windows?

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Posted by Edwin Yip
Sep 24, 2009 at 03:00 PM


Hi Hugh,

Actually, Writing Outliner can be (at least partially) a remedy for the instability of Word, since Writing Outliner will save backups for each document, you can easily go back to any previous revision.

Edwin Yip
All-in-one writing software for writers

Hugh wrote:
>It isn’t just clumsiness that has deterred long-form writers from using
> >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 Edwin Yip
Sep 24, 2009 at 03:06 PM


Hi John,

Your reply and the Hugh’s reply above about the instability of Word has affected the development of Writing Outliner :) Saving each revision of the document was a feature that’s being considered, but now it’s a planned feature :) Thank you all for the comments.

Edwin Yip
All-in-one writing software for writers

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


Posted by Sebastien Berthet
Sep 26, 2009 at 08:51 AM



Edwin, I’m the author of CbC and I’m glad you appreciate it.
What your’re developing seems very different to me, although some overlaps may blur those differences.
CbC is Word with a project treeview (? la Visual Studio, habit that comes from the job…). John has perfectly summarized what it does and how it should be seen as a tool.

I just wish to add here that although CbC is a freeware, there is a *huge* development effort in it (the first release was in 2001). I use it everyday, and dozens of other writers have sent me regular emails to correct and improve it over the years. This is why I think too it’s now pretty stable.

On the other hand, CbC will never evolve to a data organization tool, with mind mapping, data mining, instant full text search, and all those great features you are developing. From my point of view, these features are mainly pre-writing stuffs: they are extremely useful to organize the author’s “universe” and pull coherent characters and a nicely packaged plot out of the chaos. When it comes to the actual writing of the novel draft, doing mindmaps again sounds to me like adding milk in a cooked pastry. Maybe that’s just my way to work… I know there are two big churches for writing methods: 1) write a plan and follow that plan (Elisabeth Georges) and 2) write as it comes and that plan will emerge (Stephen King).
From what I’ve understand of your software, I would say that CbC may be for writers of church 1, and your software for writers of church 2…

Anyway, I can’t wait trying your software! Good luck with your developments ! Once your software is released, I will add a link on the CbC homepage.
Kind regards,



Posted by Edwin Yip
Sep 28, 2009 at 05:20 AM


Hello Sebastien,

Chapter by Chapter is neat and does what it’s intended to, it’s really a good tool :)

I’m glad you jump in this discussion, actually I really appreciate insightful inputs from really writers like you, because I myself am not a writer although I used to write long documents such as technical manuals :)

I have a little different view on the planed features of Writing Outliner that you think are pre-writing stuff, I think these features should be helpful for the whole writing process, for example, with full-text search, in pre-writing stage you can search your research materials; in the writing process you can search through all documents in the writing project to check consistency, or analyzing characters, POV, etc. The developer of Scrivener Keith has a very good idea behind Scrivener: Provides features to help writers but does not bring in any limits in terms of the way the writers want to write, I think that is a brilliant and I should follow it :) So I think Writing Outliner is not only for church 1 or 2 you mentioned, but for both churches :) and I actually don’t see CbC is for writers of church 1 only.

Thank you again for you comments, and I look forward to further contact with you :)


Posted by Sebastien Berthet
Sep 28, 2009 at 08:43 PM


Hello Edwin,

Thank you very much for your words about CbC.

I did not want to say that Scrivener or Writing Outliner can be restrictive in some way. The fact is that there are merely two kinds of writers: those who have a plan and those who don’t. That said, this is not that binary, because there are part of a story that can still be fuzzy when I jump into the first draft. I mean there is a grey area between the “got plan” and “no plan” way…

On the other hand, what’s sure about writing tools is that they still don’t cover all the writing process. Here is a topic where I posted my “most wanted feature” in that eternal quest of the perfect outliner:
Maybe Writing Outliner can do that?

Again, I will be happy to test your software. I will tell you if I can use it efficiently in my writing process. Please contact me directly when you can make it available.
Kind regards,



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