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Writing Outliner for MS Word Soon on BitsDuJour

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Posted by Wojciech
Jul 30, 2013 at 07:13 PM

 

I have been using it from the very beginning (now in Word 2010), had very fruitful discussion with the developer concerning directions of further development some time ago and can recommend it with the clear conscience :)

 


Posted by 22111
Aug 2, 2013 at 02:30 PM

 

I am intrigued by it, and I could buy it for $29 even today (sale extended). The developer seems to have several projects; it seems to me there would be a big market for such a program if it added value to what Word by itself is capable of, but:

- It does not seem to be able to move tree entries? I thought that was the core idea of an outliner? What is this tool after if moving parts around is not possible?

- What does it do? What does it do what the integrated outline function does not do? Am I right in saying the integrated outliner replicates the titles/subtitles structure of ONE Word document, and this tool does the same, but combining several Word documents with their respective structures, or by integrating them within an overall structure?

- As for slowness and bugginess, that might have been improved in 2 years.

 


Posted by Graham Rhind
Aug 2, 2013 at 02:39 PM

 

22111 wrote:
I am intrigued by it, and I could buy it for $29 even today (sale
>extended). The developer seems to have several projects; it seems to me
>there would be a big market for such a program if it added value to what
>Word by itself is capable of, but:
> >- It does not seem to be able to move tree entries? I thought that was
>the core idea of an outliner? What is this tool after if moving parts
>around is not possible?

You can move entries just by drag and drop.

>- What does it do? What does it do what the integrated outline function
>does not do? Am I right in saying the integrated outliner replicates the
>titles/subtitles structure of ONE Word document, and this tool does the
>same, but combining several Word documents with their respective
>structures, or by integrating them within an overall structure?

As I mentioned, it allows me to handle massive documents in Word.  Opening a 2500 page document in Word, moving to the right place and making edits is slow and annoying.  With WO I have split each chapter into a seperate “document” within WO, which I can then open and edit quickly and easily. When I want to output the full document, I can compile all the individual documents into one big one.  That’s what it does for me.

>- As for slowness and bugginess, that might have been improved in 2
>years.

The developer is working on a whole new version, so apart from adding Word 2013 compatibility, there has been no other development in WO for some time.

Graham

 


Posted by 22111
Aug 2, 2013 at 03:04 PM

 

I see, and I did not want to spread false info.

On bitsdujour, Peter Martin wrote:

If only one has the ability to sort the titles (left side) then I would say it is perfect.

which was left uncommented by the developer there, so I falsely assumed the entries could not be moved; it now appears Martin wanted to say (I suppose) “sort automatically, alphanumerically” or something along this line.

So if I understand well:

- you have several Word files

- you “import” those into a “project” of this tool

- then, another day, you load this “project”, which in reality means the tool will load all the corresponding Word files, and present their structures within a “compound” tree, as if all these separate files were one file, and which also means there would be a virtual, global structure, in which subtitle 3.5.2 of file 12 would be item 5.8.2 within this overall structure?

- within this overall structure, you click on any entry, and you gain access to the respective Word document, at the respective position (hence a click on entry 5.8.2 would “open” document 12 at subtitle 3.5.2 in this example)?

- also, within this overall structure, you freely move parts around, as it was one single file, which means if you move around point 1.3.4 after point 12.5.6, in the tree, in the actual files the corresponding part would be deleted in one file and rewritten at the correct position within another of these files?

If my above assumptions are right now, I think this should be a tremendous piece of software.

 


Posted by Dr Andus
Aug 2, 2013 at 03:06 PM

 

Graham Rhind wrote:
>As I mentioned, it allows me to handle massive documents in Word.
>Opening a 2500 page document in Word, moving to the right place and
>making edits is slow and annoying.  With WO I have split each chapter
>into a seperate “document” within WO, which I can then open and edit
>quickly and easily. When I want to output the full document, I can
>compile all the individual documents into one big one.  That’s what it
>does for me.

There are two elephants in the room. The one is Word, the other is Scrivener for Windows.

1) Why use Word at all, if Word can’t even handle its own files when they get big?

2) How does Word Outliner compare to Scrivener? The last time I looked at both, Scrivener appeared to have more going for it.

Of course the utility of both depend on one’s workflow as well. As a writer, I’ve decided to separate the writing process and the formatting process. I still use Word for formatting as the very last stage, but otherwise I prefer to use single-pane outliners with inline notes that allow me to write fast (and I don’t find writing in either Scrivener or Word fast enough).

By “fast” I mean the least possible delay in typing, copying and pasting, scrolling through a large document, jumping from section to section, collapsing and expanding sections, moving sections around, without the thing crashing on me or telling me to wait…

I realise that some other workflows may require the use of Word at an earlier stage of the process (but personally I’d try to eliminate those and delay getting involved with Word until the latest possible stage).

 


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