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two-pane outliner that can show more than one note at a time in the viewer/editor pane?

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Posted by jimspoon
Oct 11, 2013 at 01:35 AM

 

We all know the standard format of most two-pane outliners - you have a tree pane that contains names (titles, subjects, etc) of items, arranged in the usual indented hierarchy.  You also have an viewer/editor pane which almost always displays the content of one and only one item - the single item that is highlighted in the tree pane.

My question is - do you know of a two-pane outliner that will show the content of more than one item in the editor pane at the same time?  For example, the editor pane could show the content of as many items as will fit in the editor pane; or perhaps it could show the content of multiple items if multiple items are highlighted in the tree pane at the same time.

This is part of what I dislike so much about the usual two-pane outliners.  I like to divide up my items into small blocks of text - a paragraph, a sentence, a phrase, or even a single word.  But in the usual two-paner, I can only see one such small block of text, and I have to move the highlight in the tree constantly to read through my items.  All the extra space in the editor pane is wasted.

One program that comes to mind is Noteliner with its navigation pane.  The single-pane outliner came first and the navigation pane was added later.

I think that there are many two (and three) pane outliners that could be so much better if they would incorporate this feature.  It seems that the gulf between single and dual pane outliners can be bridged fairly easily, so that the resulting program would have the advantages of both types of outliners.

jim

 


Posted by Dr Andus
Oct 11, 2013 at 10:06 AM

 

jimspoon wrote:
>My question is - do you know of a two-pane outliner that will show the
>content of more than one item in the editor pane at the same time?
> >But in the
>usual two-paner, I can only see one such small block of text, and I have
>to move the highlight in the tree constantly to read through my items.

This is exactly why I no longer use two-pane outliners for writing (or anything, really, other than The Guide as temporary storage of removed text fragments during editing).

The solutions that I know of to enable you to see multiple and far-away notes in the hierarchy side-by-side with your edit window are:

- Gingko app (https://gingkoapp.com): you can do the writing in the 3rd column (which can be exported individually), while you can scroll to any note within the hierarchy in column 1 and 2. (My current favourite.)

- Outline 4D: while it’s a single-pane outliner (in outline mode), it has multiple document interface, so you can arrange any number of panes within the main window, displaying either notes only, outline titles and notes, or titles only, in any variation. This offers great flexibility for writing. I used that set-up for about a year, and it works very well. Although I have switched to Gingko for actual writing up, I still copy over the headings into O4D just to better visualise the developing outline hierarchy.

- ConnectedText v. 6: the new floating windows feature. Although you can only do editing in one window at a time, you can open as many floating windows (by simply holding down ALT and clicking on a topic) as you like, and freely position them on your desktop. As I use CT as my notes database, I’m consulting it in my right monitor as I’m writing in the middle monitor in Gingko.

The only dual-pane outliner with MDI that comes to my mind is Sense Editor PRO, but I haven’t spent any significant time with that to have an opinion about it. Check out the screenshots:

http://www.silvaelm.co.uk/products-sense-professional-edition.shtml

 


Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Oct 11, 2013 at 10:37 AM

 

It sounds a little like you are describing the “scrivenings” view in Scrivener, where the editor will show the contents of selected items as if they were one, longer item. There was an two-pane outliner many years ago that could do this. The name escapes me and it is long dead, unfortunately.

Steve Z.

 


Posted by Dr Andus
Oct 11, 2013 at 10:43 AM

 

Stephen Zeoli wrote:
It sounds a little like you are describing the “scrivenings” view in
>Scrivener, where the editor will show the contents of selected items as
>if they were one, longer item.

That also sounds useful, though I presume that if the two or more notes that are selected are a bit longer, they might not be all visible on the monitor at the same time. Or is there another way to do that in Scrivener?

 


Posted by Jon Polish
Oct 11, 2013 at 12:12 PM

 

Unless I am misunderstanding your situation, you can do this in WhizFolders. Select a topic and open it in the Advanced Editor. Select another topic and do the same. Initially the topics open as tabbed items in the advanced editor window, but these can be rearranged to suit your needs.

Although I have not used Info Select in a long time, I think that it can do what you are asking as well.

Jon

 


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