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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 Stephen Zeoli
Oct 12, 2013 at 10:48 AM


It’s true, of course, that if (and it usually does) the text runs off the bottom of the page in the scrivenings view, you can’t see it. But Scrivener allows you to open other notes in “quick reference panels,” and as many of these as you want (or can practically keep on your screen), so you can be referring to other notes as you write. Not 100% sure the Windows version has this feature yet.

Steve Z.

Dr Andus wrote:
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


Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Oct 12, 2013 at 10:51 AM


Thanks, Alexander, for jogging my memory!!!

Steve Z.

Alexander Deliyannis wrote:
Stephen Zeoli wrote:
>>There was an two-pane outliner many years
>>ago that could do this. The name escapes me and it is long dead,
> >You refer to Acute Notes
> >The program has not been developed since 2002 and the website is gone,
>though you can still be download the file from the like of
> >Jim, see my post above for a contemporary solution to this as provided
>by SENSE, though I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.


Posted by 22111
Oct 12, 2013 at 11:11 AM


After writing the above, it occured to me that I had left out an important alternative.

I mentioned the “two applications solution”, a 2-pane outliner, to the left (left screen of two, or left part of a large screen), for your “material”, and a text processor to the right, as “target”; some people here also advocate, as “target”, for writing “results”, a 1-pane outliner, instead of a text processor. Very good.

The very best solution would be full functionality in two concurrent windows, within your 2-pane outliner, of course, but it’s not available - and MyInfo’s current solution is not that functional, or call it even illogical, since in most scenarios, you would heavily navigate within your “raw material” items (main content pane, with tree), but not too much edit there, but you would need to write in your “target” pane, where you would just navigate within that pane, but which would need to be editable: As we know, it’s the other way round: Your “sources” are editable, your “target” is not. So this intermediate MI solution is rather worthless for the task we are discussing here, but as soon as MI makes this “target” pane (which for now is just a “reference” pane, but without easy navigation between items, so you cannot switch functionality), MI will become the very best solution there is for this task, for some time to come.

But for the alternative mentioned above: Most outliners, even databased ones, permit opening two instances. I hadn’t been too much aware of this since my application trigger macros say “open xyz if it’s not already running; else, just make it the current application (shift focus to it)”.

But of course, you could have open your general MyInfo or Ultra Recall file/database, let’s say “UltraRecall - General” (or something like that for its caption), and then, another UR or MI database, called “MyInfo - Target” or something. Now, your general macros would have the scope “MyInfo” (and would apply to any of these databases), and your special switch macros (which you only need if you also switch to and from your browser, Excel or other non-MI applications) would be one macro, “If scope is “MyInfo - General”, activate “MyInfo - Target”, else if scope is “MyInfo - Target”, activate “MyInfo - General”, else send Alt-Tab”, or if your macro tool doesn’t permit such scripting, you’d need two macros, both triggered by the SAME key (!): “Scope MI-General: activate MI-Target”, “Scope MI-Target: activate MI-General”, and a second key: “send Alt-Tab” (since anyway, pressing Alt-Tab 300 times within a workday is not a good idea to begin with).

So this does show the importance of your macro tool being able to process application scope again, and by “reading” the application name AND some other info within the caption, and then you would have the SAME application, for your data, and for your writing, right on your screen, concurrently, and the same commands would function identically in both instances of this same program/outliner. I think this scenario is best, and if you need it, you could have two macros, two keys, from anywhere, “Go to MI-General”, and “Go to MI-Target”, from any third-party application, instead of the “send Alt-Tab” macro, which would perhaps function in a too aleatoric way if you regularly switch around between TWO instances of your outliner, and all the other programs you need to work in.

In this scenario, you would have a secondary outliner file with a standardized/fixed name, and which afterwards you would either rename to some individual file name, or re-integrate into your main database. If your macro tool also permits a little bit scripting, you could do it in the way “if scope is MI-General, switch to MI NOT General, else if scope is MI (but not General), switch to MI-General”: This will permit you to name your target MI file with its real name. Of course, if you need SEVERAL such target outliner files at the same time, it’s a little bit more complicated: Here, you’d need real scripting, together with “identifier of instance last accessed” checking.

Anyway. My point is, don’t overactivate your left hand with endless “Alt-Tab”, and then multiple “Tab (with Alt held down)” pressings, but have dedicated keys to switch between your standard applications… which could include two instances of the same outliner.


Posted by Dr Andus
Oct 12, 2013 at 12:01 PM


Stephen Zeoli wrote:
It’s true, of course, that if (and it usually does) the text runs off
>the bottom of the page in the scrivenings view, you can’t see it. But
>Scrivener allows you to open other notes in “quick reference panels,”
>and as many of these as you want (or can practically keep on your
>screen), so you can be referring to other notes as you write. Not 100%
>sure the Windows version has this feature yet.

I couldn’t find it in the Windows version, but I just realised that it’s possible to right-click on any item and select “Open in Other Editor,” which then splits the window and displays the note next to your currently edited or viewed note. So at least you can view two notes at the same time.


Posted by jimspoon
Oct 13, 2013 at 05:51 AM


Here’s a screenshot of the AcuteNotes program that Alexander mentioned.


Notice how all the items highlights in the tree pane are displayed in the editor pane, where they can be edited almost as if they were a single item.

The individual items are separated by a thin horizontal line in the editor pane.  You can easily cut and paste text from one item to another.

A useful feature that would be nice to have in other outliners too.

thanks as well for pointing out the Sense editor which does even more ... as Alexander says the tree is integrated into the editor pane and it can function as a single-pane outliner.  i have been experimenting with it.


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