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  1. #1
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    Outline View (MS Word 97)

    Since Outlines are so crucial to Document Preparation and Design, I've found 2 Free Outline Programs that are supposedly outstanding.

    1. Treepad (at Treepad.com)
    2. My Info (at My Info.com)

    Has anyone used either of these 5 star rated programs or do you prefer to simply use Word's Outline View for your Outlines? I've heard some people say they avoid Word's Outline View like the plague because it can mess up the Document pretty bad.

    Is this true? For what purpose do you use Outline View if you use it at all?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Outline View (MS Word 97)

    I use Outline view when I want my document to have Heading styles, for example, if I want an easy way to make a Table of Contents. Sometimes it also makes it easier to reorganize a document, but not a whole lot easier. (Otherwise, I happily commit the sin of direct formatting my various headings.)

    I used to really love PC-Outline for DOS, but now, I can't imagine going back and being without my Word customizations and features. I also used More on the Mac quite a bit in the early 90s. Too many conversion issues for me.

    As long as you are evaluating outline software, check out NoteMap at <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.casesoft.com/notemap/index.shtml>http://www.casesoft.com/notemap/index.shtml</A>. I haven't tried it, and it's not freeware, but if you are serious about outlining, you might want to check it out.

  3. #3
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    Re: Outline View (MS Word 97)

    I think it's document map, not outline view, that can mess up your document. It often assigns styles without asking.

    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.mvps.org/word/FAQs/Formatting/UsingOLView.htm>Outline view</A> is great; I often use it to move stuff around (reorganize chapters...), promote/demote headings, jump to some (sub)chapter...

    Just be careful not to use the "Master Document" features, which share the same toolbar: this feature is badly broken and will corrupt your document.

    <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16>Klaus
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  4. #4
    KTYorke
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    Re: Outline View (MS Word 97)

    If you've applied heading styles religiously and consistently, Outline view in Word is pretty helpful depending on what you want to do.
    If I want to reorganize a document quickly without all that cutting and pasting... I switch to outline view, choose the heading level and drag that heading to where it needs to go. The whole section that follows is moved with it. I've never had a problem with outline view before, then again I don't use it that often.

    If I want an actual outline of something I'm working on, and since most of my manuals span a few documents, I create a TOC. I can customize TOC styles so it's easy to read. However I don't have the flexibility to move whole sections with the TOC.

    Going with what Klaus said about Master Documents... do a search here in the Word forum for "Master Documents" to read the horror stories and warnings yourself.
    have fun

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    Re: Outline View (MS Word 97)

    I love the Outline view in Word. I'm a trainer for a law firm, which means that much of what I train in Word deals with making revisions easier. (I swear that law schools must have an entire track of classes on revising as an art form!) I demonstrate using the Outline View to help move blocks of text around to help people understand the value of using heading styles in their documents. It's fairly dramatic and usually does the trick. I also use the Outline view when revising my own documents, and have never had any problems with it.

    I also train using the document map to make navigation around the document easier when heading styles have been used. I have not seen any information on problems caused by using the document map and would love to see anything anybody has on this, since I don't want to teach it if it causes problems. Thanks.

    Lee Morgan

  6. #6
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    Re: Outline View (MS Word 97)

    To continue the hymn of praise:

    Once you have started to use the outline view, and learned the shortcuts, these shortcuts come in very, very handy in the other views, too.

    You can move paragraphs and table rows up or down with Alt+Shift+Up and Alt+Shift+Down, even several paragraphs/rows at once, and it even suffices if you have part of them selected before running these commands.

    The shortcuts for promoting and demoting headings (Alt-Shift+Left, Alt+Shift+Right) also work perfectly in normal or layout view.

    I also often use Outline view to select chapters (collapse to level 1, then click on the left of the chapter). After I change back to Normal view, the chapter is selected, and I can do a Find/Replace in just that chapter, or run a macro on the selection.

    <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16>Klaus

  7. #7
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Re: Outline View (MS Word 97)

    My favorite Outline program is only on the Mac and is called More. Its features have not been reproduced in any other program, especially its "clone" feature.

    I use a commerical (not free) outlining program called NoteMap by CaseSoft. The full version of the program can be downloaded for free (but deactivates after 30 days). It can be found on the <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.casesoft.com/notemap/nmbuzz.shtml> CaseSoft site</A>.

    I wouldn't say that I use it instead of Word's outlining. I use Word's outlining for Word documents, sometimes. But when what I want is a thought organization tool, I use NoteMap. I am not familiar with either of the free programs you mention.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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