omnioutliner requests

I’m sure the OmniOutliner guys read my journal, so I’m going to note some requests here.

==== multi-outline documents

It would be hella slick to be able to have multiple outlines in one file. OmniGraffle Pro has multiple diagrams in a file, and calls them canvases. Masque asked if I meant that I wanted a tabbed interface, but I don’t think that’s quite it. Tabs usually give one window the ability to edit multiple documents. I want one document with multiple independent roots. While tabs to pick the outline might be fine, I really like OmniGraffle Pro’s interface, a simple drop-down menu with one menu item for each canvas, and an additional entry for “New Canvas…”

Sure, I could use multiple outline files and multiple windows, but that’s just not what I want. I want a group of related outlines stuck in one simple file. I realized how useful this would be as I edited one outline in Vim and two in OmniOutliner, all simple lists of tasks and expenses for my current business trip.

OmniOutliner files are XML documents. It seems like this change shouldn’t be horribly complicated, wrapping one root in another.

==== favorite hoists

Hoisting is totally awesome. I can take one node of my outline and make it act like the root. Everything else hides, and it leaps to “level one” status.

Now and then I find myself with more than one outline with the same set of columns, largely because I have too many nodes to manage easily. I don’t want to break it up, but it’s a pain to find the node I like to hoist often and do so. It would be keen if I could get a little “hoist/unhoist” selection menu with my marked favorites displayed as menu items.

==== parent-only columns

It’d be darn cool to have a column that has a value only for parents. I can do this in reverse, already, but turning on column summaries and setting them to be hidden. I want to do that backwards: only enter the parent value and have the children show a blank.

==== change the main column

I found that I can move the indented column, which always begins as the main column, left and right. It would be nice to be able to alter which column is the indentable column. I had an outline with no indentation, and I realized that I could easily structure the document as a nice tree if I could just make the second column the hierarchical one. But I couldn’t. So it’s still flat.

Come to think of it, I’m not going to rely on OmniGroup remembering to read my journal. I think I’ll send this along. Of course, I don’t know if it will have much effect, but it probably won’t hurt to send it.

Written on June 4, 2004