Bug 54772 - Writer needs intrinsic collapsing outliner
Summary: Writer needs intrinsic collapsing outliner
Status: RESOLVED DUPLICATE of bug 38093
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Writer (show other bugs)
(earliest affected) Master
Hardware: All All
: medium enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
: 91973 (view as bug list)
Depends on:
Blocks: Navigator
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2012-09-11 13:11 UTC by Susan Cragin
Modified: 2021-08-10 16:37 UTC (History)
5 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:

screenshot of Noteliner, an outlining program (20.75 KB, image/jpeg)
2012-12-19 19:36 UTC, Susan Cragin

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Description Susan Cragin 2012-09-11 13:11:11 UTC
Writer needs an intrinsic, collapsing outliner so that writers of long documents can organize their information better. 

The current situation -- the Navigator sidebar -- has some severe limitations. 
First, most work is done on computer screens that are too small for multi-screen displays of information. 
Second, the Navigator does not wrap text, so it is hard to read long headings. 
Third, the Navigator cannot be hidden under the main document just by clicking on the main document, it must be closed. 
Fourth, Linux currently has few alternatives to the several excellent outliners found on the Mac. Windows has a couple of barely-adequate ones, including that found on Word. 

An intrinsic outliner would make work flow more seamless. 

This application could be part of Writer. However, if the code made writer too unwieldy for any reason, I suggest mounting another application called Draft, where writers could, with minimal fussiness, organize a long text outline.
Comment 1 Susan Cragin 2012-09-21 01:22:52 UTC
The outliner should be invokable with a "VIEW" command. 

So in addition to:
Print layout
Web layout
should be: 
Outline layout
Comment 2 Susan Cragin 2012-09-24 13:31:38 UTC
A simple, true intrinsic outliner called tkoutline is available but is very out-of-date. It uses an obsolete tclkit and recognizes only bitmapped fonts, so it looks very bad. It has no drag-and-drop but works adequately with simple keystrokes. Perhaps as a short-term solution it could be updated to run with the latest tk / tcl and marketed as a text-only "brainstormer" addition to LO. 
It exports to OPML and XML.
Comment 3 Joel Madero 2012-12-11 16:26:42 UTC
I love the idea and can confirm that it's a valid enhancement request.

My guess is that this is a big project that will take some time to implement but I doubt it would come as a whole new program - much more likely to just be in View -> Outline View or something like that.

New (Confirmed)
Enhancement (already set)
High (very functional addition to writer)

Thanks for the suggestion!

P.S. Can you tell us other software you know of that has great outline views?
Comment 4 Susan Cragin 2012-12-19 19:36:48 UTC
Created attachment 71819 [details]
screenshot of Noteliner, an outlining program

This is a screenshot of Noteliner, one of the best outlining programs. Note  that the view concentrates on putting the maximum amount of information in front of the user in a clean manner, and that the levels are noted with carats and can be collapsed individually or in groups. (Something like CTL-1 collapses everything to the top level, for instance. 
Individual instances can be collapsed or expanded with the right/left arrows and moved up or down with the up/down arrows. 
Level 2 can be moved to Level three with a similar keystroke, such as CTL-right-arrow. 
I like Noteliner. I'm a writer and I like things that can organize a lot of information in a more or less linear fashion. 
Colors help. Sometimes in some programs the "indent" carats are different colors for each level. 

Some outliners such as UV Outliner can create lists and check boxes as well as simple outlines. I know this feature is popular. 
OmniOutliner is the outliner concept on steroids, but it does have some good screen shots. 

OmniOutliner for Mac is probably the gold standard, and compararble to Basket NotePads. 
Other good ones are C
Comment 5 Susan Cragin 2012-12-19 19:49:47 UTC
Other good ones are also for the Mac. Circus Ponies is fun but probably not helpful for you. 

The LO Navigator panel is, visually, a good place to start. It is clean and very clear to the eye. If I could just adjust the type font to slightly larger and edit from it, I might stick with that. Although I would like the option of keeping Navigator open as my index, and edit from an outline in the main panel. 

For instructions on what not to do, look at the intrinsic outline function in Microsoft Office. The indents are enormous, space is wasted, and all the formatting shows. It's like it was made for grade school students with a 5-paragraph essay to write. And it's tiring to the eyes.
Comment 6 Susan Cragin 2013-02-04 15:04:54 UTC
The following commands are essential. They should be included in the TaskBar and there should be options in Tools / Customize /Events to add or change shortcut keys. 

View All (Expand All)
View #1 (View Level 1 only) 
View #2 (View Levels 1 and 2 only)
View #0 only (view all headings, hide text)

Promote heading to next level
Demote heading to next level

Move section up (including subtrees and text)
Move section down (including subtrees and text) 

Collapse all under current heading
Expand all subheadings under current heading
Expand all under current headings (including sub-headings and text). 

Import / export opml or equivalent
Comment 7 Susan Cragin 2013-03-26 14:39:42 UTC
If you notify me when it is first available for testing, I can do bug checks and so on.
Comment 8 Joel Madero 2013-03-26 14:41:42 UTC
Just a heads up, I suspect it may be quite awhile before this is tackled. We have a long list of bugs to tackle, in general enhancement requests take awhile and require interest on the side of a developer to accept it. We'll see if we can find someone though
Comment 9 Heiko Tietze 2016-10-06 07:30:44 UTC
*** Bug 91973 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 10 Heiko Tietze 2016-10-06 07:38:01 UTC
In bug 91973 the idea was assigned to ux-advice, setting it here as well.
Comment 11 Susan Cragin 2018-05-29 12:10:15 UTC
Right now there is a partial solution that works.
Tools / Options / LibreOffice Writer / Formatting Aids
Under "Display of" uncheck all but "Hidden Text"
That way you can hide / unhide all hidden text with 

Alt-View-Formatting Marks

There is a shortcut CTL 10 but it doesn't work on my machine. CTL-10 just puts in a horizontal line.
Comment 12 Heiko Tietze 2018-05-31 09:34:30 UTC
I'm not so enthusiastic about this enhancement as "folding" is known from source code editors and that's out of scope. OTOH, I can see the use case - and probably it's not too hard to implement.

Simplest solution is to fold on paragraph level, a plus/minus icon left of the first item should make the function clear. But the paragraph is maybe not a good element so we better do it on headings (intentionally with no hierarchical folding for headings and paragraphs to keep it simple).

[-] Heading 1
Lorem ipsum dolor est.
[+] Heading 1.1
[+] Heading 1.2
[+] Heading 1.3
[-] Heading 1.4
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, 
sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna 
aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation 
ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.
[-] Heading 2

We should introduce this feature as an option, by default off, to not bother users who write short texts.

@QA: Navigator as META ticket sounds wrong. Though the Navigator would be an alternative access to the use case.
Comment 13 Timur 2021-08-10 14:06:15 UTC
Please explain if expectation here is the same or different from bug 38093.
You may see how it works in LO 7.2 with:
- in Tools/Options/Advanced check "Enable experimental features"
- restart LO
- in Tools/Options/Writer/View check "Show outline-folding buttons" (or with sub-levels)
Comment 14 Susan Cragin 2021-08-10 16:20:48 UTC
I filed this bug. I think that the functionality with the checkboxes is very good. 
It does what I expect it to. 
I think this bug can be closed and merged into 38093.
Comment 15 Jean-Baptiste Faure 2021-08-10 16:37:30 UTC
(In reply to Susan Cragin from comment #14)
> I filed this bug. I think that the functionality with the checkboxes is very
> good. 
> It does what I expect it to. 
> I think this bug can be closed and merged into 38093.

Thank you for your answer. So closing as duplicate of bug #38093.

Best regards. JBF

*** This bug has been marked as a duplicate of bug 38093 ***