What's new in this version?

 

What's new in version 3.0 vs version 2.1?

 

ActionOutline 3.0 features a brand-new tabbed interface and network support (in Network Edition). There are many other changes. Please keep reading this outline to get detailed information on all the new features of ActionOutline version 3.

 

 

 

 

Tabbed multi-document interface

 

Multi-document management hassle is now over!

 

ActionOutline 3.0 lets you work with multiple outline documents at once! ActionOutline uses tabbed interface similar to tabbed browsing in modern web browsers. Now it is impossible to accidentally open the same file twice and inadvertently overwrite your changes.

Each document opens in its own tab.

 


When you open an outline document, then it is loaded in its separate tab. If the document is already open in ActionOutline, then its tab will be activated instead. No more accidental opening of the same file twice!

 

You can open outlines in a variety of ways: use File|Open, click button, select outline from Favorites, recall recently closed outline, follow a link to a file in the outline, press a keyboard shortcut assigned to the favorite outline or open a document link on the desktop. In all cases, a corresponding outline will be activated, loading the document if required.

 

Easily create new tabs with new outlines.

Press Ctrl+T or press button, to create a new tab with a new empty outline. New tabs are added next to the current one. You can also use Ctrl+N or File|New outline menu item.

 

Also you can add new tab by double-clicking the empty space in the tabs row.

 

Close tabs with a snap.

 

With a mouse you can close any visible tab by clicking it with a mouse wheel (you need to push down a mouse wheel to click!).

You can also press a middle mouse button (if any), or click button or select File|Close tab menu item.

 

With a keyboard, press Ctrl+W or Ctrl+F4 to close the active tab.

 

After closing the active tab, the previously active tab will be activated.

 

Restore closed tabs fast.

To restore recently closed outlines, use File|Reopen menu or click button, or press Alt+2 to open a list of recently closed outlines and select one to reopen.

 

Press Ctrl+Shift+T or select File|Reopen last closed outline to reopen last closed outline. You can press it many times until you open all outlines in the reopen list.

 

You can switch between tabs in a variety of ways.

 

You can activate any outline tab by clicking it with a mouse.

 

With a keyboard, you can use several useful keyboard shortcuts.

 

Press Ctrl+Tab to switch between most recently active outlines, similarly to Alt+Tab switching in Windows. If you hold Ctrl and press Tab several times, you will switch to older outlines.

 

Press Ctrl+Shift+Tab to switch to the oldest active outline. Hold Ctrl and press Shift+Tab several times to select more recent ones.

 

When you first time press Ctrl+Tab/Ctrl+Shift+Tab, ActionOutline displays a list of all open tabs with a most recent tab at the top and oldest at the bottom. Until you release the Ctrl key, you can press Tab or Shift+Tab to navigate this list.

 

Press Ctrl+Page Down to select next tab, Ctrl+Page Up to select previous.

 

Also you may use button to open a list of all open tabs and switch to them. You can press Alt+3 to open this list with a keyboard.

 

Tabs context menu

 

Now you can right-click tabs (and empty area in the same row) to show a context menu with the following commands:

 

   New tab - open new tab next to the tab under mouse cursor

   Close other tabs - close all tabs, except the tab under mouse cursor

   Close all tabs - close all tabs

   Add to favorites... - add tab under mouse to favorites

   Reopen last closed outline - reopen recently closed outline

   Close this tab - close the tab under mouse cursor

 

Reorder tabs with drag & drop

 

Additionally you can now reorder tabs by dragging them with a mouse to the new position.

 

Last open outlines are automatically restored on next startup

 

By default ActionOutline remembers which outlines was open last time and reopens them on the next start. And if you closed all outlines before exiting ActionOutline, then on the new start a new blank outline will be displayed.

 

In View|Options|Startup you can explicitly specify whether you want to restore previously open outlines at startup. And additionally whether you want to open some specific outline on each start. And whether to display new empty outline, if no other outlines will open on startup.

 

Saving

 

Save outline modifications

 

ActionOutline displays special icon for modified outlines.

 

 

Saving changes in the active outline

 

You can save changes in the active outline using button or pressing Ctrl+S or Alt+S keyboard shortcuts. Also you may use File|Save menu item. Use convenient button to save the currently active outline and hide ActionOutline into the tray. You may use File|Save & hide command for the same purpose.

 

 

Saving changes in all modified outlines

 

You can save changes in all modified outlines using button or pressing Ctrl+Shift+S or Alt+Shift+S keyboard shortcuts. Also you can use File|Save all documents menu item.

 

To save modifications in all documents and hide into the tray, you can click a down arrow at button and select Save all documents and hide item in the drop-down menu or use File|Save all documents and hide menu command.

 

 

Autosave

 

 

If you have Autosave on minimize option turned on, then all modified outlines will be saved when you minimize ActionOutline.

 

Tips

 

Transfer information between files easily.

 

Use clipboard to copy and move outlines items across different outlines. You can copy/cut any outline item in one outline and paste it into any number of outlines in other tabs.

 

Save outline item as new file

 

Now you can easily save outline item with its subitems as a new outline. Use new File|Save outline item as new outline... command in main menu or use the corresponding command in the outline context menu. You just need to specify a name for a new file, and ActionOutline will save outline item into the new file and then it will open this file in a new tab. Now you can easily convert large outlines into collection of smaller ones with links to each other.

 

Link outlines with each other.

 

You can add links to outline document files in your outline and then use them to jump between several outlines. You can split your large outlines into several smaller ones and then easily navigate between them.

 

Open multiple favorites at once

 

You can now open all outlines, grouped into Favorites folder, at once. Each folder in Favorites now includes command Open All in tabs. This command will open or activate (if already open) all outlines listed in this folder. For example you can put all outline files related to your current task into single Favorites folder and then open all task-related outlines with a single command.

 

Also there is even faster way to run this command: you can double-click the corresponding Favorites folder to do it!

 

Please note that you can freely add the same outline into different Favorite folders and you can use Favorites|Organize favorites... command to rearrange favorite outline files as you want.

 

Use keyboard shortcuts for quick outline selection.

 

Add your outlines to favorite outlines list and assign a keyboard shortcut to them. Now if you press this keyboard shortcut in ActionOutline, then your outline will open or activate.

 

Place shortcuts to outline documents on your desktop

 

Now if you open an outline document in Explorer, it will load into the running instance of ActionOutline or activate the corresponding tab if it is already loaded. So you can use desktop shortcuts to easily activate your documents.

 

You can open multiple files at once.

 

Just select several outlines in the Open dialog and they all will open in their tabs.

 

Miscellaneous

 

   Only a single instance of ActionOutline will run at any given moment. If you try to launch ActionOutline again, then the running instance will be activated.

   If you browse for an outline document with File|Open menu or button, then it uses the current directory of the active tab or default outline saving folder if no tabs are open.

   Search is performed in the current tab, but search/replace strings are retained across all open tabs. So if you start searching for "ABC" in tab #1, then switch to the tab #2 and make Find next, then it will continue to search for "ABC" in the tab #2 starting from your current position in this outline.

   A tab title consists of the title of the root outline item, combined with a document file name, if this file name differs from the root item title. If the outline is new and it is not saved yet, then <New> is added to the title instead.

   In reopen list, outline document files residing in the default outline saving folder (see View|Options|Saving), are displayed using their file name only, without path and extension.

 

Networking

 

Use ActionOutline in your network (with Network Edition)!

 

ActionOutline lets everybody to read the same document, but allowing only one user to modify the document at any given time.

 

Opening a document for editing

 

You don't need to do anything special to open a shared document for editing. Just open a document as usual and it will open for editing.

 

Opening a document that is edited by another user

 

If you try to open a document, that is already opened for editing by another user, you will get a message Document is in use. This message will also display who is editing the document now (a name of the computer and the user login name).

 

This message will allow you to select one of three options:

 

1. Retry opening the file. Just lets you try opening this document again.

2. Open read-only. Opens file in read-only mode.

3. Cancel opening the document.

 

If you choose Open read-only, then document loads in read-only mode. In this mode you will be able to browse the document, search, copy information to clipboard, print, export etc. Also you can save outline into the local file.

 

ActionOutline will automatically track changes of the original document state. Once this document will became available for editing or once the document will be updated by another user, then the tab icon for this document will change to and the following message will be displayed in the outline's note pane:

 

 

or

 

 

You can click Reopen to reload the document, or click Not now to stop tracking.

 

 

Explicitly opening the document in read-only mode

 

You can open outline document in explicit read-only mode, preventing accidental modifications and allowing everybody to work with the document without limitations.

 

To open a document in read-only mode, please check Open as read-only option in the File Open dialog.

 

If you exit ActionOutline with a document open in read-only mode, then on the next start, when last tabs are restored, a read-only mode for this document will be retained.

 

Data loss prevention on the network

 

More data loss prevention on the network

 

Our main goal in the Network Edition of ActionOutline is to prevent data loss during simultaneous work with shared files on the network. ActionOutline protects files from being simultaneously edited by several users and they won't overwrite changes of each other.

 

However, if you open the network document and the network temporarily disconnects, or if you close the lid of your laptop, putting it into sleep, without closing the network file first, then your network connection is broken and the file is no longer being protected.

 

Now another user may open the original file and modify it. And after that your copy of this document is no longer the most recent one. And if you save it over the network file, then someone's modifications will be lost!

 

In ActionOutline we offer an additional level of protection to the network files to handle such situations. When document is saved, ActionOutline checks if your connection to the network is still valid. And if it was broken, then it verifies, that the network file was not modified by another user, since your last save.

 

If it was not modified, then you just reconnect and work as usual without any troubles. If file was changed, then you will receive a message telling you about this situation and proposing you to save this file under the new name and later re-apply your changes to the original file.

 

Styles on the network

 

Local styles

 

Local styles are stored with the outline document. Therefore outline items that use local styles will appear the same on any computer.

 

Global styles

 

Global styles are stored in the separate file on your computer and this file is not shared across the network. Each user has its own global styles on their computer.

 

Each outline item remembers a name of its style. If another user has a global style on his computer with the same name as item's style, then that style will be used to display the item. Otherwise outline item will be displayed as if it has Normal style assigned to it.

 

How to share global styles?

 

You can backup your global styles (use View|Styles, then File|Backup global styles...) to the shared location in the network. Then another users may import those styles to their systems. To import styles in version 3 they just need to double-click the styles file in Explorer to automatically open the Import styles dialog. Also they can use View|Styles then File|Import... and select your backup file manually.

 

Once they import your global styles, they will be able to see your documents in the same way as you see them.

 

User interface improvements

 

   As you may already notice, we've changed the layout of ActionOutline user interface in this version. The Note toolbar is now located at the top of the note pane and the Tree toolbar is located at the top of the Tree pane.

   We added separate buttons for Favorites, Recent outlines and active Tabs. You can activate them via keyboard pressing Alt+1 for favorites, Alt+2 for recent and Alt+3 for tabs!

   Common commands from the Note and Tree menus are now combined into the single Edit menu. Note specific commands are now in Format menu and tree specific are left in the Tree menu. Add subitem/sibling menu items are now in the Insert menu.

   We added strikethrough button on the note toolbar. Paste button on the note toolbar now has a drop-down menu with Paste plain text and Paste special options.

   While editing outline items you can press Cursor Down to edit next sibling outline item or add a new one, if there is no sibling. For example after pressing Enter, you can edit new item and press Cursor Down to add one more item and edit it immediately too! Press Cursor Up to edit previous sibling or insert a new one.

Press Ctrl+Home to edit first sibling and Ctrl+End to edit last sibling of the currently editing outline item. Also if you click on another outline item during edit, then edit will complete and clicked outline item will be selected.

   We reduced overall interface flicker while moving outline items, resizing the window, changing splitter position etc. We made search and replace faster with less flicker too.

   We've changed Ctrl+Tab to Shift+Tab to insert a tabulation into the note pane.

   Save & minimize button was renamed to Save & hide. We added a drop-down menu with Save all & hide option.

 

   Now you can access splitter menu using View|Splitter. It also have explicit commands Move left/right, that previously were available only by keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+Alt+Left/Right.

 

   While organizing favorites, you can drag & drop outlines to move them. And now you can hold Ctrl key to copy them instead.

 

 

Miscellaneous

 

Default text for the new outline items has been changed

 

New outline items get Enter your text... title instead of New action... Root item of a new outline is now titled My Outline.

 

If you change the root item title of the new outline and click Save, then ActionOutline will propose you to save outline into the file named the same as your new root item title.

 

If you do not change the root item title, but save the new outline into the disk file, then the root item title will change to the title of the new disk file.

 

Save outline item as new file

 

Now you can easily save outline item with its subitems as a new outline. Use new File|Save outline item as new outline... command in main menu or use the corresponding command in the outline context menu. You just need to specify a name for a new file, and ActionOutline will save outline item into the new file and then it will open this file in a new tab. Now you can easily convert large outlines into collection of smaller ones with links to each other.

 

Open multiple favorites at once

 

You can now open all outlines, grouped into Favorites folder, at once. Each folder in Favorites now includes command Open All in tabs. This command will open or activate (if already open) all outlines listed in this folder. For example you can put all outline files related to your current task into single Favorites folder and then open all task-related outlines with a single command.

 

Also there is even faster way to run this command: you can double-click the corresponding Favorites folder to do it!

 

Please note that you can freely add the same outline into different Favorite folders and you can use Favorites|Organize favorites... command to rearrange favorite outline files as you want.

 

ActionOutline system requirements has been changed

 

ActionOutline now supports Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 or later. You can use ActionOutline with 32-bit or 64-bit editions of these systems.

 

Easier import of backed up styles

 

We've changed a file extension for the global style backup files from .sty to .aostyles

 

You can import those new files into the ActionOutline just by opening them in Explorer. ActionOutline will activate and display Import styles dialog.

 

Unknown styles in outline files are now kept until you explicitly change them

 

You may open outline documents that contain outline items referencing global styles, not presented on your computer. In this version we allowed these outline items to display as Normal style items, as it was before, but to keep referencing their original styles, instead of resetting them to Normal. This is useful when you open shared outline documents referencing global styles not present on your computer.

 

As soon as you add new local or global style with the same name as the unknown style, then outline items of this style will display according to your new style. For example if you import global styles backed up on the computer where the original document was created, then the outline will display the same way as it was displayed on those computer.

 

At any time you can reassign another style to any outline item with unknown style and it won't reference unknown style anymore.

 

Backup file names change

 

We've changed a backup file names extension from .~a to .~ao and now the backup of the outline file Document.ao will have a name Backup of Document.~ao

 

Easier association of ActionOutline documents with ActionOutline

 

Now you can easily check if outline documents are associated with your instance of ActionOutline. Just open View|Options|Shell to see the current status. Click Associate button to immediately restore association with the current ActionOutline instance. And this function does not require administrator privileges any more.

 

Exit confirmation

 

Now you can turn off exit confirmation right in the exit confirmation window. Just check the option Don't ask this question again, and exit confirmaiton will not be asked next time. To restore the confirmation use Options dialog.

 

Miscellaneous

 

Replace in the node title now replaces all occurences of the found string. Previously only first occurence was replaced.

 

Helpful hint is now displayed when ActionOutline goes to tray, showing current assigned shortcut to activate ActionOutline.

 

And of course there are many small fixes and improvements.

 

New keyboard shortcuts

 

Ctrl+T or Ctrl+N - create a new tab with a new empty outline. Tab is opened next to the current tab. Also Cltr+N now does the same.

 

Ctrl+Tab - switch between most recently active outlines, similarly to Alt+Tab switching in Windows. If you press Tab several times, then you will switch to older outlines.

 

Ctrl+Shift+Tab - switch to the oldest outline. If you press Tab several times, then you will switch to newer outlines.

 

Ctrl+Page Down - select next tab. If last tab is active, switch to first one.

 

Ctrl+Page Up - select previous tab. If first tab is active, switch to last one.

 

Ctrl+W or Ctrl+F4 - close the active tab.

 

Ctrl+Shift+T - reopen last closed outline/tab.

 

Ctrl+S - save current outline. Alt+S - save current outline and hide to the tray.

 

Ctrl+Shift+S - save all modified outlines. Alt+Shift+S - save all modified outlines and hide to the tray.

 

Alt+1 - open a list of favorite outlines.

 

Alt+2 - open a list of recently closed outlines.

 

Alt+3 - open a list of all currently open tabs.

Shift+Tab - insert tab into the note pane

 

Keyboard shortcuts for paragraph formatting

 

Ctrl+, - indent selected paragraphs left

Ctrl+. - indent selected paragraphs right

Ctrl+; - toggle bullets on/off

Ctrl+Shift+; - toggle numbering on/off

 

 

New shortcuts while editing outline items

 

Cursor Down - edit next sibling of the currently editing outline item or add a new one, if there is no sibling.

 

Cursor Up to edit previous sibling of the currently editing outline item or insert a new one, if there is no sibling.

 

Ctrl+Home to edit first sibling of the currently editing outline item.

 

Ctrl+End to edit last sibling of the currently editing outline item.

 

Also as always you can press Ins or Alt+Ins keys while editing to add new items. These keys also work when you're working in the note pane!