Why do I not want to use Word? Well, it is just too slow and big and cumbersome for something that is fundamentally simple. I don't need all the formatting and collaborating etc etc functions for this task. I've given up actually typing in Word for the same reason. It's like going out to play tennis in an overcoat and waterproof. That's the first reason.
OK, I didn’t know you didn’t want to use word… But, regarding slowness etc., I wonder what are your computer specs like because on my computers (even on my other more than 6 years old laptop) MS Word 2003 is never really slow... and I have some pretty damn big documents going well over 600 pages, with tables, pictures, etc. Of all the word processors available Word 2003 (NOT 2007) is the one that handles huge documents the most gracefully. It’s not perfect, but I found others to be slower. And regarding formatting etc., I don’t care too much if Word has all kinds of options I rarely use; they’re just there and I generally don’t use them, and if I do happen to need them, I’m usually quite happy they’re there -- eg : one feature that I use A LOT in my own papers is the “comments” feature. I can’t imagine that a writer could live without some ways of inserting notes in his/her writing (and I see that this is one of the features you’re looking for).
(BTW PageFour is a great software. But the feature set wasn’t enough for me to justify buying it. There are also software that are better at Outlining IMO.)
I think the basic problem is that Word confounds the use of headings with the idea of outlining.
You’re right, but only 3/4 right in a way
since you can easily have “headings” that won’t be shown in the outline/map — the “only” problem is that I don’t think that you’d be able to have "outline headings" that would be invisible in the actual document.
Ideally, I'd be able to add little yellow stickies too that would stick to the bit of the document I put them on. And tagging (and the ability to select and cut and paste by tag would be good - something I've not yet managed in OneNote) + the usual highlighting and comments options. But just the fast simple bit would do.
Yes. Like I said In MS Word, for other organizing purpose I use notes (comments) abundantly. And I there’s one thing that I love about the way comment are managed in words and NOT in other word Processors : you can have them in the “reviewing pane” at the bottom of the window (and not in bubbles in the margin…. yuk)
I don't find the document map especially helpful because you can't do anything with it except look and navigate around the document.
Yes. But, as you know, you just need to switch between Outline view and Print view when you need to move stuff around. It’s not exactly as smooth as in an outliner (I’m always afraid that bits of texts won’t follow the sections moves…) but it works pretty well.
I do use OO - and maybe I ought to try how well it does outlining, but somehow I doubt if it will be better.
IMO OO.org’s outlining is not bad at all. It’s just not as good as Word’s…
The reason I want to see the bodytext alone while I am working is that is what the final copy will look like. I will just be confused by having headings appear inside paragraphs. And really this is a task I want to be able to focus my concentration on without distractions on the screen.
That’s a good point. I confess that I’ve just “learned” to live with the “should be invisible” headings in my texts! But it would certainly be more convenient to be able to make them disappear when they’re not necessary. SQLnotes would probably allow to hide or see the actual “item titles”(or even hide some levels) and just see the what’s in the body or the HtmlPane in the html export. I just haven’t tried… yet. (But I’ll keep discussion about SQLnotes features etc. for the SQLnotes thread…
I'm not convinced that OneNote will be better for this than Word. Possibly just different advantages and disadvantages.
I’ve tried using OneNote and I still wonder what “everybody” loves so much about it. True : its interface is very pleasing, it works well with tablet PCs, it can be used for many other things other than just writing documents, etc.
I’ve really tried using and liking it, but I dislike the way it stores the data, and I find it way more complicated to use than Word for big document structures — all these sections, section groups, pages, etc. wow : flat view, anybody ? where’s that feature? How do you get that “unified view” of all the data in a notebook? I also find it much less powerful than other solutions for storing, structuring and filtering all kinds of data. A lot of people that I respect tremendously here in DC swear by it though… so it must be VERY good for certain people. I probably didn’t try to use it for the right stuff.
Ultra Recall will allow for the first - Show Combined Text for Multiple Selections - but may not meet your second criteria.
When I tested Ultra Recall a while ago, I was interested in that feature too (Show Combined Text for Multiple Selections) and it was a big deception. Not too sexy formatting wise, and I hated the whole process of importing my documents in Ultra recall. Also, exporting the unified view, if I recall correctly (ahem) was also not an easy task. I think I never succeeded! Other Ultra Recall longtime users could probably say more though…
I think Ultra Recall was one of the last thing I tried before coming back to Word… (and Outlook for my task, calendar, etc.!)
Too bad Ecco Pro died ten years ago. It was the greatest note and outliner app ever. Why no one ever coded something similar I'll never know.
I personally prefer SQLNotes by far. And, following Pierre’s (PPLandry) post , I’ll end by saying that SQLNotes will probably
be what I’ll be using for the kind of task you’re describing — it could potentially do everything that Word does, but with much better Outlining, great tagging, and the possibility to indefinitely reorganize, clone, split, etc. information. I’m just waiting for the coming MS word integration and the 3 features Pierre just presented !
) (Pierre… ; Here’s the request you're looking for
) Of course, only after trying to use SQLnotes to structure long documents in real life situations will I be able to say for sure whether it’s my
preferred solution… (I already use SQLnotes for very different tasks… But for a long document, I’d currently miss the “unified view feature” — yes it’d probably be possible to export as html, but… I sometimes need that view as I work
and play with the structure.
(PS … And there’s one thing that I find hard to find in any Outliner but that’s sooooo convenient when I write in Word : zoom Out/zoom in.)