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Writing Outliner is now signed again

Posted in: Outliner Software by Edwin on January 27, 2024

The Writing Outliner installer file and all files installed by the installer are now digitally signed.

This should solve the installation issue some users experienced – they couldn’t see the Writing Outliner tab after installed it into Word.

V2.1.54 supports multi file formats – and full-text searchable!

Posted in: Version History by Edwin on February 8, 2023

You can now import any format of files to your writing project, including Adobe pdf, plain text, images (png, jpg, gif, svg, Photoshop ps, and so on), RTF, and so on. These kinds of files usually serve as research/reference materials.

Built-in sophisticated viewer/editor for pdf files, plain text files and image files.

For other kinds of file, you can open it with the associated external programs, and Writing Outliner will auto save it back to the project database if you edit it.

The pdf files and plain text files are also full-text searchable (in addition to the previous full-text search of Word documents).


Significantly simplified/restructured the internal structure of the software, which makes Writing Outliner much easier to maintain and extend.

A bunch of other small enhancements, bugfixes and optimizations.

Writing Outliner version 2.0.53

Posted in: Version History by Edwin on December 17, 2022

What’s new

Import and split a large Word document into Writing Outliner, Writing Outliner can recognize the outline levels in the source Word document and split them accordingly. In other words, the outline in the source Word document will become outline nodes in the target Writing Outliner project.


Other enhancements: several small stabilizations.

Writing Outliner for Word v2.0.52

Posted in: Version History by Edwin on December 15, 2022

What’s new in 2.0.52

This version addressed a long-standing document content loss issue which happens as following:

  • You added a new document and edited the content.
  • You then moved the document to another branch.
  • You close and reopened the project, found that the new document content’s lost and has moved back to its original branch.

Converting from a folder to a document might cause similar issue too, and that also has been fixed. I’m sorry for the inconveniences caused. I’ll keep stabilizing and polishing Writing Outliner.

Other enhancements and fixes:

  • Enhanced: In previous versions the document’s cursor/text selection position information are saved only if you also have edited the document content. Now it’ll always be saved even if you have just browsed the document.
  • Fixed: After converting a node between folder and document, the middle pane didn’t reflex the change until you select another node and switch back.
  • Fixed: An issue introduced in yesteray’s release :Copy and paste a new document then close the project, an error message would pop up.
  • Fixed: Not a big issue, but in rare cases when closing the project an error message might appear causing the failure of updating the “recently used projects” list.
Writing Outliner version

Posted in: Version History by Edwin on December 13, 2022

What’s new

  • Massively simplified the internal structure of the software, resulted in a cleaner, more stable and flexible base for future development.
  • Enhancements:
    • The document is instantly searchable after you manually saved it (in previous versions you’d have to switch to another document before you can search in it).
    • Upgraded the project database system to the latest SQLite.
    • Project loading is faster thanks for more optimized project database operations.
    • Several small user interface enhancements.
    • ‘Copy Project File To…’ menu caption has been changed to ‘Backup Project File…’ so that it’s easier to understand by the users.
  • Issues fixed:
    • When the Word window has no document currently open, pressing [Ctrl + Shift + PgUp/PgDn] (for quickly jumping to previous/next document in a Writing Outliner project) will cause error message popping up.
    • Ensure the latest version of the Writing Outliner manual is opened every time you click the Open the Manual button.
    • Changed the keyboard shortcuts for toggling the left/right panes, the old ones no longer work (possibly due to conflicting with new versions of Word).
    • In a situation error message might pop up when Writing Outliner is updating the word/character counts in realtime.

WritingOutliner v2.0.47

Posted in: Version History by Edwin on November 6, 2022

  • Installer: Prevent from running the installer program again when there is already an instance running.
  • Added a standalone assistant tool called “WritingOutliner Word Add-in Manager”, which allows you to disable WritingOutliner without uninstalling it, or if Word somehow disabled WritingOutliner, you can use this tool to re-enable WritingOutliner.
WritingOutliner vs DocxManager

Posted in: Word, Word addin by Edwin on October 28, 2022

Both WritingOutliner and DocxManager have been developed for the same goal – outliner-organized, project-based writing with Microsoft Word. But the implementations are different.

User Interface
– WritingOutliner is a Word add-in, which is embedded into Word window.
– DocxManager is the other way around – Word is embedded into the DocxManager main window.

I was trying to replace WritingOutliner with DocxManager, but it turned out that the way DocxManager controls Word makes it impossible to achieve good speed and smoothness when switching from a document to another.

Data storage
– With WritingOutliner the Word documents in a project are stored in a SQLite database file.
– With DocxManager the Word documents are stored in the file system.

Each storage has its own advantages and disadvantages. Storing documents in a database in WritingOutliner makes it difficult to share and co-edit documents, and I’m planning a new feature that solves this problem – by storing the working documents in the file system so you can edit the documents externally, and WritingOutliner takes care of auto syncing back the changes to the database. That’s the initial idea.

WritingOutliner 2.0 Released!

Posted in: Version History by Edwin on October 25, 2022

After the development of the software was stalled for about 2 years since 2020, I overturned my previous decision. WritingOutiner is special mostly in that it’s built on top of Word, and it has potential.

That being said, the development of WritingOutliner has been restarted and will be continued – it won’t be stopped again any more.

I’ve got a lot of enhancement ideas sleeping in my mailbox sent from people all over the world over the years, and I’ve got my own ideas. Stay tuned.

What’s new

  • User interface:
    • Reworked, automatic font size for high DPI monitors – no more small font issue on large screens, nor needing you to manually adjust the user interface scale for large screens (Note, if you have a very large monitor and still experience any font size issue, just send me the screenshots and I’ll fix it).
  • Corkboard:
    • Index card: in addition to the status name that’s already displayed as stamp text on the card background, now the label name is also displayed in the footer of the card.
    • Arabic and other non-English characters can now be correctly displayed on the cards.
  • Writing goal management:
    • See live word/character count in the metadata pane as you are writing.
    • Instant, non-disturb notification of the achievement of target word/character count.
  • More user interface enhancements:
    • Larger, clearer status and label icons.
    • Non-disturb notification after a project document compilation (combination).
    • Small speed optimization of project document compilation (combination).
  • Fixed a lot of blatant issues which has been introduced when upgrading for Win 10 and upgrading the development tool of WritingOutliner in year 2020.
  • A bunch of small enhancements that are too trivial to list here.
The development of WritingOutliner has been restarted!

Posted in: Novel Writing Software, Version History by Edwin on October 12, 2022

The development of WritingOutliner has been restarted!

If you ask me why:

  • WritingOutliner is so unique in that it’s built on top of Word.
  • Many users still prefer it over the others.
  • It feels so bad and nervous to abandon it, really.

The enhancement is already currently in progress, many issues have been fixed. In the meantime if you have any comments, suggestions or issue reports, feel free to send an email to edwin.yip@WritingOutliner.com

The new “Check for Updates” feature

Posted in: Book writing software by Edwin on May 5, 2020

The most recently added new “Check for Updates” feature makes it easy for you to check for and install new releases of WritingOutliner Word add-in in the future. See the screenshot below.