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WritingOutliner vs DocxManager

Posted in: Word, Word addin by Edwin on October 28, 2022 | 3 Comments

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.

Turning on/off Writing Outliner Addin for MS Word

Posted in: Word addin by Edwin on September 22, 2010 | 4 Comments

One of the recently added new features in Writing Outliner Word Add-in is the ability to temporarily turn off Writing Outliner when you don’t need its project-based long document writing features, and turn it on later on. Note, you’ll have to restart Microsoft Word after you turn Writing Outliner on or off.

See the following screenshot and you’ll understand what I mean. The screenshot is taken from an running instance of Microsoft Word 2007, in earlier versions of Word please check the main menu.

Thorough support for Word 2010 is coming

Posted in: Word addin by Edwin on May 24, 2010 | No Comments

Hi folks,

Some of you might have already know that while in most cases Writing Outliner Word works with Office 2010, the current version (beta 3) of this addin still has various problems when working with Word 2010.

Now here is a good news – I have upgraded the  underlying SDK to a newer version which claims to support Word 2010 better (the SDK itself is still in beta and the final version will due in June, but the SDK vendor says that it’s quite stable and is already-for-a-product), and I’ll integrate it into the upcoming Writing Outliner beta 4, and I guess as a result beta 4 will work better with Word 2010.

The new ‘start page’ tab in Writing Outliner Word Add-in

Posted in: Word addin by Edwin on May 22, 2010 | No Comments

I’d like to show you one of the new features for beta 4, instead of always opens the current document in the new tab,  the ‘start page’ tab now will shows up every time you open a new tab.

You can simply click any document in the Project Manager Outliner on the left to edit it in the new tab, or you have two alternative options – open  a new tab for the Multi-column Outliner or the embedded file manager (for importing or exporting documents).

I imagine you’ll start using some new future features from this new “Start Page” tab, this way the UI can be simplified. Screenshot below:

tabbed document editing in Word

Instant Word document search with matching snippets preview

Posted in: Word addin by Edwin on April 17, 2010 | 5 Comments

I’d like to show you my recent works with regard to the Writing Outliner Word Add-in proejct.

Check the screenshot below, now  you can instantly preview the  matching snippets when doing a full text search search,  and the best thing is that the keyword will be highlighted in Word’s6 document window once you select any of the matching snippets! And it will be available in the next release. Can’t wait to try it? Let me know then 😉

Currently, I’m working on the multi-column outliner which was discussed in the beta test forum, stay tuned!

document search in Writing Outliner Word Add-in

Auto Word document backup and restore in Writing Outliner

Posted in: Word addin by Edwin on April 14, 2010 | 2 Comments

I’m working on new things, such as improving the full text word document search function in Writing Outliner Word Add-in.

In the mean time I’d like to show you the confirm restore dialog which appears right before restoring a project to a previously saved revision, it also asks you if you’d like to save a new copy of the current project before performing the actual restore action, and it’s default option – to reduce the risk of overwriting new content by mistake.

Restore options

Automatic Word documents backup

To summarize, Writing Outliner Word Add-in does not only make working on multiple related Word documents in one place easier (the so called project-centric approach), but also makes backup and restore your Word documents easily:

  • Anytime you can save a backup copy of the entire project as a revision to which you can revert at a later time (if needed);
  • If you want, Writing Outliner Word Add-in  can also automatically saves a backup copy of the entire project as a revision upon closing a modified project.
  • You can view the revision number, backup time and remarks of each backup in the revision list window, see my previous post.
  • You can restore your writing project to a previous revision in case you need to do that.

I’ll show you the new search snippet and auto locating feature soon.

Writing Outliner Word addin will not get in your way when you don’t need it

Posted in: Word addin by Edwin on March 10, 2010 | 3 Comments

Just now I received an email from someone,  he concerned once Writing Outliner Word add-in is installed, will it get in his way when he is not working on documents that need Writing Outliner Word addin.

His original question:

Your outliner looks very promising, but I’m wondering if after installation Word will always start with it or is it possible to have the options for a clean startup and a startup with the outliner? I’m new to Word addins.

The answeris: No, Writing Outliner will not get in  your way when you don’t need it.

Look the screenshot below, it only shows a small vertical strip on the left of your Microsoft Word main window.

Word addin - Writing Outliner is disabled

Why this UI design instead of using a Ribbon item (or a toolbar/menu item in pre-2007 versions of Microsoft Word)?

Because you can recall it with just one-click!

Don’t like my idea? Tell me please, my mind is always open, you know, I’m not a writer and I am trying to write an all-in-one writing tool for writers, so my mind needs to be wide open to get ideas from you 😉

Word Tabbed Editing, etc – Writing Outliner New screenshots

Posted in: Word addin by Edwin on February 23, 2010 | 19 Comments

Hi Folks,

I know you have been long waiting for Writing Outliner Word addin, and I’m sorry for not being able to release it that early as you  might have been expected, but here are some screenshots and I hope you’ll find it ‘s worthwhile to be awaited 😉

Tabbed Word Document Editing

Tabbed document editing in Word

So with Writing Outliner you’ll be able to editing multiple documents in Word without switching programs with tabs (the popular modern UI design concept, especially  in the Web browser world).

Icon markers for Word document

Document status iconWord document labels

In the outliner there are two built-in columns: document status and document lables, both are represented by an icon and a name. I’m a “visual” guy, I believe that human brain processes graph better than processing text, so I believe these two visual clues will help you better manage your writing projects.

Tagging Word documents

Word document tags

Tagging such a popular tool for organizing information nowadays, especially in the Internet world, why not adopt it to manage Word Documents?  It’s another tool in Writing Outliner for your to manage your documents right inside Microsoft Wor!

Another secrete about Writing Outliner Word addon I want to unveil: The Project Manager in Writing Outliner Word addin is almost a full-featured file manager like the Windows Explorer 😉

But I’m kind of perfectionistic (?) so I’m still adding some more features before I release it as a beta version 😉

Questions? Please!

I’m working really hard for this Word addin for writers

Posted in: Book writing software, Word addin by Edwin on November 13, 2009 | 10 Comments

Well, I haven’t been adding new blog posts recently,  but I’m working really hard on my Writing Outliner Word addin development these days, and  I’ll be shortly posting new screenshots which will show how in the current stage this Word addin for writer will look like when working on a writing project  😉

And I’d like to thank you all guys who have signed up for the newsletter, and those who have emailed me your suggestions and comments, you are actually giving me more motivation (which I have a lot already, but you know,  the more, the better ;), and you are enriching my ‘field knowledge’ during  our communication which will help the Word addin developer a lot.

Background (for new visitors):

Writing Outliner is an addin for Word which is aiming at turning Microsoft Word™ (all versions of it, from Word 2000 to 2007 and the upcoming 2010) into an all-in-one book-length document writing tool, it allows you managing you whole writing projects easily, to view and search research files right inside Word, in one place with your drafts, to outline long documents and write in pieces, and so on, you can check the details on home page of Writing Outliner Word addin.