Guoniu Han has written a very good Mac application called SuperReplace which processes text files according to sets of replace actions to help with complex formatting. It can do a lot of other things too so take a look. To use the following droplets you need to have the Classic SuperReplace application installed on your Mac.
Han has kindly given his permission to get it here.
(If your browser displays a page of code instead of downloading, try choosing a download file option from the browser's contextual menu while clicking on the link.)
One of its talents is to create a droplet application that contains the actions to perform on any file dropped onto it. I have created three droplets to process Newton outlines and checklists as uploaded to the Mac with Dan Rowleys X-Port 2.1 which you can buy and download at <http://order.kagi.com/?IC>.
X-Port creates a text file that can use tabs to indent the levels of the outline and the following droplets preserve the leading tabs and therefore the structure of the outline.
Each file called "filename" in these examples, when dropped onto the SR droplet, will be transformed according to its built-in formatting controls and a new file called "filename ED" will be created at the same location. The source file is untouched. If there is already a file called "filename ED" new files will have a number appended to it make it unique like this: "filename ED1"
This droplet takes a checklist or outline and converts it by substituting different bullets for each level (up to 6 deep) but preserves the status of checked items by using the  (tick) (Opt-V) character for the bullet. The output file can be pasted into any text editor that supports tabs.
A checklist just uploaded to the Mac that looks like this:
After being dropped onto Beautify it will look like this:
I have settled on a particular format for my outlines and it's nice to be able to reformat outlines and checklists created on the Newton so that they conform to this standard.
Strip Bullets / Tab
Removes all bullet points from outlines and checklists and again preserves the status of checked items by using the (tick) character for the bullet. This format is useful if you are importing into another outliner which provides its own bullets or if you are downloading to the Newt and want a clean, tab-indented file.
Starting with the same checklist:
...it converts it into this:
Strip Bullets /
Identical to Strip Bullets / Tab except that it uses the diamond character  (Shift-Opt-V) instead of tabs. This can be useful for indicating the topic level in text editors or fields where tabs are not supported or where tabs might perform a different function. The  character is a distinctive one that can be globally replaced for spaces or some other character.
Takes an tab-indented outline from any source and adds bullets to it according to my usual theme.
This Droplet comes in two flavours; one preserves the tabs and the other removes them ready for pasting into a word processor where you intend to use paragraph styles to format the outline.
Add Bullets to Tab OL / Tab
Takes a tab-indented outline from any source and adds bullets to it according to my usual theme.
Add Bullets to Tab OL / No Tab
Same as / Tab but all topics are at the same top level.
I have other outliners on my PowerBook like BrainForest Pro <http://www.ultrasoft.com/BrainForest/> which outputs tab-indented outlines ideal for quick download into the Newt and this droplet brings their format into line with the others.
For all droplets, you may prefer to change the characters I have chosen to use as bullets or the ones I have assumed will need to be stripped. This is very easy to do in the SR application. Just double-click on the droplet and click Edit to see how it's built.
Feel free to make any changes to the droplets that you wish and send me any droplets that might be useful in connection with the Newt - Ill make them available them here. Send me before and after text examples with your droplet so I can see what its doing.
Click this icon to download all five Droplets and a Read Me describing operation in detail.
ClarisImpact and iLiner
I still use ClarisImpact 2.0 as my primary outliner (nothing as good or better having appeared on the Classic Mac OS since its cancellation) and if anyone has knowledge of how to import and export outlines from this application with the outline structure intact I would be keen to hear about it. I don't consider the use of paragraph styles a valid technique because it's not transportable or reusable - there's no structure there, only appearance.
I have created a couple of FileMaker solutions that do a reasonable job at converting to and from ClarisImpact but they are clumsy and need some manual labour so a better solution would be very welcome.
iLiner <http://www.mercury-soft.com/> is a resonable outliner application for the Mac but it needs to evolve quite a way yet before I would use it routinely.
|This site and all its contents:
© Joel M. Sciamma, 2002-5.
Made with Macintosh