FoldingText for Atom Word Count, Hoisting, Text Import and Export


I recently began using FoldingText for Atom, and find the development very useful. I have three requests that would make it nearly perfect for me.

  1. Allow the FoldingText Package to access the packages available to text files, e.g., “word counter.”

  2. When hoisting a branch, make the title of the hoisted branch visible at the top.

  3. Make the importing and exporting of plain text indented files faster and more intuitive. For exporting: combine into one process the steps of highlighting the outline, copying or pasting it as text, and then save the clipboard contents as a *.txt file of the same name. For importing: automatically detect leading tabs when opening, and create the corresponding outline.

Thanks for listening. The built-in configurability and extensibility of Atom makes this your best project yet, in my opinion. I would be happy to pay for it when it becomes a commercial app.


Hi and thanks for trying it out.

I’m also excited about Atom, but after releasing FoldingText for Atom (and getting feedback) I came to the conclusion that it’s not where most users want me to spend my time. It’s really cool, but also heavy weight and brings along a bunch of programmer and geek baggage that most users don’t really want.

So instead what I’m doing is taking much of the underlying FoldingText for Atom code and and am using it to build TaskPaper 3, a native Mac app. Basically instead of using Atom to host the editor logic I’m using the standard Mac app framework and views.

I don’t expect to update FoldingText for Atom soon. Once TaskPaper 3 is out my next project will be a WriteRoom update I think. After that I’ll consider revisiting the idea of a Atom plugin. I think it could provide extra value for existing TaskPaper/FoldingText/WriteRoom users… but I don’t think it would sell much itself, and right now my focus needs to be more on selling stuff.


Hi Jesse,

Thanks for your prompt reply. I totally understand. You’ve got to go where your users take you. I appreciate what you’ve done with the Atom version nonetheless. I may try hacking it on my own, but meanwhile, what you’ve created remains useful as it stands.

Thanks again.


Hi Jesse,

To relativize things, I think you got emotional opinions about FTfA from people on this forum because we very much liked FoldingText the way it was and feared abandonment – there isn’t really an editor with the same feature set and flexibility –, and for us, FoldingText for Atom is a very different beast, not a replacement. I think many of the opinions are not against FTfA per se, but, finding that FTfA won’t replace FT for us, against the prospective abandonment of FT.

But, the people who most likely know and therefore give their opinion about FTfA are your FT user base, people like me interested in FT being kept alive. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the people who might like to see FTfA as more of an outliner come to fruition might be people that do not even know it exists and that are not users of and not emotionally invested in FT; people outside this forum. Which is to say, as a heavy user of FT as a multipurpose text editor, I don’t want you to spend time on FTfA at the expense of FT, but someone looking for an interesting outliner concept might.


Thanks, and yeah I understand that. I think what was clear though is that FTA wouldn’t replace my other apps cleanly… and that’s my goal… to get my existing apps updated. I don’t have the resources to both maintain my existing stuff and work on something new.

Second as fun as writing Atom plugins is, I think sales would be to low. Anyway, with a little luck (still must finish a few things up) the next step in the process happens today–TaskPaper 3 Preview. It doesn’t run in Atom, but it shares much of the same code as FTA.


Cheers, keep up the good work.