Hoist and Tabs


#1

I was just noticing that TaskPaper has a Tabs hide/show bar. I am not at all clear on how this works. I can’t drag anything to that bar and so far I can’t find a command to open a line in a new tab. This could be a potentially useful feature - if I understood what it does.

It relates to another idea of hoisting whatever line or level I am working on. My first and still favorite outliner/organizer was Fair Witness (later Info Depot). With many organization/writing apps back in the day it was considered standard practice to be able to hoist and to focus solely on a section or a subsection by making it the main focus. This is not the same as adding or deleting tabs and levels. The hoisting I am talking about is about focus only and it should not affect the outline structure of the item being hoisted.

If this was how tabs was intended to be used then, fantastic. Think of how it would be to be focused on your task list and at the same time create a tab for one of the projects in your task list that you need to seriously focus on - while still keeping the days list on the first tab.

ADDED: I see the add new tab now … however, this is not addressing the hoist function I was referencing. What we really need here is a way to view parts of a section without the hierarchy that is above it. Call it a flat file approach. It would be so very nice if in TaskPaper I could hoist a section that I really need to concentrate on, that is within a larger section that I don’t really need to concentrate on at the moment, and not see all the information of the larger section.

Put another way, couldn’t this be a way to focus on what you wanted to work on, distraction free?


#2

TaskPaper supports opening all the sidebar items in tabs. Right-Click on a sidebar item and you’ll see options to “Open in New Window” and “Open in New Tab”. Right now that’s the only place in the UI for opening tabs on existing content.

If I understand you correctly TaskPaper does support “hoisting”, except it calls it “Focus In” and “Focus Out”. You can do it in two ways:

  1. When you click on a project in the sidebar that project is hoisted… (Focused in TaskPaper terminology).

  2. You can also focus any item from the keyboard using the Outline > Focus In, Outline > Focus Out menu items. The first focus will show the current item and it’s children. If you focus in again then only the children will show.

Not sure if that’s what you were asking… let me know if you still have more questions.


#3

I think the basic idea is something that you have weighed in on in the past as not being a fan of. The idea is to be able to focus on any item without also seeing all the items which exist above it in it’s particular tree.

If I have understood you, I think this might be something that you have expressed a willingness to consider in a future rewrite of the code in TaskPaper. That is, you discussed a willingness to look at sorting in a flat file type of way. If that made sense, that would also be a place to see something like what I have suggested here.

For example, lets say I have a project to do a presentation at a certain venue in a certain city at a certain date. The tree would be about doing the project. Inside that tree would be sub projects such as; Preparing end submitting the RFP (request for proposal), prepare the presentation, research the city and the likely audience or client, research the financial arraignments including travel and invoicing, prepare to bring items to sell or to market during the presentation, outside marketing or other opportunities to look into while visiting that city for the presentation (local radio spots, seeing relatives, meeting other potential clients, etc.).

In this scenario it might be useful to take each of these sub projects and see them at the top of your focus of your work in TaskPaper. If I am working hard at deciding what marketing materials would be ready then that is all I would want to see while I am working on that part of the project. I don’t really want to see that this is a project in Houston (for example), and that I have contracts to get signed, have travel arrangements to make, and that my presentation still needs polishing.

All of these things are important of course. But it is not possible in TaskPaper as it is now to have any of the sub projects start at the top of the TaskPaper page (as far as I can tell).

This is what I mean by hoisting an idea. I mean that I only want to see that idea at the top of the page at times and of course also be able to expand and work on any sub aspects of that project.

If I have not expressed this idea clearly, please ask and I will clarify as I can.


#4

I’m pretty sure that this is possible and I’m a big fan of it! :slight_smile:

Did you try the Outline > Focus In command? It should do exactly what you are describing. What I am not a fan of is presenting a view that contains multiple items from different parts of the outline shown together out of order… I want to keep the concept of a logical ordered from top to bottom text file.

Focusing into a particular item makes a lot of sense to me, because it allows you to focus into a particular detail and hide everything else. I’m pretty sure that “Outline > Focus In” does what you want.


#5

The one thing that I don’t expect to support is focus/hoisting multiple projects in the same editor window. If your goal is to just focus on two projects out of an outline that contains hundreds. Then my suggestion would be to:

  1. Focus into the first project.
  2. Create a new tab or new window. And in that new window focus into the second project.

Then you will have two views of your outline, each focused into a different projects. The other “hundreds” of projects won’t be visible in either view.


#6

Yes thanks, that does it exactly. The only thing I would like to add to this is to have a way to use the “focus in” with a “new Tab” command.


#7

And speaking of tabs, using focus in and then creating a new tab leaves the name of the document as the name of every single tab. If I open a few tabs to work concurrently on different parts of a project it would be much better if each tab had a unique name. Preferably the first few letter of the “focused in” line.

Perhaps this is more relevant to the idea of my earlier comment to focus in and create a new tab at the same time.