“stupid” question about creating new rows, before buying

2 days left in trial, but I won’t be able to buy until I solve this problem. It will sound odd to anyone comfy with the app, but I can’t seem to figure out how to create new rows at the root level. There’s something about the logic of the UI that is clashing with my expectations. So if I’m just typing a very simple outline:

main row

  • child row
  • child row
  • child row…

…how do I then enter a new parent row? Keyboard only. I keep expecting Return to create a new main row, but instead it creates another child. Which is fine in itself. I try to “move left,” but then it just disappears, and I don’t understand that at all.

And then I find, to my horror, that I literally CAN’T create another main row at that point, with return or anything else! And I sit there like a chump thinking, “I have GOT to be missing something obvious.”

And then it gets weirder: sometimes I press return and I DO get a new main row! And I just can’t figure out what hair-splitting difference in context makes it possible.

Please help so I can buy this otherwise fine app.

When this is happening, my guess would be that you are focused on the “main row”. This means you only see that the “main row” and its descendants. When you click on a row in the Sections list in the sidebar, it will focus on that row. Click on “SECTIONS” or empty space below the list if you have any to unfocused completely.

To add another main row, the keyboard shortcut is cmd-{. It’s the Organize > Add Outside command. You can also use shift-tab to outdent the selected row(s).

Thanks, Derek. Unfortunately, that doesn’t match what I’m seeing: I am not focussed on any rows. I can see all of them in the main window. That’s exactly when I expect to be able to easily create a new main row…but strangely can’t.

Cmd-{ works when the cursor is in a child row, which is a partial solution for me! Yay! And yet only partial…

The Add Inside command does NOT work if the cursor is already in a main row (menu item grayed out). In that fairly common situation, I’m still at a loss as to how to create a new main row (and navigating into a child row just so I can access the Add Inside command seems a bit silly).

I’m attached a screenshot to clarify the simple situation that’s stumping me. I’m sure this is going to turn out to be a classic “easy when you know” thing. ;-)

Shift-Return will make a new sibling above the current one.
Control-Command-DownArrow will move it below the original sibling.

I use Keyboard Maestro to make a macro so I can do this with a single keystroke.

Ah, there isn’t a single command for that once current row has children. However, you can change the keyboard prefs to gain that ability.
OmniOutliner menu > Preferences > Keyboard tab > New rows are created: > Indented if there are

With that turned on, you will need to directly create a child row with cmd-} in the situation you are wanting the ability to create another main row should that be what you want. Another useful shortcut to know if shift-return to create a row above the current one.

I’m still not sure what would be going on when you see your row disappear though, if you can figure out steps to reproduce that I’d be happy to take a look.

Shift-Return seems to be the main thing that I was missing. Not exactly what I was after, but close enough.

Another key piece was “once current row has children”! In fact, that was probably the thing that I was most disoriented by: I didn’t expect row creation behaviour to change with the presence of child rows. And it is now obvious how it works.

The ability to change the behaviour of return wasn’t quite a missing piece, but it does allow me to change the behaviour to what I had been expecting (probably because of familiarity with another outlining app). So now that I understand how OO works, I can either adapt… or I can change it to what I’m used to.

I did RTFM, by the way—I’m a big believer in RTFM—and it seems like it neglects these basic mechanics. :-)

Thank you for your help! Purchase seems inevitable.

P.S. The “disappearing” thing… now that I understand what’s going on a little better I’ll try again and report back if I can reproduce it.

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