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Get started with OutlineEdit


Thank you for choosing OutlineEdit! It is a powerful yet easy to use application for creating outlines on your Mac. This manual will explain all its features and highlights useful tips and tricks that make working even faster and more convenient.

Availability and Requirements

OutlineEdit is available on the Mac App Store worldwide. The application interface is fully localized in English and German. The most current version is 1.7 and requires OS X 10.10 Yosemite or a newer release of macOS on a Mac with 64bit processor (some features such as tabs require macOS 10.12 Sierra). It is a free update to all users.

If you have Questions or Ideas

Should you ever encounter a question not covered by this manual, please feel free to contact us here and we will try to answer in the shortest time possible. Please let us also know any ideas and wishes you might have regarding the application and user’s guide.


First Launch and Window Layout

When you first launch OutlineEdit, you will be guided through a short introduction process, setting everything up and asking about select preferences. If you didn't choose to add Marker to Safari, you can always get it here or from the Help menu.

After the initial setup, an empty document window will be displayed.

You can create an unlimited number of documents from File ▸ New or using the cmd + N shortcut. Open existing OutlineEdit files (.oedoc or older .oeoutline files) from the File menu. Quicklook is available in Finder for files created with OutlineEdit 1.7 and newer.


Depending on your system settings, OutlineEdit will open new documents as separate windows or using tabs. Learn more on the macOS tabs settings here. Usually, new documents are created in tabs when using full screen mode and as windows otherwise. You can always show or hide the tab bar from the Window ▸ Show Tab Bar menu.

Controls on Touch Bar

OutlineEdit supports Touch Bar on MacBook Pro late 2016 models. Controls for folding items, adding notes, setting categories and check boxes, text formatting as well as text completion are directly available when editing.


OutlineEdit comes with a number of settings you can adapt to make it fit your workflow best. See all preferences from OutlineEdit ▸ Preferences or using the cmd + , shortcut.

Creating simple Outlines

Now it’s time to create your first outline with OutlineEdit! If you want to, add a title using cmd + T or from Edit ▸ Set Title in the main menu.

Working with Items

Creating outlines with OutlineEdit works intuitively, right as you expect: Simply start typing, hit enter to add a new item. cmd + enter creates a new item before the selected one. ctrl + enter splits up an item in two at the cursor position.

Then, re-order the items you have collected via drag and drop or move them using alt + up and alt + down. Indent items using tab and outdent with shift + tab. As always, select multiple items by holding down shift.

Quickly jump up and down between items using the shortcuts cmd + up and cmd + down. Tip: Holding down shift for multiple item selection also works with these shortcuts.

Use bold, italic or underlined text to add expression to your notes. Select these styles from the Font menu or by using cmd + B, cmd + I and cmd + U. These styles are also available right from Touch Bar.


To keep your outline clean and simple or to remember detail infromation, add further text as notes to outline items. You can add notes by clicking the '+' button to the right of the active item, from the menu Edit ▸ Add Note or using the shortcut ctrl + N. If you have a MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, a button to add notes is also available there.

More on Text Editing

In items and notes, use the alt + enter shortcut to insert line breaks at any position within paragraphs. Analogously, alt + shift even allows you to add indentation to text within one item or its note.


It is often useful to add checkboxes to an outline to keep track of what's done an which items you still have to focus on. Enable checkboxes from Checkboxes ▸ Use Checkboxes in the main menu. In addition to clicking on checkboxes, you can also use ctrl + C to toggle their state. Easily delete all checked items or uncheck all items from the Checkboxes menu in the main menu bar.

Our handy count checked/unchecked items statistics display might be helpful when working with checkboxes - learn more on statitsics here.


To keep the overview and simplify working with your outlines, fold item groups by clicking the triangle button to their left or using the shortcut ctrl + F. You can also let OutlineEdit fold everything down to a chosen level from the Edit ▸ Fold to Layer... menu (or using ctrl + alt + F). Fold or unfold everything from the Edit menu or through ctrl + cmd + F and ctrl + cmd + alt + F.

A small number underneath folded disclosure triangles indicates how many items are currently hidden.

Editor Settings

Increase or decrease the editor text size using cmd + plus and cmd + minus. You can also set a default size to use for all documents in preferences.

OutlineEdit uses indentation guidelines to highlight level changes. You can enable or disable them from the Window menu or globally in preferences.

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