Palisade DocumentationBigPicture 2016 Manual Topic Pane and Outline PaneWhat is the Outline Pane, and how do I use it?

What is the Outline Pane, and how do I use it?

Once you have created a map, the Outline Pane provides a variety of ways that you can easily create/edit entire maps, add Topics, delete Topics, rearrange Topics via drag-drop methods, duplicate topics, add Tags, add Markers, import/export Outlines and have access to various summary views. The versatility of the Outline view makes BigPicture incredibly user friendly.

Outline Pane Overview

To access the Outline Pane click on the Outline icon in the BigPicture Ribbon.

Basic Outline View

To access the Basic Outline View click on the Outline icon in the upper left corner of the Outline Pane. This view allows you to see your entire map as an outline. It also gives you the opportunity to add, remove, edit and of your Topics and Connectors. When in Basic Outline View the Import (See #2) and Export (See #3) icons are available. These features are covered below.

Basic Outline View

Tags Outline View

To access the Tags Outline View click on the Tag icon (See #1) located to the right of the Basic Outline icon. This view allows you to see your Topics and Connectors and how they are tagged throughout your map. It also gives you the flexibility to add new tags, reassign tags and remove tags at the same time that it automatically updates the map. When viewing the Tags Outline, the Tags Option icon (See #2) is made available. These options allow you to view and filter different combinations of Tags in conjunction with specified Markers that are assigned to your map.

Tags Outline View

Markers Outline View

To access the Markers Outline View click on the Marker icon (See #1) to the right of the Tags icon in the Outline Pane. When viewing the Markers Outline, the Markers Option icon (See #2) is made available. These options allow you to view and filter different combinations of Markers in conjunction with specified Tags that are assigned to your map.

Markers Outline View

Show Connections Option

Click on the Show Connections button at the bottom of the Outline Pane (See #1) to to view all of the connections in the outline. When the Show Connections option is activated the color of the button will change colors - as shown below. A small gray arrow will appear  (See #2) on the side of any connectors in the Outline. The default name given to connectors is based on the two topics that are attached to that connector. You can add labels to the connectors by clicking on them in the outline and typing the label name.

NOTE: When Show Connections is NOT activated, you can click on the connector(s) in the map and they will appear in the Outline. This comes in handy when you only want to see some of the connectors instead of all of them. If you would like to clear the connection that appear in the outline view after clicking on individual connections. Click on the Show Connections button twice.

Find and Replace Option

Click the Find and Replace button at the bottom of the Outline Pane to see the usual find and replace options. Click on the Options button to access the Whole Word and Match Case options.

Basic Outline View Features

Adding Topics

To Add Topics via the Outline,

  • Click on the topic name that you would like to have as the parent topic
  • Type the name of the Topic that you would like in the <New Topic> area
  • Click Enter or Tab

You can continue to add topics to that selected parent by continuing to enter names and clicking <Enter>. The New Topics will be added as children topics to the selected topic in the outline.

Adding Topics

Creating a New Map from an Outline

You can use the Outline Pane as an easy way to create a new map by quickly adding individual topics or by importing an outline from a text editor like Microsoft Word.  

Via Manual Entry

Click the Outline View, and then start typing in the <New Topic> box. Each time you hit <Return> a new topic will be added to the map. This allows you the freedom of being able to brainstorm without having to worry about what order your topics are in. You can click and drag the topics in the outline to move them to appropriate locations.

Via Import of Outline

Copy the outline form your text editor. Note that the outline is a simple outline with a tab indentation to denote new levels. You can also copy your outline from an Excel worksheet where a new column represents a new level. BigPicture has included an example file Outline to Map.xlsx file that you can practice with. Here are the steps.

  • Open a blank workbook
  • Click on the Outline icon in the View section of the BigPicture Ribbon (See #1)
  • Click OK when asked if you would like to use the Outline to create a new map.
  • Copy the Outline from either Word, Excel or other program (See#2)
  • Click on the top entry in the Outline Pane (Map - Sheet1)
  • Click the import button
  • Click OK

BigPicture builds the map for you. (See #3)

 

Moving Topics via Drag and Drop

  • Click and drag the topic(s) that you would like to move (See #1) while dragging, a blue triangle will appear.
  • Drag the blue triangle over the topic that you would like to have as the Parent topic. (See #2)
  • Release the mouse - BigPicture will automatically move the topic(s) in the outline and in the map. (See #3)

If you click and hold on a topic that has Children topics, they will also be selected and able to be moved to another location. When you move a topic to another location, BigPicture will make the proper adjustments to the connections.

You can use the <Ctrl> or <Shift> to select multiple topics. Continue holding the <Ctrl> or <Shift> key down while dragging the selected topics to a different position in the outline and the map will update accordingly. (This example is shown in the image below.)

If you select a connector in the map, its entry will appear in the outline. You can then drag topic(s) onto the connector and they will be inserted between the topics linked by that connector.

Moving Topics via Drag and Drop

Copy/Paste Topics

If you would like to duplicate a topic(s) to another section on your map, you can utilize the standard Copy/Paste functionality withing the Outline Pane and your map will update automatically.

  • Select the topic names in the Outline Pane that you would like to duplicate.
  • Right click and choose Copy OR <Ctrl-C> to copy them.
  • Click on the Topic(s) that you would like to add to.
  • Right click and choose Paste OR <Ctrl-V>, which in turn will automatically update your map.

Deleting a Topics

If you would like to delete a topic, you can do so by clicking on the topic itself in the map, or by clicking on the topic name in the Outline, then pressing the <Del> key.  After deletion, reconnection is more intelligent than just deleting the topics in the map. BigPicture will then connect the neighboring topics.

Right-click a topic

You can right-click a topic(s) to bring up the usual BigPicture shortcut menu, where you can modify the topic in many ways including adding boundary shapes, markers, notes, tags, etc.

Right-click a topic

Import Function

The Import Function allows you to copy an outline, or portion of an outline, from a text editing program such as Microsoft Word, or from another Excel Worksheet and import it into the outline that will automatically update the corresponding map. Outlines are simple indented lists that provid topic names and hierarchies for a map.

  • To Import a section into the outline:
  • Copy the text that you would like to import (See #1)
  • Select the name of the Topic that you would like to add the new Topics to (See #2)
  • Click on the Import icon in the Outline Pane (See #3)
  • A message will appear asking you if you would like to add the new Topics to the selected Topic location (See #4)
  • Click OK

BigPicture will add the copied text into the Outline and will created the appropriate Topics (See #5)

NOTE: You can import entire outlines or small portions - like show here. To Import an Entire Map, simply copy the outline to the clipboard in Word, click on the top Map Entry in the Outline Pane and click on the import icon.

Tags Outline View Features

You can utilize the Outline Pane to view, add, remove and edit tags that are assigned to your topics. You can also use the Options feature within the Tags Outline View (See #1) to group your topics based on their Tags.

  • Open the Outline Pane via the Outline icon in the View section of the BigPicture Ribbon (See #2)
  • Click on the Tags icon to open the Tags View of the Outline Pane (See #3)

NOTE: Any topics that are not yet tagged will appear in the Not Tagged section of the outline. (See #4)

Adding, Removing, Editing Tags via Outline

You can add Tags directly from the outline in the Tags View. Note that if you have tags already assigned to some topics, those Tags will be listed and the Topics that are assigned to that particular Tag will be listed below it. Topics that do not have a Tag assigned to them yet, will appear in the Not Tagged section of the outline. (See #1)

Add a Tag via Right Click

  • Right click on the topic name in the outline that you would like to tag
  • Select Tags in the pop up menu
  • Choose the tag option that you would like in the Tags Dialog window.

Add a Tag via Drag and Drop

Any topics that are not yet tagged will appear in the Not Tagged section of the outline.

  • Click on the Topic(s) that you would like to Tag. When you click and begin to drag, a blue triangle will appear. (See #2)
  • Drag and drop it onto the Tag that you would like to assign to it. (See #3)
  • BigPicture will automatically assign the Tag attributes to that Topic in the map. (See #4)

NOTE: If the tag you are looking for does not exist in the outline because it has yet to be assigned to a topic, you can add a placeholder (blank) tag to your outline by clicking on the Gear icon (See #5) and selecting the Tag(s) that you would like to add. As soon as you click on the Tag name in the dialog, it will automatically be added to the outline so that you can drag and drop the topics onto the tag names.

Tag Options for Outline

In addition to viewing your Topics grouped by their Tag type as shown above, you can utilize the Options dialog to create Summary views, add Tags to the Outline, and display a specified Marker in the outline itself.

Summary Views (See #1)

For example you could view which topics have High Importance and are only at 50%.

  • Click on the Gear icon in the Tags View Outline
  • Select the Summary By Group option
  • Select Importance from the Group #1 drop down menu
  • Select Progress from the Group#2 drop down menu
  • BigPicture will rearrange the outline view to show all of the combinations of Importance and Progress.

Adding Tags to Outline List (See #2)

If the tag name that you are looking for does not exist, simply select it from the Tag drop down menu to the right of the Group. As soon as you select it, it will be added to the outline.

Show Markers (See#3)

Select the marker of your choice to have it display in the Tags outline by choosing it from the drop down menu.

 

Markers Outline View Features

You can utilize the Outline Pane to view, add, remove and edit Markers that are assigned to your topics. You can also use the Options feature within the Markers Outline View to group your topics based on their Markers.

  • Open the Outline Pane via the Outline icon in the View section of the BigPicture Ribbon (See #1)
  • Click on the Markers icon to open the Markers View of the Outline Pane (See #2)

NOTE: Any topics that do not have markers will appear in the No Markers section of the outline. (See #3)

Adding, Removing, Editing Markers via Outline

You can add Markers directly from the outline in the Markers View. Note that if you have Markers already assigned to some topics, those Markers will be listed and the Topics that are assigned to that particular Marker will be listed below it. Topics that do not have a Marker assigned to them yet, will appear in the No Markers section of the outline. (See #1)

Add a Marker via Right Click

  • Right click on the topic name in the outline that you would like to add a Marker to
  • Select Markers in the pop up menu
  • Choose the Marker option that you would like in the Markers Dialog window.

Add a Marker via Drag and Drop

Any topics that do not have a Marker will appear in the No Markers section of the outline.

  • Click on the Topic(s) that you would like to add a Marker to. When you click and begin to drag, a blue triangle will appear. (See #2)
  • Drag and drop it onto the Marker that you would like to assign to it. (See #3)
  • BigPicture will automatically assign the Marker the Topic(s) in the map. (See #4)

NOTE: If the Marker you are looking for does not exist in the outline because it has yet to be assigned to a topic, you can add a placeholder (blank) Marker to your outline by clicking on the Gear icon (See #5) and selecting the Marker(s) that you would like to add. As soon as you click on the Marker name in the dialog, it will automatically be added to the outline so that you can drag and drop the topics onto the Marker names.

Marker Options for Outline

In addition to viewing your Topics grouped by their Marker type as shown above, you can utilize the Options dialog to create Summary views, add Markers to the Outline, and display a specified Tag in the outline itself.

Summary Views (See #1)

For example you could view which topics have High Importance and are only at 50%.

  • Click on the Gear icon in the Markers View Outline
  • Select the Summary By Group option
  • Select Importance from the Group #1 drop down menu
  • Select Progress from the Group#2 drop down menu
  • BigPicture will rearrange the outline view to show all of the combinations of Importance and Progress.

Adding Markers to Outline List (See #2)

If the Marker name that you are looking for does not exist, simply select it from the Marker drop down menu to the right of the Group. As soon as you select it, it will be added to the outline.

Show Tags (See #3)

Select the Tag of your choice to have it display in the Markers outline by choosing it from the drop down menu.