Tree Outliner Helps You Think Laterally With Its Sideways View [Review]



Tree is an outliner with a difference – it offers an unusual horizontal view of your document alongside a host of useful outlining features.

Most outliners are designed to work like most electronic documents, as electronic equivalents of a piece of paper held in portrait position. But Tree is tailor-made for your computer’s wide screen, and re-orientates everything sideways.

So your outline document will show headings in a series of columns. Top level headings are in the left-most column, followed by second level headings in the next column, and so on moving right. It’s a layout that only takes a moment to get used to, but works particularly well in Lion’s full screen mode, making full use of the screen space available.

As a result you can get a clear overview of your work, even of quite complicated documents, while saving yourself a lot of the up-and-down scrolling you’d normally have to do in a traditional outliner.

All the commands and controls you’d expect to find in an outliner are included, including sensible shortcuts for creating new items at different levels, and for moving items between levels.

What it lacks is some of the presentation polish you might have seen in other outliners. There’s no support for document styles, so your formatting options are limited to bold, italic, and underline. Dragging in images or other files simply copies the file’s path into the document, not the image itself.

Despite a few shortcomings, Tree’s horizontal view is very appealing. As long as your outlining is mainly text-only, it might be just the thing you need to help make sense of particularly complicated pieces of work. If you’re unsure about spending $25 on it in the Mac App Store, you can download a free trial version can be downloaded from the Tree website first.

[xrr rating=80%]

  • Great Blue Ape

    Have had a 2.53 C2D 4GB model for a number of years.  I originally bought it to be a dumb server to feed our AppleTVs, sync our iDevices and laptops to for media (I have a Drobo attached), but I added a monitor and keyboard and probably use it more than my laptop when I am at home.  I am not a heavy user of processing power (web, word processing, editing photos, etc…) but use massive amounts of storage to handle all the media and photos that I have and it works like a charm.  It is also far cheaper to upgrade than an iMac because you don’t need to replace the monitor and keyboard each time.  Unless you do very processor intensive tasks, it is probably the best home computer Apple makes.

  • Leucothea