tkoutline as a sticky notes application
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Roger J writes:

I can imagine a very advanced notes system where all notes are outlines, and I can sort and search among all notes, displaying them on a desktop like area, each note remembering its position, and its background color. (Or a tabbed interface like tkoutline has today, if the above scheme is too difficult to implement.)

Each note can, of course, contain links to other outlines, or to internet url:s.

Brian Theado

very advanced notes system - I'm a little confused by this. What do you mean by a note? Is a note equivilent to an outline? Are you proposing being able to see a link to an outline as an icon rather than a text link?


"Very advanced notes system" is a number of text blocks, notes, and then there is the choice to either create a number of outlines, one for each note, or to put all notes into the same outline.

There are advantages and disadvantages with both methods.

Brian Theado

"Very advanced notes system" - could you define 'notes' and 'text blocks'? I'm still lost on what you mean.


Maybe the user would like to display outlined texts as small windows on a desktop, arranging them graphically.

If tkoutlines could have different background colors, and that background color was exportable to html, we could create outlined html files with different background colors.

If you have seen a common Notes program, like StickyNotes or ATNotes you know how such notes can be placed on the desktop and can have different background colors, making it possible to arrange notes in categories.

TKOutliner could have similar possibilities but with all the extra functionality which hyperlinking and outlining brings with it.

I can take another example using the well known text editor Metapad. A friend of mine found out that he could search and replace the word metapad in the exe file to mitypad and other names, so he got several different exe files.

Then he could associate the different versions of metapad with different file extensions and set the different exe files to different window sizes, positions on screen, fonts and background colors.

This allowed him to use metapad for different purposes and when he clicks on such a file it opens with a certain version of metapad, at a certain position, with a certain font and background color.

(the reason why he had to change the name inside the exe file, instead of just changing the name of the exe file is that metapad saves its settings in the registry, so we need to make it save each versions settings separately)

In that way metapad becomes a versatile notes editor, text file editor, and logfile editor, for different purposes.

Maybe some of these functions could be possible with tkoutliner too.

31Aug04 - Brian Theado

I think that with some modifications to your startup script (Edit->Edit Startup Script), you could do most of these things with ease, right now.

Window position and size

From the console window (<F2>), if you type the following Tk command (see 1 for details), then you will see the current geometry of your window:

 % wm geometry .

Now move your window, resize it and enter the command again:

 % wm geometry .

You can set the geometry to whatever you like. Here I restore it to my original:

 % wm geometry . 687x461+213+173

So, you could run multiple instances of tkoutline, position and size all the windows as you like, query the geometry and then somehow add code to your startup script to handle a geometry command line input parameter (I can give more details if you want).

Fonts and background colors

To interactively change the font and background colors, open the console window (<F2>) and type the following:

 text configure -background pink
 text configure -font {Courier 18}

If you want to do this from your startup script, then the following are better commands to use (see 2 for details on the option command):

 option add *Text.font {Courier 18} interactive
 option add *Text.background pink interactive

Reply by Roger J.

Okay, this sounds like what I am looking for. I just guess I will have to get used to writing scripts. Any chance of incorporating these possibilities into the program so we can change backgrounds and windows sizes in a more user-friendly way, with menues or toolbar buttons, in the future?

Nice to hear that it is possible to run multiple instances of tkoutliner, that solves the problem to have several outlines open simultaneously, in separate windows.

Brian Theado - there is a chance and I currently consider it pretty low priority.