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NoodleTools for Researchers

Learn how to use NoodleTools like a pro to create bibliographies, organize your research notes, and manage your research projects

Why Use an Outline?

The MLA Handbook tells us that an outline gives you an overall view of your paper and helps you figure out how each section of your paper relates to the others. Outlines help you develop your paper because you can see the logical progression of your argument or thesis.

How To Create an Outline

You'll find the outline function on the right panel of the Notecards screen. The outline panel can be minimized if you aren’t working on an outline and . Click the small arrow button in the top-right corner to minimize or maximize the panel.

If you need more space for the outline, there is a gray “handle” between the tabletop and outline panels that can be dragged left and right to devote more or less horizontal space to the outline. This can be useful if you are writing longer phrases as your outline topic titles, rather than just keywords. 


How To Create an Outline

When you begin a new outline, you’ll find the words topic and subtopic already in place.

You can delete these default words if you wish. Or, you can edit them by simply double-clicking on them and typing your own terms.

When you finish editing, either press Enter or click outside of the edit box to save the changes.

To Add a Subtopic under an existing topic (e.g., add subtopic “1” under topic “A”), select the topic and then do one of the following:

  • Click the green +Add. or
  • Right-click (or long-press on an iPad) on the topic and select Add subtopic... from the menu.

To Add a Topic at the same level as an existing topic (e.g., add topic “B” under topic “A”), select the existing topic and do one of the following:

  • Press “Enter” (this is a keyboard shortcut), or
  • Right-click (or long-press on an iPad) on the topic and select Add topic (sibling) from the menu.

NOTE: Clicking Add with no outline item selected will add a top-level (I, II, III, etc.) item.

 

Working With Your Outline Topics

How To Reorder Outline Topics

You can reorder your topics and subtopics by dragged them to another location in your outline. Try the following ways to move a topic:

  • Drag a topic onto another topic to make the first a subtopic of the second.
  • Drag a topic and release it below an existing topic (you will see a blue line representing where the topic is about to be dropped). The first topic will become a sibling topic to the second. You can use this method to reorder subtopics under a single parent topic.

How To Delete a Topic From the Outline

To delete a topic from the outline, select it and click Delete or right-click on the item (long-press on an iPad) and choose Delete from the menu.

Deleting a topic in your outline will delete all of the subtopics under that topic, so do this carefully!

How To Link Notecards to Topics

A powerful feature of the outline in NoodleTools is that you can link notecards to topics in your outline. 

To begin, drag-and-drop a notecard from either the Notecard Tabletop view or the Notecard Detail view (using the drag handle in the upper-right corner of the notecard) onto a topic in your outline. Notice that the example below shows you the Notecard Detail view.

If you want to move an entire notecard pile into an outline topic, you can also do that from the Notecard Tabletop view. Dragging a notecard pile into the outline will add all of the notecards within that pile to the topic in your outline.

Moving a notecard into your outline does not remove it from the Tabletop or Detail views; it only associates the notecard with the topic in the outline. To distinguish notecards from topics and subtopics, notecards are represented by a small notecard icon, as shown below:

On the Notecard Tabletop, notecards that are linked to at least one outline topic are marked with a checkmark in the upper left, as seen below:

Once a notecard is associated with an item in the outline, you can move it around in the outline by dragging it onto a different topic in the outline. Or, to remove it from the outline, drag the notecard out of the outline back onto the tabletop area (or select it and click Delete).

To edit a notecard in your outline, simply double-click it.

How To Export Or Print Your Outline

You can export and print your outline with or without notecards. NoodleTools supports the following options:

  • Export as Web page: Export as an HTML web page that can be opened in a browser.
  • Export to Google Docs: Export to a new Google Doc.
  • Export to Word: Export as a .docx file that can be opened with Word.
  • Export to RTF: Export as a .rtf file that can be opened from Word or any other word processing program that supports RTF.

How To Print Your Outline Without Notecards:

  • On the Print menu in the Outline panel, select Outline only
     
  • Select your format and click Submit.
     
  • If you selected Web page, the outline will open in a new window. You can use your browser’s File > Print to print the outline.
     
  • If you selected Google Docs, it will prompt you for your Google ID account (if you are not logged in already), and open a new Google Doc with your outline.
     
  • If you selected either Word or RTF, the file will be automatically downloaded to your desktop. Open it in Word or other word processor.

How To Print Your Outline With Notecards

Unless specified otherwise, highlights, formatting, and images in notecards will be exported along with the outline.

  • On the Print menu in the Outline panel, select Outline with notecards.
  • Select your export format.
  • Select notecard items to print, as seen below. By default, all notecard items will all be included. Unmark the checkboxes next to any elements that you wish to omit.

  • If you selected Web page, the outline with notecards will open in a new window. You can use your browser’s File > Print to print the outline.
  • If you selected Google Docs, it will prompt you for your Google ID account (if you are not logged in already), and open a new Google Doc with your outline and notecards.
  • If you selected either Word or RTF, the file will be automatically downloaded to your desktop. Open it in Word or other word processor. In RTF format, the notecards will be exported as plain text and images will be omitted.