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MacFrankencow 2011-09-10 03:41 PM

Copying / Pasting a Single Column...
Anyone know if it's possible to copy a single column of data in OO? The copy command seems to be disabled when you select a single column.

Right now, I have to export my data in .cvs format, open it in Excel, and *then* copy the column.

If not, hopefully this will be possible in 004? (I'm surprised "copy" is disabled in any circumstance...)


whpalmer4 2011-09-10 05:18 PM

OmniOutliner is oriented to rows, thanks to its genesis as an outliner, not as a spreadsheet. You can copy/paste entire rows, collections of entire rows, or individual cells, but not columns. I think it is inadvisable to hold one's breath while awaiting a change in that characterization :-)

What are you trying to do with the data after you copy it? It might be feasible to write an Applescript that copies the data in all the cells of a selected column and stuffs it into the clipboard where it could be pasted into another application; I haven't looked to see what would be required to do that, and this is not a promise to do so!

whpalmer4 2011-09-11 01:11 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Rob "Applescript drips from my fingers" Trew apparently had need of this same functionality at some point in the past. I am happy to provide his script here. To use, simply select one or more columns in your document, then invoke the script. A textual representation of all of the selected columns will be put on the clipboard, tab-delimited and including the column titles, which should allow pasting the data into a spreadsheet, new OmniOutliner document, etc. Unfortunately, it is not possible to paste a column into an existing OmniOutliner document alongside the columns already present, though one could do it with yet another Applescript.

For details on how to install Applescripts, see [URL=""]the FAQ[/URL].

MacFrankencow 2011-09-12 06:13 PM

Thanks for the script whpalmer -- I am eager to try it out!

To answer your why question, I'm a teacher, and often I create matching exercises.
* In the main outliner, I put vocabulary words.
* I add a text column and write a sentence for each word
* I add another text column and write a definition to each word

Then, I want to copy the sentence and definition columns into my word processor separately, so I can put them in separate columns there and sort (to pseudo randomize their order).

I understand that outliners are row based -- I am a *heavy* user of both Circus Ponies notebook and omnioutliner... I just think it's strange that you can highlight a column, but not copy it (short of exporting it to CSV). But, as you say, it's an outliner, not a spreadsheet.

Thank you again sooo much for the applescript!!!

whpalmer4 2011-09-12 07:00 PM

A few reasons why you can select columns come to mind:
[LIST=1][*]Editing column characteristics with the inspector[*]Deleting a column[*]Moving a column[/LIST]
Selecting the column seems like a natural way to do those things, no?

MacFrankencow 2011-09-18 07:42 AM

LOL - thanks for the reply whpalmer. I can totally see what column should be selectable. (I was just whining, that I also wanted to copy them.)

OO is an awesome program, and I'm looking forward to OO4, since I'm expecting that to be leaps ahead.


MacFrankencow 2011-09-23 09:05 AM

Another thank you in this thread too. I've got the copy column script installed on my machine and it works great. This is a total boon for making my matching activities for my ESL students. Thank you all so much!

tbo 2012-03-02 03:07 AM

Actually I found another way to get it working and retaining some sort of formatting: Export as RTF and open with NisusWriter (or Word). Then convert the whole text to a table and NW (or Word) will put the columns back into place. Delete the columns you don't need and copy the table text. Delete the table and paste the copied text from the clipboard. Now assign new paragraph styles to the different text styles.
This not a thing you want to do every day, but works for handouts and lectures where you do it once every few months.
I would love to habe a few more export options on OO, though...

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