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Request: Freeform Input in OmniOutliner for iPad Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Hi! I'd have sent an email, but I wanted to post here so other people could weigh in.

I'm an engineering student, and taking math/science notes my a Mac is a nightmare, albeit barely moreso than managing the amount of paper I do. There are already multiple capacitive stylus products out there, and the iPad (plus BT keyboard) has gotten me really excited.

So here's what I think you need. Give us an 'insert freeform' button in the outliner. Press it, and a clean, blank page pops up, allowing you to draw. Pinch to adjust the canvas dimensions. Several buttons on the edge let you adjust the drawing tools and insert basic text objects (math/greek would be nice). A big 'done' button lets you pick a resolution (vector image? or simply a downsize option?) and then pastes it onto the cursor. Now you have the illustrative power of a whiteboard, within the organizing power of an outliner. Surely that's the future.

Obviously if this doesn't happen in OmniOutliner I'll look for workarounds, like closing the outliner, opening a drawing app, saving to clipboard, and pasting back into the outline. Multitasking is coming, which will help, and maybe Apple will put a little freeform feature into Pages soon. I might actually settle for that. But the first program that integrates this into an outliner has my dollars, and I'd love them to go to Omnigroup. OmniOutliner is one of the most important apps for the Mac; I think it could be the same for the iPad.
It sounds like you're describing Omnigraffle for the desktop, which has built in outlining functionality. Right now, Omnigraffle for iPad does not support text-based outlines like its desktop counterpart, but that will probably come once the OmniOutliner engine for iPad is figured out.
@poritsy: Very good point, but given the full outliner's power to organize information, it is a much better platform for notes. OmniGraffle's general goal is to compose and export diagrams and flowcharts. OmniOutliner's primary function is to allow fast entry, organization and reorganization of hierarchical information. Given that goal, and the fact that it already supports in-line images, a "quick sketch" input seems simple and natural. It seems so trivial that I would expect Apple has written such functions into their iPad API.
I'm *really* hoping the iPad version can do exactly that. Check out the video on OmniGroup's blog:

it seems to at least imply what you are talking about.
Agreed this would be great but perhaps you don't know of a cool little trick. You can turn your iPad into a development device by downloading XCode from the App Store (for your Mac, not your pad). It costs, unfortunately, but you can likely get it elsewhere as well.

At any rate, once you have XCode you run the app and select the iPad and convert it to a development device.

Now the good part...

You can use four finger gestures. This means instant switching between running apps just by swiping right or left with four fingers. You can quickly move from text to graphics as quickly as switching windows. Omni Apps tend to take up more ram than others so they sometimes come into focus a bit slower but it is better than double-tapping the home button every time you want to switch apps.
Ohhh, that's made me giddy as a school girl. I'm going to run home and try this right away. How do you select the iPad from within XCode? Is this a special iPad version of XCode that you download to your Mac, or is it the usual XCode (which, IIRC, comes with the OS for free)?
I'm not sure if the one that comes with OSX can do that or not. I didn't try it. I was so excited to get this working that I just downloaded the one from the App Store.

I don't recall the exact steps but it was obvious when I did it. Launch XCode and with your iPad connected and it should be clear (something about putting your iPad in developer mode).

Not much else changes. Options you can turn on in settings such as the gestures and a debug log in safari.
I'd be WAY down with this functionality.
I like Omnigraffle, but it's not quite right for me, especially the vector drawing and smoothing. I'd like it to feel like Adobe Ideas (with a real nice vector lines that feel like ink and don't get smoothed) or NeuNotes style drawing.
MrMuggles, I use Notes Plus for the kind of freehand note taking you describe. No OmnOutliner integration, alas, other than the brute-force method of taking screenshots of each page and pasting them in manually.

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