Drag out multiple heading links from Outline core plugin

Use case or problem

When I am using the Outline core plugin to sort headings into categories that I subsequently drag as links into parallel categories, I often want to drag multiple headings to create large lists of links.

Proposed solution

It would be very helpful to be able to use ctrl, alt, and shift to select custom ranges, then be able to drag the selection into a note to create all the links in one go.

Current workaround (optional)

Because this isn’t possible, sometimes I will first backup my note then use Note Refactor to convert the headings into independent notes, then arrange them into folders, sorting them using drag and drop in Explorer. I then use drag and drop links, with multiple note selections to create the matching lists of links. Finally, I can delete the refactored independent notes and use search and replace to change the links from note links into heading links.


I open the file in Typora. Export to OPML. Import that into Dynalist or Workflowy.
(Headers are converted to bullets; the text is a bullet note.)
Rearrange the bullets as I wish. Export back to OPML. Import into Typora, Save.

Takes very little time and is much easier than playing around with it in Obsidian. The recent improvement in the core plugin is helpful, but not that fast or flexible.

PS Works most reliably if the text is in paragraphs rather than lines.

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@Dor Thanks for the suggestion! Seems like a good workflow. Much appreciated.

For some reason I never got into Dynalist or Workflowy because I kind of assumed they required the saving of the files online. Honestly, I have no reason to think this other than my first glance at their features when I heard about them. Now I will be looking closer to see if perhaps I was mistaken. I definitely prefer the offline nature of Obsidian.

I never got into them either before Obsidian. I’d’ve said (I did say) I don’t get on with outliners. But that changed when I found I could have a nice local file store and simply use the outliners to enhance some of the processing. The markdown files are the bedrock, but they are somewhat rigid and slow. So I can add faster movement while still keeping the bedrock.

You are correct in that they are effectively online databases. Just as Obsidian is online notes if you use a sync solution.

Dynalist does have a local option (Pro only) - though I’ve never used it.
Or, you can do what I do, which is to bounce an opml in, edit, export, delete. Online but not for long.

Personally there are a few things I want local only, other I want local most of the time and more when I don’t mind so long as the online security is good enough.

I’m sure there are other outliners where this would work including many which are local only. But I’ve not tried them, though I would if I wanted to use this workflow with a local outliner. The key is opml and the ease of importing and exporting it.

One of the big attractions for me is the kanban view in Workflowy. The whole note, or specific headers, can be toggled between outline view and kanban view.

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@Dor This is all very very useful information. I agree with your approach and have a feeling I will be adopting it very soon. Just realized that XMind exports OPML. I already have that. This is great! Thanks again. Very kind of you to take the time to share this.

OPML is the usual exchange format for outliners and mindmappers - and RSS readers. It’s not very tightly defined, but very useful.

Invented by Dave Winer. His blog ScriptingNews (it’s not HTTPS so I won’t post a link) can be quite interesting. He wrote a little about the history of OPML in December and is still actively promoting it. Involved in a collaboration with Logseq.

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Related thread: Is there a way to copy/paste the outline?

I didn’t know we could drag the outline items around to reorder — thanks for the tip!

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