Exporting text files

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(Go to:Topicscape Pro User Guide - contents list)

Four text file types

There are four ways you can turn a Topicscape into some form of text: By exporting a "reading" text file, a structured text file, a flat HTML file, and an OPML file:

  • Export a "reading" text file, laid out (indented) to show the structure of the Topicscape, with options to show where occurrence files are. This has decimal section numbers (1, 1.1, 1.1.1, etc) and is meant for you to read. So if you have done some research, built a Topicscape with the results, then planned the layout of the report, structured in the Topicscape, the text file will contain the initial content of the report, properly structured according to your plan. The formatting will not be suitable for a report, though.
  • Export a structured text file that you want to edit with MS Word, say, or a text editor, and then re-import to build a new Topicscape that shows the changes made. This type of file can also be produced for part of a Topicscape. If you edit the file with MS Word, be sure to save it afterwards as a text file (.txt), not as a Word file (.doc) or the re-import will fail. We refer to this type of structured text file as Internal Structured Text to distinguish it from structured text files exported by other software.
  • Export a flat HTML file, also laid out to show the structure of the Topicscape, with options to show where occurrence files are. This is similar to the "reading" text file but has the advantage that all references to files are by hyperlink, so you can open any files in that Topicscape from the browser as well. This type of file can also be produced for part of a Topicscape.
  • Export an OPML file. OPML is a well-recognized XML format used to present outline-structured text that can be read by a variety of software. "Export to OPML" builds a file to show the structure of the Topicscape. It can also show (if you choose) occurrences and where their files are. Links to all files are by working hyperlink. There are significant differences from the exported HTML file in that there are no section numbers, and you can collapse or expand branches in a browser window. This type of file can also be produced for part of a Topicscape.

All of these types of files can be produced for an entire Topicscape or just part of one (a topic group).

Exporting a whole Topicscape

Step 1. Open the Topicscape that you want to export.

Step 2. Ensure that you are not in Limited mode (see Glossary) because in that mode, the Export options will be hidden. If you are, click on the "Mode" button near the left end of the toolbar and select User's or Expert mode.

Step 3. In the File menu, select the Export item. A panel will appear that lets you specify the details of the export.

Step 4. Select "Structured Text", "Indented Text", "HTML" or "OPML"

Step 5. Decide what you what to include in the export, from the list of checkboxes in the "Include" box.

Step 6. In the File Name text box indicate where Topicscape is to place the resulting file, and name it.

Step 7. Press OK.

Exporting part of a Topicscape

The steps are similar to the above, but to export a topic group - a topic and all its children, grandchildren, etc. - right click on the topmost topic of the group, and select one of the Export options (topic and descendents or just this topic).

Viewing OPML files

You can view OPML files made with "Export to OPML" in a browser window and, using a small script that we include with the exported file, you can collapse or expand branches to explore the Topicscape just exported. This option lets you choose to export the file as .opml or .xml or both.

To send the opml file to another product that can read such files you should check the opml checkbox.

To view the OPML in a browser you should check the xml box. In the folder that you define as the destination for the XML file, Topicscape will add another folder (called "opml"). This contains the files needed to display the OPML file with branches that collapse or expand in the browser window. The files will be opml.css, opml.js and opml.xslt. For browser viewing to work properly, you must keep the .xml file in the same folder as the opml folder. If you only saved an opml file and you want to view it in a browser, just change the ".opml" extension to ".xml".

A very large Topicscape will produce an OPML file that, depending on your computer's performance, may be slow to render in the browser, and slow to collapse or expand branches. This is a browser limitation.

If you have selected the options to make an xml file and an opml folder, these must both be located in the same folder.

If the XML file won't open

When you double-click such a file from Windows Explorer, it will generally open your default web browser. If it does not, this will be because you have another application that has changed the file association for .XML when it was installed. This can be overcome by opening your web browser first and dragging the xml file to its window, or right-clicking the XML file, choosing "Open with" and choosing Internet Explorer from the list.

Next: File names and paths when exporting to folders

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