Out Tray - moving or deleting topics or occurrences

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

The Out tray is just one of several quick and convenient ways for moving things in Topicscape. There are many others, like context (pop-up) menus, toolbar buttons and keyboard shortcuts. The Out tray helps you to delete, move to the Topicscape Box and send to Topicscape Orphans (orphans features may not be visible, if switched off in the Options panel). It is context sensitive, so what you are dragging will affect what the Out Tray shows and allows you to do.

Remember, when you first install Topicscape, it is in Limited mode (see Glossary), and in that mode, the Out Tray is hidden. To see it, click on the "Mode" button near the left end of the toolbar and select User's or Expert mode.


Most of the time the Out Tray looks like this:

If you're not dragging anything and you just click on the Out Tray, two shortcuts will drop down as shown in the right:


Click on the first and it makes Topicscape Orphans the current topic, click on the second and Topicscape Box opens in a separate window.

Mostly you'll drag things to the Out Tray. Occurrences or topics dragged to an Out Tray drop-down area will be moved or deleted as described next.

When you drag an occurrence or occurrences to the Out Tray, an additional option appears -- Delete -- as shown here:


If you drop the occurrences on "Delete", the occurrences and their metadata will be removed from the Topicscape. The files themselves will stay where they are until you remove them by running Tools | Check for Stray files and choosing to delete them from the list produced. Dropping them on "Send to Orphans" will move the occurrences to the Topicscape Orphans topic (orphans features may not be visible, if switched off in the Options panel), and dropping them on "Topicscape Box" both moves them there and opens the Topicscape Box in a new window.


If you drag a green dot (from a topic) to the Out Tray, its appearance will change to this:

Actions involving the green dot are all actions on topics where a distinction is needed to indicate whether the action is on the topic and all its descendants ('group') or just the one topic ('single').


When you drag a green dot over the Out Tray drop-down, the half it's over at the time indicates whether a group or single operation will be performed, and the other half grays out.

The image on the right shows the green dot where a single topic is to be handled. That topic's occurrences will be included.


The image on the left shows the green dot where a group of topics is to be handled. A group is the selected topic and all of its descendants. Topicscape takes steps to avoid accidentally deleting wanted material. Choosing to delete a group will not delete any topics that happen to be shared with another group. For example, if you delete a group where any topic in the group has a parent, grandparent, or any other ancestor that is not in the group (i.e. it has two or more parents) it will not be deleted with the rest of the group. It will not show up in the report of topics to be deleted.

A topic group may be circular (see Glossary'). Topicscape can delete, export and move such groups correctly.

There is more information about Orphans and the Topicscape Box under their own headings.


  • Four special topics cannot be dropped in the Out Tray: Topicscape Orphans, the Home Topic, the Current Topic and Topicscape Islands:
  • Topicscape Orphans cannot be deleted, sent to the Topicscape Box or moved to itself;
  • the Home Topic is the first one made (when the open Topicscape was new) and is needed to detect island groups;
  • a topic cannot be deleted while it is the Current Topic;
  • Topicscape Islands cannot be deleted, but it has no green dot for you to drag, anyway.
  • In addition, a topic group that includes the Home Topic or the Current Topic cannot be deleted. To delete a group containing Current Topic, you will need to make a topic that is outside the group current first.
  • You cannot drag a topic from the Pending Tray and drop it in the Out Tray drop down area.
  • If you drop a topic or occurrence on the Out Tray itself, nothing will happen -- it is the drop down that is the active area

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