Outliner Contents as CSV export issue


I have just exported Outliner Contents as CSV to work with word count. My project has 8-level structure, but rather weirdly the project structure evaporated from the CSV - there is just one column named “Title” for folders, subfolders and text titles. I would prefer to get a separate column for each structure`s level to handle the data.

Is there a way to export the project to CSV/XLS with intact project structure, i.e. the separate column for each level of the structure?


I am having a difficult time visualising how this would work, but I’ll admit to only using spreadsheets at their most basic level. What I’ve always seen is that a column is a column, there is no shifting of columns visually in order to describe some sort of outliner style hierarchy. If column “A” is the title, then A will be the title from row 1 to row 9,943, it won’t shift to “B” at any point. So what would happen here? Would the whole table be shifted over one column? Because then you couldn’t do anything normal to a spreadsheet with it, like summing up the word count column, since there would be no word count column but word count cells scattered across multiple columns, depending on the original outline indent level.

Separate columns for each doc level would indeed throw off a spreadsheet. But I’ll bet an integer representation of each doc’s tree depth would work well for what Vitz is trying to accomplish. It would enable him to sum the word counts of subdocuments into their parents’ cells, and boldface or indent doc titles, for example.

Rgds – Jerome

Thanks for replies.


I got I needed to illustrate my point, so please find an example of what I mean here bit.ly/1O37fBP. The “Outliner export” sheet contains Outliner Export CSV (cleaned), the “Pivot table” sheet contains Pivot table report from the “Outliner export” list data.

As you can see in case of “one hierarchy`s level - one column” you can get word count for any part of the whole project/any group of such parts automatically in no time, whereas in current form of Outliner Export CSV even to find the level of a part is not that easy.

Hope it helps.

The CSV export can actually provide cumulative word count totals for higher branches. You can add them to the outliner via: View → Outliner Columns → Total Word Count .

The indent levels you’re showing in the spreadsheet reside in a single data column, so they could not be achieved by adding columns to the export. One might create this effect by adding non-breaking spaces or tabs in front of the doc title, to the appropriate depth, but an export function would never tinker with a user’s data like that on its own. The export could, however, provide the tree depth as a value, so that users could portray it to their liking in the analytical spreadsheet or database. That would be a useful field to display and export.

Rgds – Jerome

I know it. It does not help much in the data analysis as I see it.

It`s crystal clear at the moment.

To wrap it up: to me I provided the classical approach for data handling, which works the best with “one hierarchy`s level - one column” spreadsheet structure. The current export does not allow to get the structure as an export file, which makes working with word counts in larger hierarchy docs rather tedious - you need to memorize or check: which levels are in the higher ones, which level one or another title has in the whole structure/parts of structure, etc.

Suppose the whole idea is clear, and it may be considered as a feature request.