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Scribbler is a Tree App. Needs Tree Export & Import: OPML = Best + Simplest


Scribbler is a Tree App. Needs Tree Export & Import: OPML is the Best & Simplest & Most Widely Used & Becoming Standard

It might take years to realize this BUT:

  • Scribbler is a Tree Type Editor: Nodes & Sub-Nodes on Left + Editor Pane on the right

  • Tree Type Export is VITAL:
    i) Maintains Structure of the data: Essence of Scribbler
    ii) Opens up Scribbler Horizons to thousands of other tools (Info managers, outliners, heavy suites, spreadsheets, DBs, etc etc)

  • OPML is becoming the standard for Tree Type data format:
    It has variants, but is basically HTML
    BUT Fortunately the simplest is recognized by all apps (see how below)


Basically it’s HTML as outline tag:

  1. You turn any text into OPML with the tag < outline >
    (I am putting spaces arount outline etc to stop the forum embedding them as code)

  2. Within outline, tags for node-name and actual node-data are:

text=“my node name”
_note=“this is the blurb of node 1…”

THAT’S IT. The simplest OPML which can also be read by thousands of OPML importing softwares. This simplest format will be bullet proof as import.

But how do we do sub-nodes?
SIMPLE: You just nest < outline > nodes within each other: Just like HTML.

< outline > //this is a node
text=“my node name”
_note=“this is the blurb of node 1…”

< outline > //this is a sub-node to above node
text=“my SUB-node name”
_note=“my SUB-Node text is stored here, easy…”
< /outline > //this closes sub-node with the forward-slash before outline tag

< /outline > //this closes the root node

You can have as many sub-node levels as you want.
Just nest them within their upper-level parent node. Just like any HTML nesting.

Basic examples I did to show how easy it is:

This is an OPML tree I generated in Android Outliner app:

This is how it looks in Android Halna app. Unlike the above image, this one shows the node data in the right editor pane (like Scribbler), not under node name:

This is the code generated by Outliner app, very easy:

Here is the code in pastebin:

I use lots of softwares, OPML is the magic key to move data. Note takers (NoteCase Pro, RightNote, Mindmaps, DBs, Info managers, Outliners and many more types).

An OPML export for Scribbler is indispensable to export it’s Tree Structure. IT IS A MUST and easy to do.

Once it is done, an OPML Import into Scribbler can be coded from it too. This would allow me to import notes from NoteCase Pro etc easily into Scribbler. then work, then export as OPML higher up into heavy suites, mindmaps, etc.

Once done, and it will be done as it becomes clear, you all would love it. And it will be a huge factor in making this wonderful app spread like wildfire as many use multi softwares in their digital ecosystems.

FACT: OPML has become the future of Tree Type Data Format.

List of My Feedback Suggestions

If I understand it correctly you’re not simply exporting the tree structure to OPML, you’re also taking all the corresponding scene text as well in the _notes field.

This looks problematic to me as each scene is a full Word document, complete with formatted text, possibly images, tables, etc. Can the OPML format handle a rich text file in place of plain text? I’d imagine other apps that imports such data would have their own restrictions on what can be accepted in the notes field.

The main issue I see here is that an Atomic project is not just an outline — the tree structure doesn’t have much value without the accompanying scene content, which does not come as simple text but as full rich text documents (Word in this case).

How would you see this aspect working?


That’s correct. This has two aspects:

  1. Doc/Rich Format + Multi Media:
    Yes OPML is not really for these. Future OPML versions probably will have RTF/MM ability. But I do not advise even using OPML Ver 2 as in my OP. I have typed an update which I will post shortly on that, why OPML Ver 1 should be used.

  2. Place within Cycle of Software ToolChain:
    This OPML need is really for the most ipmortant part of the writing cycle:

  • Note Taking
  • Note imports / exports
  • Giving shape and structure to a novel idea from notes

As many know, this is the core and heart of any fiction / scenario / research etc

It is not concerned with images, rich formatting, MM types etc. There are apps that do that like WhizFolders etc, RightNote Pro is king there, it can embed images, links, spreadsheets, DBs, etc etc.

Scribbler is not going there. Similar to Scrivener but more user friendly and with a much better UI/UX. This is where OPML comes in: Granted it is not the full rich format BUT:

  • It allows to import from note taking apps other Tree formats
  • Then with export it allows the tree structure to be exported for use in heavier suites

Give and take: Not having text formatting / images BUT giving the Tree structure, which:

  • IMHO is much more important
  • Applies to the crucial stage of cycle: giving shape to the Fiction (or academic paper, conceptual etc)

Even Scrivener can not and does not really aim to be master of all like Rightnote media types or other software used to actually generate epub/mobi etc. much better than it. or LaTex etc. Horses for courses and not aiming master all. BUT being able to be used for various needs, here tree notes.

Scribbler can be a toolbox for various uses too. Not boxed in to a certain single use and mode of work.

With OPML the horizons for Scribb as a note taking, idea shaping, fiction generating, structure giving, creative tool becomes much wider:

From below to many genres: Note takers, mindmaps, index card boards etc
To Above: Heavier suites, Scriv, outline 4D, ebook generators, DBs, Spreadsheets etc

It adds many dimensions to Scribbler potential future.

The nature of Import / Export OFTEN means limitations in format. Otherwise it would categorized under: Save AS… (multi formats)

However a tree format is what it in essence is and giving OPML i/o will be immensely useful and will help it spread too. It will also bring new users in who will use it as a Tree Outliner Note Taker. With the superb UI of Scribbler, many would prefer to more dated Tree Outliner apps too.

I will shortly post here how OPML Ver 1 can be simply achieved below.

Please have a play with OPML Import / Export and try to see Scribbler also:

As a Tree Outliner Note Taking wonder
Idea generating machine in conjunction with other tools in a professional ToolChain across different genres of software. That is how many pro people work with many genres of software from initial ideas to final eproduction and proofing.

Thanks again for this beauty, please make it a multi dimensional beast too.


I am quickly posting this post too, as it was prepared earlier. Please also read my immediate preceding post as a reply to Darren.

The above code & tags were from OPML Version 2, generated by android apps.

I have tested well over 50 software which can import and/or export OPML. Many software have problems with different versions of OPML. However this is actually good news, why?

Because in my experience the best solution has been to use OPML Version 1. The attributes needed to know are only 2 again for the < outline > tag:


With doctype declared as OPML 1. This can be opened by almost all OPML import/export software.

More good news:

  • You do not need to know or use more OPML attributes that the above 2 for outline tag
  • In fact not using any more, helps more software to import/export
  • What about new line (carriage return)? No < p > or < br > etc tags needed. Just press RETURN and it shows up, see below eample.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

< opml version=“1.0” >

< head >
< title >Sample< /title >
< /head >

< body >

<outline title="Name of My 1st Root Node" text="This can be scene one, blah blah blah">
    <outline title="My SUB-node or Child-Node" text="This can be a note for scene 1,....">
         <outline title="My SUB-SUB-Node" text="This can be a reference link or whatever....">

<outline title="Name of My 2nd Root Node" text="Can be: Scene TWO, at root level.
  Next line: notice just a carriage return, no coding or tags needed unlike HTML etc
  Write on............... Can not be a simpler format.">

< /body >
< /opml >

That is it. Also copied to pastebin:

The best app to use for TESTING OPML import / export is Notecase Pro. It has a trial version for many platforms and can export from there many more formats. Scribbler Ver1 OPML can then be exported/imported into many genres: note takers, mind mappers, suites etc.

Thanks again.


I edited the code-block as the forum was embedding tags:


As mentioned, the raw code is also at:


Just to add re: OPML V.1 not exporting formatting/img:

1) Not all use Scribbler for final formatted look, so it is redone in many cases elsewhere.

2) The Tree Outliner Structure is MUCH more useful to creative users and creative stages than formatting and these are more important to such users and such vital phases during creation phases.

3) The current export formats (which keep formatting/img) vis-à-vis OPML Tree Outliner export, are not perfect either. Why? Because they do not maintain the data structure which lets face it is the raison d’être of Scribbler own structure which matters to many and can entice many more. So that criticism of not exporting everything data-wise applies much more strongly to the current Status Quo, which can be enhanced with OPML Export/Import.

Finally, if implemented, apart from attracting new niche market(s) users, many like me will migrate their data to other links within their ToolChain much later and will spend much more time within the Scribbler phase which is good at keeping the creative juices flowing.

Thanks :slight_smile: