Import utility updated to version 3.2

Over the years, I have received requests from the users asking for solutions to import notes and outlines into WhizFolders from their files in various formats. Sometimes these files were created by exporting notes from other organizers and outliners. Hence, I had developed an Import utility to do that. Note that this utility is meant for advanced users only who understand what export and import means in terms of organizers and outliner programs.

This import utility has now been updated to version 3.2. Here is a brief list of what’s new in Import Utility 3.2 for WhizFolders:

  • It can import sticky notes from Windows 7 or later. You need to stop the Windows Sticky Notes program in order to do that.
  • It has an in-built Getting Started guide. Note that most of the import operations are for advanced users and can only be used after reading the somewhat geeky guide.
  • It has a Software Updates checking menu to know whether there is an update available.

Where to download from: It’s now part of paid user area. When you login to paid user area and get the email for WhizFolders Addons from there, you will get the download link for the Import Utility.

Note that since this import utility is meant to be used by advanced users, it has no installer. You need to unzip it into a folder and run it from there. Please click on “Getting Started” button to read the documentation to see what all import formats it supports. If you need any other, please let me know. This utility’s interface has been revamped in this version. If you find any bugs, please let me know.

If you have received some other custom import utility from me in the past that this program does not support, please send me some details so that I can move that import logic into this import utility.

Tips on the “insert text” menu operations

Since I’m already on the topic of Import (see my earlier post on the Import Utility), let me also tell you about how powerful the insert menu features are when it comes to importing text or RTF in WhizFolders. If you are a programmer and can create text files by scripts, you can also finely control the Insert text feature to even insert a tree of topics with rich text.

Take a look at the Insert menu in WhizFolders. Here, I will be mainly discussing the first two menu operations.

MENU OPERATION 1. Insert Text Files as Topics: Although, it says “text files,” it does support inserting RTF files too. This feature alone can give a head start to new users when importing their notes created with notepad and wordpad in the form of TXT and RTF files. Just use this menu and it gives you a file selection dialog. You can select multiple files in there. So if your TXT or RTF files are in a single folder, you can just select all of them and they will be imported, each as a separate topic.

A nice feature to get printout of program sources:

If you think about it, the above feature can be put to good use. If you understand text files, you also know that many types of files are also text files. For example, htm, html and js files that make up a web site are all text files. If you are a web designer and want to take a printout of all your web site source files, just insert them into WhizFolders by this operation so that each gets inserted as a separate topic. Then by using the powerful printing features in WhizFolders, you can get a complete printout of your source files, complete with a table of contents. If you are a programmer, you can get a complete printout of your program modules, source files like PAS, CPP, C, HPP, H, ASPX, and so on. This makes WhizFolders a developer’s or programmer’s tool to get a nice listing of sources.

MENU OPERATION 2. Insert Topics from Text File: If you have a large text file that you want broken into separate topics, you can insert a line beginning with topic: in various places followed by the topic name that you want to give to that piece. For example:

topic: topic name 1
this is the text of the first topic and can have many lines.
topic: topic name 2
this is the text of the 2nd topic and can have many lines.

Then use that file with this operation and you will get your text split into topics at the places you inserted the names. If you already have some lines beginning with a fixed word other than “topic:,” followed by topic name, you can change the operation slightly to look for that word. This will help when some other program exports text in such a way and you want to import it in WhizFolders, split into topics. WhizFolders itself uses this format when you Export a text file from the Tools menu from your notes. It splits the topics by the Topic: prefix. If you have files in some other format and it is difficult and tedious to insert topic names, you can look at the import utility described in this blog and see if that will help you in some way. If it doesn’t, let me know and I might add a new import feature in the utility. If you are a programmer, look at the next section and perhaps, you can do that job yourself.

Programmers can make this operation do wonders!

If you are a programmer and can generate text files by scripts, you can combine information from various places into one text file such that the import operation automatically creates topics in the file. Here are some tips related to this.

Tip 1: The pieces can have RTF! If you want a topic to have RTF, put the complete RTF code after the line that begins with “topic: a-topic-name”. Here is an example:

topic: topic name 1
this is the text of the first topic and can have many lines.
topic: an rtf topic
{rtf... the rtf code of the topic having many lines.
}
topic: topic name 2
this is the text of the 2nd topic and can have many lines.

The topic “an rtf topic” will be imported as an RTF (rich text) topic. Some users have made very useful WhizFolder files this way by generating these text files by programs. For example, Steve Jarjoura (a user) made a Calendar file. See http://whizfolders.com/calendar.aspx. Another user, Carl Haddick,  is using a very old machine to create some text files which he then imports into WhizFolders by converting into this format by a script. He also converted some exported text from another note organizer into WhizFolders by using this feature and a programming script.

Tip 2: You can make a tree of topics by using level specifiers (version 6.3 or later only). To make levels in the topic list, just append a line “~level: n” after the “topic: topic-name” line in the import text file. The topmost level is level 0. Here is an example of such an import:

Topic: Top level topic 1
~level: 0
Content of this topic. Content of this topic.
Content of this topic. Content of this topic.
Topic: Child 1
~level: 1
This is a child topic.
Topic: Child of Child 1
~level: 2
This is a child topic.
Topic: Top level topic 2
~level: 0
Content of this topic. Content of this topic.

The possibilities are endless if you are a programmer. But if you are not, you can ask me for help, and I can put that intelligence in the Import Utility.

I need to break up a large Word document into small pieces, importing each as a separate topic in WhizFolders. I guess, I will need to copy and paste. Is there an easier way?

Switching back and forth between Word and WhizFolders for Copy and Paste can be painful.

Instead, better use the Watch clipboard operation. Just switch ON “Watch Clipboard” on the Tools menu. Then Go on copying in Word. WhizFolders will automatically present you with a paste dialog where you can change the automatically created topic name. Other than that, WhizFolders will work in background. This will make the process much faster and easier.

After all the topics have been added, go to WhizFolders and rearrange your topic list by the outlining buttons or by drag and drop.