Bryce A Beattie's website blog thing

Freeware Outliner for Authors: TextTree 1.3


*update 3/7/2013 * I finally got the download link fixed.

Merry Christmas, everybody. Several years ago I wrote a little outliner program to make following Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method of writing a novel easier. I put it up for sale and have been selling a copy or two here and there ever since. As it ends up, somewhere in the last two computer crashes I’ve lost the code for the latest version. And it doesn’t look like I’ll be returning to the idea anytime soon.

So I’ve decided to release it as freeware. Thanks to all of you who have supported TextTree in the past.


Text Tree Windows Installer (1.5 MB)

Screen Shots

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(click for larger)

Program Description

Text Tree is an outline based writer’s tool.  It is designed make structured, understandable documents easily and quickly.  Text Tree has been found useful for story writing, FAQ creation, novel planning, manual writing, software support, biographies, and lesson planning.

What really sets Text Tree apart from other outliners is its export abilities. In other outliners, you make a outline of everything, then you have to cut and paste or go node by node to get your information out. Text Tree allows you to quickly export all or part of the information in your outline. For example, if you are organizing information to be displayed on the web, Text Tree can generate an html file with a table of contents to your information.  You can see an example of raw html output from Text Tree in the Text Tree Manual.

For novel writing, lesson planning, or biographical work, the text file exports are more useful.  In fact, Text Tree was originally written so that I could have a tool that would help me follow the snowflake process of writing a novel. If you are unfamiliar with the snowflake method, it is a process in which you distill your project to a single idea, then expand the parts of that idea, and then expand those parts, etc. until you get to the nitty-gritty details.  You then use the nitty-gritty details to write your work.  Text Tree help you expand those ideas in an outline, then allows you to export all that information, or just those nitty-gritty details.  For more information on how to follow the snowflake method with Text Tree, please watch the flash tutorial.

Text Tree also can import/export files from other outliners, including noterrific and Treepad lite.


You need at least Windows XP with Java installed.

Java be obtained here for free.


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