User Guide

Using OutlinesOutloud

Getting Started

If you haven’t already read the Details and Support sections, we recommend you start there. Details gives you a quick overview of how to work with OutlinesOutloud, and Support tells you everything you need to know to get started quickly.

Outline List View

(Video Tutorial)

When you launch OutlinesOutloud, you will see a list of outlines available for playback. The list will include all the outlines automatically synced via Dropbox if you have chosen Dropbox to sync, or those dragged into iTunes if you’ve chosen to use iTunes sync. (See Creating and Syncing Outlines).

Outline List View

Outlines you haven’t looked at or listened to have green triangles in their icons. The date below the title is the last modified date.

  • Sync Now. Tapping the sync icon in the lower left corner will force an immediate sync, refreshing any outlines you have edited on your computer since you launched OutlinesOutloud. This only works if you have selected Dropbox for syncing.
    Resync Button
  • Search by Title or Row Content. Entering a word in the search field filters the list to include only outlines whose names or text contain that word.
  • Change Settings. Tapping the Settings icon in the lower right corner will show the Settings screen.
    Outlines Settings
  • Select an Outline. Single-tapping on a row opens that outline for viewing and playback.


(Video Tutorial)

The Settings screen allows you to change settings that affect the display and playback of all outlines.

Settings Screen

  • Speech Rate. Changes the speed of speech during playback.
  • Top Level Text Color. Displays a color palette and lets you change the text color for all top level rows in the outline. In conventional outline formatting, these rows usually start with uppercase Roman numerals. (Note: The top level rows in outlines you create can have whatever prefix you like, or none at all.)
  • Other Levels Text Color. Display a color palette and lets you change the text color for all other levels of your outlines.
  • Add Spoken Prefix Before… These next two settings determine whether OutlinesOutloud will add a spoken prefix before outline rows that have row identifiers, such as “I.“, “A.”, “1.”, and so on.
    • Roman Numeral Rows. If this setting is On and you have outline rows with Roman numeral row identifiers, OutlinesOutloud will add the words “Roman Numeral” before the row identifier. For example, a row beginning with “I.” will be spoken as “Roman numeral One”.
    • Other Rows. If this setting is On and you have outline rows with numerical or letter row identifiers, OutlinesOutloud will add the words “Point”and “Subpoint” before the row identifiers for the second and third levels of the outline. Below the third level, the row identifier will be spoken, but no additional words will be added.
  • Sync Via. Allows you to change the method OutlinesOutloud uses to sync outlines from your computer to your iPhone.
  • Change Dropbox Account Info. If you are using Dropbox to sync, this button will be enabled and will let you change the login credentials (email and password) OutlinesOutloud uses to connect to your Dropbox account.

Outline Play View

(Video Tutorial)

When you select an outline from the Outline List, it will open up for viewing and playback in the Outline Play View. The outline appears as a series of “rows.” Letter and numeral prefixes mark the beginning of each row if you included prefixes in your outline file. A speaker-shaped icon, the Play-Start Pointer, marks the first row that will be spoken when you press Play.

Single-tapping any row will move the Play-Start icon to the tapped row. If the outline is playing, play will continue uninterrupted from the tapped row.

Outline Play View

Playback Controls

  • Play. Tapping the Play button ( > ) begins playback at the row marked by the Play-Start Pointer.

    During playback, the Play-Start Pointer turns green and walks down the left side of the screen to highlight the row that’s currently playing. When the last row has finished playing, playback stops and the Play-Start Pointer turns gray.

  • Pause. Tapping the Pause button ( II ) stops playback. In Pause mode, the Play-Start Pointer is grayed out and the Pause symbol is replaced by the Play symbol.
  • Rewind (Skip Back). Tapping the Rewind button (I<<) moves the Play-Start Pointer back to the last-played row. If this is done during playback, playback will continue uninterrupted from the new position.
  • FastForward (Skip Forward). Tapping the FastForward (>>I) button moves the Play-Start Pointer to the next row. If this is done during playback, playback will continue uninterrupted from the new position.
  • Go To Playing Row. Tapping the Go To Playing Row button (see below) scrolls the screen to the row containing the Play-Start Icon. This is either the currently playing row, or the row that will play when you press the Play Button.
  • Loop. Tapping the Loop button (see below) toggles Loop Mode. If you’re in Loop Mode, playback will loop around to the first unskipped row when playback completes the last unskipped row.
  • Adjust Volume. The Volume Slider adjusts the playback volume for OutlinesOutloud without affecting the volume for other apps. Please note the volume change takes effect when the next row starts to play.

Skipping a Row

  • Set a Single Row to Be Skipped. Swiping a row reveals a red Skip button at the right end of the row.
    Skip ButtonTapping Skip causes the row and all its “children”—all subtopics under that row—to become inactive. Inactive rows gray out and will not play when playback is started.
  • Re-Activate a Skipped Row. Swiping an inactive row reveals an Unskip button at the right end of the row.
    UnSkip ButtonTapping Unskip causes the row and all its children to become active. These rows appear in standard (active) text color and will play when playback is started.

Full Text / One-Line Summaries

By default, each row of the outline is represented by a single line of text. Where there is more text to see, an ellipse is displayed (…)

  • See the Full Text of a Single Row. Double-tapping on any row will reveal the full text of that row. In the screen snapshot below, Row A under Roman Numeral I has been double-tapped.Outline Play View - 1st Row Full Text
  • Reduce a Single Row to One Line. Double-tapping on row displaying its full text reduces it again to a single line.

Other Controls

  • Outline Settings. Tapping the Outline Settings button…Outline Play View - Settings Button…reveals the Outline Settings screen. This screen lets you customize several aspects of outline display and playback.Outline Settings

Outline Settings, Display

Using these settings, you can adjust the Outline View to show as much, or as little, of the outline text as you wish. View settings do not affect playback.

Top Level Rows Only / Show All Rows

  • Top-Level Rows Only. Tapping Top Level Rows Only….Top Level Rows Prompt…hides all sub-level rows, leaving only the top-level rows (typically I, II, III, etc.). This does not affect playback; unless set to skip, all sub-level rows will continue to play.Top Level Rows
  • All Rows. Tapping All Rows reveals all hidden sub-level rows.All Rows, Prompt

One-Line Summaries / Full Text

By default, each row of the outline is represented by a single line of text. Where there is more text to see, an ellipse is displayed (…)

  • See the Full Text of All Rows. Tapping Full Text displays the entire text of all rows in the outline.Full Text, All Rows
  • Reduce All Rows to One-Line Summaries. Tapping One Line Summaries reduces the text of all rows to single lines.One-Line Summaries Prompt

Outline Settings, Playback

Using this one setting, you can customize the playback by bulk omitting certain rows, leaving just the sections you want to concentrate on. Playback settings do not affect the actual outline and can be changed at any time.

Skip All / UnSkip All

  • Set All Top Level Rows to be Skipped. Tapping Skip All sets all top-level outline rows (and their sub-topics) to be skipped on playback.All Rows SkippedSkip All is a useful shortcut if you only want one, or just a few, top-level rows to play. Rather than individually skipping every top-level row you don’t want to hear, you can simply select Skip All; then, UnSkip the specific rows you do want to hear, by individually swiping them and tapping the UnSkip button.
  • Reactivate All Skipped Rows. Tapping the Outline Settings Icon on the top Navigation bar brings up an Action Sheet, from which tapping UnSkip All causes any skipped rows to become active again. UnSkip All effectively clears all SKIP settings, whether they were set using Skip All, or set individually by row.Unskip All Prompt