Using OutlinesOutloud


Video Tutorials

List View


Play View




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


The Outline List View shows all your imported outlines, displays when you last listened to them, and lets you search by keyword.

When you launch OutlinesOutloud, you will see a list with the heading Documents displaying all outlines available for playback. These will include outlines automatically imported via Dropbox, if you have chosen Dropbox to import, or those transferred to your phone as email attachments and then imported using the Share button. (See Creating and Importing Outlines).


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

  • Import Now. Touching the circular arrow icon at the bottom of the screen refreshes the list of outlines. While new outlines from the Dropbox folder on your computer will upload automatically whenever OutlinesOutload launches, any you have created since launching the app will be brought in by touching the Import Now icon. (This applies only to outlines imported via Dropbox, assuming you have selected Dropbox for uploading. Outlines transferred via the Share button while the app is running will appear immediately, without the need to refresh the list.)


  • 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 SettingsTapping the General Settings (double gear) icon in the lower right corner will bring up the Settings screen. See Main Settings section below.


  • Select an Outline. Single-tapping on a row opens that outline for viewing and playback.

Main Settings

The Settings Panel gives you control over import method, pace, formatting, and style of your outlines. (Access via the double-gear icon.)

Touching the double-gear icon at the bottom of the Documents screen brings up the main Settings screen. This Settings screen allows you to change default settings that globally affect the display and playback of all outlines. Note that OutlinesOutloud lets you change some of these same parameters within an individual outline, in which case the outline-specific settings will replace the default settings for that outline only. 


  • Default Speak Rate. Changes the speed of speech during playback.

  • Default Blank Row Delay. Adjusts the length of silence that occurs when a blank row is encountered during playback. Can be used to adjust the pace of the playback—either to add silence between sections or to minimize the delay caused by blank rows that were included only for visual reasons.

  • Default End-of-Row Delay. Adjusts the length of the pause at the end of each row. Along with Speak Rate, this is another way to adjust the overall pace of the 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.

  • Import Via. Allows you to change the method OutlinesOutloud uses to import outlines from your computer to your iPhone.

  • Change Dropbox Account Info. If you are using Dropbox to import, 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

A speaker-shaped icon, the Play-Start Pointer, marks the first row that will be spoken when you press Play.


The Outline Play View gives you more  control over the look and playback characteristics of an individual outline. 

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.” (In an outline, a row may contain any amount of text.) Letter and numeral prefixes mark the beginning of each row, assuming you included prefixes in your outline file.


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

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Playback Controls
  • Play. Tapping the Play button ( > ) begins playback at the row marked by the Play-Start Pointer. During playback, the Play-Start Pointer is displayed with sound waves emerging from it and walks down the left side of the screen to highlight the row currently playing. When the last row has finished playing, playback stops and the Play-Start Pointer changes back to its original non-playing appearance.

  • Pause. Tapping the Pause button ( II ) stops playback. In Pause mode, the Play-Start Pointer reverts to its non-playing appearance and the Pause symbol is replaced by the Play symbol.

  • Skip Back. Tapping the "Rewind" button (<<) 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.

  • Skip Forward. Tapping the "Fast Forward "(>>) 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 in the lower left of the screen 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. This button is highlighted and active whenever the Play-Start Pointer is scrolled out of view. 


  • Loop. Tapping the Loop button at the lower right 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.


Skipping Rows


Set a Row to Be Skipped. Swiping a row reveals a red Skip button at the right end of the row.


Tapping Skip causes the row and all its “children”—all subtopics under that row—to become inactive. Inactive rows gray out and will not be spoken during playback. Skipping a row does not delete it from the outline.

  • Re-Activate a Skipped Row. Swiping an inactive (grayed-out) row reveals an Unskip button at the right end of the row.


Tapping Unskip restores the row and all its children to an active state. These rows will display in standard (active) text color and will play when playback is started.

Full Text / One-Line Display

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 1, under Row A, under Roman Numeral VI has been double-tapped. 

  • Reduce a Single Row to One Line. Double-tapping on row displaying its full text reduces it again to a single line.

Display and Playback Settings (Outline-Specific)

  • Outline Settings. Tapping the Outline Settings (single gear) button…


…reveals the Outline Settings screen. This screen lets you customize several aspects of outline display and playback. Note that some of these parameters are also adjustable on the (double-gear) Main Settings screen, which determines the defaults for all outlines. Changes you make here on the Outline Setting panel affect this individual outline only (and will not change the default values).

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.

  • Show Top-Level Rows Only. Tapping Top Level Rows Only….


…hides all sub-level rows, displaying only 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.

  • Show All Rows. Tapping All Rows reveals all hidden sub-level rows.

  • Show the 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 (…) Tapping Full Text displays the entire text of all rows in the outline.  

  • Show One-Line Summaries. Tapping One-Line Summaries reduces the text of all rows to single lines.

Outline Settings, Playback

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

  • Skip All Rows. Tapping Skip All sets all top-level outline rows (and their sub-topics) to be skipped on playback. You can use this as a shortcut if you want only one, or just a few, top-level rows to play. Rather than individually skipping every top-level row you don’t want to hear, simply select Skip All; then, UnSkip the specific rows you do want to hear, by individually swiping them and tapping the UnSkip button.​



  • UnSkip All. (Appears only when rows have been set to skip.) UnSkip All causes any skipped rows to become active again. UnSkip All clears all SKIP settings, whether they were set using Skip All, or set individually by row.

  • Speak Rate. Changes the speed of speech during playback for this particular outline. (Does not affect the default setting on the double-gear Main Settings panel.)

  • End-of-Row Delay. Adjusts the length of the pause at the end of each row in this outline, and is another way to vary the overall pace of the reading. (As with other playback settings, changing this does not affect the default values on the Main Settings panel.)

  • ​Blank Row Delay. Adjusts the length of silence that occurs if a blank row is encountered during playback of this outline. (As with other playback settings, changing this does not affect the default values on the Main Settings panel.)