Narrative and Outline Views (Desktop)

Narrative View is a graphical view showing items within a hierarchical narrative structure (e.g. of chapters and scenes).

To use Narrative View efficiently, it is necessary for you to understand the difference between Chronological and Narrative-ordered itemsIn short, items in your narrative maintain their own distinct order which is unrelated to the chronological order of events, and you must explicitly choose to add items into your Narrative in order for them to appear in Narrative View, but you should read the linked article for further information.

Note: You can disable the narrative entirely if it is not relevant for your project or industry (and in fact, some templates default to having the narrative off). When the narrative is switched off, you cannot access Narrative View or Outline View.

Narrative View Interface

The image below shows the individual components of the Narrative View.

The components of the interface highlighted in the above image are as follows:

  1. Narrative View Split Header: The Split header for narrative view has a vibrant teal background to indicate it is showing items in the Narrative instead of chronological order.
  2. Narrative View: The body of the narrative view, showing items in the narrative as nested cards on a board
  3. Narrative View Footer: The footer for Narrative View

Manipulating Items in Narrative View

Adding items

With Narrative View, you can add items at any position within the narrative tree structure by clicking on the Add button at the position you wish to insert the item.

You can then choose your preferred option from the following dropdown menu:

This dropdown allows you to choose between the following two options:

Add New Click on one of the item types listed under the Add New heading to create a brand new item of that type, and place it in your chosen position within the narrative. An item card will be created for the new item, and you will be immediately able to type a label for the new item.

If the item type you choose is allowed in the chronological-order also, as per your template, then the item will be automatically added into that order also (meaning it will appear in your Spreadsheet View). See Chronological vs Narrative Order for more details.
Import Existing This section lists all of your existing items that are eligible to be added to the narrative (that is, they are of a type allowed in the narrative, and do not exist in the narrative already).

Click on an item to add it into the narrative at your chosen position. If the list is too long, you can type a few words into the filter box to reduce the list to show only those items matching the text you have typed.

It is preferable to add existing items rather than create separate copies of those items, as this keeps data consistent (each copy will have the same relationships, property values, etc) and prevents double ups appearing in your Spreadsheet or Timeline.

Moving Items

Item cards can be dragged within Narrative View to change their position within the narrative structure.

When dragging cards, you can perform any of the following actions:

  • Drop an item between cards to insert it into that position in the narrative (either at the top level, or within a parent)
  • Drop an item on top of a card to add it as a child within that item in the narrative
  • Drop an item at the top level to take it out of a parent in the narrative

Note that moving items into and out of parents within the narrative is separate to moving them into and out of parents generally as part of the item hierarchy. In effect, the narrative possesses its own order and hierarchical structure which is independent of the broader timeline data.

Removing Items

To remove an item from the narrative, select the item card within the Narrative View and either:

  • Press the Delete key on your keyboard; or 
  • Choose Remove from View from the Item menu

Removing an item from the narrative does not remove it from the timeline altogether - the item will remain as part of the Chronological order. A popup notification in the bottom right corner of the screen will remind you of this when you remove the item.

To completely delete a selected item from your timeline, you can:

  • Hold down Shift while pressing Delete on your keyboard;
  • Choose Delete Item from the Item menu; or
  • Click on the Delete button at the bottom of the inspector.

Adjusting View Settings

When a Narrative View is active, the footer will show numerous controls to alter the display settings of the narrative.

Card Details: Choose which properties are visible within each item card
Column Arrangement: Choose which level of the narrative tree will trigger a move to the next column (everything deeper than your choice will be shown in a vertical stack). Adjusting this value allows you to adjust to a view that is mostly vertical scrolling, mostly horizontal scrolling, or a balance of the two, depending on your preference and the arrangement of other splits.
100% Visual Scale: Change an optical scale across Work Views, making content visually larger or smaller. At smaller values, you will be able to see the layout of more content, but it may become difficult to read.

These controls apply universally across all Narrative Views.

Outline View

Outline View is a sorted table interface showing the hierarchical narrative structure: in effect, it is the data from the Narrative View shown in the same table-format as Spreadsheet View.

All of the functionality described in Spreadsheet View applies to the Outline View also, except that items are always sorted according to their narrative order (and all other sorting options are disabled).