The other day I was discussing outliner behavior and thought I'd bring it over to this venue.

Consider the following outline: alt text

Now, let's say I want to decrease the depth of I.A ("First Point") to be on the same level as "First subtopic".

Would you expect I.B ("Second Point") to be a child of I.A, or would I.B also decrease in depth to maintain the sibling relationship?

2 Answers 2


I expect I.A to move by itself -- without I.B. Of course, in doing so, I.A will need to be renamed to II, and what was II and III need to become III and IV. This way, if the user wants to move I.B along with it, she can always select both I.A and I.B together and then move them.

To play devil's advocate for a second, if you opt for the other approach where moving I.A automatically moves I.B with it, then how would you address the case where the user really does want to move I.A by itself? I have seen a program (can't recall which, perhaps Word 199x in Outline mode) trying to address this by having all siblings move to the left (I.A and I.B) but only the selected one move to the right, but I've always felt that it was a case of a program trying to be too clever -- and becoming irritating to use in the process.

  • Do the children of I.A. move with I.A.?
    – DexterW
    Dec 21, 2010 at 22:34
  • Children, yes. Siblings (I.B), no.
    – Hisham
    Dec 21, 2010 at 23:53
  • Excellent! This is exactly what I argued should happen.
    – DexterW
    Dec 22, 2010 at 6:40

I would expect that moving I.A would move I.A, and I.A alone. If the behaviour to move I.B were required, then I would expect that to also be available, but via another means - e.g. by grouping I.A and I.B before moving them.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.