If you have a list where you have used indenting to group items, you may
sometimes want to sort the indented items independently of their parent items.
The way to do this is to Flatten the list by choosing
from the menu. Flattening your list will remove all
indentation from all items, allowing you to sort them as equals. A common
example of this is a To Do list in which Priority numbers are assigned to
indented items, which are grouped under parent items that represent different
projects or tasks. You would sometimes like to just sort all the indented items
by priority, so you can see the highest priority items together, independent of
project or task.
When you Flatten your list, a new column is created called the Parent column.
If you have more than one level of indentation in your list, a Parent column
will be created for each level. These columns will usually be named Parent,
Parent1, Parent2 and so on. The purpose of the Parent columns is to hold the
information necessary for restoring the original hierarchy. For each item that
was originally indented, the Parent column will hold the value of the Item
column of its original parent item. Normally, you can just ignore the Parent
Flattening your list does not simply produce a temporary flat view of your
items. The list is actually changed to a flat list, with information about the
original hierarchy stored in the new Parent columns. This means that there are
no restrictions on the type of changes you can make to your list after it has
been flattened. You can sort, rearrange items, edit their contents, delete items
or add new ones. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that any changes to
the values in the Parent columns, or to the Item columns of the original parent
items, may affect the ability of ListPro to restore the original hierarchy of
In most cases you will eventually want to restore the original hierarchy of
the list. You can do this by choosing
from the menu. ListPro will then
use the information in the Parent columns to restore the outline. Note that the
changes you have made while the list was flattened may affect how the
unflattened list actually looks. For example, if you have changed the order of
the parent items, the unflattened list would reflect the new order. If you
deleted items or changed the order of items that were indented under a common
parent, the unflattened list would contain these changes, too.
It's also possible that you don't want to unflatten a list, but have decided
you want to leave it flattened permanently. In that case, you can delete the
Parent columns that were created when you flattened. Please be aware, however,
that if you delete the Parent columns ListPro will not be able to unflatten the
Certain lists may not be possible to restore exactly after they have been
flattened. For example, if any of the original parent items have a blank Item
column, or if two or more of the original parent items have identical Item
columns, the unflattening operation would not necessarily have enough
information to restore the list exactly. ListPro will always warn you if this is
the case before Flattening, however, so you can avoid flattening a list that
can't be unflattened exactly.
The Flatten Outline window appears when you choose
from the menu. Use this window to enter the name of a Parent
column to use for flattening the outline.
When you flatten a list, all indented items are shifted all the way to the
left. This allows you to sort the indented items independently of their parent
items. In order to restore the list to its previous state where all items are
properly indented under their parent items, ListPro saves the name of the parent
items in a new column.
You can choose
menu to restore the list to its original state.
The Unflatten Window appears when you choose
from the menu. Use this window to unflatten a list.
When you unflatten a list that has been previously flattened, the original
outline is restored using the Parent Columns. Unflattening a list causes each
item with a value in the Parent Column to be shifted right one indent level.
Each indented item is moved after its parent item, which is located by finding
the item whose "Item" column matches the Parent Column of the indented item.
Please note that unflattening the list is done using only the information in
the Parent Columns. If you have changed the content of the Parent columns in any
items or have changed the Item column of any former parent items, the
unflattening operation may result in a list that is not exactly the same outline
as the original.