Collaborative Editing Beta

collaborative editing

This week we’re beginning to accept teams into the beta of collaborative editing, this feature will allow multiple team members to edit the same document at the same time, opening much wider range of use cases! It also lays the foundation for all sorts of new features such as commenting.

If your team would like to participate please reach out to [email protected].

Other fixes and improvements

  • Starred documents are now displayed in the sidebar
  • It's now possible to choose a user permission up-front when inviting
  • Exporting data no longer emails the result and is much more reliable
  • Lists can now start at numbers other than 1.
  • Improved compatability of Google Drive integration
  • The "Share" button now always appears, even when public sharing is disabled
  • There is a new menu for switching between signed in teams
  • Added Google Calendar embed support
  • Added Diagrams.net embed support
  • Added 4 new collection icons
  • Fixed a race condtion in image upload that could result in errors
  • Fixed single row tables breaking on reload
  • Lots of new translations

Task lists and improved history

task list

Task lists

You've been able to create a task list or a checkbox list in Outline for a while, but this week brings a nice improvement - we added task summaries so you can see how many tasks a doc contains and how many are completed without even opening it!

This is great for simple checklists such as new employee onboarding or a release checklist that you wouldn't neccesarily put in an issue tracker. You can also create repetitive task lists in templates.

Document history improvements

The history sidebar was rebuilt to shows more than just edits, it now also includes archive, delete, publish, moves, and other events that happen during the document's lifetime.

You can find the new sidebar by clicking on the last edited timestamp or under "History" in the document menu.

document history

Other fixes and improvements

  • We've made a number of server-side performance improvements
  • The "Home" tab now defaults to show recently viewed documents
  • Fixed an issue that potentially suppressed email notifications for document edits
  • Fixed the templates page erroring when scrolled

Summer Release

Wow, another month has passed, here's a quick update on what's changed since June, as is often the case as well as the big stuff we've been working on a lot of "little details"
that make the daily experience better but aren't always immediately visible.

Improved search abilities

We're now tracking all the previous titles that a document has had to improve search results and increase the liklihood of surfacing the right document, even if you can't quite remember what it's latest title is.

Collapsible headings

We brought back the ability to collapse sections of a document under headings – simply hover over any heading to see a new control to collapse the contents. Your preference is stored locally and is not seen by other team members that view the document.

Collapsible headings

Drag and drop to archive or delete

You can now drag and drop documents from the sidebar directly into the archive or trash, similar to how you would move or reorder. There's a cute animation included to let you know what will happen too.

Drag to archive

Other fixes and improvements

  • Lots more translation hooks were added, we're very close to 100% coverage so that the entirety of the UI can appear in the language of your choice.
  • Added access to the Table of Contents on mobile
  • Fixed an issue where the star option would appear for templates
  • Fixed the "publish" button being disabled on drafts when not editing them
  • Added new language options – Persian and Japanese 🌏
  • Added support for Google DataStudio embeds

Friendly Collection URLs

Friendly collection url

This week we've shipped lots of little improvements, one thing you might notice is that collections in Outline no longer have a long UUID in the address bar, instead you'll see a shortened id and a friendly version of the collection name. Not only is this nicer to look at, but it also makes quickly returning to collections via searching in the address bar much easier!

Other fixes and improvements

  • Application size was decreased by several hundred KB
  • Shortcut for toggling the Table of Contents was changed to ctrl+alt+h
  • New language option – Portugêse (Brazil) 🇧🇷
  • Copying a share link to clipboard no longer includes dark mode styles when pasting into another rich editor
  • Fixed alignment of items in "New from template" menu
  • Fixed an issue where two Restore options would appear on a deleted document that was previously archived
  • Fixed background color of select inputs in dark mode on non-Mac platforms
  • Improved the performance of loading share links for documents with many attachments

Sharing Improvements

Outline Public Sharing

Last week brings some great improvements to public document sharing. We recently simplified the sharing dialog to a popover and now added the ability to share an entire tree of nested documents too. This much-requested feature is great for sharing structured help docs or several related documents with a single link!

As an additional security measure the Share button will also display a globe icon if a document is shared publicly because one of it's parents has been shared.

Other fixes and improvements

  • Images now show a Download button for easy downloading of images in a document
  • In the share dialog see when the link was last accessed
  • Improved behavior when typing words that include underscores in the editor
  • Improved behavior with the cursor around the edges of inline code
  • Added support for Descript embeds

Document Insights

viewer details

We've rolled out a number of UI improvements in the past couple of weeks within documents. It's now possible to see who on your team has viewed a document, simply click on the "Viewed by X people" text beneath the title for a detailed flyover of everyone that has viewed and when.

The pile of faces at the top right of a document continues to show who has previously edited or is active right now. We'll be adding more detailed team-level insights soon!

Other fixes and improvements

  • Added print "page break" functionality to editor to adjust print layout (Insert via slash menu)
  • Permissions-policy header to disable FLOC is now returned on all pages
  • Document content now takes up more horizontal space on larger screens

Fixes

  • Fixed content appearing behind status bar in iOS PWA on some models of iPhone
  • Moving a duplicated document from a private to a not-private collection now updates the permissions of it's attachments
  • Improved frontend support for importing doc, docx files
  • Slack 'Post to channel' functionality now works without the requirement of using Slack SSO
  • Page no longer reloads in Firefox when clicking some menu items
  • Removed extra space on left side of page when printing in Firefox
  • Fixed print styles in dark mode
  • Improved editor image upload to remove flickering of image when the placeholder is replaced
  • Fixed document hover preview appearing behind subheadings
  • Fixed several smaller editor issues and crashes
  • Typing a word with underscores in the middle no longer creates italic text

Microsoft SSO

Microsoft Sign In

We’re excited to finally add a new sign-in method, Microsoft! Whether you’re using MS Teams, Education, or Office 365, you can now use your organization’s Microsoft account to sign-in to Outline and build a knowledge base.

We’ll soon be working on adding Microsoft Teams integration to allow searching and accessing your Outline documents directly from chat too, just like Slack.

Other fixes and improvements

  • Improvements to mobile styling and functionality
  • New "Page break" functionality allows splitting content across pages when printed
  • Sharing functionality got a new, faster, "flyover" view
  • Share links will now show when they were last accessed in the admin
  • The keyboard shortcut guide got a new splash of paint and filter functionality
  • Document content now expands to use more space on larger screens
  • We made a number of performance improvements so Outline got even faster
  • As always, more translated screens

Collection Permissions & Viewers

viewer permissions

In the last couple of weeks we've deployed two changes that together really improve the permissions story in Outline. It's now possible to make a user a "viewer" at the team level, meaning they will not be able to edit any collections or documents at all.

We also added the option to make the default access level for a collection "view only", you can then select just a couple of team members to have edit permissions.

Enhancements

  • Added the ability to drag and drop files into the collection screen
  • Improved and more comprehensive translations
  • Visual improvements to dark mode styling and mobile context menus
  • Added a /logout route to support SLO
  • When viewing a public share route while signed in with edit permissions an "Edit" button is now displayed

Fixes

  • Suspending a user now logs them out of any active sessions immediately
  • When a suspended user tries to sign in with email the situation is now explained more clearly to them
  • Fixed an error in the shares.info API endpoint when the user that originally creating share has been deleted
  • Fixed an issue with invisible list bullets in Firefox
  • Fixed a rare error when moving documents
  • Fixed embed support for Lucid Charts on the lucid.app domain

Reordering Collections

Reordering collections in Outline

Building on our sidebar improvements from the start of the year, it's now possible to reorder collections in the sidebar as a team admin – changes to the sidebar are synced to all team members. We also added reordering of list items in documents with a new drag and drop handle or the handy ALT+Up/Down shortcut.

Other fixes and improvements

Platform

  • Private collections now show a "Private" badge next to the title
  • Enlarged the scrollable area in the sidebar for improved UX on small screens
  • Added Russian language translations
  • Document menus now include an "Import document" option to import as a sub-document
  • It's now possible to upload images into collection descriptions
  • When viewing documents in the trash, their images no longer show as broken
  • An error when search term includes the "%" character has been resolved
  • Fixed an issue where moving a document in a private collection would cause it to become uneditable until reload

Editor

  • Resolved some instances where an invalid selection would crash the editor
  • It's now possible to drag and drop images into the editor from the file system again
  • Sticky document title no longer moves position when the document is saving
  • Drop cursor is now visible in dark theme as a white line
  • Improved pasting behavior into editor, particularly with external HTML and Markdown

Progressive Web App

Outline on macOS

This week brings PWA support to Outline, allowing you to install the app to your desktop and dock in just a couple of seconds. We've been enjoying how lightweight this install is while keeping the two best parts of a native app experience – an icon in the dock and a dedicated window. To try it out, head over to the app, signin, and hit the "Install" button that appears in the address bar.

Other fixes and improvements

Platform

  • It's now possible edit the description of a collection inline.
  • We added the ability to disable sharing of individual collections.
  • The sidebar is now resizable, you can also grab the edge and drag it all the way to the left to collapse.
  • Newly created documents now sort to the top of manually organized collections.
  • The sidebar now automatically scrolls to ensure that the active item is kept visible.
  • When navigating to a collection the default tab now reflects the sidebar rather than a "recently updated" view.
  • Added total user counts to tabs on people management screen.
  • Added Google Drawings Integration.
  • Unpublishing a document created by another user now puts it in your drafts, not theres.

Editor

  • Fixed highlighted text with link in dark mode is impossible to read
  • Fixed a case where it was possible to to keep the block menu open while formatting menus are also open
  • Editor ctrl+x shortcuts now work correctly on Windows
  • Shift+Enter keys now split list items and create a newline
  • Shift+Enter and Tab keys now behave as expected within code blocks
  • Fixed an issue where the text caret in an empty notice block is invisible

New year, new sidebar

Last week we deployed a new version of the Outline sidebar – it looks very similar to before – but make no mistake it's rebuilt from the ground up! With this new foundation comes the ability to reorder and move documents with drag and drop…

Re-ordering in Outline

…plus you can now collapse the sidebar entirely (cmd+. is the handy shortcut for this one).

Other notable fixes and improvements

  • Switching between read / write in editor no longer resets scroll position
  • The "highlighted" text color was changed from blue to yellow, to better separate highlight from selection
  • Added syntax highlighting support for Golang
  • Added support for floating images left and right
  • Added a toggle for starred status when viewing a document
  • Fixed "ctrl-x" key shortcuts not bound correctly in Windows browsers
  • Fixed search results not updating when changing filters without reloading
  • The "New" badge will no longer show to document creator
  • Google Drive embeds are now supported
  • And much more…

2020 in Review

2020 wasn’t without its challenges for many of us and I personally feel lucky to have gotten through the year with health and happiness intact. For Outline it was the biggest year ever for new features, fixes, and the growing community. Whether you’ve been following intently or this is the first time you’ve come across Outline here are some highlights from the past year:

📝 A new editor

We started the year with a new editor, completely rewritten from the ground up on the Prosemirror framework. It’s now several orders of magnitude faster than the previous version at rendering both large and small documents, mobile compatible and a really solid base for the future. The editor is open sourced under a BSD license so you can play around with it in your projects too.

⚡️ Performance

I was already proud of Outline’s performance, and this year continued that focus. Special effort was put into dropping the initial download size of the entire application by more than 2Mb’s to ensure the app loads incredibly fast and documents load in milliseconds.

🆕 New content types

With the new editor came new functionality such as highlights, notice blocks, and rich embeds like Google Slides – plus a /slash menu for quickly performing actions with only the keyboard. A special focus was also put on linking with automatic backlinks, on-demand creation of new docs from within the editor, and hover previews for internal links. All this and still fully Markdown compatible.

New notice blocks

👨‍👨‍👧‍👦 Permissions + access

In March we made strides in improving the Outline experience for different kinds of teams with the addition of groups, group permissions, and read-only access to collections. Email sign-in for guests that aren’t part of your main organization and optional custom domains we’re also added.

Custom domains

📄 Shared templates

One of the hardest things with building a team knowledge base is keeping consistency of information. In August we introduced team templates that let you define shared templates across the team that even include fillable “fields” to make starting new documents easy.

Shared templates

🇺🇳 Translations

One of the biggest advantages of having an open codebase is the contributions that are made from all around the world. It was always an aim to translate Outline and this year André made that happen with implementation of the translation framework and process integrated with CrowdIn

Outline is now translated into 5 languages, with more just around the corner.

🌎 Social impact

When I think about the places that Outline should direct its impact as a company, top of the list is in helping efforts that are tackling climate change. It’s easy to ensure that our own operations are carbon neutral as the footprint is so small – but this year we’ve also comped accounts to teams and communities working on climate change, and as of November 1% of all revenue is being donated to actively remove carbon from the atmosphere.

The year ahead…

For 2021 the roadmap is full and I’m excited to think about where the product will be by this time next year. Here’s a sneak peak of a couple of things that are “coming soon”… \n

  • A continued focus on performance to ensure Outline remains the fastest knowledge base on the market.
  • “Bulk import” from other tools including Confluence and Notion
  • Realtime collaboration to allow multiple document editors at once

Community Translations

The last few weeks has seen a surge of support in the community for translating Outline. We're proud to now have initial support for the following languages in the product - head over to settings to choose your native language if you haven't already.

  • 🇩🇪 German
  • 🇪🇸 Spanish
  • 🇫🇷 French
  • 🇰🇷 Korean
  • 🇵🇹 Portugese

This week support for drag and drop to move documents in the sidebar also landed. Now that a solid technical foundation is in place reordering of documents is next on the list of improvements.

Other fixes and improvements

  • Scrollbar styling on tables in documents is improved
  • CMD+Shift+P shortcut now works to publish the document when the title is focused
  • Added SQL language support in code blocks
  • Fixed image captions not editable in Safari
  • Double click to edit a title in the sidebar now styled correctly in dark mode
  • Disabling public sharing at the team level now disables access to all previously shared links
  • Fixed an issue where some actions might not appear in document menu
  • Sidebar items no longer highlight when dragging incompatible items over them
  • Fixed potential server error when uploading images with particularly long file names

👋 Hallo, 你好, こんにちは

Outline translations

This week we're really excited to kick-off a community translation project. Over the last month there has been a lot of work to hook up the framework and processes for accepting translations and it's now finally ready to use. A special thanks goes out to André Glatzl for pushing this forward.

If you'd like to see Outline translated into your native language and can offer a little time to help out, it's easy to contribute – simply head to translate.getoutline.com and sign up for a free CrowdIn account. Accepted translations are automatically merged back into the codebase and will be available in the following release.

Right now German and Portugese are already >30% complete and we're looking for some folks to take the lead on Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish in particular.

Custom domains

Outline custom domain

This week brings support for custom domains to the cloud hosted version of Outline. Now you can easily have wiki.myteam.com or kb.yourcompany.com without the hassle of hosting your own Outline servers.

Custom domains are available as an add-on for a flat rate of $20/mo. Interested? Contact support to arrange setup for your team.

Import from Confluence

We've made further improvements to importing, in particular it's now possible to import .doc files that are exported from Confluence, this is now the recommended format to get content from Confluence into Outline as it supports the greatest range of formatting – including tables.

We plan on releasing a CLI tool soon to allow bulk import for Confluence, Notion, GitHub and other services – watch this space!

Other fixes and improvements

Platform

  • Teams using Google Workspace to sign-in can now still search their wiki from Slack after connecting in settings (previously this required Slack auth).
  • Notification emails are now a little delayed to reduce the chances of receiving too many.
  • Realtime connections are now more performant in Safari, aka the websocket doesn't always fall back to long-polling!

Editor

  • When scrolling to headers from the table of contents the document will no longer scroll behind the fixed header area.
  • There is no longer an erroneous pointer cursor on headings.

We've got something brewing…

Brewing

Other fixes and improvements

  • Spotify embeds have been improved and better handle the wide variety of possible link types
  • Fixed an issue that made it impossible to upload the same image twice without reloading the document
  • Improved toolbar behavior to prevent it appearing with an empty selection

Import from Microsoft Word

Much like last months update our focus continues to be on little details, performance, and bug fixing rather than new features – but some solid new functionality did sneak in with the help of open source contributors…

HTML + Word Import

You can now import HTML and Microsoft Word documents simply by dragging them onto a collection, or from the collection context menu. We also improved the look and feel of GSuite embeds.

New + Unread badges

Lists of documents now show when you last viewed the doc – and new, unread documents are highlighted with a badge so it's easier to spot changes you missed.

new document badge

Other fixes and improvements

Platform

  • Share links can now be embedded in iframes
  • Document and collection titles can now be edited from the sidebar by double clicking
  • Improvements to focus accessibility
  • You can now unpublish a document that was previously published via the overflow "..." menu
  • It's now possible to restore documents when their collection has been deleted
  • When a document is deleted the metadata now reflects the correct user
  • It's now possible to view all possible locations when choosing where to move a document
  • An issue with nested modals not stacking correctly
  • Clicking to "change permissions" when editing a collection now works correctly
  • A document that previously had it's share revoked can now be re-shared
  • Shares related to deleted documents no longer appear in the admin area
  • It's no longer possible to create a child document inside a deleted document
  • Improved handling of deleted documents/collections over websockets
  • Fixed new revisions being skipped if identical to previously autosaved revision
  • Document history sidebar now has a header and button to close

Editor

  • It's now possible to use line breaks in table cells with Shift+Enter
  • Google docs, sheets and presentations can now be embedded without requiring "Publish to web" first
  • Styling and behavior of doc link search was improved to be more reliable
  • Selected content in the editor can now be dragged to reorder
  • Table of contents now shows correctly when navigating directly to a document url (eg from a bookmark)
  • It's now possible to toggle a blockquote via the formatting toolbar (previously blockquotes would be continuously nested)
  • Headers inside notice blocks are now the correct color in dark mode
  • Checkboxes can now be toggled in read only mode via the keyboard
  • Enter key in document title now adds a new paragraph below the title
  • Keyboard shortcuts now work when document title is focused
  • It's now possible to underline text in the editor with CMD+U
  • Horizontal dividers are no longer selectable in read-only
  • Automatic linking of pasted URL's is now more reliable
  • Document titles no longer look faded in Safari
  • Fixed cursor navigation around headings in Firefox
  • There is no longer a small pointer dead zone over links when hover card is visible
  • It's now possible to select embeds in the editor
  • "ClickUp" added to embed integrations
  • The positioning of the formatting toolbar has been improved to be more predictable
  • It is now possible to search for existing docs using their URL

The one with all the fixes

The last two weeks we've been focused on bug fixing, performance and reliability. We've always taken pride in the speed of Outline and keeping the app fast requires constant ongoing attention and maintenance. One place that hadn't been optimized in a while was the initial javascript bundle download size, which has now dropped from 2.8Mb to just 700Kb.

Some of this updates improvements (Marked with a [os]) are brought to you by open source contributions, for this we're very thankful!

Enhancements

  • [os] It's now (finally) possible to use line breaks in table cells with Shift+Enter
  • [os] The document history sidebar now has a header and a button to close
  • The interface for moving documents got cleaned up and it's now easier to tell where the moved document will end up
  • The app will now redirect to the parent document instead of the collection when deleting a child document
  • [os] You can now unpublish a document that was previously published via the overflow (...) document menu

Fixes

  • Selected content in the editor can now be dragged to reorder
  • When a document is deleted the metadata now reflects the correct user
  • It's now possible to view all possible locations when choosing where to move a document
  • Table of contents now shows correctly when navigating directly to a document
  • A document that previously had it's share revoked can now be reshared if you have permission
  • Shares related to deleted documents no longer appear in the admin listing
  • The option to create a child document inside a document in the trash no longer appears
  • It's now possible to toggle a blockquote via the formatting toolbar (previously blockquotes would be continuously nested)
  • Headers inside notice blocks are now the correct color in dark mode
  • Checkboxes toggled via the keyboard are now persisted correctly

Document templates are here

Today we’re adding the much-requested ability to create team document templates in Outline. Templates are a simple, but powerful way to keep your docs consistent and reliable. In the near future we’ll also publish recommended templates and make them easy to use from within your team.

How to create a template

There are two ways to create a template:

  1. Navigate to "Templates" in the left sidebar, then hit "New template…" in the top right, choose a collection and write your template.
  2. Find an existing doc that you would like to create a template from, click on the overflow menu "..." (usually in the top right) and then "Create template…".

Outline create template

Once you’re editing a template, simply highlight some text and click on the new "placeholder" icon in the toolbar to convert the text into a placeholder that can be filled out by anyone that creates a new doc from the template.

How to use a template

Simply start a new doc, a "Templates" option will appear in the top right corner until the document is first saved.

Outline use a template

Other fixes and improvements

  • Click on the last updated timestamp below the document title now opens the history sidebar.
  • The behavior of the floating toolbar was improved.
  • It is now possible to toggle the state of checkboxes without explicitly going into "Edit".
  • When a document is publicly shared this is now denoted by a globe icon in the share button.
  • Fixed some ugly styling issues introduced by the latest Chrome releases.
  • Fixed an issue where after you have chosen a collection icon it might get reset if you continue to edit the collection name.
  • Fixed a case where websocket connections would not reconnect automatically.
  • Fixed an issue that would prevent editing the beginning of long collection descriptions.
  • Fixed rendering of GitHub Gist embeds.
  • Fixed an error that could on rare occasions cause the app to form a reload loop.