Working with Sections

TimeStory documents may be divided into sections. Sections stack up vertically; all sections share the same time index, so they are great for capturing and comparing parallel events, or for grouping different topics together. (Sections are not events; they don’t have start or end dates, and events can be freely edited within them or moved between them.)

Section Headers

Each section gets a title, which is displayed in a header. You can give each section its own header color and background color (behind its events), to provide visual guides to readers. See Working with Style for more details.

At a document level, you choose whether these headers appear to the left of or above each section; this can be done from the Sections menu, the Sections dialog, or from the Document Inspector.

These two modes differ somewhat in what additional features they enable.

Headers on Left

This mode, which is the default, puts section headers in a panel on the left side of your document. As you scroll, this panel stays in place; if you print or export, it appears on the left edge of the timeline document. You can freely drag the right edge of this column to resize it.

Unlike the headers-above mode, this mode also lets you create subsections; these appear as an additional column to the right of the main section column.

Headers Above

This mode, which was the default prior to version 2.2, shows a “title bar” above each section, acting as a divider between it and the previous section. This takes up more vertical space, but less horizontal space.

Unlike the headers-on-left mode, this mode lets you collapse sections with the +/- button on the right side of each header. A collapsed section just shows the header; its contents are not displayed, and they take up no space.

Creating Sections

A new TimeStory document starts out without any sections. (For many documents, this is all you need: a timeline of events, without any divisions between them.)

Creating the First Section(s) in a Document

For a document without any sections yet, you have two options for starting out:

For an empty document, these two are equivalent, but if you already have events present, you can choose which one better fits your needs. Afterwards, you can split, merge, and reorganize sections freely; see below.

Adding New, Empty Sections

Once your document has at least one section, there are multiple options for inserting new, empty sections or subsections.

Splitting and Subdividing Sections

You can split large sections, or subdivide them into subsections, depending on your need.

Merging and Grouping Sections

For example, consider an existing document with one section titled “Business Travel” and another titled “Vacations”.

Which one of the above you use will depend on how you want to structure your document.

In addition, you can select an outer section which contains subsections and use Sections > Remove Subsections to simply merge and remove all of its subsections, keeping all of their contents.

Using the Sections dialog

The Sections dialog presents your section hierarchy as a simple outline view, with details about each section. It allows creating sections and subsections, but does not provide for merging, grouping, splitting, or subdividing, which must be done in the main document view.

Editing Sections

To change the title of a section, double-click on that title. (This works both within the main document view and within the Sections dialog.)

To edit other properties of a section, such as its header color, click on the header and use the Inspector.

You can grab a section header with your mouse and drag it up or down in the document to rearrange the order of sections; this can also be done within the Sections dialog.

Hiding and Collapsing Sections

A hidden section doesn’t appear at all and can’t be selected. Use the right-click “Hide” option on any section header, or the Display value on its Inspector, to completely hide a section. This is useful to keep event data in your document which you don’t normally want to see.

(The Section dialog always shows all sections, hidden or visible.)

For headers-on-top mode, you can also collapse a section. It only shows its title and header, which still spans across the entire document horizontally. You can use the +/- button at the right side of a section heading to quickly expand or collapse its view.

Deleting and Ungrouping Sections

Delete a section by selecting its header and pressing Delete (or using the Delete menu item), or by using the – button in the Sections dialog.

If the section contains any subsections, you may choose to simply delete the outer section and move those subsections up into its place.

If the section contains any events (including indirectly, via subsections), you will see a warning message, where you may choose to delete the section and all its contents or to cancel.

(You can always undo section deletions of any kind.)

Selecting Section Contents

Quickly select all events within a section by selecting its header, pressing the Option key, and choosing Select All Events in Selected Section from the Edit menu (or pressing ⌥⌘A).