What is TreePad?
TreePad is a powerful yet easy-to-use personal database (also termed a Personal Information Manager or PIM), word processor, editor, Web site generator, presentation program, photo album and documentation tool in one application, which you can use to organize your personal notes, images, emails, links and other data.
TreePad began as a tree-structured database combining the ability to store editable text in separate articles plus the ability to create and rearrange relationships between them by displaying them as nodes on a tree, hence its name. The tree is similar to the tree pane in Windows Explorer but acts as an outliner and can be concealed if needed.
To find information stored in this way, users either need to know where in the tree to look (not easy if parts of it are collapsed) or search the whole tree each time using a search function. Since a topic may come under more than one umbrella, an effective means of cross-referencing it is often required, something a tree structure by its design cannot do.
Here is where hyperlinks come in. One of TreePad's great strengths is that it allows you to create hyperlinks easily within articles to other nodes. Hyperlinks enable you to store your information in tree form yet construct a conceptual network which you can use to search, navigate or even create an alternative view of your data. Hyperlinks also enable you to jump effortlessly from one end of the tree to the other, serve as "bookmarks" to other nodes, etc.
In addition to links to nodes in the tree, you can create hyperlinks to open other TreePad files or documents in other applications, launch programs, take you to Web sites when online, display the contents of directories on your hard drive, send e-mails and even dial telephone numbers for you1!
It should be mentioned that TreePad does not oblige you to use hyperlinks at all, e.g., for small databases such as card indexes. TreePad not only has powerful tree and article search functions to help you find information but also other features that make it easy to create and manage free form databases of any size.
TreePad and Web pages
Much of this can be achieved by using an HTML editor to create a set of hyperlinked Web pages. However, unlike Web pages which are display-only, TreePad articles are always directly editable, just like word processor documents. There is no need to "go behind the scenes" just to edit text.
A TreePad tree is easily converted to a set of linked HTML files that can be directly uploaded to a Web site. Export to other formats, such as Rich Text, XML, OPML, Plain text,GIF, JPEG, PNG, BMP, etc. are also supported.
Being primarily a database program, TreePad performs feats with text and hyperlinks that Web page editors were never designed to do. For example, TreePad can insert lists of hyperlinks to its nodes into an article as a table of contents, can sort them or indeed any number of lines or paragraphs into ascending or descending order1, etc. Think of TreePad as combining the most useful features of a word processor, database and Web page editor.
Another of TreePad's strengths is its ability to import, store and export images of most popular formats. Thus you may use it to create a photo album, either on its own or part of a larger database such as staff records. Images as well as text are exported when an article is converted to HTML.
Although described above as a free-form database, meaning that (unlike relational databases) each article can be individually customized with its own arrangement of data and hyperlinks, you can create forms with a uniform appearance and specific data fields when this is required, as in a card index. The beauty of TreePad is that forms and articles can be totally integrated into the same database, giving you the best of both worlds. Even form-based structures such as addressbooks can be incorporated, saved as templates, and exported.
You do not need the TreePad editor just to view TreePad files. The freeware TreePad Viewer is available and has a very similar interface. You can even present a slide show of articles, images or both directly from TreePad to your audience by entering full-screen Presentation mode1.
Since TreePad can import a file in one format and export it in another, it can act as a format conversion program, enabling you to make your data available to users with other applications and even other operating systems. On the other hand, TreePad is now available on the Linux platform and there is a growing list of software products that can export data directly in TreePad format.
In addition to the core features described above, numerous other features have been added to TreePad over time, including:
- Tables in articles
- Automatic pasting of text selected in other open applications such as e-mail programs and word processors
- Time and date stamping of nodes and articles
- Spelling checker, dictionaries and Thesaurus1
- Password protection and file encryption2
- Character map1
We hope this will encourage you to delve further into the manual and learn what TreePad can do for you.
- Available in TreePad Business Edition only.
- Available in TreePad SAFE and TreePad Business Edition only.