How hyperlinks work in TreePad
Most likely the concept of using hyperlinks should present no difficulty as you have probably clicked many a hyperlink on a Web page if you have ever used the Internet. The basic principle is this. In TreePad an underlined hyperlink1 is a string of blue underlined text containing a reference to the target, such as another node in the current file, an external file, a Web site, etc. When you single-click or double-click on this (according to your Options settings: double-click is the default), it directs TreePad to take you to that destination. If the target is another node in the same file, the current article changes.
TreePad's system of hyperlinks offers something unique: wherever you move a node within a TreePad file, any hyperlink to it remains valid. This is a great advantage as it helps you reorganize your tree any time without having to worry about updating existing hyperlinks2.
Should you be using hyperlinks?
Not necessarily. TreePad offers so much already (just using the tree as a straight outliner) that you may never require hyperlinks. Even if you do know how to create them, you may decide they are unnecessary for small files where a simple tree will suffice. Hyperlinks only offer you the ability to jump quickly to where you know you want to go, not to help you find items not linked by jumps. For that you require Tree search.
Indications for using hyperlinks
Consider using hyperlinks if you wish to:
- Jump immediately to frequently-accessed articles, avoiding the need to navigate the tree or use Tree search to find them. The Bookmarks pane is an extension of the hyperlinks principle. (In fact, you could use Bookmarks without ever bothering to learn hyperlinks.)
- Easily create cross-references to items or topics that belong to more than one group or are known by more than one name. To avoid unnecessary duplication of information, data should be stored in only one place (whether or not you use a tree), but can be referenced from many locations, in our case by using the power of hyperlinks.
- Launch external documents or applications from within TreePad. For example, you can create hyperlinks which open another TreePad file in the same or a new instance of TreePad, open another file in its own application, such as a Word document in Microsoft Word or a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel, open a Web page in your default browser whether online or offline, open a Windows folder full of files, open an executable application, automatically dial4 a telephone number for you, etc.
- Create one or more alternative maps of your data for yourself. For instance, you can let your Tree pane display nodes alphabetically sorted, while you create an alternative tree of hyperlinks based on some other scheme, such as classification. Unlike the Tree pane which is a one-to-many tree (one parent node may have many child nodes but a child node can have only one parent node), some forms of information are best stored as a many-to-many tree (one topic may have more than one parent topics as well as more than one child topics); maps of this information are best created using hyperlinks, forming an associative network. Hyperlinks can thus add an extra dimension to your tree.
Other features of hyperlinks
When exporting your article or TreePad tree or subtree to HTML Website, the hyperlinks you create are automatically converted into HTML hyperlinks.
You can use the DraftPad to create a small pane of your own hyperlinks that can remain visible all the time for quick reference.
- TreePad X Enterprise will also allow you to create plain text hyperlinks as used by TreePad Lite, and to convert those to blue underlined hyperlinks, but who needs to wrestle with all that exposed code when underlined hyperlinks hide it?
- This is much better than hyperlinks inside a HTML Website: moving a page to another location inside the Website will invalidate any hyperlinks pointing to that page. Not so with TreePad!