Collapsed state of shared documents

Yeah, good point. In any case we need to default, expanded or collapse, lol.

Or we could have an option to “update collapsed states”, but my fear is that it would confuse some users.

I think we mean the same thing. See how WorkFlowy does it: you prepare how you want the outline to appear when you share it – once shared, you and the person you share with both can do their own thing without it influencing what one or the other sees.

Minor wording differences, I see. Technically there’s a time gap between when the owner shares the document and when the collaborator accepts the invite, so things could change during that time. For now we can assume it’s when the owner shares it.

@Erica, maybe something along those lines?

Regarding the option to “update collapsed states”, does that mean we would ‘push’ updates to the shared view? If so, what would happen in the mean time with the items we will add:

  • Do they still appear (either collapsed or expanded)?
  • Do they not appear until we push the update?
    In which case we could add a third option in the above image: “Expanded” or “Collapsed” or “When I push updates” (and have somewhere a button or menu option to push these)

Also, what would happen to what is already shared: would it update too with its possibly new current collapsed state? lol

Dynalist is still a beautifully minimal-looking software :ok_hand: and this might add too much complexity for the benefice (meaning that in the (rare?) case that you make changes to your (yet tailored-shared) document that are too important to be automatically all collapsed or expanded, you could still reshare the whole document).

I believe the ability to “share the document as it looks at the moment of sharing” covers most use cases: the ones who want it all collapsed (yay), the ones who want it all expanded, and those in-between. This would already be quite an improvement on the current functionnality!

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Only push updates regarding collapsed states. Content will always be synced to the viewer, just not in the same collapsed state until you re-sync. I hope that makes it clearer.

Yeah, very much agreed. So adding the text in cyan would be confusing to people who don’t concern themselves with this issue.

We’ll think about this and see how we can only make this option available without confusing people. Thanks for taking the time to make the mock-up and write the reply! :star:

I really want to share to people with “Initial Collapsed” state, cause I want to share a very large one, just like this:

I suggest you make the cognitive burden on Sharer, one solution might be URL string like: collapsed=Y

If this “collapsed state specification” can fix the problem, I don’t mind typing the URL string by myself, but I guess you won’t let me type it, either :smile:

Definitely, we’ll consider it.

Do you mind opening a separate feature post for it? Since this poll post is about changing the default behavior, which is kinda different from what you want.

I’m curious to see how many people are interested :slight_smile:

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I have started a new discussion, thanks for your suggestion. :slight_smile:

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as a presenter,

  • they should by default see it as i see it (then i know how it looks to them)

as a user,

  • there should be basic options to change how it’s viewed, cos presenter can make bad decisions

Hi @Erica

thank you so much for getting clarification on this topic.
Do you have an update for us what the current state is?

Just wanted to share first time a big manual and, like pimgeek showed in his example, it’s overwhelming to have every point expanded for the viewer who might just be interested in a small part or want to get a broad overview.

For the time being, is there a workaround I can make the state collapsed as default?
Everything else except expanded would be fine for me

Thank you so much

here you can find a workaround :smiley:

I would welcome if we could set this on a per-share basis. Right now, everything is being shared as fully expanded, which can be confusing for long lists.

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The current system of fully expanded is VERY confusing for people unfamiliar with Dynalist and who have no idea there is a “Collapse All” option to make things more manageable…

Sharing as fully expanded seems like the worst possible option…


It used to be fully collapsed when Dynalist started out, and many people told us it’s the worst possible option because people unfamiliar with Dynalist will not know how to expand the bullets, thus thinking only the top level items exist.

It looks like we can’t satisfy everyone, so giving the owner of the document the option is what we’re going to do next.

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Yes, Erica, that would be fine, but it should be configurable on a per-document basis. I think you mentioned earlier there are basically three options:

  1. everything expanded (current state – not good for long documents)
  2. everything collapsed (good for some documents, but not all)
  3. whatever state (possibly mixed state!) the document owner determined

I think that under 3, there can be further options A, B, C, so it needs to be more finely tuned than that. For example, in some documents I share, I wish to show some items expanded, but other items collapsed. There can be deeper levels in the document, too – I may wish to expand some levels of some items, and keep others collapsed. So, please make option no. 3 more nuanced, so that it isn’t “one or the other” for all Dynalist documents or, indeed, for all items within a single document. Thank you.

Update: you can now choose between fully expanded vs fully collapsed by changing the sharing options: 2020 May update (Public sharing improvements)

Admittedly you still can’t fully customize the collapsed state (e.g. to make them see what you see), but I hope this update is useful!


Hi @Erica, as I mentioned in the update thread, this just isn’t working as it’s supposed to. My publicly shared lists still appear as fully expanded every time, even after I check the “Share as collapsed” option and even though the #collapse instruction is included in the public link. Color theme switching via the public link does work, but collapse/expand all does not work.

Thank you for any help.

Hello @Erica

Thank you for this improvement and for working on this! :pray: :partying_face:

A few notes:

  • The “Copy link” button doesn’t work on my side (Firefox)
  • The URL parameters disappear on page load (I believe that’s intentional and they simply act as a shortcut). This can be an issue if the users save that URL for future visits, in which case they will land on the all-expanded document. It will do the trick in embedded views though!
  • Looking forward to the same feature in the desktop app :crossed_fingers: :wink:
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I’m happy to report that this has now been fixed! :grinning: It definitely wasn’t working like it’s supposed to 10 days ago when I contributed to this thread previously. So many thanks, @Erica and/or @Shida!

The “Copy link” does work for me in Chrome on desktop. @LCMX, you might perhaps try clicking the button again in Firefox? I seem to remember the button isn’t always ideally responsive in Chrome, either. Perhaps that was a temporary glitch in your Firefox?

I would welcome the addition of this feature to mobile apps, too.

As to the disappearing parameters upon page (re)load, my solution (which I would have employed in any case) is to create custom shortcut URLs (so the Dynalist link including its parameters is hidden, anyway); I own several shortcut domains for that purpose (in addition to using the publicly available Naturally, the end user might still go ahead and bookmark the Dynalist link (without the parameters) instead… well, I guess there’s no easy way to prevent that from my side. It might be a better solution if URL parameters were retained upon page (re)load.

Finally, I would welcome the option to fine-tune and customize this functionality even further, as suggested in my post from 30 April above. Thank you.


Hello :slight_smile:

  • I can confirm it works in Chrome and Microsoft Edge, but not in Firefox (77.0.1 up to date)
  • There’s no plugins / add-ons that seem to interfer (eg adblocks and such)
  • When clicked, the “Copy” button actually selects all the text in the popup

(As you can see the button is clickable (hover effect + confirmation message) ; it’s not an invisible overlaping element that’s interfering)

I can repro. Could you be so kind as to open a separate bug report for it so we can keep track of it? Thanks!

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