Split screen

(Moved from Trello; you can vote for this feature and see past discussion at https://trello.com/c/N2ilb1oo/135-split-screen)

Similar to Sublime Text, this split screen feature would allow you to see multiple documents side by side. You can control each “screen” separately.

Maximum number of screens would be 3-4. 2 screens would still be the most common use case imo.

Problems to figure out:

  1. Once there are multiple screens, it’s unclear where the document should open when you click on the title of a document. Having the file pane appear in each screen would eat up a lot of the space. Possible solution: the document would open in the screen that you’re focused in (or last focused in).

Yes the active (or last active) pane has, say, a slightly bolded blue border, and that’s target of document / bookmark clicks, keyboard shortcuts, etc.

I’m a very big fan of this feature request and would love to see drag/drop between the panes.


Yes, something like that.

We need to make sure the indicator is something noticeable but subtle. The user should pick up what it means after a while. Or we show them a tip the first time they create a pane.

Me too! That’d be super cool. That’s about 50% of the value of this feature IMO :slight_smile:


I was thinking about dragging the documents from the file pane onto the Dynalist document and then a rectangle could form, asking where to place it, above/below/between the other document(s).


Now that you mention it, I just realized we haven’t thought about how the second pane can be created for the first time. It should be discoverable rather than seeming like magic. Also, we’ll probably treat dragged documents as converting to a list, to be consistent with dragging list to convert to document. So this interaction is kind of “taken” :slight_frown:

Most text editors have menus, so you can just go to “View” - “Split screen” or something like that.

We’ll have to think about this, thanks for getting us thinking.

Would really appreciate some more suggestions as well :slight_smile:


I wouldn’t mind using a menu (at the top, etc), so that would work. I was thinking that the plus button could have a new screen option as well.


That’s clever! We definitely wouldn’t add an entire menu only for this if there’s another way.


Maybe a mouse left button click on document name > choose Open on 2nd panel.

This should split the screen, if it is not already, or just replace the document already open on 2nd panel.

This should only work for 2 panes though if I understand it correctly. How does one open a document on the 3rd panel?

Also I see you meant left click, not right click. Does that mean the behavior of left click on document name will be changed? (Currently the behavior is simply opening the document.)

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Sorry, lefty habits. I meant the other way, right click. :wink:

What I really meant was:

left click:

  • open the document

new right click option(s):

  • open on new panel (or specific option per panel: open on 2nd panel; open on 3rd panel …)

Once the panel is open, they behave as @Ken posted. If it’s active, trying to open a document as usual(left click) should replace it for the new one. This way, isn’t necessary a specific menu per panel for opening another document.

Note.1: have to make sure newcomers know about multi-panel options and overall behavior.

Note.2: I’d like to be able to bookmark a specific multi-panel view.

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Speaking of which, is there a feature request for drag/drop between browser tabs?

I don’t know if this would be a pain to implement consistently across browsers, but my god would it be nice. (In fact, I’d prefer drag/drop-across-tabs over split-screen because the control remains with the user: s/he can manage windows however they want and can do more than any implementation inside the webapp could.)


Going to move a suggestion from this thread here.

The gist of it is that another way to approach “split screens” on smaller windows (making it sort of useful on mobile too) is to have tabs within Dynalist so that way I can use the extra space to non-dynalist tabs.

  • seems pretty obvious that the sheet/doc should open where you’re focused on

like in chrome

i use the ‘list’ as a sidebar to take notes

if i were to use more than 1 in the long term, i would likely use 3

of the same exact stable list

– but i would keep them as sidebars (small windows from top to bottom)

  • with the goal of reminding me of things on a constant basis

that’s when i get a larger screen though

dont need asap

in the long term when there’s google glasses or w/e

depending on the size/resolution of the screen/glasses,

i would

  1. make sure the list is shorter than in the past

  2. have it auto-scroll down the list while a voice speaks it

likely set this to every 30 minutes or hour or something, dunno

Right now you can open multiple Chrome windows, does that work?

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In the writing app Scrivener, there is an option to make it so newly opened documents always open in a certain place that you select from a drop down menu. It is a little bit hard to get used to at first, so I would say this should be an option but not the default way it would work. But it turns out that in some cases this is very useful, when you are jumping around a lot in one screen but you know the other screen is static. Personally, I would always use it this way. I always have one tab open with my “Inbox” list, where I add any thought I have with a tag or two to help me sort it later. Since I never change my “Inbox” tab, I would always want docs to open in the other one.

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A combined tab / multi screen approach on computer would be amazing I think (and definitely tabs like handyflowy on mobile) - each screen side could be flipped between 2 tabs, just like having two browsers open side by side each with multiple tabs

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I’m not clear: what does embedding multi-pane within a single Dynalist page buy you over using multiple browser windows/tabs? Is it just the window management advantage of having multiple panes within a single window, or is there something that fundamentally doesn’t play nice across separate OS/browser-level windows?

Coming from Workflowy, I constantly use multiple windows and tabs to work on different things or with different parts of my document.

I think one important thing is that split screen allows you to drag and drop between two locations. But mostly, yeah, it’s just a different way to manage windows.


Here is the copy paste description from Opera Neon (a browser that supports split screen)

Hope this helps:

Split screen mode
Browsing one web page at a time doesn’t cut it any more. Split screen mode allows you to freely browse two web pages at once by simply dragging the visual tabs to the left or right panel. Without having to click back into the page, simply move your mouse pointer between pages for simultaneous browsing.

Basically when you drag a document icon to the main outliner it will show a toolbar that asks whether you want to open the tab besides the right or left of the current tab.

I’d really like to see this feature too. My preferred implementation (I think) would be:

  • Documents open in “doc panes” that expand automatically to fill the width of the screen
  • Doc panes can be closed (click X at top of any doc pane) and remaining doc panes expand to fill the space
  • Number of doc panes could range from 0 to 4 (yes you can close all the doc panes leaving only the file pane on the left)
  • Single-click a document in the file pane to open it in the active doc pane (creates a doc pane if there isn’t one).
  • Double-click a document in the file pane to open it in a new doc pane (adds a doc pane to the right).

Currently double-clicking a document edits the title, but this is a redundant feature since you can also right-click the document and choose “Rename”. I think opening a document in a new doc pane would be desired much more frequently than renaming a document so I would relegate renaming to the more time consuming right-click menu and use double-click for opening documents in a new doc pane.

Just my 2 cents. However it may get implemented, I’m sure I would find it very useful (especially with cut/paste and/or drag/drop capability between panes).