using DT to organize courses; linear printing/exporting?

The following is not what I do with DT, but rather what I would like to do. I’ve played around with the program and it seems to meet most of my needs – except my need to print/export a section of my outline in a linear fashion. Is that something I could accomplish with scripts? (I’m new to Mac, as well as DT)

I’m a sociology professor and I would like to use DT as a place to store and update my lectures. At this point, I have about fifty lectures, a number of which appear in multiple courses. For example, on the first day of each course I usually give a 40 minute mini-lecture on the origins of sociology. Similarly, my lecture on Urban Crime might show up in my course on Urban Sociology or my course on Criminology.

So, I would like to use DT to organize my lectures into a library of sorts. And then I would like to reorganize that same material into different courses, with some of the lectures appearing in multiple courses as replicants. That way, when I revise or update a lecture, it will go into effect for all the relevant courses.

My database looks something like this:

[size=75][color=darkred][LECTURE LIBRARY]
*Biography of Emile Durkheim (15 minutes)
*Crime and Deviance (80 minutes)
*Origins of Social Thought (40 minutes)
*The Sociology of Emile Durkheim (80 minutes)
*Urban Crime (70 minutes)
*Replicant: Origins of Social Thought
*Replicant: Biography of Emile Durkheim
*Replicant: The Sociology of Emile Durkheim
*Replicant: Origins of Social Thought
*Replicant: Urban Crime
So here’s the problem: I need to be able to print the information separately for each course. While it’s great having a nonlinear way to bounce around my various documents on my mac, in the classroom I need a linear printout of the material for that course. When I teach Introductory Sociology, I’d like to be able to print out the whole notebook for just that course, in the order I’ve specified via the replicants. Printing note by note pretty much defeats the purpose (functionally that’s what I do now without DT).

So can I do this with DT using scripts? Or in some other way?



Yes, you can do that. As each of the courses is in an independent subgroup, the contents of each group can be sorted manually (set View > Sort > None and drag the items into the appropriate order).

I’m assuming that your content is rich text.

Select the contents of a course group and select Data > Merge. This will create a new rich text document that merged the ‘building blocks’ of that course material into a single, linear document.

You may then wish to Select All and Copy so that you can paste the text into a word processor for final output. You might at this point do some touch-ups such as headers and footers, for example.

Wow, that’s great. thanks so much for the quick, informative reply. I tried a lot of things, but I didn’t try “merge.” I’ll read up on it in the manual and post more questions as I think of them.

The ability to merge to a singe document makes DT much more useful to me. I’m already thinking of other ways I can apply that feature now!


If you will permit an old tree-hugger to say it, your methods are very 21st-century until you get to all that printing. Sounds like a lot of dead trees are in the offing, what about a greener way to work?

You could open the lecture on your laptop, increase its resolution to a readable state, and spiel on from there. That way, you can make last minute updates to any and all documents at low carbon expense. Just a suggestion.