Faughnan Home | FP Web Starter | Contact Info | Glossaries and Links | Site Contents | Search

Symantec MORE 3.1 (Mac), GrandView 2.0 (DOS) & Outliners


  • Introduction
  • MORE 3.1
  • Downloading MORE 3.1
  • MORE 3.1 Documentation
  • Brad Pettit's Translators (text, XML)
  • Claris XTND Translator
  • MORE on Wintel
  • Inspiration
  • Exporting to Word 4.0
  • Exporting to dotHead Format
  • Windows Importing
  • GrandView under Win 95+
  • OPML
  • Alternatives 1/9/05
  • FAQ
  • Footnotes
  • History

  • Introduction

    Symantec was a heroic company in all-too-brief Golden Age of the PC. Among other gems, it produced two related pieces of software, MORE 3.1 (RIP 1991) for the Macintosh and GrandView 2.0 for DOS (RIP 1990).

    Now, in the age of Word 2000 and its ilk, many of us sorely miss these aged works of fine crafstmanship. Eight years after the death of MORE 3.1, there is absolutely no comparable product on any platform, anywhere. ECCO Professional had many of the best features of GrandView, but it was killed in 1998 by the release of an effectively free Microsoft competitor: Outlook 98 [1]. MORE still continues to be used on Macs, with output being distributed to other platforms as PDF![5]

    This page was created to be a resource for MORE/GrandView veterans in ongoing withdrawl. Shortly after its creation, inspired by my action or by the universal gestalt, Dave Winer created a better resource: www.outliners.com (note plural).

    MORE 3.1

    MORE is (was) an outlining word processor, with additional support for the very rapid generation of  slideshow presentations. MORE's style sheets used a sophisticated and powerful system for applying rules to a hierarchical document model (cascading style sheets), using concepts familiar to object-oriented programmers (inheritance, overriding).

    MORE did countless things that I've never seen done elsewhere. It helped me think. With a very few enhancements (external cloning, AppleEvent support) it could have evolved into a comprehensive work environment. Brad Pettit (author of MORE2Text) calls it the software equivalent of a classic Rock & Roll album. MORE was written in Pascal, and is a remarkably bug-free program that runs on all Mac OS versions from 6.8 to 8.6. I have received conflicting reports for MacOS 9.0 and beyond (I run MacOS 8.6 currently). Steve H reports:

    I have gotten MORE to work on most flavors of MacOS 9.X, although I have seen the reports of incompatibilities. I suspect that the conflicts that others report arise from third-party extensions.

    Dave Winer was one of the major contributors to MORE, in his "retirement" he did Frontier. Matt Neuberg did a great review of MORE 3.1 for Tibits.

    There are several ways to move the content of MORE documents to other platforms or to other Mac applications. I've included all the ones I know of below. Or you could stay with MORE [2], it runs pretty well on newer versions of the MacOS.

    Downloading MORE 3.1

    Symantec has graciously allowed Dave Winer to freely distribute MORE 3.1!! There is no support for this of course. Be grateful to Symantec for doing this and Dave Winer for supporting it.

    MORE 3.1 Documentation

    Geoffrey Heard (who is so modest he neglected to mention it was he who created the PDFs from Brad Pettit's antique PageMaker files) informs us that Nick Lowe is hosting PDF versions of the MORE 3.1 documentation. Nick's excellent MORE support page is here, it is well worth a visit.

    Geoff has also sent me copies of the PDF files he produced, so I'll join Nick in publishing them. He has done a yeoman's job putting this together. These are not scans, but rather standard PDF output. Readability is superb.

    Persons less "seasoned" than I may be shocked at the amount of documentation that came with MORE. Partly those were the days -- back then vendors put a huge amount of effort into producing documentation. I think, however, that MORE was such a class piece of software the development team wanted to be sure users exercised every part of it.

    Brad Pettit's Translators

    MORE2Text and MORE2XML

    Brad Pettit was one of the original MORE developers (versions 2 to 3.1). In January of 1999, at least partly inspired by an early version of this web page, Brad wrote a Macintosh drag and drop translater for MORE files. It turns outlines into text, with a tab character for each level of outline indentation. Outline items are terminated with carriage returns, and embedded tab and return characters are encoded as '\t' and '\r'.

    By Aug 1999, Brad had made available an XML exporter for MORE 3.1! This software is available at through Brad Pettit's web site.

    Brad developed this software as a gift to all MORE users. It is free. He is a net-hero. In Oct. 2002 I asked him if he might make the XML output OPML compliant, in that case one would be able to browse an exported MORE document in IE 6, I suspect, a future version of Mozilla!

    Claris XTND Translator

    You used to be able to use the MORE Claris Translator (zip file, needs Stuffit Expander or ZipIt) on a Macintosh. Claris programs will then be able to import a MORE outline. I used it with MacWrite II. It might work with Claris Impact. For inexplicable reasons Apple/Claris abruptly abandoned the XTND architecture, so this module is of limited use[3].

    Geoff Heard reports:

    I tried Brad's Claris XTND translator to allow MacWrite II to directly open MORE files and tried it on the couple of other XTND using apps. The results were not great.

    AppleWorks 5 can use this translator to recognise MORE files, but only the heads appear on opening -- the "comments" (body text) are absent.

    NisusWriter 6 recognises the MORE file through this translator, but also opens with only the heads, with a new page for each head. In addition, the righthand margin is the same as the lefthand margin - you get only an initial letter. Select the whole document and drag the righthand margin to the right, and you will get the heads.

    The drag and drops worked fine.

    If I want to open MORE files in either AW or NW, I still do best saving MORE as either MSW4 or MWII, then opening those files using the XTND translators. Perfect, or very nearly so. Footers are lost, I think.

    MORE on Wintel

    Max T. reports that one alternative to leaving MORE is running it on a Wintel box (edited by jf):

    I'd like to report that I'm very happy running MORE 3.1 in emulation with system 8.1 using an open source program called Basilisk II. My work platform is a PII500 running W2K. Networking, file exchange, even running More 3.1 in a separate window works.

    When I need a quick, cross-platform presentation I write the outline in MORE then I export the slides to PICT, drop them in QT Pro and voila, almost like the old days. Or there is always PrintToPDF which makes a nice cross-platform solution.

    Exporting to Word 4.0

    MORE can save outlines as Word 4.0 documents, which can be imported into Word 97 on either platform. The resulting document looks OK, but because of the way the style sheets work it can be very hard to edit.See also Word, The Abomination.

    Exporting to dotHead Format

    MORE's can export to the ascii "dotHead" format, which Ready! also used. DotHead is a hierarchical format which is parsable by, say, a Perl guru or even a Word macro.

    Windows Importing

    On the Windows side, the only importer I've found is GrandView. See below. You can export the data as WordPerfect 5.x or ascii text.

    OmniOutliner (Mac OS X)

    Reads small to medium sized MORE documents. Very MORE-friendly company. See below.

    Inspiration (Mac)

    The Macintosh version of Inspiration 6.0 could read MORE 3.1 files, but this ability was removed in Inspiraton 7.0. If you could find version 6 for Mac you could import into that; version 7.0/Windows can read Inspiration 6.0 files. See more on Inspiraiton below.

    GrandView under Win 95+

    GrandView was a fascinating program, written, like PC Outline, by John Friend. It was based on ThinkTank,  Ready! and PC-Outline, ancient DOS outliners [4]. GV and MORE shared developers and were both handled by Symantec. GrandView added fields to the outliner model -- later the much mourned ECCO Professional expanded on this idea.

    GrandView can import a MORE Macintosh file that is less than 64K (ancient DOS memory segment limit). It doesn't help with MORE presentations, but it'll sort of handle smaller documents.

    To run GV under Windows 95 or OS/2, create a batch file which has the following command line: [path]\gv.exe %1 %2 /A /T. Create a shortcut to this batch file. You can edit the parameters of the shortcut (EMS, XMS, etc, but no editing is needed). Clicking on this file will launch GrandView in a window.

    You can now import MORE documents into GV, and work with them.

    Symantec's FPT site has some limited resources for GV 2.0 users: ftp://ftp.symantec.com/public/english_us_canada/products/grandview/

    GrandView, Y2K and Windows 9x.

    GV is a DOS program. You'd expect it to have some grave Y2K problems, and at least one user couldn't open any files at all. I was unable to create any new outlines in my copy of Windows 95; I never tried with Win2K or later (It may be that there's a limit on how many files can be placed in a directory, or a problem with file name length?) Others have not had any trouble and continue to use GV well into 2002.

    Importing a GrandView file into Inspiration (from Steve Cohen)


    OPML is an XML file format that supports the cross-platform exchange of outliner content. See What is OPML. I'm not sure how much traction OPML is getting, but it's probably going to be supported in OmniOutliner and it's supported in Frontier/Radio. IE 5.5 and later can even open and read OPML documents directly. I would think OpenOffice should be a natural for OPML support, but I've not heard anything.


    Windows and Macintosh

    (see also MORE on Wintel)


    Inspiration is an outliner and graphical concept mapping tool that is marketed only to educational users, and increasingly it focuses on early school. About 1 million school computers are licensed to use Inspiration. It's really a fascinating little program, you can get it for a reasonable fee from the www.inspiration.com, they also have a demo version for downloading. I use Inspiration for many tasks that I used to use Visio for; Visio is an entire battle-fleet; Inspiration is a zippy cruiser. If Inspiration were to use XML as their file format, and provide a web-standard vector graphics output (one can dream of SVG/XML as the file format) they'd be a very interesting product.

    Inspiration 7.0/Mac has lost the ability to import MORE documents. Inspiration 6.0 had a horrible bug that led to corruption of moderately complex graphical maps. The "bug-fix" is an $40 upgrade to version 7.0. I think Inspiration did poorly to charge for this fix, but I'm sure their finances are very tight. After having recovered from paying for the bug fix I've found version 7.0 a very pleasant and agreeable tool. Inspiration puts both Mac and Windows versions of Inspiration on the same CD.

    As an outliner Inspiration is not as powerful as MORE, but as a mapping tool it's very neat in its own right. See Matt Neuberg's Tidbits review of Inspiration 4.0 and also Importing a GrandView file into Inspiration.

    Frontier/Radio Userland

    Frontier is a costly ($900) Windows/Mac web development environment with XML support and a server/server management package (Manila). It has deep roots in the Macintosh, going back to the 1980s. The core parts of Frontier have been repackaged and sold as Radio UserLand, a $40 desktop weblog (content management) environment.

    Frontier and Radio were built by some of the people who did MORE and its predecessors. Frontier can read the dotHead format -- one of MORE's export formats. Frontier 6 might be able to read MORE2Text (XML) output into its enhanced outliner.

    Microsoft Word

    Word has outliner features. Some people claim to like it. I think Word has evolved into an abomination that's given both outlining a style sheets a bad rep.


    The current version of WordPerfect for Window is said by one user to have a substantially better outliner functions than Word.

    Macintosh Only

    As of 2004 there's been an explosion of outliners, mind mappers, information managers and the like for OS X. Many of them incorporate outlines of one sort or another, but most of them are not primarily outliners or writing tools. It is a wonderful sign of the power of the OS X platform however.

    See also: Outliners for OS X.

    OmniOutliner Pro 3.0 (OS X)

    OO Pro was released in January of 2005. I bought it as soon as it came out. OO 2.x could import "smaller" MORE documents, but OO 3 will import the text of any size MORE document. It will also import and preserve MORE notes. I don't believe it can retrieve images embedded in a MORE slideshow however.

    OO Pro 3 is the most serious effort in a decade to match the capabilities of MORE 3.1 -- including the ability to produce well formatted print documents.. In some ways it goes beyond MORE's outlining capabilities. It's database/columnar abilities make it a cross between MORE and GrandView, without MORE's drawing/presentation tools. (OmniGraffle is a separate, but coordinated, drawing program.)

    OO 3.x uses an XML native file format and it imports and exports OPML. See Omni site.

    AppleWorks (OS X/Cassic)

    As of Feb 2002 the version of AppleWorks bundled with OS/X machines contains a quite simple but credible outliner. If I were writing on an OS X machine, I'd take a close look at it.

    BrainForest Pro Desktop (Classic, maybe Carbon OS X)

    A Palm application with a Mac desktop version.

    WordPerfect (Classic, defunct)

    JR reports that WordPerfect/Mac 3.5e (now free) had a little known patch for it that incorporated some extensive outlining macros he'd written for an earlier version of WP/Mac. This apparently turns WP/Mac into a quite decent outliner. In his words:

    A few WP employees, although now assigned elsewhere, continued to work when they could to build a patch for 3.5e. They took my complete outlining command set and integrated it into the program - no more macros. Otherwise, the patch made the program more stable than any previous release had ever been.

    It's a shame the program on CD has never been patched - the purchaser has to hear about the patch, and download it. A shame mainly because people are missing stability, but also because the outline commands are faster and smoother for having been integrated into the program.

    You might want to look at the manual, "Enhanced WordPerfect Outlining." It's downloadable from Info-Mac or ftp.corel.com.

    FullWrite Professional

    I used this for a while. It was the most powerful WordProcessor I've used - ever. It had a very decent outliner. It was too slow on the hardware of the day, though it would be a peanut today. Unfortunately, the version I used to use was very buggy. FullWrite died a lingering death, but Akimbo provides it free without support. It is incompatible with the Modern Memory Manager in OS 7.6, but it apparently runs with OS 8 and 8.1; in 8.6 though it failes in my testing. At one time one could download from ftp://ftp.akimbo.com/fullwrite and use the registration code FREE-33333-33333. (Thank you to JR.)

    FullWrite is supposed to support the XTND architecture, so with the  MORE Claris Translator it might import MORE files.

    Of course this would mean migrating from one dead product to another!

    Windows Only

    Thanks to Steve C for many of these suggestions. Steve is a GV guru who has evaluated well over 50 outliner/PIM products. Below is a summary of his opinions (all errors are mind). My strong recommendation would be to not put your data into proprietary file formats. The perfect product, from my perspective, would use ascii text with XML syntax, possible zipped to bundle any binaries. In other words, the OpenOffice file format. So if only someone(s) were to write an Outliner that would work with OpenOffice files ....


    No longer recommended

    Others (not evaluated yet)


    1. How can I get a copy of GrandView or MORE?

      Symantec has allowed Dave Winer to distribute MORE. Download it from http://www.outliners.com/more31/   GrandView is not available; it also likely suffers from significant Y2K problems!

    2. Can you get the MORE file format?

      Symantec has been asked about this many times in the past 8 years. One intrepid MORE-orphan tried to track down Symantec developers who worked with the file format.

      The answer appears to be NO. It is unclear that Symantec has any of the MORE source code or specifications on hand. However, several vendors (Inspiration, OmniOutliner appear to have reverse engineered much of the file format.)

    3. Does MORE 3.1 run under Mac OS 8.5/9X?

      It depends. MORE 3.1 was written with careful attention to Apple programming models. It runs under System 6.8 through 8.5.1. (GH) MORE 3.0 did have problems, with system 7.0, that was fixed with the 3.1 release. Some of the color menu selection appear in gray-scale on 8.5, this may be due to a system 8.5 bug. It is reported, however, that OS 8.6 causes problems with submenus.

      OS 9 has been said to have problems -- when a dialog opens on top of a MORE window and the dialog is then dismissed, the MORE window does not refresh. Geoffrey Heard reports: "You may now safely say MORE 3.1 runs as solid as a rock and as fast as the bullet train on Mac OS 9.0.4.", however more recently Max T reports that many things are broken on 9.2.2. Steve H, on the other hand, reports good results with many versions of 9.x; he thinks problems may be due to added extensions.

      Brad Pettit reports: "I've used the Outliner with 9.1 on my 7500, which has been updated with a Newer Technologies (RIP) G4 card. Altough I haven't touched every feature, the ones I've used work fine. The most serious problem I've experienced is the cosmetics of the menus -- MORE uses a custom menu definition to implement "walk-down" menus (Command-Space). It still works, although the menu background is white. (I've noticed the white menu background on MacOS 8.6.)

      John F has run MORE most recently under OS X 10.3.6. In limited testing it works surprisingly well in the OS X classic mode (9.2)

    4. What's the best way to move 300 MORE documents into something I can use on my PC?

      Drop them onto MORE2TXT.

    5. Is it possible to use the MORE Claris Translator with an Apple-Scriptable Macintosh translator utility?

      Older versions of BBEdit could use XTND, and they were is scriptable. It could be used to serially transform MORE documents into ascii text. BBEdit has discontinued support for XTND however (thanks Jason).

    6. Can I run MORE under Windows using a Macintosh emulator?

      Check out www.outliners.com for discussions and see MORE on Wintel above.

    7. What would you look for in a MORE/GV replacement?

      Something that used XML as its native file format and also published the DTD. I'm through with proprietary file formats. (Update: Omni Outliner Pro 3.0 may be just this.)

    8. If you like MORE on the Macintosh so much, why move to Windows?

      Everyone needs to run Windows -- for now. I split my personal work between a handbuilt XP box and my iBook. I'm expecting to buy another Mac, which will shift the balance of power back to OS X in our house.


    [1] I've used Outlook 98 very heavily, and I've recently switched to Outlook 2000. What a miserable piece of software.
    [2] For example: SH reports: I have found that I can simply customize MORE with the scripting tool "OneClick". In this way I can configure MORE with tool bars and add features fairly easily.
    [3] XTND was one of those odd things (like micropayments) that seemed utterly wonderful and ought to have worked, but flopped completely. It gives me a very bad feeling about the future of XML as a standard file format. Locking-in user data is an irresistible temptation for a software company, and users never seem to quite understand the signficance of it. (I think that best way to handle Microsoft would be to require them to make all their file formats public 6 months before Microsoft could use them, and require that Microsoft always comply 100% with the standard.)
    [4] Before everything was, as usual, something by Doug Englebart. He developed Augment -- a UNIX Arpanet-based tool with Outliner features. See Englebart's 1962 paper on augmenting human intellect.
    [5] PDF is a subversive technology. It makes it possible to work in something other than Word, and distribute documents with greater portability than Microsoft's .DOC format. I think WordPerfect, for example, should make Print2PDF a part of their application.


    Author: John G. Faughnan.  The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author. Pages are updated on an irregular schedule; suggestions/fixes are welcome but they may take weeks to months to be incorporated. I reserve copyright except where noted, if you want to repost or quote a page just ask. Anyone may freely link to anything on this site and print any page; no permission is needed for linking,  printing, or distributing printed copies.