Navigation problems in a hypertext might be reduced, if multiple, coherent views of the hypertext were available. Document outlines help readers appreciate the structure and meaning of the document. We propose measures of syntactic and lexical balance in an outline and show in a sample of documents the degree to which these balances occur. Based on balance in an outline, a method for semi‐automatically generating an alternative outline is applied to one textbook. The textbook with both its original and its alternative outline is available in hypertext, and subjects who were asked to evaluate this hypertext noted that the alternative outline would help readers compare concepts in the textbook. The computer programs for generating outlines have been used in several writing tasks, including the writing of this paper.
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