'Copy Document Link' in Scapple

I’m at the stage of a very complex non-fiction project which, if I’m to keep on top of it with a senior memory, requires me to add links to and from Scrivener and Scapple. I have links between Scrivener docs sorted with the ‘Copy Document Link’ and links from Scapple with the same Scrivener feature; but I need also to go in in the other direction.

I am writing, for example, a research overview and need to refer (link) to a dozen or more Scapple docs and sometimes notes within those docs. So my questions:

  • I know that I can drag the Scapple file header to create a link in a Scrivener doc, but is there a less clunky way? It would be good to create a link (like the Copy Doc Link) to not only Scrivener but to other places like Ulysses and Agenda (and sometimes Bear and Diarly). I do this with the Scrivener ‘Copy Doc Link’ all the time.
  • as far as I can tell there is no way to copy a link to a specific Scapple note. As some of my Scap Maps are pretty complex this would be tremendously useful - so am I missing something?

Many thanks

This is a bit of a orthogonal suggestion to what you’re asking, but have you considered storing the related Scapple boards in your project binder? That keeps them very handy, makes them capable of being linked to within the project without having to make use of more fragile file:// links as you currently are doing, and of course overall makes them as accessible to reference and recall as any other piece of research in your project. And as binder items themselves, they get x-scrivener-item links for use in other software.

as far as I can tell there is no way to copy a link to a specific Scapple note. As some of my Scap Maps are pretty complex this would be tremendously useful - so am I missing something?

There is nothing like that in Scapple, you aren’t missing anything. Something you might try doing, if the boards are very large, is employing the use of larger text notes to serve a similar function as large print region names on a map. If you hold down the Z key on a large board you can see all of these regions easily, point the mouse in that area, and let go of the key to zoom there.

Thanks Amber - unfortunately the overall project is complex enough that at this stage there are a couple of dozen Scrivener projects relating to it (the truly complex intralinked organisation of the project is (almost) taken care of in Tinderbox). This will slim down, ironically with the help of the research reviews and overviews I’m trying to organise, but at the moment storing all Scap Maps in all of the projects isn’t feasible.

The problem with the second suggestion is that I’d probably have to write relatively detailed link names so that when I opened the Scapple board I knew what note I was actually looking for. With the Copy Doc Link to a Scrivener (or Tinderbox) note I simply anchor it to a word. I’ll give it a try though.

Thanks again.

Hello Amber,

I think I have answered my own question: not perfect, and a surprising shift of use, but an advance I think and related to your first suggestion.

I have found that if I export the Scapple Map as OPML, I can then drag them into a Tinderbox document to create a Tinderbox container. All of the Scap Maps can reside in the same place, and I can use the Tinderbox x-item-links in the way I was looking for.

I didn’t think would be possible as the transplanted maps would need too much tidying up, but the OPML export actually preserves enough of the structure to make this (one-time task) fairly straightforward.

Thanks again (again).

Glad to hear you got something working the way you want. Tinderbox fills a lot of gaps! For those that don’t have it though, here are a few clarifications and expansions on what can be done:

  • Items in one project are easily available from others. So if you have a piece of research that pertains to several projects, there are two routes you can take:
    1. Use File ▸ Import ▸ Research Files as Aliases/Shortcuts instead of regular import, in each project, all pointing back to the original on the disk somewhere. Now they all share the same exact file.
    2. Import the board into the project fully, and then in any other projects that need this resource, drag from the binder where it is stored into the other project’s Bookmarks list, to create a direct scrivener-item link. Consider an item in the binder can be used as a dedicated “handle” for this one bookmark if you want. More tips in this thread.
  • Creating a large-scale “map” in Scapple: it depends on the data for sure. The idea I was trying to get across there though is that if one just says “Region B” (whatever makes sense there, topically), and that lands you in the rough vicinity of which the note is that you want, that can often be good enough, and even more resilient to shifts in the underlying specifics of the data. For me anyway, Scapple is a highly volatile environment, individual notes come and go all of the time. An area as a reference will be a lot more solid. That’s where it all depends on the data, and how you use the software though.

That last part is very true. I should have said that I use Scapple in a number of ways and this particular issue only arises because the Scapple boards I am trying to use are both huge and pretty much ‘finished’.

I generally start organising everything in Scapple and then, depending on the aspect of the project and the nature of the board, either add it to a Scrivener project as a research alias for reference; import it into a Scrivener project as an outline to be written up; or take it to Tinderbox for more complex and text-heavier structuring.

As J.L. Austin nearly said: “Scapple may not be the last word in organisational software, but it’s certainly the first”.

Thanks again.

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