Feature request: edit connection style/direction

Firstly: Scapple is great. Already proving very handy. Many thanks.

Feature request: It may be that this is already easy and I have been too stupid to figure it out yet, but I sometimes decide I want to change the direction of arrow or would like different styles of connections (continuous line, dotted line, or different colours etc.) for different things/relationships. So - for me - it would be great if the connection style and direction could be edited like the Note style from the context menu and/or inspector etc.

Edit: it occurs to me that this could be implemented as additional Note style features.




Lines cannot be coloured (and there are no plans to add this), but you can easily change the direction or line style just by dragging and dropping using the shortcut keys (Opt and Command). For instance, holding down Option while you drop will create an arrow line pointing to the note dropped on; doing it again will remove the arrow.

Glad you like Scapple!

All the best,

I think you’re really missing out on a key organizing feature by NOT adding color options to the lines that connect two different thoughts/ideas/entries. One of the first things I went to look for was a way to do it in the software. There are times when you branch off lines of thought that inter-connect with other lines of thought. So you can color-code the text bubbles to group them by theme/branch. Right now, you can have blue bubbles linking to red bubbles linking to green bubbles… but all by black lines. So if you have too many co-relationships, it can be hard to follow. Even moreso if one of the relationships is spaced across the space occupied by the map. So if you have something from the far right linking to something in a thread on the far left, it’s still just a black line to get lost in the mass. If you could make it a blue line, like everything in the thread it’s a part of on the right, you’d easily be able to link it mentally/visually.

I already love Scapple over other mind-map stuff because it’s really easy to link one thought/blurb to any other thought/blurb. Even multiple thoughts/blurbs (most can’t do this, or if they can it’s REALLY hard to figure out). It doesn’t seem like it’d be a very difficult thing to ask since you can already change every other feature via drop-down. But I will be the first to say that sometimes things are a lot harder to implement than one might think. I just think you’re overlooking a feature that could make your program stand out even more above the pack.

While this post pertains to adding labels to lines, it is still applicable to your request:


I think there are already some good programs out there for doing complicated stuff. Tinderbox is another completely freeform mapping system like Scapple, but with a tremendous level of complexity beneath it. You can have lines doing all kinds of fancy things, you can program a line to post a Tweet when you make them. Whatever you want.

The idea with Scapple is that we already have plenty of data processing spatial programs, and we have plenty that work on a very strict hierarchical premise, like mind-mapping, but there isn’t much that just lets you write in little boxes on a huge space; maybe draw a line here and there; use simple structure like stacks, shapes and the mere fact of proximity to denote sameness, rather than a huge festering of lines. There is a place and time for that, I’m a Tinderbox user myself and having a rich network of lines can be very useful—I get where you are coming from, but I just think that it’s too easy to over-complicate things, and sometimes it’s a good thing to have a program that subtly says, “Whoa there, do I really need to say all of this?”

Anyway, that is the why behind the technical stuff posted in the linked thread. The reason why connections are just a sequence of numbers stored in the note’s data field is because they were never meant to be anything more than precisely what they are. It would have been trivial to program them another way, so that they could have their own tab in the Inspector and have a dozen features—but they aren’t. It was a deliberate decision to keep them simple.

Thanks for the head’s up. I wasn’t really looking for some super-huge tab with all kinds of options and stuff, just the ability to color-code a line to match the border of the box it originates from (or vice versa). I definitely understand the minimalist mentality, so no worries there. It just seems like something that’s missing that would be a simple add that would keep things simple while helping to clarify things at the same time.

Tinderbox seems like a good fit, potentially, but the $250 price tag puts it in a place where I’d rather try looking for something else… Thanks again though, I’ll keep searching.