Hot Link to Scapple Files

I would like to see the ability to store links to Scapple in the Binder. This way, the Scapple diagram versions would be kept up to date in Scrivener. There are of course many benefits, especially if the Scapple diagram is an evolving entity for the duration of a project. Of course currently you can simply replace the Scapple diagram within Scrivener, but a link would eliminate this kind of housekeeping. I suppose this could also apply to parts of Scapple diagrams, such as those dragged into the binder, but I can see this would open a can of worms! For now, just having the live link for an entire Scapple file would be appreciated. Cheers!

We would like to some day add the ability to link to any sort of file from your Binder, so that it isn’t necessary to fully import things unless you want to. There is no reason to restrict this useful idea to just Scapple files. :slight_smile:

Meanwhile, do you have any objections to just storing the Scapple file in your project? If it is mainly for the project’s benefit, then why even bother with keeping it as a separate file outside of the project? I even use Document Templates to create pre-fab Scapple boards inside my project with a little boilerplate or styles set up in them.

It never occurred to me to do it that way. I always kept Scapple open and switched between with cmd-Tab, but having inside the project would be better, sometimes

Well, to be clear, when you store files in your project it is functioning as a souped-up file manager. It is not an editor for all files. So you’re still going to be opening the document out of the Binder into a program that can work with the file (Scapple in this case), and thus you’re still going to be Cmd-Tabbing. It’s a matter of having your research files organised in the project directly, and all of the myriad forms of organisation the implies.

Or if you meant, how do you make a Document Template, just throw your prototype .scap file into the appropriate templates folder in your Binder. You can put anything in there, not just files or folders.


Yes, that’s what I meant. It’s logical, of course. I just never thought about it that way. It opens up a lot of interesting alternatives. :slight_smile:

I don’t mind storing the Scapple file in my project. Its simply a housekeeping chore to replace the Scapple file over time as I update it in Scapple. No biggy. Its just much more useful to establish a link the the Scapple file from within Scrivener. Of course, its the dynamic aspect of the Scapple file that has generated my request. OIOW if the Scapple file is static, you only need to import it once!

I agree it would be very useful to have the option to link any kind of file rather than import to Scrivener.

I think it might be helpful to know that you can load files that have been stored in your Binder directly into software that can edit them, and when you save those files the changes go right back to the file in the project Binder. I wouldn’t even suggest this idea if it consisted of doing what it sounds like you are doing: exporting, editing, importing and reapplying all pertinent meta-data (though who would even bother to use meta-data to help organise the stuff if you had to do all of that!).

Instead, click on the Scapple board in the Binder and hit Ctrl-F5, double click the name in the main editor area itself or use the Documents/Open/in External Editor menu command.

The Document Templates idea I suggested, of putting a blank or even pre-fab .scap file in that folder gets around the issue of having to first create a .scap file outside of Scrivener and then import it. If you have a document template built into the Binder, you can spawn a new empty board right in the Binder, load it, and start working with it, all without touching Windows Explorer or the Desktop once.

Hopefully this idea makes more sense now. :slight_smile:

Just to be clear. The whole point in owning Scapple, for me at least, is to have the very malleable and freeform tools with which to monkey around developing and redeveloping concepts, like the elements and their relationships in a novel. When I get to a point I like, I simply drag a copy from the Finder into my Research folder in Scrivener. If I notice after awhile in Scrivener that the Scapple diagram needs updating, I go into Scapple, make the changes, go into Scrivener, drag in the new version, then drag the old version into the trash.

Now that I think about it, not that I wasn’t attempting thought prior, I could keep a running list in a “Scapple Folder” under the Research folder, and use dates, sequential naming or meta data to keep track of versions. ITMT, I’ll use the KISS method and just replace the out of date version. Like I said, it would be cool to link the the file or any file for that matter.

One last thing. In the project management vein, the Scapple digram is very useful to keep collaborators informed of changes and reminded of the key concepts, players and relationships, etc. In this sort of project, the link to a Scapple diagram would be even more beneficial.

I suppose, if it’s necessary to do so, but for how I use this feature, I just load the file and edit it, save it and I’m done. I don’t make versions or keep track of them unless I really feel I need a backup of the board in its prior state.

Unfortunately it is unlikely that links like this will be something a collaborator can use. We have yet to decide exactly how it works, technologically speaking, on Windows, but on a Mac we use aliases which are most beneficial for the user in that, like Shortcuts, if you move or rename the Scapple document in Finder, the link continues to function. A link like that requires a close integration with the disk itself, it’s not something that blindly points to a spot whether or not anything is even there. So if you bundle up your project and take it to another computer, the links won’t work until you bring it back to the original machine.

But to stress the point, storing the master files right in the Binder is the whole idea behind making collaboration easier. If the .scap is a part of the project, and you’re sending the project, then your colleagues have everything they need (assuming they have Scapple), no keeping file systems synchronised or sharing networks of files (even if you could do things that way). The project format was designed specifically to make your data portable. Links are the polar opposite of that concept—albeit extremely useful in certain contexts for the individual user on one computer, particularly where conserving space is an issue (gigabytes of PDFs for example).

But speaking of how the Mac does things, you mention using Finder. Your forum tag is set to Windows, so I’ve been framing things in terms of that platform. If you’re on a Mac, you can already link to files on the system using the File/Import/Research Files as Aliases…. However it’s important to note that there is a limitation in how this was designed: it doesn’t accept .scap files as valid import types via that method. That aside, you can create an alias in Finder by selecting the .scap, hitting Cmd-L and then importing the alias. It’s just a limitation in the selection tool, not the underlying technology.

Come to think of it, you could probably do the same thing in Windows: create a shortcut and then import that instead of the original file. I haven’t tried it, but it’s worth a shot (if you are indeed on Windows). Again though, that will do nothing for collaboration.

Sweet gravy on a biscuit! Colour that idea STOLEN.

Thanks for the in-depth answer! I am using a Mac now as the primary - first new Apple product since 1986! You’ve given me a lot to chew on. Munch I will! Thanks so much!