Import OPML (and other mind map formats)

Would like to be able to import OPML files from other applications

Most outlining programs can export a list of notes (even if just using copy and paste), one per line, in a standard text file. Would that suffice for what you need? If so, use the File/Open... command on the text file and specify notes to be broken up by a carriage return.

Hi, I would like to switch over to Scapple as my primary mind mapping tool. However, I have a large library of existing maps from my current tool (SimpleMind). SimpleMind is able to export to OPML and FreeMind formats. There doesn’t seem to be a way to import either of these formats in Scapple.

Is this feature on the roadmap? I think it would be a great selling point for Scapple in getting those who have invested a lot of time in their existing tool(s) to switch. Thanks!

There isn’t a really good solution to that problem, hence the lack of support for it. Basically, since Scapple doesn’t “think” in outlines, it would have to use some kind of visual metaphor for the outline, and which to use will vary depending on the outlining styles used in the original format (many siblings in few branches; many branches with few siblings; long-chains vs. shallow chains; etc. etc.).

Meanwhile, what I would recommend is saving your outline as a .txt file. Scapple can import that as one-note-per-line. Then once you have a big list of notes in Scapple, you can use whatever visualisation metaphor you prefer.

Apparently this was supported previously (according to ChatGPT). As there’s no native support/integration for XMind files, I wanted a way to import .xmind files into Scapple.

Does anyone know if there might be a way?

For future reference, I would suggest searching on the forum, which has content, questions and answers to many common topics over the years. This will be better than going by a splatter of simulated language being generated from fragments of text.

To wit, no such feature has ever been supported, as explained above, as it wouldn’t make much sense to do so. OPML and mind-mapping data represents strictly hierarchical structured data. The best we could do with Scapple to accomplish such a thing is to draw a picture of our personal understanding or concept of such a model, like drawing a picture of an RSS feed, or a threaded forum conversation.

I’d like to know if there is a separator to split an OPML file (saved as txt) by nodes… :pray:

How do you indicate carriage return?

You only need to press return in the split field, it captures all whitespace characters.

My problem is that I want to import OPML node by node, not line by line…

Sorry, I don’t understand what that means. Wouldn’t each node by a line, how else could it be?

perhaps my terminology is not correct, but I meant for a node, for instance, this (expanded)

  • Vienna
    • Bachmann
      • Testi
        • Celan-Bachmann
        • altri

in other words a bigger unit than a single line…

Yes, ‘node’ is how I would describe an outline item like this, I think I understand what you mean with how you are talking about the OPML file, but not what you are looking to achieve with this format in Scapple.

If you want these nodes to be in one note in Scapple (the closest thing to a node in it), then it won’t really work that well unless you don’t mind typing in bullet characters by hand and spaces. It has nothing so complex as a listing tool in it.

Sorry if I still don’t understand.

could you give me an example of where to put bullet char and spaces?

I mean just typing it into the note by hand, on a Mac a bullet is probably Option-8 (that is where it is with English layout, you might need to look it up if that’s not it).

you mean using bullet as a personal delimiter of a “node” then specifying it when importing OPML file?

There is no way to import an OPML file directly, as noted above.

I am talking about ways of making lists from what you have imported as .txt lines. Maybe play around a bit with some of the options in your outliner program to see if you can export something that works better. I cannot really say for sure, as I have no idea what you are trying for.

If Scapple had a built-in opml importer, it would not be doing that — glomming a whole chunk of tree hierarchy into a single note.

It really seems like you might be better exporting your map as tab-indented text, not opml. Scapple understands tabs in notes.

When I do a simple Copy of some chunk of mindmap from my mindmap app, it puts tab-indented, carriage-return-delimited text on the Clipboard. If I then Paste in Scapple, I get a single node containing all the text, with carriage returns and indents intact — that is, it visually presents as an outline structure within the text of the note — just as you wanted.

Admittedly, it does not feature a hierarchy of bullet characters for the different levels, but I would not expect that (the mindmap copy did not provide visual formatting, just text and structural data, and of course Scap has no way to know that what I am pasting into the text of the node has special meaning to me or is such that I might want it to be specially formatted).


I am working in Bike outliner that saves only in .txt or OPML…
and knowing that Scapp accepted only txt I exported in txt of course :innocent:
What mind map is yours?

  1. What file formats your app saves/exports to is one thing. What data structure you get when you simply use Copy is another. Worth checking what a simple Copy will do for you.

  2. Also, the .txt export is surely preserving the hierarchy structure somehow. How is it encoding that into plain text? Tab indents? Or it might be space-indented. I have also seen double-space indented. Tab-indented is the most useful to you, since it yields what you want directly in Scapple. Other kinds of indenting may also be useful (and certainly transformable via a little script).

  3. If your mindmap/outlining program does not provide a way of extracting hierarchy-indented, return-delimited text, you need to find a different app!

  4. The third-party mindmap software I spoke of copying from is MindManager.

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