New user: Two critical questions


As a new user I have 2 questions:

  1. Keyboard-only tree entry
    Is it possible to use Scapple to quickly create a hierarchical tree of data just using the keyboard i.e. WITHOUT using the mouse? In particular, how can I enter a series of ‘siblings’ that are all linked as ‘children’ of the same ‘parent’ note?

  2. Auto-layout
    Is there any sort of auto-arrange/auto-layout feature or mode(s?) that spaces things out intelligently ?i.e. Is there any auto-matic way of laying out things into the same sort of intelligent layout as you might get with a mindmapping tool such as Mindjet’s MindManager as you type them in? (FWIW, I already own MindManager but I hate the fact that everything HAS to be a hierachy and I also resent the huge price of every new release!)

I have searched both this forum and the knowledge base but can’t find answers.

These questions are both deal-breakers for me.

Many thanks


Question 1!
For keyboard shortcuts, see Appendix B of the manual (starts on page 75). The bit covering notes in particular starts on page 81. You can also just look at all the keyboard shortcuts conveniently labelled next to their respective commands in the menu.

Question 2!
You can use tools to align, space and stack notes, but there’s no automatic interpretation of hierarchy (it’s deliberately freeform by design) nor a way to get Scapple to automatically start moving your notes around to avoid others. Think of it more like a virtual whiteboard.

Moderator note: Moved to Scapple Tech Support

I had a look in the manual but I couldnt find an answer to “1.”

  1. Is a huge shame :frowning:
    The way Mindmanager semi-automatically aligns things but also allows you to drag things to specific positions (on a grid) is VERY much preferable, when one is working at speed. Shame.

For keyboard entry, check out the Notes/New Connected Note/ sub-menu. You can create notes in all four directions, with regular or arrow type connectors.

I’m afraid the lack of auto-layout to automatically fix layout/spacing on either the whole or part of the design space is more-or-less a deal-breaker for me. :frowning:

When I first started using Scapple I had a battle (with myself, for the most part) trying to get everything perfectly lined up and formatted nicely. This was mainly because of the graphics and diagramming programs I was previously familiar with. But once I had embraced the idea of Scapple’s free-form layout and put greater emphasis on using it as a thinking tool, it all fell into place.

I do however understand where you are coming from about wanting a grid or auto-layout feature, and actually agree it would be useful (sometimes) to have an unobtrusive automatic snapping option.

I’ve not used MindManager, but I notice it can import .opml files - and those can be exported from Scapple. Maybe you could do all your right brain creative thinking in Scapple, then left brain ordered layout in MindManager. :wink: