Scapple Feature Request


I first wanted to say that I really like this product. I think it’s clean, intuitive and simple interface makes it very easy to take notes. However, I think some extra functionality that would enhance the ability to 1. find information, 2. visualize information and 3. organize information would really make this an even more powerful tool for anyone struggling through the creative process. I know there isn’t a separate “Scapple Feature Request Section” by design so I’m sure some (if not all) of this may be beyond the scope of what you intend for the product but I just thought that I would offer my thoughts on some features that I would love to have.

  • Highlight All.
    When I perform a search in the Firefox Web Browser (via CTRL + F), I get a button right next to the search field called “Highlight All”. As the name implies, this will highlight all occurrences of my search term on the page and can be a very powerful visual aide. It is sort of like having a cork board full of index cards and then taking a highlighter and highlighting all occurrences of something. This would be extremely useful in Scapple as I can do things like search for all references of my main character throughout my notes and instantly see all the places where he’s referenced in one quick glance… sort of like highlighting the word Scapple in red in my post :smiley: This feature would also be very useful when used in conjunction with “tags” (see the “tags” feature request below). I’m sure this is asking for too much but ideally, this feature would enable the user to create/remove persistent button(s) on the fly that would turn off/on the highlight for whatever search term the button is assigned. This would enable me to turn on/off multiple highlight terms at the same time so I can compare how the occurrence of different search terms (or tags) compare to each other within the scope of a selection.

  • Bulk Style/Format Change.
    As my Scapple becomes bigger/more complex, it would be nice to be able to do a search/replace and be able to change the formatting (font style, size, color etc) of what I’m searching for. So at some point after creating a big Scapple, I can change the font size/style/color of a particular search item that would make distinguishing (and thus visualizing) it easier. This would greatly help reading, organizing and maintaining my notes as it is currently a potentially very time consuming process. For example, if I wanted to change the format/style of all occurrences of just a single character in a large Scapple to match a new way of categorizing my characters, it would take a very long time and would be a painful chore for any future attempts.

  • Tags.
    Tagging items would enable searching/selecting notes based on their user-defined tags rather than their content and would be a very powerful way to organize as well as search/retrieve information. This is the same concept as tagging an MP3 file where the file name is kept simple and clean but the files can be searched, retrieved and organized in any number of ways. As an example, I might want to tag the notes of my main character differently based on how a note is used in my Scapple, or tag all characters who are part of the same team, or tag all notes meant to reference character development or tag particular plots lines differently or tag all budget related content or etc and then search (and highlight and select) via these tags. In some instances, tagging might be used as a better/more efficient way of creating relationships between notes vs creating connecting lines.

  • Additional Options for Connecting Lines.
    I think having more options for connecting line formatting and labeling is somewhat essential. I’ve noticed some other posts making mention of this but if you would allow me, I just wanted to add my own explanations as to why. For example, creating anything beyond a simple relationship diagram can become difficult to follow because the connecting lines are only available in a “straight line” type that “goes through” notes that are “in the way”. While there may not be a technical limitation to creating relationships, as more notes are added to the relationship (with potentially n-1 new relationship lines added, where n=number of nodes), there quickly comes a point where trying to follow the diagram causes more problems then it should, which sort of defeats the purpose of taking notes. Also viewing the various paths for things like decision-trees for branching story lines in computer games (eg: “If yes start this plot line”, “If no do this”, “If This is After Event X do this”, “If rejected, start this thread” etc) can be made to be much easier to read if different styles and types of connecting lines were available. It would also be useful to be able to “tag” (see above feature request) these connecting lines too since you may often want to tag different flows in the story. So you would be able to tag the “flow” of a minor plot line and then if highlighting were available (see above feature request), you would be able to instantly visualize the entire flow of just that plot line as well as whatever characters are involved.

I hope that wasn’t too confusing.

Please continue the excellent work.

Thanks for listening.

Hi there.
I also really like this product, because it’s simple and doesn’t get in the way, but the features are well thought out.
I have a few suggestions, if you will.

  1. I’d love to see it for iphone and android, with a synching like scrivener has, through dropbox or otherwise. I’ve bought it for PC, but would be happy to buy it again for iphone, if there’s that synching compatibility. I use that a lot on Scrivener.
  2. It would be great to have simple vector drawing tools within the program, like MS paint level. These graphics could then be moved around, joined to bubbles etc. Sometimes a picture is worth a thouand words, doncha know… :slight_smile:
  3. Could we see expandable notes? So you might put ‘interview Charles’ in a bubble, and then there could be a little plus button, which would unfurl a list of questions for Charles. I know you can add the questions as separate bubbles around the Interview Charles bubble, but it’s nice to be able to tidy things up and just see the main parts.
    That’s it. Thanks for a great product, and I hope you take these on board.

If you need something more complex you should use a more complex software, like Cmap tools

The beauty of Scapple is its simplicity.

CMap Tools is a fabulous piece of software especially because it forces a particular kind of discipline on you. Making a concept map can be a hugely productive exercise but it has a learning curve :slight_smile:

Scapple is crying out for an Android (and iOS) syncable companion app. It’s a brainstorming tool that is best available instantly anywhere, anytime. It’ll improve productivity by a mile.

Naturally, but I see no reason that it cannot be simple and more powerful at the same time. In other words, you can still use it for simple mind mapping but for power users, why can’t they add more features? What does it hurt?

I mean, if you do manage to make a very large map then it becomes tedious to make changes, which isn’t simple.

I used to (and still do in some cases) use Xmind (old 3.x). It is easy to use and very versatile. The only thing that irritated me about it was the snap to grid thing and the limitation of having a single main idea (a small workaround fixes that but I shouldn’t have to do a workaround), which Scapple scrapped. That is a relief but I miss the other features that Xmind has such as attaching longer notes with formatting, URL’s, etc and it even will create an outline too. That snap to grid thing though, and its limitation in where your connecting line goes, irritated me to no end, hence my use of Scapple.

Just my two cents worth.

More features means more effort all around: more work for the developer and the support team, more difficulty for users in finding the feature they’re looking for. Some features – like exporting to a true outline – might require completely rethinking the data structure that supports the application.

There are lots of very capable mind mapping tools out there. Scapple does not attempt to be one of them.

Scapple is, fundamentally, an electronic version of that sheet of notepaper you scribble on while you’re trying to organize your ideas.