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.
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 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.
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.