Scapple for Mac - Beta Testing Has Begun!

Hello all,

Just to let you know that L&L’s newest software is now ready for beta-testing. Scapple is an app for getting ideas down quickly and making connections between them - it’s essentially based on the way I work out ideas on paper. It’s sort of a freeform mind-mapping app, I suppose. For full details, and to download the beta, please see this thread:

Please note that Scapple is currently Mac only - sorry Windows users! It’s been a bit of a pet project of mine that I’ve been tinkering with for some time, in what little spare time I get away from Scrivener. (If there’s enough interest in it, then we’ll look at other versions further down the line, but at the moment, for all I know it may of be no use to anyone but me.)

Thanks and all the best,

Bug or feature?

So I downloaded the Scapple beta to my laptop. Created a file. Stored it in Dropbox. Went to my desktop to open it. I went to FILE/OPEN/DROPBOX/SCAPPLE DOCUMENTS/[name of document]. Nothing happened. Went to FINDER/DROPBOX/SCAPPLE DOCUMENTS/[name of document] and double clicked. Nothing happened. Right clicked and went to OPEN WITH. Scapple was listed as the associated application. Nothing happened. Right clicked and selected OPEN. Same story.

Mystery to me.

For what it may be worth, Scapple installed perfectly on my desktop and a new map acted exactly as it should have.

Suggestions for ongoing features:

  • being able to create and shape borders around the note entries
  • being able to assign colors to text in the entries and to the borders - not necessarily the same colors
  • being able to modify the links once they’ve been created = e.g., change a dotted line to a single or double solid line of varying degrees of thickness
  • being able to put labels on the links
  • being able to assign colors to the links
  • being able to associate notes or documents with the note entries and the links: e.g., the note entry says “George Washington, first president 1788-1797” a note associated with that entry gives more details about Washington, the links go from Washington to Madison, Jackson, Polk, and Buchanan and each one says “had no children”.
  • being able to select a note and have it become a master node as in The Brain.
  • being able to link files to notes



Just a quick reflex thought about the icon - why not start with the coffee cup ring?

It speaks of distilling goodness on a page. It speaks of reflection. It speaks of Literature and LATTE. It speaks of story as a beginning and an end all enclosed and beautifully complete. Come to think of it, it is full of connotations and denotations that resonate perfectly with the ethos and ideas that underpin Scrivener and connect it to Scrivener.

This one’s a mystery to me, too, sorry! It sounds as though the file got corrupt somehow. Scapple files are just flat XML files, saved using Cocoa’s regular document structure classes (which is all handled by OS X), so there shouldn’t be anything in Scapple that could affect things at this level. Is it just the one document?

You can already do this. Just bring up the Inspector or use the Format menu.

Thanks for the other suggestions, but many of them fall outside the scope of the app, sorry - especially the idea of having master notes. The whole idea is that it is freeform with no hierarchy.

All the best,

Thanks for the suggestion. One of my icon ideas was indeed to have something like a napkin with a coffee ring and scrawled notes on it, in fact. I really want to go for something bold and bright, though - I really like the icons to Coda, Droplr and suchlike, for instance.

All the best,

Curious as to how well Scapple plays with Scrivener. After I imported the file into Scrivener, I double clicked on it, but the file does not open with Scapple within Scrivener. I had to open with “external editor,” which of course was the Scapple app. Will there be a way in the future to be able to just click on the files within Scrivener to have them open straight away? I’m excited for this new application. It’s how I brainstorm for ideas as well. Thank you.

…could this be because I don’t have the newest beta of Scrivener?

The beta of Scrivener just allows you to drag notes from Scapple into Scrivener’s freeform corkboard. Have you got Scapple installed correctly into your Applications folder? If so, then when you open a Scapple document in Scrivener, you should see its Quick Look preview, showing you the whole map. Obviously you can’t edit Scapple files in Scrivener, though - for that you do need to open them in an external application (i.e. Scapple).

All the best,

Very nice. Have been using MindNode Pro. Scrapple looks like a winner to me!

Hi Keith,

I indeed do have Scapple installed within the Applications folder; however, I am still unable to see the map when I click on it in the Binder, within Scrivener. Even when I push QuickRef, it still will not open. It merely shows a page icon.

Thank you,


The bottom of Scrivener’s editor indicates that the file indeed is a Scapple Map; however the image itself is only a blank page with a curl of the top right. :-/


Scapple Document.jpg

What version of OS X are you running? If it is Lion up you should be getting the Quick Look preview for Scapple file, which is just a graphic snapshot of the whole map.

I’m running Lion, 10.7.5 Hmm…

Scapple doesn’t run on anything lower than [EDITED]Snow Leopard anyway. That indicates that OS X isn’t using Scapple’s Quick Look plugin. After moving to your Applications folder, launch Scapple, then relaunch the system, in order to coax OS X into recognising the plugin.

…I did exactly as directed: 1) Launched Scapple, 2) Restarted the system (twice), but same thing. The plugin isn’t working, for me. :-/

Try resetting the Quick Look cache with:

qlmanage -r

On the command-line (Terminal). You should get a message, “qlmanage: resetting quicklookd”, then do another reboot. Then test a .scap file in Finder, verifying it works there, and then testing in Scrivener.

Thanks, Amber, but clearing the cache didn’t work. It doesn’t afford me a preview in the Finder or in Scrivener. What to do?

Anyone else have any ideas to help me out? I deleted the QuickLook preferences, still no go. I think I’m going to need the QuickLook plugins. Mine are missing or aren’t working right. :frowning:

Hi shrumpkin. Please don’t think I am talking down to you. But it may be possible that you are confusing QuickRef with QuickLook (Quick Look)?

Quick Look and Finder that Amber is referring to are Apple Operating System functions.
Drag Quick Look up to your Finder Toolbar - it looks like an eye in a little box.

QuickRef is a Scrivener function - you can also customise your Scrivener tool bar to have QuickRef visible all the time when you have Scrivener booted up by dragging Quick Reference up to your Scrivener toolbar.
It looks like a little grey box with a couple of opposed arrows.

Thanks Keith -
It looks like a great product and I can do without the node function, though it would be useful. I will buy it as soon as you can have it ready to sell and $10 seems fine to me.

FWIW, I think your corruption theory is possible but I don’t understand why a corrupted (and not very complex) file would open from Dropbox perfectly on the computer that it was created on (my laptop) and not on my desktop. I tested it by trying the reverse - file created on desktop and stored in Dropbox. It opened perfectly on laptop. As they say in XML programming, go figure.

Thanks for the point to the inspector. That helped a lot. Next time I’ll read the manual (:slight_smile: ). If we could apply styles (line options (including color), directional arrows, and labels) to the note connectors, that would be a wonderful thing - in effect a new kind of layer of information hierarchy. And tagging of notes and connectors would be nice.

Still, if you issued it as it is now, it would still be a great product. Thanks for coming up with it. Now on to ios versions??

All best,