Some form to the text export. Sure you've heard this before

I found Scapple in the app store and I’ve found it really useful for getting my thoughts
down for engineering problems. Much easier than with standard mind map tools.
A very nice tool.

Problem is (and I’m sure you’ve heard this before) I need to eventually get these thoughts into
some kind of order for an email or report. The export text does give all the entries
and I know from reading in the forum Scapple is free form but I do have some obvious
hierarchies in the page but everything exported to text is flat.

Are there any plans to try a text export with some kind of rules?

Obvious structures and if it isn’t, guess or give the user a way to tag certain notes as
important ( style? color?) so when it’s exported you get some starting point for
a text based message.

Thanks for a really nice tool.


Glad to hear the software is helping with your work!

Probably not in the fashion you have in mind. Since the program is completely free-form, as you note, the only sane approach would be to having some kind of alternate linear view mode that ignored spatial layout, and then you’d have to manage that hierarchical view yourself, and there would be this whole style editor hinged on top of that—and well that’s really starting to get into a whole different software genre: the outliner.

Speaking of which, do you have an outliner? If it supports OPML import (Scrivener counts, if you have that), that might be good enough for putting together a rich text file. That will be the best form of output from Scapple, if you intend to tidy up the contents of a board into a linear text document.

As for guessing—it already does that. It uses a combination of linear order where stacks are concerned and attempts to parse connecting lines into a linear order. But as you can see, guessing can only do so much in a program this flexible. You’ll find details in §9.2.1, The Order of Things, pg. 63 of the user manual.

That you can already do. Chapter 6 in the user manual goes over all of the details, with note appearance and styles starting on pg. 46. You should find text-based formatting (such as colour and size) will export when using a rich text export format.