Tabs in Scapple ?

What a life-changer, this application. I was very sceptical at first and I’m so glad I gave it a try ! I work in research and it really helps to get things in place in my mind, from the literature review until the first draft of an article draft.

Now, here is my humble feature suggestion : add tabs. When I work on a project, I’d like to open only the scapple file for this project. This is actually hardly an option, since I have many thoughts that are in very different contexts : for example, “literature review” and “methodology ideas”. It would be nice to have both in the same “project” file, and have tabs to switch between each other.

But for now, it works well by having two separate files so it’s ok :slight_smile:

Layers, tabs, a “binder” and other such mechanisms have been proposed during the beta process and rejected for adding too much outside of the originally intended scope. What some people have been doing is creating a sort of a master board that has file links to other Scapple documents in it. This way you can organise your boards visually, and gain access to them by clicking on the links. You can create a link to a file by create a new note, giving it some descriptive text, then selecting the text and using Edit/Add Link.... Now in there, type “file://” and drag and drop the .scap you wish to link to into the text field. Click Okay and test the link. We might streamline that a bit so that simple drag and drop can make a link to a file—but I can’t make any promises there.

Other folks, who use Scrivener as well, have taken to organising their boards in a project just for that. This is particularly useful on Mac OS X 10.7+, which will show a graphical preview of the board in the Scrivener editor. Given the current situation, I would myself prefer this route so that links needn’t be managed, and I don’t have to worry about keeping Scapple boards where they are (moving or renaming them breaks the link).

While L&L may choose not to add this feature, having tabs is extremely useful and does not represent feature creep. Take a look at Tree outliner: an outstanding app. Small footprint, very focused, and made more powerful by the use of tabs. For similar reasons Scapple would benefit from the same tabbing functionality.

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My personal note: as a Mac user, I have always preferred separate windows to tabs. When you see a tab, all the others are hidden. With multiple windows, you can see all your documents at once, exactly as you did in the old good days of paper.


The idea to put them in a Scrivener project is very neat. This will do it.
Thank you ! :smiley:

I can’t figure this out for the life of me. Video?
Tabs would be so much better/easier. There’s a reason browsers moved this way too.

I prefer to write in sequences. I would be great to set tabs up, representing one sequence and visually stay within each sequence to brainstorm etc. Hopefully a tab functionality or multiple workspaces will be reconsidered in the next update.

This is exactly what I do - and it has been monumentally useful: far more than mere tabs would ever be, especially as the number of linked maps increases and the maps themselves becomes more complex. There’s no doubt that it’s helped me to get my sprawling research (and butterfly mind) much more easily organised.



Scapple is a document-based app the same as Pages, TextEdit, Word and so on, and as such it uses the standard OS X mechanisms for loading docs. None of those apps have tabs either - there’s a reason not all apps have tabs.

By the way, this is the Scrivener Wish List forum - posts about Scapple should go in one of the Scapple forums.

All the best,