Using a Template (picture) not a Texture as Background


I’ve created a template for brainstorming a story’s plot, which follows Save the Cat Writes a Novel. This is a 2149 x 1509 pixel .png file. I can insert it in Scapple as a background by using “Background Color / Choose Texture…” However Scapple wants to tile my image, and it randomly shifts around to different positions under my notes as I work. Am I missing something? Is it possible to set an image to not tile?

It also doesn’t print, but that’s not a terrible disaster.

If Scapple doesn’t currently do non-tiling background images, please add the feature. A radio button for “tiling / non-tiling” in the “Background Color” section would be awesome. Major bonus points for a “Print Background” check box.

Note: Shifting is really bad on my MB Air screen, even splitting the image (e.g. most of the background is one part of my image, but then a corner will be a completely different part. But it’s only semi-useless when the Air is plugged into a 27-inch monitor. I think I may try scaling my template to be wider and shorter, so the tiling just starts over at the right and bottom edges when Scapple is maximized. It seems to not shift left/right so much when I set Scapple’s working window to fit image width.

Thanks a million.

Scapple v1.4.1 (8168)

Suggest insert as a picture, can up or down scale the png file as an image and could put background shape behind it and put notes around the picture to fill in details and make magnetic and move as a unit. I have used various png files such as a question mark that can scale quite well.
Could even make a background with the picture and use as base template and copy over and over and add notes as needed at appropiate sections.

This is a great idea. Giving yourself boxes to draw inside is really thinking outside the box. :nerd_face:

One of Scapple’s fundamental principles is that it provides an “infinite” workspace. You are trying to impose a fixed image onto this infinite workspace (the background wallpaper). This is an oxymoron. I don’t think there is a way to make it work, and I highly doubt L&L would change Scapple so it would work. :slightly_frowning_face: (I’m just a customer and have no actual insight into L&L’s decision making process.)

I recommend trying the idea suggested by @GoalieDad, as placing the image within a background shape should solve the problem. Or, what I would do, is build a STC diagram in Scapple and use that as a starter template when you want to brainstorm a plot.


Thanks GoalieDad, awesome idea to insert my “template” as an image rather than a texture. I needed to send it to the back, so my notes float on top. It was also kind of fiddly to scale it to the right size. When I dragged the edge of the picture to the edge of the window, it was easy to bump the window’s edge and make the document scoot and the size of the picture along with it. But after a bit of experimentation I got it set. It’d be awesome if I could just tell it “100%” or “full size” instead of dragging the borders of the picture. It also prints along with my notes, which is great.

Why might I want a background shape? And what is magnetic? Making the picture a background (I assume a background shape) sounds interesting. Maybe I’ll play with that.

I did redraw my template image. It’s now 2308 x 1365. Just for fun, here’s template, so peeps can get a better idea of what I’m doing.

If place picture on background shape (Notes>Background Shape and show Inspector (View>Show Inspector) then anything placed on/touching Magnetic Background shape will move with it when shift around your scapple project. I included sample image of something working on now.

JimRac, I’ve had a rethink of what’s needed to make this work as a texture. First, the good:

  1. Tiling is fine (mostly). I really don’t care until I want to print with “Print Background” enabled. When I do, I get smaller version of the tiled image wrapping around the working area. I’m at a loss as to why this is desirable.

  2. Infinite workspace is fine, I just won’t use it. The whole point of this template is to think in broad terms, therefore the limited workspace is desirable. When I’m ready to add detail I’ll move the project to Scrivener. Still, I suppose if I want extraneous notes I could store them around the edges. Unfortunately they are neither out of sight or out of mind. Print will encompass the larger workspace and the extra notes.

  3. The advantage of a texture is that I don’t have to fiddle with scaling the image, or accidentally select it when selecting notes.

Now the bad:

  1. The fatal flaw is in how Scapple handles textures. They jump around with respect to notes and other foreground objecs. Textures don’t track the window, but sort of semi track the workspace (as the workspace expands the texture moves). I cannot imagine how this might be useful. Anyway, this is the only thing L&L needs to fix to make textures useful for this purpose.

What is an STC diagram? There are many definitions for STC and several ides pop up for STC diagram.


Sorry! You’d mentioned your Save the Cat template in your original post, and STC is how I refer to Save the Cat. :innocent: So my suggestion was for you to use Scapple to draw your Save the Cat template diagram, and then save the .scap to use as a starter diagram when you want to brainstorm new projects. This is definitely how I’d approach it, because working with an image sounds too fiddly.

You’re trying to make the texture participate in / be a part of the Scapple diagram, which is using the texture feature in a manner that’s not supported by Scapple. You’re trying to make it do something that it’s not designed to do.

See the manual Section 10.3.1 Background Color and Section 6.1.2 Using a Background Texture.

The purpose of the texture feature is to provide an alternative to a colored background. The intent is that a small image of a simple repeatable pattern (like a corkboard or parchment paper or wallpaper or stars in space, etc.) would be tiled to present an unobtrusive background upon which to draw diagrams. I assume that’s why the L&L devs called it “texture” and not “wallpaper”–because they never intended it to be used the way you’re trying to use it.

That the texture moves as the workspace expands/contracts is a feature, not a bug. Again, the workspace is infinite. Hence the tiled approach. As the user zooms out, thereby increasing the visible portion of the workspace, the tiled approach scales the tiles smaller and reveals more tiles of what’s supposed to be an unobtrusive, non-participatory background. This approach doesn’t support your use case, because it was never intended to.

This is a Wishlist post, so you are free to request that L&L modify their design to accept an untiled single image, that they would then plop somewhere in the “middle” of Scapple’s infinite workspace. (Of course the image would have to be placed in an arbitrary location and set to an arbitrary size, because by definition the infinite workspace has no spatial boundaries.)

However, I highly doubt they’d change their software to support this request, when you can pretty much get the same result by following @GoalieDad’s suggestion and putting the image inside a background shape. (Although as I mentioned above, that’s not how I’d approach it. :nerd_face:)


Here are a couple of alternatives:

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