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Month: November 2016

Scapple By Literature and Latte

Scapple is a minimalist designed Concept Map application for macOS and Windows which allows the user to add text anywhere on the document and can then choose to connect it to other text or not.

“Scapple doesn’t force you to make connections, and it doesn’t expect you to start out with one central idea off of which everything else is branched. There’s no built-in hierarchy at all, in fact—in Scapple, every note is equal, so you can connect them however you like. The idea behind Scapple is simple: when you are roughing out ideas, you need complete freedom to experiment with how those ideas best fit together.” (

The interaction is elegant:

•  The user clicks to type and can move text anywhere
•  Drag onto other text to connect with dashed line and option-drags to connect with a solid line and an arrow
•  Drag onto connected text to disconnect

The company also created Scrivener, an advanced word processor for the Apple ecosystem designed in Cornwall by Keith Blount.

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Concept Map & Mind Map

The systems surveyed here vary in exactly what they do but the central premise is always that there is information on the screen in any location the user wants it to be and it can be connected to other information on the screen.

Mind Mapping refers to the technique where there is a central node from which everything extends whereas Concept Mapping does not need a central node.

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Lit: Single or Multi Column?

Keith Blount, developer and designer of Scrivener and Scapple on columns, while describing a free piece of software. I agree with his conclusion.

“MyColumn is a shameless copy of Amar Sagoo’s Tofu (which lets you view text in columns), except that it adds editing capabilities and a live word count (Tofu is read-only). MyColumn started out as an experiment. I liked Tofu so much that I thought having a multi-column view in Scrivener might be a good idea, but then I decided against it. You can read Amar Sagoo’s theory on why he thinks reading text in columns is easier on the eyes over at his site. I think he is right. But what I found out is that whilst it may be better for reading, it is not better for editing – when editing, because the text moves around, columns make the text seem less stable. I offer this freeware download so that you can decide for yourself. If you do like reading text in columns, be sure to download Tofu from Amar’s site, which is a lot more refined (it has smooth scrolling and allows you simply to drop a file into a window to open it, for instance). The source code for MyColumn is also available (see below for details).” Keith Blount

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