Export Formats

ki
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Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:26 am Post

Apologies if this has been covered before, but it looks like the help file doesn't yet have a detailed discussion of export formats.

Can someone tell the difference between a plain text export and a plain text list export.

Also, are there any special things to understand about an OPML export?

KS

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KB
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Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:54 am Post

There's not much difference, but with plain text export you can determine how the notes are separated; in plain text list format, they are separated by a single line break. The latter is for use with spreadsheets such as Excel and Numbers.

The only thing to know about OPML export is that background shapes will become groups.

The other thing to know about all text formats is the following, from the updated manual which we've been working on over the past few days:

The Order of Things
Before exploring the export possibilities, an important note on exporting to text formats is in order. Scapple is at its most fundamental level a freeform application: notes can be written anywhere; connections can be made all over the place, forming loopy circles and Möebius strips. There is thus no logical order of notes for Scapple to walk through when exporting to linear formats such as single text files. Neither is there any inherent hierarchy that Scapple can use as a basis for working out the best order in which to export
notes.

As a result, Scapple can only make educated guesses at how to best order the notes when exporting to linear formats. (Imagine seven notes connected in a circle, another seven notes forming another circle nearby, with two of the notes from each circle con- nected to one another. Only a human could take these notes and lay them out in a mean- ingful linear order, basing the new arrangement on the content of the notes—something Scapple, as an uncomprehending agglomeration of zeroes and ones, has no chance of achieving.) Scapple makes its educated guess as follows:

  • Itgoesthroughthenotesfromleft-to-right,top-to-bottom(orright-to-leftifthatis the writing direction of the document).
  • Wheneveritcomestoanotethatisconnectedtoanothernote,itwalksthroughall of the connections.
  • If two or more notes are connected to a note, it starts with the one that is nearest. l If a note is connected to more than one other note, it is only included the first time
    it is encountered in this traversal process.
  • Once Scapple finds no more connections in the current cluster, it continues scan- ning across the document.
  • In text file formats that support hierarchy, such as OPML, background shapes be- come enclosing groups; in other text formats, they are ignored.

For simple arrangements of notes, this traversal process can work very well. For more complicated arrangements, however—even moderately complicated ones—you may find that the order of the notes in the exported text file is not at all what you intended—and Scapple sadly has no access to your intentions.

Often, therefore, it may be better to export the document to PDF format and copy and paste the notes from the PDF document into a text document in the order you re- quire. For instance, you could import the PDF file into Scrivener, have a text document open alongside it in a split view, and copy and paste between the two.


All the best,
Keith
"You can't waltz in here, use my toaster, and start spouting universal truths without qualification."

ki
kingsinger
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Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 10:31 pm
Platform: Mac

Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:00 am Post

How do I indicate two carriage returns in Separator box when exporting to plain text?

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KB
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Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:08 am Post

Just leave it blank. Any separator entered will have a carriage return either side of it, so by leaving it blank you just get two carriage returns on their own.
All the best,
Keith
"You can't waltz in here, use my toaster, and start spouting universal truths without qualification."