Exporting mind maps to text

User avatar
gr
Posts: 2164
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 3:57 am
Platform: Mac + iOS
Location: Florida

Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:25 am Post

Judging by the icons those binders have, my next guess is that those documents do not have anything in their synopses.

In my Binder, when a document has only a title, it has a "blank sheet" icon like those. When it has a title plus some text in its synopsis (index card), the Binder icon for the doc changes to a little index card icon. If the document has body text, its icon looks like a sheet with text on it.

Perhaps pick one of those docs, then open the Inspector and look at the index card to verify there is actually something in the synopsis. If the synopsis is empty, of course, that would explain why the menu item is unavailable.

eN
eN0ch
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:20 am
Platform: Mac
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Fri Jul 05, 2013 5:23 am Post

No, I'm afraid that isn't the solution either. Whatever the icon appearance, these files certainly do have text in their synopses, and the Inspector confirms that.
Regards,
Lance <º))><

User avatar
gr
Posts: 2164
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 3:57 am
Platform: Mac + iOS
Location: Florida

Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:37 pm Post

Well, then I am stumped. Seems you need a better diagnostician in here or a member of the Scrivener team to help out.

--Greg

P.s. Though just to leave no stone unturned: in the Inspector in the synopsis area on the index card, the text on the first row (above the red line) is title text. Only text below (below the red line) is synopsis text.

eN
eN0ch
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:20 am
Platform: Mac
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:57 am Post

gr wrote:Well, then I am stumped. Seems you need a better diagnostician in here or a member of the Scrivener team to help out.

--Greg

P.s. Though just to leave no stone unturned: in the Inspector in the synopsis area on the index card, the text on the first row (above the red line) is title text. Only text below (below the red line) is synopsis text.
Regards,
Lance <º))><

User avatar
AmberV
Posts: 24010
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 4:30 am
Platform: Mac + Linux
Location: Ourense, Galiza
Contact:

Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:02 am Post

Strange, I have to concur that those documents do not appear to have synopsis text. There are a few glitches that could cause icons to come up like blank documents as shown in the screenshot, but they should reset once you click on the item in the Binder. This can happen if the search index gets out of whack with reality (usually indicative of synchronisation gone mad). Just to be clear, we are talking about the index card looking slot at the very top of the Inspector, not the larger notepad text field?
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

eN
eN0ch
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:20 am
Platform: Mac
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:07 am Post

I thought I had posted a reply to Greg's last comment yesterday, but it seems not to have found its way to the thread ...

Anyway - yes, definitely the 'card' in the Inspector. And what I tried to post yesterday was that Greg is probably asking the right question at least, in that the entire text of the file is in the top (heading) line of the 'card' in one long string, not in the synopsis area itself under that.

Would it help if I send you an OPML export file from my mindmap app? And maybe an RTF export for comparison? If so, where should I send it?
Regards,
Lance <º))><

User avatar
gr
Posts: 2164
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 3:57 am
Platform: Mac + iOS
Location: Florida

Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:38 am Post

Ah. So, that means there really is no synopsis text (and this explains why the menu option is greyed out). The OPML import routine has preserved the structure of your mindmap as Binder structure, but the node text of your maps have all been brought in as document titles (rather than as document content). (This is how the OPML import routine was designed to work, I take it.)

Hence, moving synopsis text into the body of the document is not what we need anyway, given what you have.

But now, if I am understanding what you are after, OPML import is maybe just not the good way to do what you want done.

Perhaps it is worth going over exactly what it is that you do want to achieve: You have a given mindmap. You want to get ALL the node text of the map into a single place without structure-representing indents, so you can work the result into ordinary blocks of text.

Does that sound right?

If so, that means you want all your mindmap text to become content text. It also means that you do not care about carrying with you the mindmap structure once you are taking the node text on to the next step.

If that is right, since it is easy to get from mindmap to plain tab-indented text (a simple Copy & Paste from the mindmap will do this), your only problem is conveniently removing all the tabs. But this can be done in one step with Search and Replace All. (In Word, you would search for ^t and replace all with empty.)

But perhaps you have a more nuanced treatment of the transformation from map to text in mind. (I sometimes do myself and have various strategies for that.) Perhaps you could say more about how the workflow you are dreaming of would treat the node text of the mindmap exactly -- if it is something other than uniform in the way described above.

--Greg

eN
eN0ch
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:20 am
Platform: Mac
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:06 am Post

Thanks, Greg. And yes you’ve understood what I want very well.

What I think I ideally want for the final text form is the text of each mindmap node as a separate paragraph (with a half or full linespace between) and no tab indents. Implied in this is that I'd like the top level of nodes from the mindmap to finish up as standalone section headings within my final document.

I've been looking into styles in my preferred word processor, which is Pages. I now understand that I can bulk format paragraphs (or headings) in the document that way. I'm uncertain whether to get the linespaces between paragraphs by configuring the styles to include point spaces before / after the heading or paragraph, or whether to add the linespaces along with removing the tab indents in Pages' Find-Replace dialog. Also I'm investigating the possibility of an AppleScript to automate the Find-Replace operation.

I much prefer Pages to MS Word, so ideally I'd like to be able to make this thing work without needing resort to the latter. But I'd be prepared to use Word instead if Pages proves to lack the flexibility needed.

It may be that I have no real need for something like Scrivener as a 'middle man' in the above process. Obviously that’s what I'm keen find out ...
Regards,
Lance <º))><

User avatar
gr
Posts: 2164
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 3:57 am
Platform: Mac + iOS
Location: Florida

Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:51 am Post

Well, you certainly do not need Word in order to do the Find and Replace All. Pages' (Advanced) Find function can search for tabs and replace all with <empty field>.

It also seems clear that what you are trying to do does not require the power of Scrivener -- your task is fundamentally a formatting problem. However, I encourage you to continue to check Scrivener out, since you've got a hold of it. It is quite amazing how useful it has been for me professionally and personally to organize and work with all my writing projects large and small. (A testimonial, friends!)

--Greg

User avatar
nom
Posts: 1918
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:02 am
Platform: Mac + iOS
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:54 am Post

eN0ch wrote:It may be that I have no real need for something like Scrivener as a 'middle man' in the above process.


If you do all of your writing in your mind mapping app, then no, probably not. Scrivener is for writing, for actually getting words out of our heads and onto the screen to create a draft. If you've already done that step and only need to edit and format then a traditional word processor may be all you need. However, if you want to see your structure laid out nicely in a way that makes structural changes easy; provides multiple ways of viewing, drafting and editing your text; and is both fast and stable, then Scrivener is ideal.

For myself, the thought of actually writing in a mind map app makes my head spin (and my skin crawl — I honestly think I could have nightmares about it!) so although I often map things out structurally in a mind map, I always write in Scrivener. Sometimes I go back to a mind map part way through to visually map out new connections, but only ever as a brief sideways step there and back again (OPML works well for this). Drafting, for me, belongs in Scrivener.
Complete and utter NOMsense.
Image

eN
eN0ch
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:20 am
Platform: Mac
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:23 am Post

Thanks, nom. That's a helpful perspective to consider, and it looks like I'll be fiddling with Scrivener for a bit longer in the demo anyway ...

Greg - I think you're mistaken about Find-Replace in Pages. I just tried it with a return as the character replacing the tab, and it certainly worked. Although ... it does now create a further challenge to address - viz. I now have multiple lines between some paragraphs (where the exported .txt file had 2 or more tabs at the front, reflecting in turn the node depth in the mindmap). What I of course want is single line spaces only. So for each paragraph I want to replace the first tab indent only, with a linespace, and in effect delete any subsequent tabs. Is there a way you can think of to do that in Word, at least?
Regards,
Lance <º))><

User avatar
gr
Posts: 2164
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 3:57 am
Platform: Mac + iOS
Location: Florida

Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:19 pm Post

If you want to force double line spacing with Find & Replace, you can do that too, of course. For example:

Run Find and Replace All, replacing all tabs with <empty field>.
Run Find and Replace All, replacing all returns with return-return.

eN
eN0ch
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:20 am
Platform: Mac
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:53 am Post

To report on progress ... Some fantastic guy on Macscripter has been so kind as to build me an applescript for Pages, that will replace the first starting tab in each paragraph with a return, and remove all starting spaces and all other starting tabs. I can run it with a single keyboard shortcut, and it takes about 2 seconds! I'm stoked :D

So I think my way forward might be:
  • for short papers - MindNode Pro > text export > Pages > applescript > styles
  • for long papers - MindNode Pro > text export > Scrivener > export > Pages > styles

Does that sound good?
Regards,
Lance <º))><

User avatar
nom
Posts: 1918
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:02 am
Platform: Mac + iOS
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:09 am Post

eN0ch wrote:So I think my way forward might be:
  • for short papers - MindNode Pro > text export > Pages > applescript > styles
  • for long papers - MindNode Pro > text export > Scrivener > export > Pages > styles

Does that sound good?


As I've already indicated I would never, ever, write in a mind map app (I don't particularly like MindNode, so that makes it even more difficult). I wasn't joking when I said I could have nightmares about it. I honestly can't imagine how I could have written my doctoral thesis in MindNode (or any other mind map I've tried). I write almost everything in Scrivener - job application, lectures, theses, essays and, of course, my long neglected novel. It is only for very short papers that I skip Scrivener and it is only for long papers that I use mind maps (although Scapple is changing that for me). So if it was me, the step I would leave out for short papers is MindNode Pro. But we're all different: what works for me might not work for you (and, obviously, vice versa).

It really comes down to what you think works for you. Try it. You have 30 days of actual use with Scrivener (still the best trial terms I've ever seen), so give it a good workout and see how it fits into your workflow and how your workflow changes as you use it. It may be you decide it's overkill for your needs, or perhaps you will have an "aha" moment that completely changes your use of MindNode Pro. Or it may be that Scrivener will work exactly as you've suggested as a kind of in-between step.

Let us know how you go.
Complete and utter NOMsense.
Image

eN
eN0ch
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:20 am
Platform: Mac
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:22 am Post

Thanks, nom. Will gladly report findings. I've never written anything the size of a doctoral thesis, and couldn't imagine using MNP for much of that. Were I to write such a tome (which I conceivably might one day) I imagine I might use MNP for the macro level overview and/or the early stage planning of individual sections. But then again I may be kidding myself to even imagine such a thing.

We'll see ...
Regards,
Lance <º))><