OPML or Scapple and Scrivener 3

Az
Azure&Green
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Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:59 pm Post

I think I'm missing something simple... I have MindNode and I'm trying to get it to import to via OPML, what I would consider, the proper places in Scrivener. I would like the OPML notes to show up in the synopsis, not the document where it seems determined to put them. It also titles the document, instead of putting that title in the Synopsis.

In Scapple, the situation is a little better, but when I drag and drop it puts the content in both places: document and synopsis.

I'm trying to use MindNode or Scapple as an outlining tool not a writing tool, so my import needs to be treated as such, but instead it treats it as a rough draft.

Am I simply doing it wrong?

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Silverdragon
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Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:44 pm Post

You can control OPML import in preferences:
Screenshot_2017-12-19_14_36_48.png
Screenshot_2017-12-19_14_36_48.png (129.93 KiB) Viewed 2356 times

You have a choice of importing notes into synopsis, notes, or main text. For some unaccountable reason, the default is main text :D but I'm with you: synopsis works better for me.
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Az
Azure&Green
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Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:59 pm Post

Very nice! Thank you, Silverdragon. Of course, this is Scrivener! There is always a way! :D

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Silverdragon
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Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:12 am Post

You're welcome!
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Ge
GeoffHyde
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Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:47 am Post

Thank you guys!

For alerting me to this feature Id not been aware of. Id always been importing my Scapple maps as images, so this is much better.

The Mindnode route is even more powerful, because it allows a second level of content to be attached to its 'node' content. The content of any such 'note' then gets sorted separately (versus node content) during import into Scrivener, with those various options that Silverdragon mentions. Brilliant!

Curiously, while many other mind mapping apps allow the addition of a note to a node, Mindnode is only one I could find that both (1) has OPML export, and (2) enables its second-level content to be detected by Scrivener. I would be interested to hear of any other Mac apps that also do this.

Geoff

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Silverdragon
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Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:51 am Post

iThoughtsX https://www.toketaware.com/ithoughts-osx/ It also opens Scapple files (though it won't write to one.) It also runs on iOS, thus taking your Scapple stuff onto your iPad...

My favourite (obviously.) :D
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  • Mac Scrivener 3.0.3, MacBook Air 11, MacOS 10.13.6 (High Sierra)
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GeoffHyde
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Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:09 am Post

Thanks Silverdragon

I had tried that on, but could not see OPML export as an option. Now, I see how to get that going, and yes, it does sort second-level content separately. Wonderful.

Its a nice app too, I used to use Freemind/Freeplane a lot, it seems to be from the same family.

cheers

Geoff

ma
matsgz
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Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:47 pm Post

Azure&Green wrote:In Scapple, the situation is a little better, but when I drag and drop it puts the content in both places: document and synopsis.

I'm trying to use MindNode or Scapple as an outlining tool not a writing tool, so my import needs to be treated as such, but instead it treats it as a rough draft.


Neat solution, Silverdragon. But it doesn't solve OP:s second concern, that the text of Scapple notes, when dragged into Scrivener, lands up in both the document and the synopsis. When Scapple is used as an outlining tool, it would be convenient if you had the same options as for OPML, to chose where you want the text of the Scapple notes. But KB deserves a long Christmas holiday before he should be expected to fulfil my wish.
Scribo ergo sum

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GeoffHyde
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Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:26 am Post

When Scapple is used as an outlining tool, it would be convenient if you had the same options as for OPML, to chose where you want the text of the Scapple notes.

I think what you are asking for here requires more than adding the same options to Scapple import, and that the confusion arises because the use of the word "Notes" in Scapple differs from its use in other mapping programs. In Scapple, notes are the sole content container type. In all other mapping programs, if they have notes at all, then a note is a secondary content container, a sort of footnote to the main one. The primary containers can go by a variety of names, 'node' being a common one (but never 'note' as far as I have experienced).

In my playing around with the three OPML import options (eg from a MindNode map), the ability to send content to a different target (synopsis, main text, or notes) applies ONLY to content contained in a secondary container (ie a Mindnode note).

This is also explained in the Scrivener manual as follows:
Some applications support attaching “notes” to each outliner header. Notes such as these will be imported into the main text area, or the metadata field of your choice.

If the Mindnode map only has primary content, there is no substantive difference between the import into Scrivener as one changes from one option to another. There is only a largely cosmetic difference, in that when importing using the 'Note's option, instead of the Scrivener Binder hierarchy using Folder icons, it uses Document icons. All in all, the import occurs in the same way as a Scapple import.

Thus, to get a Scapple+Scrivener combo to do what combos involving other mapping programs allow, the primary change required would not be to Scrivener, but to Scapple.

Cheers

Geoff

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Silverdragon
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Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:36 pm Post

Geoff, I must respectfully disagree.The option for how to import Scapple files is in the Scrivener preferences, not in Scapple. Therefore changes as to how Scapple is imported would be made in Scrivener, not Scapple. Since upon drag and drop to Scrivener this distinction between “primary” and “secondary” is made in Scrivener, Scrivener could indeed decide where to place notes. If it’s important to you, it’s definitely worth at least a Scrivener Wish List post. :D
So you know where I'm coming from:
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  • Mac Scrivener 3.0.3, MacBook Air 11, MacOS 10.13.6 (High Sierra)
  • IOS Scrivener 1.1.5, iPhone 6s, iPad Air 2, iOS 12.0

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GeoffHyde
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Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:16 pm Post

Hi Silverdragon

No problems, I think we are just discussing different things. I agree that it would be good if Scrivener gave one a choice of where it puts its (single level of) Scapple info. But even if it did, that would still not be as useful to me as the ability to import two levels of information, as I can with Mindnode/iThoughts + Scrivener.

I guess my ideal situation for a mapper/Scrivener combo would be that the mapper would allow for two levels of information, and Scrivener could import each level separately, and give you the choice to put the information from each wherever you want.

In the case of the Scapple/Scrivener combo, that would require changes to both Scapple and Scrivener, with the changes to Scapple being more major, at least on a design philosophy level, in that KB and co like to keep Scapple very lean.

e.g. http://www.literatureandlatte.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=22850

Cheers

Geoff

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Silverdragon
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Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:41 am Post

I agree that we’re talking about two different things. :D In regards Scapple, yes, you are correct that Scapple really only supports one level of information per "thing." If one exports a Scapple board to OPML, that becomes clear.

OTOH, it seems to me that L&L aren't really interested in competing in the general outliner/mind map market. In the context of Scrivener, Scapple *has* two levels, separated by the first new line in each Scapple note. And using primary information, as you call it, as anything other than a title and/or part of the secondary content is not part of their world view, whether discussing Scapple or any other outliner/ mind map app.

I personally find the situation frustrating, just as you appear to, but for different reasons. :D In my case, getting structural information out of Scrivener drives me batty. I don't much care for Scapple in that it makes me work too hard to connect things. No connection in Scapple is automatic. And using OPML to export to iThoughts, which I love, results in the synopses being hidden inside notes when I'd much rather they were part of the topic as they are in Scapple. Grr.

Net result: Scapple is almost irrelevant to me. iThoughts is a pain to use. Xmind, ditto. I end up outlining on the corkboard which is less than ideal, as it hides relationships, and I'd prefer to not be in Scrivener when I outline.

So sometimes I just go rent a conference room with a massive whiteboard, tape index cards over it (that I've printed from Scrivener) draw lines and scribble in between, and take a photo of the whole blasphemous mess and stick it in Evernote. If Evernote goes out of business I'm ... in trouble. :D
So you know where I'm coming from:
  • I'm a user, not an L&L employee.
  • Mac Scrivener 3.0.3, MacBook Air 11, MacOS 10.13.6 (High Sierra)
  • IOS Scrivener 1.1.5, iPhone 6s, iPad Air 2, iOS 12.0

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GeoffHyde
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Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:38 am Post

Hi SD

I see better now where you are coming from, and it is great to see how people use Scrivener in ways I hadn't thought about, e.g. exporting as OPML from Scrivener. And I can totally understand your wish to have the features you discuss. Ive also always been frustrated that the corkboard forces the hiding of any nested cards. I'm guessing that simply allowing all cards of a hierarchy to be seen, and rearranged in freeform mode, would mean you could do what you now need a physical whiteboard for?

It does seem a strange constraint, not to allow this, and its runs against one's most fundamental expectation of how a digital version of a corkboard would actually operate. Ive done some searching on the boards and cant see any serious discussion of this, but I imagine its there somewhere. I remember bringing it up years back myself, under a different nick, and the idea was not received with any enthusiasm, but I cant remember why.

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Silverdragon
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Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:17 am Post

A freeform multi-level corkboard would be beyond cool, especially if I could hook up a 5k monitor... :D it's hard to get as much info visible at once on a screen as can be crammed onto a whiteboard, even today.
So you know where I'm coming from:
  • I'm a user, not an L&L employee.
  • Mac Scrivener 3.0.3, MacBook Air 11, MacOS 10.13.6 (High Sierra)
  • IOS Scrivener 1.1.5, iPhone 6s, iPad Air 2, iOS 12.0

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GeoffHyde
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Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:43 am Post

100% agreement has been reached :D Just as Scrivener's outliner lets you reveal as many levels as you wish, it seems odd not to allow that in the corkboard.

Have you brought this up in any wishlist posts yourself? I found another discussion of related ideas here:
http://www.literatureandlatte.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=24029&hilit=corkboard+fold

There's also some interesting tricks here I did not know about:
http://www.literatureandlatte.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=27304&p=175345&hilit=corkboard+show+all+cards#p175345

For example:

    1. Holding CMD down, while selecting multiple Binder items, allows you to open multiple corkboards, divided by lines, sort of like Scrivenings for the corkboard.

    2. MimeticMouton's post about using split windows to see two corkboard levels at once

Tricks 1 and 2 can be combined, so that, if you use the Binder Folders to represent "Level 1" of your index card hierarchy (and assuming one is likely to be able to remember synopsis-relevant info for Level 1 items), then you can basically show the important index card information for three levels:

Image

It's not as good as a full freeform multilevel corkboard, but it's getting a lot closer to it than I had ever imagined was possible.



Maybe this monitor? https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017/12/lg-teases-a-monstrous-34-inch-5k-219-monitor-ahead-of-ces/

PS I finally understand now what you were saying about Scapple having two levels of info too. I hadn't used it at all for OPML import into Scrivener, and when I recently started experimenting, I was only using Notes with a single line. So I never got to see that any subsequent lines would be sent to the Synopsis. So I understand the original request better now.