• Editor Rating

  • Rated 4 stars
  • Excellent

  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: Nov 9, 2013

Review Summary:

PROS: Interesting to use. Can be very helpful. Affordable.

CONS: Learning curve. Confusing for a complete beginner.


Scapple 1If you take a look at the Mac App Store, you’ll see that it’s becoming overcrowded with mind-mapping applications. These applications are used to present an idea visually, or to draw diagrams to outline an idea. Actually, there are many different uses for these applications, so in case you decide to try one out and invest some time in learning some of its tricks, you might be surprised how helpful a mind-mapping app can be.

Probably the best known mind-mapping app is OmniGraffle, which is priced at $100, which means this is well rounded professional-grade application. For someone who’s still trying to enter a world of mind-mapping, there are numerous simple apps which are providing all the needed tools to get the job started.

In this article you’ll be able to read about Scapple, which is a promising free-form mind-mapping app, and which is priced at $15. This application comes from developers who created well-known Scrivener, which can be used to write comprehensive writing projects. This was an application which received Editors’ Choice Award back in 2010, so it’s very promising at a first glimpse.

Scapple 2

According to its developers, Scapple is a freeform, nonlinear, mind-mapping text editor. What this means in practice is that you get to use a blank sheet of paper which can be used to freely draw any idea you might be considering at the moment. Most other mind-mapping tools use hierarchal system to keep thing clear and in order, while Scapple is freeform and completely open to your editing.

As we said earlier, once you open Scapple you’ll get to use a blank canvas. Simply double click anywhere and you’ll add a new note. After you’ve added a few notes, you’ll want to connect them and this can be done simply by dragging them on top of each other. The same procedure can be done if you’d like to disconnect two or more notes. By default, Scapple will draw a dotted line as a connection between notes, but as you’ll see in its preferences, you can use different keyboard shortcuts to get different styles. For example, if you hold the Option key while you’re dragging a note, you’ll end up with a directional arrow. There are also different key combinations if you’d like to change a direction of that line, or if you’d like to get an arrow on both ends.

Scapple also uses a large set of key combinations to connect a bunch of notes. For example, you’ll be able to create and easily edit stack of notes, and then connect these stacks. The same goes for all kinds of background shapes which are used to visually present different aspects of an idea.

Even though this all might sound a bit confusing, this is usual for any mind-mapping editor. These are very interesting and unique applications which are crated to help you fully explore an idea. And you’ll be able to freely do this using Scapple, which is the perfect choice for an entry level mind-mapping editor.

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