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New Topicscape Beta means new help for information managers

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A new Topicscape Pro Beta (1.51) was put up online on the 30th April (and a first revision is up today). It is ready for download by all full license holders and Beta Users. This Beta expires on 29th June, and well before that time we hope to release the live version of Topicscape Pro 1.5.

This is how the new Topicscape Beta can now help you manage your information in its 3D mindmaps:

Duplicate checking
Now you can drag in one or more files to Topicscape, drop it on the new ?=? panel and see which files are already in the current Topicscape. Shows size in bytes, colors different size or date in red, points out if the duplicate in that Topicscape is actually a missing occurrence file, and shows which topic it is in. Then it allows you to control what to do next, one by one (replace, delete the external one or bring it in anyway). This is really useful if you are tidying up multiple copies of different versions of documents that should already be in a Topicscape.

Quickopen introduced
In any topic, you can now “promote” one occurrence. This will show the icon for that occurrence above the cone in the ‘Scape, allowing you to click once on that icon to open the document in the application of the occurrence. Naturally a ‘fileless occurrence’ may not be promoted in this way, nor may an occurrence that has no application associated with it on your PC. Occurrences with no associated application show the default Microsoft ‘unknown file’ icon.

Association type visibility
When association types were introduced in the previous Beta, to see them, you would click and hold on an association line. That would show the Association Details Panel and allow you to read and edit the association text (and the topic names). [Reminder – association types are the verb phrases you can now add between topics. For example, “is the capital of” may be an association type between topics France and Paris.]

We have continued our planned implementation of Association types and now this new beta provides other ways of viewing them that you will want to use when you are just viewing them, not editing. Hover over and association line and you will see a blue hint expressing the full association phrases. If you have not edited these, they will just say, for example, France is a parent of Paris, and Paris is a child of France. If you have edited them, they might say France has its seat of government in Paris, and Paris is the capital of France.

You can also opt to see Association types as strong blue panels in the ‘Scape when you click on a topic. You will see the association type for the connection between the selected topic and its parent(s). You will only see this if a) you have edited the standard association types (the default “is parent of” and “is child of”) and if b) the new checkbox in Tools | Options | User Preferences | Miscellaneous operations | Suppress standard association types is checked (ticked).

There’s an option to see all associations at one time: press Shift+F7 once. This will toggle on all association lines and their descriptions, subject to b) just mentioned above. Press Shift+F7 again to toggle this off.

Association-types search
There is now a checkbox on the Advanced Search panel to make the search look in association types. The example just mentioned would be found if you search for “capital” and checked the “association types” checkbox.

Association-types to FreeMind and back
Our implementation of FreeMind round trips has been further enhanced to include association-type texts. These won’t be immediately visible in FreeMind, they are stored as attributes, because FreeMind makes mind maps, not concept maps, so does not have association types. But storing them in the attributes means that re-importing an exported FreeMind back into Topicscape will preserve any association types you have added.

Coming up!
Soon we shall be releasing a Beta that supports tagging topics and occurrences and filtering the visible topics by tags.

Please give us your feedback about the new Beta!

Thanks

Roy

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