Searching by concept
Previous: Topic Center search
- Concept Search
What it does for you: When you cannot remember, or do not know, the keywords that will locate a document or item of information lets you view topics and drill down by flying, zooming and changing Current Topics as you get closer to the target topic or occurrence. Also gives you a way of asking: "Show me everything I have about..." some topic, sub-division of a project or task.
Where it looks: Anywhere you fly.
How to start it: Start the appropriate Topicscape, then either do a search or select "Home" from the Favorites menu and start drilling down from there.
You will search by concept when a word search doesn't produce the hit you want, and perhaps when you're looking for just the right place for a new item for one of your Topicscapes.
There are two ways you can do this. If you are in the right area already, you can fly around with the mouse, or cursor keys, combined with the Shift, Ctrl and Alt keys. This gives easy options for flying, climbing, descending, zooming, slewing sideways and rotating. The Enlarger (please see Draggable true-magnifier -- the Enlarger) is useful too. Having a mouse with a wheel gives you more options. The flight controls are described in Controls you can use.
If you reach a dead end, examine the parents of topics for clues and don't forget the loosely associated topics that appear in tunnels (see Tunneling through to more ideas). Right click the topic and select 'View tunnel' to see these.
The other approach is to choose a topic that is closest in concept to the item you are looking for and make it the Current Topic.
This will reveal lower details of the topics associated with that one, as children, grandchildren and so on. Again you can fly around to explore or choose another topic to make current. Don't forget to search up as well as down. Topicscape's ability to have many parents for a topic can help you to find topics that reference material organized under a strict hierarchy would keep hidden. To make a topic into the Current Topic, simply right-click on it and select 'Make Current' from the menu that appears. In the worst case, you would start at the Home topic (Favorites | Topics | - Home: <topic name>).