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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    London
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    Default How about a "Scapple-clone" mode for Xara?

    Hello

    For some time now I have wished that Xara could have proper "connectors" between shapes - so that we could move shapes around still keeping them connected (**).

    I've recently been playing with a thing called Scapple, which is both remarkably useful and mind-numbling simple:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvP6c7AFx_c

    What it does is allows you to type text in at speed, using just the keyboard, which it instandly turns into text boxes. You can then drag the text boxes around as required. And what is particularly clever is just how easy it is to connect them. You just drag one box over the top of another (optionally holding down a modifier key like Alt) and.... Pow - job done!

    The big problem with Scapple is that despite much pleading from something of a cult following from knowledge workers (e.g. authors), development stopped 3 years ago at version 1.0.0.0!! And although it does what it does brilliantly, there are rough edges and the formatting is pretty scruffy.

    So I was wondering if there would be any appetite for doing something similar with Xara. Are plugins even possible with Xara? If so maybe someone could develop a Scapple clone mode...

    - Any takers?

    J


    (**) I have also wanted to have lines with arrow heads that actually terminate where the itself line terminates, rather than some seemingly random point beyond the end of the line - but don't get me started...!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Placitas, New Mexico, USA
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    34,199

    Default Re: How about a "Scapple-clone" mode for Xara?

    I moved this post to the Dear Xara forum which is for feature requests and bug reports.

    Unless I am seriously missing the point, you can pretty much do with text what you are describing already. You can stretch a text area and the text reflows to fill the new area. You can click the arrow at the bottom of the text area that has more text than will fit, then click and drag a new text area and the text automatically fills the new area. You can adjust the bottom of each text area and the text automatically fills the new area. You can right click a text area a and select columns, specify a number and your text automatically becomes the number of specified columns. These columns are connected but independent of one another and you can easily reshape one or all columns, move the columns anywhere on the page. In my opinion this is one area that Xara is really good at. But that said, I will have a look at your link.
    Gary W. Priester
    Mr. Moderator Emeritus Dude
    , Sir

    gwpriester.com | Custom-Stereograms.com | eyeTricks on Facebook






  3. #3
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    Default Re: How about a "Scapple-clone" mode for Xara?

    OK I had a look. I think you can do some of these things and others you can't.

    I would rather see support for things like glyph support, master pages, things that are not glamorous but that will help me in my work. But that's just me.
    Gary W. Priester
    Mr. Moderator Emeritus Dude
    , Sir

    gwpriester.com | Custom-Stereograms.com | eyeTricks on Facebook






  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Bella Vista, AR
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    52

    Default Re: How about a "Scapple-clone" mode for Xara?

    Quote Originally Posted by gwpriester View Post
    OK I had a look. I think you can do some of these things and others you can't.

    I would rather see support for things like glyph support, master pages, things that are not glamorous but that will help me in my work. But that's just me.
    Serif had a sort-of passable one in their PagePlus series, and I did use it a whole lot while still working in the corporaty world. Alas, it never worked as well as Visio's....no bridges where connectors cross, for instance. So, it was very easy to lose track of the flow of information. And, PP was never quite smart enough to keep lines from flowing right through some boxes, in a complicated chart. Visio is a master of that. But, I was just fortunate enough to always have access to Visio, which is a bit on the pricey side.

    Very useful in a Publishing program. Not sure I'd use it in a Web Authoring environment, but that's only because it's not a need for the work that I do.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    SW England
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    Default Re: How about a "Scapple-clone" mode for Xara?

    I have used Gliffy, which you can export to SVG.

    Acorn
    Acorn - My current Xara software: XDPX365, XDPX11 (32/64-bit), WD365 Premium, XPGD10, X3D7 and lots of licences back through time (to CC's Artworks)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
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    Harwich, Essex, England
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    Default Re: How about a "Scapple-clone" mode for Xara?

    Good find Acorn
    Egg
    Endangered Species
    HP xw9400 W/S / 2 x Dual Core AMD / RAM 16 GB / 240 GB Kingston SSD / 120 GB Kingston SSD / 500 GB HDD / ATI Radeon HD 5450 / Windows 10 / 64 Bit /
    Xara Designer Pro X (12 or 365)


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    London
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    296

    Default Re: How about a "Scapple-clone" mode for Xara?

    1. Gliffy is quite nice.... Yes, unlike Xara, it uses does use "connectors" so that when you create shapes - that you can filled with text - after you have connected to shapes together using an arrowed line, they can be move around the screen and STAY connected. AFAIK this is simply not possible in Xara.

    But if it could that would be some really nice powerful new whole area of functionality for Xara.


    2. But Gliffy does NOT allow you:
    - to "bang" text in at speed using just the keyboard, directly into separate text boxes that can then be moved around the screen
    - to connect those boxes trivially (e.g. simply by dragging one over the other), you have to go find the right tool.
    - Also the text boxes do not automatically re-size themselves.

    And Xara can do none of the above.

    My simple point is that due to the extreme ease & speed of capturing data into separate boxes, and the extreme ease of then connecting them all sorts of things are possible (e.g. for authors) that would just take too long to do in Xara or the likes of flowchart applications like Gliffy.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    London
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    296

    Default Re: How about a "Scapple-clone" mode for Xara?

    [I don't know if this will work but...]

    OK, here is an animated GIF showing how fast you can bang the text in - as fast as you can type.... and then end up in separate boxes, which can be multi-line.

    And then you can CONNECT them and move any of them around without the connections breaking.

    Another nice feature is the way that they have formed "a stack" whereby if you drag individuals away the text boxes below move up.

    J

    Click image for larger version. 

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    EDIT
    OK talkgraphics don't seem to allow animated GIFs to be uploaded. :^(
    Try this link instead:

    http://giphy.com/gifs/scapple-l0JMdkQTlUyM3FYM8

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    UK
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    15,394

    Default Re: How about a "Scapple-clone" mode for Xara?

    there are size limits 800pix by 800pix and 1MB for the uploaded gif - if any of these are exceeded it will get converted to a jpg [which is what appears to have happened: when you open it, it's a jpg]

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    SW England
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    6,605

    Default Re: How about a "Scapple-clone" mode for Xara?

    Xara's "Bang Text" mode:

    With the Text Tool, just click and type and use typewriting mode (hit the Enter key to end a line and start an new one).
    Click any where and repeat.

    Refinements:

    1. Scribe out a text box first and then type with words wrapping automatically - this allows resizing.

    2. Autocreating bordered boxes that appear on rendering the page:

    Select all your text on the page and apply the Name HTMLBlockText.

    3. In the Page HTML code (head), add:

    <style>
    .xr_tb {
    border:solid black 0.1em;
    /*border-radius*/
    border-radius:0.4em;
    padding:0.2em;
    }
    </style>
    The boxed text so created still does not have any autoconnectors.

    Acorn
    Acorn - My current Xara software: XDPX365, XDPX11 (32/64-bit), WD365 Premium, XPGD10, X3D7 and lots of licences back through time (to CC's Artworks)

 

 

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