"Can't I skip all this and just get started?"

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(Go to:Topicscape Pro User Guide - contents list)

Here's how to get started quickly

There's a Quickstart guide that will walk you through setting up a sample (and very simple) Topicscape. It's under Topicscape Pro's entry in the Programs menu.

Before leaving here, it's best to know this:

  1. Right-click on almost anything in 3D Topicscape and a pop-up menu (a.k.a. context menu) appears. This is often the easiest way to get things done at first, though later you may want to master some of the keyboard shortcuts.
  2. Drag and drop works almost everywhere -- drag files, folders, occurrences and the green dot that appears when you click and drag from a topic.
  3. 2D or 3D, you have a choice: You can view Topicscapes as 2D maps, or 3D landscapes. Try both - there's button to switch quickly between them at the left of the toolbar. After a new installation, Topicscape starts in 2D until you change it.
  4. Controls, you have a choice: 2D map operation offers Cooliris-like flying or an alternative. 3D landscape offers Google-Earth-like flying or classic 3D Topicscape controls.
  5. Demos appear when you first run Topicscape after installation. They show flight and main operations. The offer to show them can be switched off and they can be run at any time from the Help menu.
  6. Flying in the 2D map is controlled by the cursor keys or the mouse.
    • When flying with the mouse, just click on the background and drag. The angle and length of the drag sets the speed and direction.
    • To see the flight controls in detail, see XXX
    • Backspace tracks you back where you just came from (even flying) and
    • Shift+Backspace lets you forward track again if you just Backspaced.
  7. Flying in the 3D landscape is controlled by the cursor keys or the mouse, combined with the Shift, Alt and Control keys.
    • When flying with the mouse, just click on the field and drag. The angle and length of the drag sets the speed and direction -- try this while holding Shift, Alt and Control keys.
    • To see the flight controls in detail, see p.83.
    • Backspace tracks you back where you just came from (even flying) and
    • Shift+Backspace lets you forward track again if you just Backspaced.
  8. The Home key takes you to a very useful viewpoint after flying: The home position.
  9. Undo and redo (Ctrl+z, Ctrl+y) are available for all operations that change your data.
  10. Click (with the left mouse button) on a topic cone or rectangle to make it the focal point of the landscape or map (the Current Topic).
  11. Hover over a topic cone or rectangle and you'll see an entry point: A red flash on a 3D cone, or a 'peeled-back' corner on a 2D rectangle. Click on that to enter the topic's Topic Center and see its occurrences. There are other ways of seeing the contents.
  12. Searching is started just by typing the words you're looking for -- no other preparation is needed.
  13. When you install 3D Topicscape, it starts in "Limited mode", a mode that hides some of the options that you will probably not need at first. There is more information in the Help system about how to use other modes.
  14. When you first run Topicscape, it will open at the installed sample Topicscape, called "Topicscape in your life".
    • If you accept the offer to show a demo, a quick guide to flying showing the keys that can be used for this appears. This offer will be shown each time you start Topicscape until you click on the "skip flight demo" checkbox on the panel.
    • The panel shows the keys that let you fly around the 2D Map or the 3D landscape ('Scape) depending on which view of Topicscape you've chosen to start with. Select a running speed that you feel comfortable with.
    • This demonstration loops continuously until you press the Stop or Next button. "Stop" will autohide the panel but allow you to view it quickly while you are trying out the controls yourself. To see it again, hover the cursor over the blue strip that remains in view. You can run any of the demos from an item in the Help menu even if you have clicked the "Don't show this again" checkbox.
  15. After that, you can move onto (or bypass) the operations demo showing the main functions of Topicscape.
  16. To learn more about how Topicscape organizes topics in the view, there are three options:
    • Press Ctrl+A when looking at the Map or 'Scape - this shows the structure (relationship names of all topics to the Current Topic); It will time out after 5 seconds and again show your own topic names.
    • Run the demonstration explaining multi-parent topics and how they are handled. (Help menu: Demonstrations item | How multi-parent topics work)
    • Or you may also visit the web pages Topicscape 3D mindmap structure explained

Do explore the sample Topicscape "Beginning a personal Topicscape" that was installed with the software, or get down to starting to organize your work, projects, reference material, hobbies and family information with 3D Topicscape. If you like, you can branch out with the larger Topicscape that is also installed: "Topicscape in your life"

Later, please come back here and, at the very least, take a look at Appendix B: Summary of easy steps and shortcuts. Knowing more of these shortcuts will make your use of 3D Topicscape even easier.

The latest version of the Quickstart Guide.

The latest version of the Installation Guide (which also covers re-installation).

In this wiki, wherever the view you are using affects Topicscape's operation, we'll introduce the 2D view first and then the 3D operation in a separate section with links to help you skip around.

There is a Glossary in this wiki.

Space is limited: Images here do not necessarily correspond in clarity to those on a 3D Topicscape screen. Where you see a file path mentioned here, like:

C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\My Topicscapes for Windows XP or 2000 or

C:\Users\<username>\My Topicscapes for Windows 8, 7 and Vista, then "<username>" represents your Windows login name.

Next: 3D Topicscape: Introduction

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