Importing from PersonalBrain

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


  1. If you are about to import a large Brain, and you use any indexing software like Windows Desktop Search, or Google Desktop, please turn it off or even unload it from memory until the export from Brain and the import to Topicscape is complete.
    With a big Brain, any such service will spend a lot of time indexing intermediate files that are shortly going to disappear, taking up memory, disk capacity and processor power, and generally wasting your time. You can restart the indexer when the Topicscape has been made and the indexes will then be limited to useful material.
  2. If you run autobackup software, turn it off to avoid backing up large intermediate files.
  3. If for security or privacy your PB files or Topicscapes are held in encrypted directories, that will add a lot to export and import times. You may want to consider decrypting the folder for the Brain being exported, and the folder in which you tell PB to place the exported file.

IMPORTANT: When exporting the .pba file from PersonalBrain, don't close PB too soon!

There is no clear indication that the PersonalBrain export has finished. Although an 'i' button appears at the top right of the PB window and shows progress in extracting, there is a compression phase that follows and this has no progress indicator or hourglass to show that it has not finished.

There is no easy, clear-cut answer to this other than to watch for a new folder in the destination folder. The extraction process makes this folder to contain all the files and other data to be included in the output PBA file. It then compresses this folder and deletes it.

Deletion signifies completion of the export process.

If you close PB early, and try to import the PBA file into Topicscape, it will fail.

Choose your version

Go here for details of how to import from PersonalBrain 4 or 5 and here for the steps to import from PersonalBrain 3

What Topicscape Pro does with the new Brain information

Once the Link Thought Labels, Types and Tags, and Link Labels and Types are in Topicscape, you can search for them.

To do this, you must select the All topic details checkbox in the Advanced Search panel. PB only shows at most one Label and one Type per Thought. It also shows either one Label or one Type per Link, but not both.

Tags are searchable only for the present. We already have an internal working Beta with full tag filtering, tag addition and removal, tag cloud, file tags and search capability, but the present Live Topicscape has only topic tags and the search capability, to ensure that your PB tags will not be lost when you import to Topicscape.

Changing Labels and Types after import

You may update Thought Labels and Types. To change them, select the relevant topic and click on the Description text field in the Details Panel. It will turn white ready for text editing. Press Shift+F2. The panel for editing long descriptions will appear. At its foot will be the Label and Type, and these can be edited as usual.

Next in "Importing": Importing from MindManager

Next main topic: Exporting from Topicscape

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