Topic Center

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


To see more detailed information you have on a topic, you can visit its Topic Center. To go there, you can click on a topic's peeled corner or red flash. This applies to a rectangle, cone or pyramid, or a topic item in one of the Lists or the Pending Tray. You can also right-click on a topic and select Go to Topic Center from the pop-up menu. If the topic is already selected, you can just press Enter.

On the right of the Topic Center window you will see the occurrence list, on the left the Navigation Panel (see Navigation Panel).

There is also an optional file preview pane (see Preview Panel). To go back to the Map or 'Scape, press Backspace or double right-click on an empty part of the wall or the floor.

Occurrences list

This is headed "Occurrences", "Files" and "Occurrence Dates". Each column here is resizable and changes in column width will remain in effect from run to run.

Double-click on an occurrence entry to open up that occurrence's file. If it is a pointer to a folder, that folder will open in Windows Explorer.

If you click on the top of a column, the occurrence list will be sorted in ascending sequence of that column. If it is sorted in ascending order of that column already, the order will switch to descending instead.

When you open an occurrence, make a change and then save it, the date last modified is amended, but you will not see the change until the screen is refreshed with function key F5, or until that Topic Center is re-entered later.

There are many functions accessible from the context menu that pops up when you right-click an occurrence. One that is not described elsewhere is 'Properties'. This is used to find if other occurrences are linked to the same file. You can also ask Topicscape to display the Windows properties of that file, using a button on the Topicscape occurrence properties panel.

Details Panel in the Topic Center

This appears in the Topic Center, as well as in the Map or 'Scape window (see the main Details Panel entry). It can be minimized and dragged around.


As you select an occurrence in the occurrence list, or topic in the Loose Associates list, the Details Panel will show information about the selected item. An orange line joins the Details Panel to the item that it is describing. If nothing is selected, it shows the details for the topic whose center you entered.

Navigation Panel

This part of the Topic Center allows you to see topics that you have previously decided are loosely associated


(see Tunneling through to more ideas) with the topic who's Topic Center you are viewing. It also shows the Parent/Child Map, which gives a view of where this topic sits in the Topicscape: All of its parents and children are visible (or you can scroll them into view if there are many).

Clicking a topic in the map shows that topic's attributes in the details panel; double clicking goes to that topic's Topic Center; Backspace returns to the previous Topic Center.

Preview Panel

The preview panel can be seen almost anywhere you see an occurrence, though Windows does not support previews for all file types.

It can show thumbnails of many filetypes including common image formats, pdf files (though not all variations), text and Microsoft Office files. Web file previews including HTML, MHT and Internet shortcuts require Windows XP - see below.

Microsoft Office does not make thumbnails automatically and you need to take the following steps before you will see these:

Pre-Office 2007 previews

1. In each MS Office component, go to Tools | Options | Save | Prompt for document properties. You will only need to do this once for each component.

2. When you save a new MS Office document for the first time, you will see the Properties panel. Click on the checkbox "Save preview picture". After saving with this option checked on, you will see a preview of the first page in the TopicCenter's preview pane.

Office 2007 and after previews

1. When you save a new MS Office document for the first time, click the Office Button; the follow Prepare | Properties | Document Properties | Advanced Properties | Summary | click on the checkbox "Save preview picture". After saving with this option checked on, you will see a preview of the first page in the TopicCenter's preview pane. Unfortunately, in Office 2007, this needs to be done individually for each document.

There are various controls in Topicscape's Options panel that affect the behavior of the preview. Please refer to the section about the Preview Panel controls.

Preview limitation in Windows Vista, 7 and 8

Web pages cannot be previewed in Windows Vista, 7 and 8. Topicscape retrieves preview images from Windows, and while Windows XP provided these for Internet Shortcuts, MHT and HTML files, Windows Vista, 7 and 8 do not. We assume this is for security or performance reasons.

Toolbar in the Topic Center

Please refer to Toolbar.

Use of keys in the Topic Center

Flying in the Topic Center

You do not have access to full 3D flight in the Topic Center, but you can slide left and right with the arrow keys or a mouse drag. You can return to the neutral position by pressing the 'Home' key.

The End key has more than one use

Pressing the keyboard's End key while in the Topic Center will do one of two things: If an occurrence is selected (and therefore highlighted) it will move the highlight to the last occurrence in that topic.

If no occurrence is selected, it will take you to the Hit and History Lists viewing point, just as it does when you are viewing the Map or 'Scape.

Shift+End also has two functions here.

If an occurrence is selected, Shift+End will extend the selection from the selected item to the last occurrence in that topic.

If no occurrence is selected, Shift+End will quickly show more of the file list by jumping right. This is a shortcut - you can achieve the same affect by holding down the right arrow cursor key.

Other positioning keys in Topic Center

Provided at least one occurrence is selected, Home, Shift+Home, Page Up and Page Down, Shift+Page Up and Shift+Page Down, and End and Shift+End, all in the occurrences list more or less as they do in MS Windows Explorer, moving up and down the list and selecting occurrences.

Sorting occurrences

In a way similar to Windows Explorer,clicking the title bar at the head of a column, causes the list to be sorted by the items in that column.

Sorting occurrences by color

There is a button called "Color sort" in the title bar of the occurrences list. When pressed it groups any color-marked occurrences together according to their colors. If they were sorted on something else at the time, it will put the colored ones first. Any gray (Finished with) items remain at the foot of the list.

Next: What you can do

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