Sunday, March 31, 2019

Selection List, Features in TheBrain

What is the Selection List and why would it ever be used?

As a Brain database grows, there will be times when you will need to mass edit thoughts, links, or other data associated with thoughts.  When the selection list is activated, it will automatically appear in on the left side of the screen.

Selection List with three items in it
The Selection list with 3 selected items

Within the working window, the thoughts selected will have dashed outlines.
Three selected thoughts
Dashed lines around Thoughts that are selected
The use of the Selection List can be a powerful feature when you have a Brain database with more and more thoughts.

How to add and remove from the Selection List

Adding thoughts to the Selection List

Thoughts can be added via multiple methods
  • With the mouse
    • Add Thougths one at a time
      • ⌘-Click on the thought name in MacOS
      • Ctrl-Click on the thought name in Windows
    • Selecting a group of thoughts
      • ⌘-Click and Drag to select Thoughts in MacOS
      • Ctrl-Click and Drag to select Thoughts in Windows
    • Add all the Parents, Jump, or Child Thoughts attached to a given Thought:
      • ⌘-Click the Parent, Jump, or Child Gate for the respective direction in MacOS
      • Ctrl-Click the Parent, Jump, or Child Gate for the respective direction in MacOS
  • From the Edit Menu
    • By choosing Select Related Thoughts from the Edit menu, a large number of Thoughts can be added from the direction of the Parent, Jump, and/or Child Gates.
Select Related Thoughts Dialog
Select Related Thoughts Dialog

  • Search
    • Using the Search Textbox narrow the results down to the items you want to add to Selection List.
    • Open the popup menu in the search results dialog and click "Add Search Results to Selection" accessed by clicking the "☰" button.

  • The Report
    • If not already open, click the "Report" button 
  • Manipulate the report options until the Thoughts, Thought Tags, and Thought Types desired are in the results section.
  • Once the desired results are shown select "Add All to Selection" from the popup menu accessed by clicking the "☰" button
  • The Selection List popup Menu


    • If you any Thought added to the Selection List that has a Child Thought you can select "Show Common Children." 

  • This will bring up a popup dialog like the one below:


    • Clicking on a "common child Thought" in the list makes it the active Thought
    • "Replace selection" replaces any Thoughts in the Selection List with the Thoughts in the "common child Thoughts" list
    • "Expand generations from $x to $y" will add one generation of children to the "common child Thoughts" list.  
      • This is a one-way operation and will increase one generation deeper every time it is clicked
  • If only two Thoughts are in the Selection list "Select Path Between" becomes available.  Clicking this option will add all Thoughts between the original two Thoughts. 


Removing thoughts from the Selection List

Repeating any of the "addition" steps above will remove items from the selection list.  But you can also remove all items by clicking the X in the upper right-hand corner of the Selection List.

What can be added to the Selection List?

Now that multiple Thoughts are selected what can be done?

Once you have filled the Selection List with the Thoughts, Thought Types, and Thought Tags wanted a right click on the selection list will bring up a popup menu.


The popup menu options are as follows:

  • Copy $X thoughts
    • This is an excellent way to copy Thoughts from one Brain to another
    • Remember: Copying Thoughts from one part of a Brain to another Thought of the same Brain will duplicate thoughts.  It is recommended to link the existing Thoughts to the new part of the brain - see "Link Selection as $X" Below.
  • Copy as Text Outline
    • When pulling data out of TheBrain, this option will provide a hierarchical text that can be pasted into other software
  • Copy as Text Outline with Notes
    • Just as with the "Copy as Text Outline" option this allows pulling text data out of TheBrain however if you have notes attached to a Thought they will appear as children to their related thoughts.
  • Forget $X Thoughts
    • This will cause all thoughts in the Selection List to be forgotten.  You can still recover them if you need to.
  • Set Selection Tags
    • Selecting a Thought Tag from the popup menu will add that Thought Tag to all Thoughts in the Selection List.  If a Thought has already been assigned that Thought Tag it will not be altered
      • I often use this when I decide to add a new Thought Tag.  This allows me to quickly add that Thought Tag to most of the Thoughts that it should be applied to... I don't always get all of them, but enough to allow my future searches to be relevant
    • If all Thoughts in the Selection List have the same Thought Tags, a check will appear next to the common Thought Tags.  Selecting a Thought Tag with a check next to it will remove that Thought Tag from all the thoughts in the Selection List
  • Set Selection Thought Type
    • As one would expect this sets the Thought Type of all the thoughts in the Selection List.
      • This is very useful when moving thoughts from one Brain to another with different Thought Types in each Brain.
  • Set Selection Privacy
    • Use this option to set all items in the selection list to public or private
  • Unlink Selection
    • This option will remove any links between any of the thoughts in the Selection List.  Warning this can lead to orphaned Thoughts
  • Link Selection as Children of "$ActiveThought"
    • To make all Thoughts in the Selection List a child of the current Active Thought.  Note if any Thought in the Selection List is a Jump Thought or a Parent Thought they will be converted to a Child Thought of the Active Thought
  • Link Selection as Parents of "$ActiveThought"
    • To make all the thoughts in the Selection List Parents of the current Active Thought chose this option.  Like before any Thought that was a Child Thought or Jump Thought of the Active Thought will no longer be after this option is selected
  • Link Selection as Jumps of "$ActiveThought"
    • Selecting this option will connect all the Thoughts in the Selection List to the Jump Thought Gate for the current Active Thought.  As expected any Thoughts that were Parent or Child Thoughts will now be Jump Thoughts.
  • Show Common Children 

  • If you any Thought added to the Selection List that has a Child Thought you can select "Show Common Children" 

  • This will bring up a popup dialog like the one below:

    • Clicking on a "common child Thought" in the list makes it the active Thought
    • "Replace selection" replaces any Thoughts in the Selection List with the Thoughts in the "common child Thoughts" list
    • "Expand generations from $x to $y" will add one generation of children to the "common child Thoughts" list.  
      • This is a one-way operation and will increase one generation deeper every time it is clicked
  • Select Path Between
    • If only two Thoughts are in the Selection list "Select Path Between" becomes available.  Clicking this option will add all Thoughts between the original two Thoughts. 

Additional Information

For additional information here are some links from TheBrain Technologies:

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