FAQ

The following is intended to provide answers to many of the questions you might have about the “Idea Shuffler” software. If you don’t find the answer you are looking for here or in the “User’s Guide,” go to our Support/Contact page on the “Idea Shuffler” website and send us your question.

Versions:

What is the difference between the “Idea Shuffler” Pro version and the Free version? 

The Pro version allows you to add up to 20 concepts on a diagram with unlimited layers and gives you priority when asking for support.

The Free version provides the same capabilities as the Pro version except it only allows you to add 10 concepts on a diagram with unlimited layers. You can view diagrams with up to 20 concepts on a diagram, but you cannot modify the diagram.

Models:

What does an “Idea Shuffler” model consist of?

An “Idea Shuffler” model consists of a diagram or inter-connected diagrams that are in the same “Models” folder along with a “Documents” folder that has their associated documents.

Are there any rules for naming the folder I put my model in?

Make the folder name descriptive of your model. It can be any valid folder name for your operating system.

Diagrams:

Where is my diagram? 

“Idea Shuffler” diagrams are always in a sub-folder called “Models.” If you save a diagram into a folder that does not have a “Models” sub-folder, the “Idea Shuffler” will create a sub-folder called “Models” in that folder and put the diagram in it.

What is the filename extension for “Idea Shuffler” diagrams? 

“vcat”

Can I open an “Idea Shuffler” diagram file by double-clicking the filename? 

No, diagram files must be opened from the “Idea Shuffler” application’s “Load Model” button on the “Main User Input Window.” You cannot open a diagram by double-clicking the filename.

What diagram is opened when I open the “Idea Shuffler” application? 

When you open the “Idea Shuffler” application, the last displayed diagram is opened, even if you had not saved it before exiting the “Idea Shuffler.”

What happens to my work if I close the “Idea Shuffler” without saving my model? 

The next time you open the “Idea Shuffler,” the last diagram you were working on will be opened, whether you saved it or not. The diagram is not saved to the diagram file in the “Models” folder until you explicitly save it.

How many concepts are allowed on one “Idea Shuffler” diagram? 

You can add up to 20 concepts with the Pro version. You can add up to 10 concepts with the Free version.

How many associations are allowed on one “Idea Shuffler” diagram? 

Each concept on a diagram can have an association from and to any other concept on the diagram.

Layers:

What are layers?

Layers are diagrams that are formed by connecting diagrams that are in the same “Models” folder together with concepts.

How many layers can I have?

You can have as many layers as you want, so there is no limit to the size of project you can model with the “Idea Shuffler.”

Do layers have to be in the same folder?

Yes, you can only connect diagrams together that are in the same folder.

How do I create a layer?

You Double-Left-Click a concept and you go to a layer (diagram) with that concept name. If the diagram does not exist, you will be asked if you want to create it. Note: The concept name used to name a diagram layer is the first line of text of the concept.

How do I go back a layer?

Left-Click the “Up 1 Layer” button on the “Main User Input Window” to go back one layer (diagram).

Why does the “Idea Shuffler” software change what it calls the top layer from time to time?

The last diagram loaded is always considered the top layer.

Models are loaded in two ways:

  1. Opening the “Idea Shuffler,” which automatically loads the diagram you were last working on when you exited the software.
  2. Selecting a diagram to load with the “Load Model” button on the “Main User Input Window.” Note: Diagrams have a “vcat” file extension and are located in a folder named “Models.”

Documents:

What documents are available to me?

Each diagram and concept can have their own document as described below.

  • Left-Click the “Document” button on the “Main User Input Window” to open the document associated with the displayed diagram. If the document does not exist, a blank document will be opened.
    1. The document has a filename with the same name as the diagram.
    2. The document is opened with the application associated with an “rtf” file extension.
  • Right-Click a concept on a diagram and the document associated with the concept will open. If the document does not exist, a blank document will be opened.
    1. The filename of the document has the same name as the concept (i.e. the first line of text of the concept).
    2. A concept name with extra spaces will be considered different than a concept name without the same spaces.
    3. Concepts with the same name, but in different diagrams, are considered the same concept and will have the same document.
    4. The concept document is opened with the application associated with an “rtf” file extension.

Where are my documents located?

All documents are in a subfolder of the “Models” folder named “Documents.”

What application is used for diagram and concept documents?

The application your operating system opens with a file extension of “rtf.”

Pictures:

What application opens to print my diagrams when I click the “Print” button on the “Main User Input Window”?

The application your operating system opens for a file extension corresponding to your picture: jpeg, png, or tiff.

How do I get picture files of my diagrams?

When you click the “Print” button on the “Main User Input Window,” a picture file of the diagram will automatically be placed in a subfolder of the “Models” folder named “Pictures.”

What format are the pictures in?

Pictures are in jpeg, png, or tiff format depending on the print format settings.

Software Bugs:

There are no known bugs in the software that affect diagrams, layers, documents, or pictures.

  • The following abnormal windows behavior can occasionally occur:
    1. The menu window loses focus and disappears. Solution: Left-Click an empty space in the diagram and press the letter ‘b’ 2 or more times to bring the window back. Note: This is the same thing you would do if you had minimized the window.

If you observe any other abnormal behavior, go to our Support/Contact page on the “Idea Shuffler” website and send us a message describing the problem.

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