Scapple Review – Is It The Mind Mapping Tool You Really Need?

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scapple review

If you don’t know Literature & Latte, you might as well be writing your novel in stone.

Scrivener? You haven’t heard of that? Or tried it?

Well… if you have, then you’d be pleased to hear that Scapple is one of Literature & Latte’s products.

And that is not the only thing that will excite you! Scapple also happens to be one of the best mind mapping software out there.

Mind mapping is a great way to organize your ideas and create a lucid picture that gives you more control over the planning stage of your project.

Scapple makes mind mapping digitally an easy and enjoyable task, and, in this article, I am going to tell you why.

Let’s get started.

What is Scapple?

Scapple is a mind mapping software by Literature & Latte that allows its users to take notes and ideas and create connections between different points or ideas.

Scapple is an effective tool for building mind maps as it allows us to graphically show the connections between different ideas, information, or thoughts that would otherwise be clattered in our brains.

Scapple’s capabilities come in handy when you are brainstorming a novel, screenplay, essay, or planning to write code.

Literature & Latte know that mind mapping is designed to declutter your thoughts, organize, and simplify your plans, so they made Scapple as light as possible.

Scapple doesn’t come with a lot of features, which, for most apps, are unnecessary. In fact, this is one of the reasons why it is a convenient, easy-to-use app.

scapple homepage
A look at the Scapple on the Literature & Latte website.


  • Produces beautiful color-coded mind maps.
  • Customizable. Scapple lets you customize your styles, background, or font and work with different connectors, colors, and shapes.
  • It can link to Scrivener and it is easy to integrate old notes.
  • A generous free trial that can easily last over a month.


  • Offers no support for mobile platforms or Linux.
  • Costly. There are worthy free alternatives.

Scapple Review: Features

Scapple is designed to provide its users with a seamless virtual note-taking page. The app lets you create text, pictures, or links anywhere you want.

All you have to do is double click anywhere to make a note and drag the notes onto each other to make connections.

Scapple also makes your mind mapping easy with a lot of memorable keyboard shortcuts. You can also easily change font styles for the whole project, color code the notes, add borders, ‘magnetize a list, etc.


Well, no one expects a mind mapping app not to have writing capabilities. But we have to add it to the list of features anyway.

Actually, when we talk about most of the other features, we are—in essence—talking about Scapple’s writing capabilities.


scrapple allows you to create notes anywhere and connect them with lines.
Scapple allows you to create notes anywhere and connect them with lines.

The most sought-after feature of any mind mapping software is customization writing.

You have to be able to present your ideas in a virtual space, a space that makes it easy for you or third parties to understand your ideas.

A big part of this is using formatting options like text size, borders, and shape to show how ideas are related to one another.

Scapple has a stylization menu called ‘The Inspector,’ which allows you to tweak your font sizes, add colorful borders, and change text alignment.

Once you have created an appropriate text style, you can modify other important document features such as the background image and determine whether or not there should be borders by default.

And that is not all! In Scapple, you also get a shape drawing tool that helps you group related notes.

Data Import / Export

Scapple works with different types of content; whether it is pictures, math equations, text files, or PDFs. This flexibility is one of the reasons that sets it apart from other apps.

You can import this content into your Scapple mind map by dragging it over the Scapple window. Then, you can work on your imported file or text with the scapple interface—you can resize or drag it to where you want it to be.

And when you are done with your notes, you can export the project file or print them. The file can be exported to a PDF, PNG, or text file ready for printing.

You can also drag your Scapple notes directly into Scrivener’s binder or corkboard.


it is entirely up to you to determine which notes have connections and which do not.
It is entirely up to you to determine which notes have connections and which do not.

Scapple has a handful of features that help you navigate easily. Apart from the easy-to-use drag and drop feature, scapple also has a zoom slider on the bottom left of its interface and keyboard shortcuts.

Some of the handy shortcuts include cmd+up for zooming in gradually and cmd+down for zooming out gradually. You can also hold down ‘Z’ to zoom out everything.

To move around your notes, you can hold down the spacebar and use your mouse to scroll around the notes.

How Much Does Scapple Cost?

Literature & Latte offers the following Scapple pricing plans:

Free trial

30-day free trial.

*All paid plans are a one-time payment package for the current version.

Scapple Standard License for macOS

A license for the full version of Scapple for macOS costs $18. The current version is compatible with macOS 10.11+.

Scapple Educational License for macOS

This License is only available to students & academics and costs $14.40. This version requires institutional affiliation.

Scapple Standard License for Windows

A license for the full version of Scapple for Windows costs $18. The current version requires Windows 7 SP1+ with .NET Framework 4.6.2+.

Scapple Educational License for Windows

This is only available to students & academics who want to use Scapple on Windows. It costs $14.40 and requires institutional affiliation. On system requirements, the current version requires Windows 7 SP1+ with .NET Framework 4.6.2+.

How Scapple Works

Using Scapple is pretty easy, the learning curve is almost flat.

The first thing you see when you open Scapple is a two-line instruction in the center of your new document.

Double-click anywhere to create a note. Drag notes onto one another to make connections.

a quick guide on how to use scapple
A quick guide on how to use scapple.

And that’s almost all you need to know.

Once you double-click and write a note, press ‘Escape’ to exit the editing mode for that note. To delete a note, just click on it, and hit the delete button.

We all know that mind maps need to show connections between brainstorming ideas/items and mind mapping.

So, to make these connections, you just drag one note onto the other. These connections will have to change over time and the link will get complex, there are a couple of things to alter the connections:

  • To remove/delete a connection, just drag one note onto the other again.
  • To create a connection with an arrow, hold down the option/alt key and drag the note onto another. If you hold down option+cmd the arrow will point in the opposite direction. Shift+cmd will result in a bidirectional arrow.
  • If you click on a connection, a new note is created in between the two connecting notes.

To add some embellishments and supporting content, you will need to import files or just tweak the font.

To add images, equations, text files, and PDFs, just open the containing folder and drag them into your Scapple document. To fit your maps, Scapple allows you to resize imported images or split your imported text.

You can also use Scapple’s inspector (option+cmd+I) to change alignment, font size, font color, border size, border color, etc.

When you’re done, you export the file (text, PNG, pdf) and drag it into scrivener.

Here’s a video that will make everything easier for you!

Scapple FAQs

Does Scapple have a trial version?

Yes, you can try Scapple before buying.

If you don’t have a Scapple license, the app will automatically run in trial mode. The trial version, which lasts for 30 days, has the same features as the full version.

Do I need different licenses for each platform?

Unfortunately, Literature & Latte offers separate licenses for each of the two supported platforms. That means that if you purchase Scapple for Windows, you will have to buy another license (for macOS) to use on a Mac.

Literature & Latte claims that they offer single-platform licenses to make the app fairly priced for users who want to run it on one operating system only.

However, Literature & Latte also offers a “household” Scapple license, which allows users to install Scapple on multiple devices.

Does Literature & Latte offer Scapple refunds?

Yes. Literature & Latte offers full refunds within 30 days of purchase. If you are not satisfied with the 30-day free trial, you can demand a refund.

However, if you purchase Scapple from Apple’s App Store, your refund will be handled by Apple, so all your refund queries can be dealt with by Apple directly, not Literature & Latte.

Does Scapple offer updates for free?

Yes and no. Literature & Latte only offers free updates if the software update is minor. For example, if you purchase Scapple 1.2.6 and they update it to 1.2.7, you can get it for free.

However, if they release Scapple 2, then you would have to pay for the upgrade. The good thing is that Literature & Latte does not release paid updates often but focuses on minor updates.

scabble on literature & latte
Scapple on Literature & Latte.

Final Words on Scapple

Mind maps are a great way of organizing your ideas and turning them into something solid.

Creating mind maps in your notebook is okay—and, sometimes, fun—but software apps take mind mapping to a whole different level.

And there aren’t many as special as Scapple.

Not only does Scapple give you more control over the creation of the mind maps, but it also makes it easy to use them in other writing software programs.

And I’m not talking about scrivener only, PNGs, text files, and PDFs, there are countless other writing apps that you can import your mind maps into.

On top of the mind mapping benefits, the structure of Scapple’s pricing plans means you don’t have to worry about paying for the tool every month or year.

Photo of author


Jessica started off as an avid book reader. After reading one too many romance novels (really... is it ever really enough?), she decided to jump to the other side and started writing her own stories. She now shares what she has learned (the good and the not so good) here at When You Write, hoping she can inspire more up and coming wordsmiths to take the leap and share their own stories with the world.