Entering data

7. Entering data in BrainStorm is a little different...

The first thing you should know about BrainStorm is that you do not need to see a text cursor prior to entering text.

To enter data just start typing. Your text will appear above the currently selected entry.

Or, you can copy and paste from a variety of sources that contain textual information, e.g. the Web, word processor documents, PDF documents and so on. Again, the pasted text, which will be created as one entry per paragraph, will be inserted above the selected entry.

BrainStorm offers a number of paste options, the best of which is Magic paste. When this is activated, the textual element of anything you copy from any screen of any program is automatically stored in BrainStorm with or without useful separators at the start of each block of pasted information.

With Web pages, BrainStorm strips out the textual elements, ignoring the mark-up information and images. It also does a good job of identifying entries (ie paragraphs) and just generally making the result readable and usable. You can even set BrainStorm to recognise an outline and store the incoming material hierarchically.

By the way, BrainStorm's File Open command will intelligently extract text from all sorts of files.

Back to keying in by hand: if a list is empty, a marker entry icon (it has a dot on it), gives you a focal point for new entries.

To edit an entry, press [Tab] or F2.

To complete an entry, press [Enter].

If you want to divide an entry into two entries, press Ctrl+[Enter] and if you want to join two entries together, go to the beginning or the end and press [Bksp] or [Del].

BrainStorm will ask your permission to continue if you are trying to do something potentially harmful, like merge separate entries each of which has descendants.

If you want to break an entry into multiple paragraphs or lines, shift+[Enter] will insert a line/paragraph break without beginning a new entry.

Next: Reorganising your entries...