Output options

9. Output options...

BrainStorm gives you a number of different ways to output your BrainStorm models:

Save and Publish HTML

Save (in BrainStorm's native .brn format). A saved file can be opened by any BrainStorm user or viewed through a separately-licenced Java browser. This latter option is sometimes taken up by organisations who want to display their web-server-based BrainStorm models to visitors to their websites.

Publish HTML (this produces an HTML and JavaScript version of the model which can be read by anyone with a web browser). This is a one-click operation. You may include HTML tags if you wish, which gives you the ability to include links to other web pages, pictures and so on.

Both Save and Publish HTML store the entire model and preserve the internal linkages between entries.

An option in Publish HTML allows you to output just a plain HTML document - ideal for reading into other programs.

Write and Print

Write (this stores all, or selected parts, of a model in a .txt format which can be read by many other applications). It can output it as a file or to the clipboard, ready for pasting into another program.

Print (this prints all, or selected parts, of a model).

Write and Print allow you to do the following useful things:

Output all of the model or from a selected entry downwards (ie its own descendants). Or output only entries containing certain text.

Then for both of the above, you may vary the indent, level-by-level and choose the number of levels to output. And you may opt to use Tab for each level of indent. Some other programs are able to accept files with 'tabbed indents'.

Additionally, the Write command has a 'line break' value so that you can 'word wrap' the output at a certain column if you wish.

What does this mean in practice? Well, you exercise a high degree of choice over what you output. Take an example of a BrainStorm report on computer companies. Sometimes entries will contain the name of one company, sometimes several. Using the text-matching option, you could print only entries containing IBM (and descendants to two levels, say), the same for Dell and the same for Hewlett-Packard. Some of the entries (those with one or more of the chosen names) will appear in each report.

Another way to look at it might be a bowl of cooked and mixed multicoloured pasta. It's like being able to pull out all the green strands together, all the orange ones and all the white ones.

Next: One large model or several smaller ones, your considerations...