Open an existing file. BrainStorm will try to open any kind of file (.txt and .brn files will be most faithful to the original). BrainStorm files will load as structured models. (See BrainStorm file format for details. If BrainStorm can detect a structure in text files, it will try to preserve the structure. (Indents suggest a hierarchy. Lines starting with lower case letters suggest they are part of a paragraph. Blank lines immediately prior to changing levels are removed.) Otherwise they load as plain text. In all cases the model gets saved as a .brn file.
Tip: one way to create a structured text file out of another program which can print outlines is to print to file.
In 'Printers and Faxes' in Start/Settings or Control Panel, Add printer with the settings Print to File and the Generic / Text only driver. Then when you want to create a text file which can be imported to BrainStorm, simply choose Generic / Text only from the Printer name: in the Print dialogue.
BrainStorm comes with a PowerPoint AddIn which helps you extract information from a presentation in a form acceptable to BrainStorm (and other programs). *See notes at the foot of this page.
If a file is unusually large, a dialogue box will appear which shows progress and gives you the option to abandon reading at any point. After loading is complete, BrainStorm builds the display of the current level. This may be instantaneous, but if the current level list is long, progress will be shown on the status bar.
Please note: if you are a long term BrainStorm user and you have loaded an old DOS (or even a CP/M) BrainStorm model, you will notice the load time is longer than new models. To speed loading next time, make at least one change (even if you then delete it) and then save the file. This will force BrainStorm to save it in the new high speed Windows file format.
Once you have saved a model in the new format, it will no longer be readable by the DOS (or CP/M) versions of BrainStorm. Best to make a backup first.Use: