Manni
I made this request for TB8 but it was never implemented.

Would it be possible to be able to duplicate a brain easily? I do presentations using TB, and frequently I'll start with an existing one.

Currently, I have to select all the thoughts, copy all the thoughts, create a new brain, paste all the thoughts, reset the home thought, set the theme... It's really time-consuming when a simple "Duplicate Brain" command could do all this in a faster and less error-prone way. Then we'd just have to rename the copy.

Thanks!
TB V10.0.14.0 running in a Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803 VM (Parallels 13) in Mac OS V10.14 (Mojave Public release). Host is a 2018 MBP 13" with 16Gb of RAM, 2TB SSD and i7 @ 2.7Ghz. Win VM has 8GB and 2 cores available, Mac Host has 8GB of RAM and 2 cores available. 
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metta
+1 for sure!
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mcaton
Manni,

Try making a Brain Archive (.brz) file of your "master Brain" that you need to duplicate. Then, when you need a new copy, Create a new Brain and import the .brz file INTO the currently open Brain.  Not an immediate solution to what you have requested.  But is saves a few steps of selecting/copying all Thoughts...

Thanks,
Matt
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Manni
Thanks Matt, it sounds like a good temporary workaround for TB9 users, unfortunately I'm stuck with TB8 until Presentation Mode makes it to TB9 as I need it for my presentations. I don't think it's possible to create .brz files with TB8 (unless you're talking about a BrainZIP, but then I don't know how to import it back in a new brain).

Is the "Duplicate Brain" request going to make it to the "to be implemented" feature list in TB9?
Any ETA re Presentation Mode in TB9 (I and others have requested it so hopefully it will be implemented soon).

I can't wait to be able to switch to V9!
TB V10.0.14.0 running in a Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803 VM (Parallels 13) in Mac OS V10.14 (Mojave Public release). Host is a 2018 MBP 13" with 16Gb of RAM, 2TB SSD and i7 @ 2.7Ghz. Win VM has 8GB and 2 cores available, Mac Host has 8GB of RAM and 2 cores available. 
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Harlan
The easiest way to duplicate a brain is to create a Brain Archive/BRZ (BrainZip in version 8), then change the GUID of the brain, then import the archive.
Regards,
-Harlan
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Manni
Harlan wrote:
The easiest way to duplicate a brain is to create a Brain Archive/BRZ (BrainZip in version 8), then change the GUID of the brain, then import the archive.

Thanks Harlan.
Two questions:
1) How do you import a brainzip into a new brain in V8? In the file/import menu there is no such option (that I can see)
2) I don't want to change the brain ID in the original brain. That brain ID is used to provide online access to the original brain to the participants of my presentations. Unless it means that the original brain becomes the copy (as we change the brain ID after creating the brainzip) and the duplicate (new brain in which the Brainzip is imported, I assume with the original brain ID) becomes the original. So I have to rename the original to give it a new name, and rename the copy to give it the name of the original? I think I'll stick to my original method if that's the case... Again, the need is to get something simple and less error prone than the copy/pasting of the thoughts in a new brain.

So please could you implement a "Duplicate Brain" (with a different brainID in the copy, not the original) in V9 (as I assume you've stopped development of V8)?

Any chance to get a confirmation that Presentation Mode is on its way back in V9, as well as an ETA?

Thanks!
TB V10.0.14.0 running in a Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803 VM (Parallels 13) in Mac OS V10.14 (Mojave Public release). Host is a 2018 MBP 13" with 16Gb of RAM, 2TB SSD and i7 @ 2.7Ghz. Win VM has 8GB and 2 cores available, Mac Host has 8GB of RAM and 2 cores available. 
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zenrain
As it currently exists, for part 2 I would copy my template thoughts and layout to a new brain and then make a brain zip of that and then delete it. 
Then when I needed to do a new presentation, I would restore the brain zip and change the GUID. This would keep my existing brain as is, and insure I always had a new file/database for a new presentation. 

Sorry, I haven't been in v8 for over a year now, so I can't provide exact steps. I believe you just go through the import prompts when restoring a brainzip, and if you have an existing brain open it will ask if you want to import to that brain or a new one. I could be completely out of my mind though. [biggrin]
macOS 10.13
TheBrain 9.0.250
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Harlan
1) In V8, you just use File > Open Brain > Browse Local Files to open a BrainZip.

2) After you change the GUID, I would rename that version, then re-import the original.

It's unlikely we will add a "Duplicate Brain" command as it would encourage usage patterns that do not line up with the design philosophy.

Re: Presentation Mode: Sorry, but we never provide ETAs of future features unless they are already mostly completed. (I've written about why this is extensively in the past - it only leads to trouble.) In terms of this being a reason not to switch to version 9, I'm curious why it is so important to you. Why not just maximize TheBrain window (or go fullscreen on macOS), then maximize the plex? The UI and animation in version 9 is so much cleaner than version 8 that I think this easily trumps the ability to hide the menubar and title bar (and if you're on macOS, fullscreen mode will hide the menubar already).
Regards,
-Harlan
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Manni
Harlan wrote:
1) In V8, you just use File > Open Brain > Browse Local Files to open a BrainZip.

2) After you change the GUID, I would rename that version, then re-import the original.

It's unlikely we will add a "Duplicate Brain" command as it would encourage usage patterns that do not line up with the design philosophy.

Re: Presentation Mode: Sorry, but we never provide ETAs of future features unless they are already mostly completed. (I've written about why this is extensively in the past - it only leads to trouble.) In terms of this being a reason not to switch to version 9, I'm curious why it is so important to you. Why not just maximize TheBrain window (or go fullscreen on macOS), then maximize the plex? The UI and animation in version 9 is so much cleaner than version 8 that I think this easily trumps the ability to hide the menubar and title bar (and if you're on macOS, fullscreen mode will hide the menubar already).


Thanks for the detailed steps to import a brainzip. Still, I don't want to change the GUID of the original brain. It's already published on my website, it's just going to cause sync issues down the line.

I have no idea what you mean by "it would encourage usage patterns that do not line up with the design philosophy".

I'm describing a usage which I think is common for many V8 users who are using TheBrain not only as a mind mapping tool but also as a presentation tool, instead of Powerpoint, especially for very long presentations (mine can be three days or more). Once a presentation is done, I provide an online documentation that includes accessing the whole interactive presentation on our website. A few weeks/months later, I do another presentation which very often is similar to the last one, with a few changes. This is when I need to duplicate a brain, so that I can leave the original brain untouched (same name, same brainID, as it not only syncs with my local copy but I don't want to have to change the brainID for the online webbrain on the website). I simply want an exact copy of my original brain, assigned to a new brainID, with a new name such as "original name (copy)", that I can now edit.

I'm asking this because it is your role to make things simple when users have a legitimate use for the program, which I think mine is. Every software allows a "save as" so we don't have to start from scratch and don't have to change anything in the original. TheBrain simply needs the equivalent of a "Save As" command. Same brain, different brainID, one step for the user.

I have the feeling that V9 isn't thinking (at all) about people using TheBrain as a presentation tool (see below) as well as as a design/mind mapping tool. If that's the case, I'll just find other tools that suit my purpose better. It costs me a lot of money yearly to pay for maintenance and hosting. There are other solutions to do this. Not as elegant as TB8 which does all I need in one product, but if TB9 isn't interested in users like me, I'll simply stop my subscription and move on, it's not the end of the world. [smile]

Re Presentation Mode, I understand about the refusal to give a precise ETA, but I'd like to know if Presentation Mode is coming back or not, as if it's not coming back soon I'll move on.

I have to use The Brain in Windows for various reasons, so OSX isn't an option. Presentation Mode is simply a necessity for me when doing a presentation. I want max screen real estate to display my attachments as large as they can be (I use very complex graphics that need to be as large as possible when zoomed up by the software when I click/hover on them) and minimum distraction for the audience.

Even with TB9 window maximized and the plex maximized too, you still have lots of distractions at the top of the screen (title bar, menu bar, tabs bar, tools/search bar, all 100% unnecessary during a presentation) and at the bottom (taskbar, also 100% unnecessary during a presentation). This looks VERY unprofessional, especially when doing a presentation on a big screen (projector) in front of 100 people or more. It just looks very amateurish to me, even without taking into account the loss of screen real estate, which causes issues when displaying some of the content-rich attachments, as a significant amount of space is lost vertically, so they look smaller, which is an issue for the people at the back of the room.

When I select Presentation Mode in TB8, all the distractions go away, I get full-screen real estate (including the taskbar that automatically goes away). It looks clean and professional. 100% of the screen real estate is allocated to the plex and available to display attachments as big as they can be. There is simply NO WAY I will use TB9 in front of an audience without Presentation Mode. I know I could set the taskbar to minimize itself, but I don't want to when Presentation Mode does that and more. When I use Powerpoint, there is no distraction/loss of real estate during the presentation. That's what I had with TB8, and that's what I want in TB9.

So please let me know your intentions. I understood that Presentation Mode was on its way back, which is why I recently renewed my subscription (in December). If that's not the case, I have no further use for TheBrain and I'll ask for a refund. I fully understand if you've changed your target audience, but I don't want to be alienated because I'm using the wrong product for my needs.

By the way, I used to be a software developer so I'm fully aware of the huge amount of redesign involved in V9 and the underlying benefits. I have nothing against changing the way I do things to reap these benefits if I can get the same or better functionalities I used to have in the former version. The problem is, V9 without Presentation Mode is less functional for me than V8, so it's not even an option for me to go further as no Presentation Mode in the software is a dealbreaker irrespective of the other (real and significant) advantages brought by the new design. It would be the same if the ability to put the brain online was to go. For me these combined are two USPs of TheBrain, and what led me to purchase it in the first place, many years ago (apart from all the great things it can do).
TB V10.0.14.0 running in a Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803 VM (Parallels 13) in Mac OS V10.14 (Mojave Public release). Host is a 2018 MBP 13" with 16Gb of RAM, 2TB SSD and i7 @ 2.7Ghz. Win VM has 8GB and 2 cores available, Mac Host has 8GB of RAM and 2 cores available. 
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Harlan
Manni wrote:

Still, I don't want to change the GUID of the original brain. It's already published on my website, it's just going to cause sync issues down the line.


Doing what I described will not change the GUID of the original brain. Once you import from the backed up version, it will be exactly as it was when is was backed up. The steps I describe will accomplish exactly what you want.

Thanks for explaining why presentation mode is important to you and what you need it to do. I understand what you are looking for. Yes, we are still planning on adding presentation mode in a future release for both Windows and macOS.
Regards,
-Harlan
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Manni
Harlan wrote:


Doing what I described will not change the GUID of the original brain. Once you import from the backed up version, it will be exactly as it was when is was backed up. The steps I describe will accomplish exactly what you want.

Thanks for explaining why presentation mode is important to you and what you need it to do. I understand what you are looking for. Yes, we are still planning on adding presentation mode in a future release for both Windows and macOS.


Thanks Harlan, looking forward to having Presentation Mode in V9 [smile]

Regarding duplicating a brain, I must be missing something.

Here is what you wrote: 

The easiest way to duplicate a brain is to create a Brain Archive/BRZ (BrainZip in version 8), then change the GUID of the brain, then import the archive.

Then:

 In V8, you just use File > Open Brain > Browse Local Files to open a BrainZip.

2) After you change the GUID, I would rename that version, then re-import the original.
 
I read this as meaning:

1) Open original brain
2) Create a BrainZIP (V8)/BRZ(V9) with File/Create Brainzip (V8) or File Backup to Brain Archive (V9)
3) Select BrainZIP/BRZ location.
3b) Dismiss the message suggesting to open the containing folder (V8 only)
4) Change the GUID of the original brain
5) Close the original brain
6) Rename the original brain
7) Create a new brain with the same name as the original brain
8) File/Import/Browse to import the BrainZIP (V8)/BRZ(V9)
9) Locate the BrainZIP in the folders/list of files and select the correct file once identified.
10) Start working.

If I got this wrong, please list all the exact steps as above, not just the difference(s) to make sure we're 100% clear about what's missing, unnecessary or in the wrong order.

My understanding is that the original brain (content, GUID) is now in the newly created brain (duplicate). The duplicate is the renamed original with a new GUID. It's great if you can guarantee that this won't cause any sync issue, but I'm not even sure that your solution (if I got it right) is significantly more time-effective and less error-prone than my current method:
1) Open original brain
2) Click on report / refresh / ctrl-A to select all the thoughts
3) The selection window appears, right click on it, Copy selected thoughts
4) File / New brain
6) Right-click on the empty plex, select paste thoughts (confirm)
7) Select Options / Set theme
8) Start working

Still a very convoluted way to achieve such a standard task, but there is no renaming or changing of GUID involved, which I find more logical.

Now compare either of these with what I'm suggesting:

1) Right-click on the original brain in the list of brains and select Save As or Duplicate brain (File /  Save As or File / Duplicate Brain if the brain is already open)
2) Select the name/location for the duplicate brain. As is standard behavior for all apps supporting a "Save As" command, the original brain is closed if it was already open, the duplicated file (same content with a new BrainID) is opened automatically.
3) Start working.

Risk of error: 0. Time to remember the steps involved in the process: 0. Time needed to perform the operation: 5 to 10 seconds vs 1-2 min for either of the existing workarounds.

The amount of code to achieve that is minimal given that you already have the BrainZIP/BRZ coding in place. It would 1) add a very useful command for many users and 2) bring TheBrain in line with 99% of applications offering a "Save As" function, instead of insisting to go through a very convoluted process to achieve a legitimate action.

I guess it won't happen until/unless other users add a +1, as Metta did. I can't believe it's only the two of us who have a use for / see this as simpler, more straightforward and more desirable solution than the convoluted workaround you are suggesting or the alternate method I'm using currently.

So if anyone else is interested in having a "Duplicate Brain" of "Save As" command, please make yourself known! [smile]
TB V10.0.14.0 running in a Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803 VM (Parallels 13) in Mac OS V10.14 (Mojave Public release). Host is a 2018 MBP 13" with 16Gb of RAM, 2TB SSD and i7 @ 2.7Ghz. Win VM has 8GB and 2 cores available, Mac Host has 8GB of RAM and 2 cores available. 
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metta
I would absolutely LOVE the "Save As" duplicate brain option -- and, like you, I have no idea what "design philosophy" would be violated by duplicating a brain and using it as the basis for creating a new brain.

As I see it, duplication simply allows users to take a good working brain and customize it for another application -- not that much different (in spirit) from using a brain template.

Moreover, the fact that the risk of error in duplicating a brain is reduced to zero with a simple "Save As" command seems a compelling reason (to me) to consider this very reasonable feature request.

Bottom line: Duplicating brains would be a tremendously useful feature, and one that would allow me to move forward quite easily with several brain project ideas I've never seriously considered previously because duplication was such a convoluted process.

Thank you immensely, Manni, for articulating both the logic for the duplication function and the value/benefit of the presentation mode.

I'm with you 100% on both counts.
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zenrain
The procedures to copy one brain and paste it into a new brain may take a few steps, but doesn't fit my definition of convoluted. Especially given that actually doing it takes between 15 seconds to one or two minutes, the majority of which is TheBrain processing the thoughts to copy and paste (depending on file size).

Similarly, the setup to create a .brainzip with a unique GUID and then re-use it and reassign a new GUID is a bit more detailed, but quicker and has the same results. 

It's a interesting request, I would probably use it once or twice in a 2 year period but I recognize I'm not the audience here. However the rhetoric is a bit out of proportion.
macOS 10.13
TheBrain 9.0.250
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zenrain
This is the part where I eat my words... LOL

If you are going to copy and paste an old brain into a new brain, don't do this if the original brain contains thoughts with thought Links in Notes. The thought links will point to the original brain's thoughts, they aren't updated to the new brain. To my mind this is a bug that I think I've reported before. So basically, on your new brain if you use thought links within notes it will not activate the thought that exists in the data you've copied over when you click the link (which is what I would expect). It opens the original brain and tries to open that though. And if the original brain doesn't exist, you have a broken thought link in the notes.

So the only SAFE way to duplicate a brain if that brain contains thought links in notes which you want to preserve is currently:

1. Create a brain zip of the original brain.
2. On the original brain, reassign it's GUID. 
3. Make a brain zip of this NEW GUID brain.
4. Delete the NEW GUID brain.
5. Restore the original brain back from brain zip.
6. Use the NEW GUID brain zip as your template. When you need to use it, restore it and immediately reassign the GUID. I THINK this doesn't break the Thought Link notes, but it's been a while since I've tested, so test first.

This is convoluted (see, told you I'd eat my words [biggrin]) and not user friendly.

macOS 10.13
TheBrain 9.0.250
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metta
Also, as Manni pointed out, changing the GUID on a public or shared brain is definitely NOT optimal.

Regarding links in notes: I avoid them as much as possible in the public brains I create precisely to avoid the potential issue of these links breaking if a GUID ever does need to be changed. (Learned this one the hard way several years ago.)
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