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Frequently Asked Questions about Inspiration

What is Inspiration?

Inspiration is a visual learning tool that helps the user develop ideas and clarify thinking. It aids in visualizing and organizing ideas. It is useful for writing papers, essays and other documents.

How do I start Inspiration?

  • Click on Start > Programs > Adaptive Software > Inspiration
  • When you open Inspiration 7.5, you will see the Main Idea symbol in the center.

What is the difference between a Symbol and a Diagram?

A Diagram is made up of several Symbols. In other words, a Diagram is a collection of Symbols that represent or convey the entire concept of the project.

How do I link a Symbol to another Symbol?

"Link" is used when you want to show how ideas are interconnected with each other. To create a link:
  • Click on the symbol or image you want to link with another symbol or image.
  • Four small square and diamond boxes will appear around each symbols or images you have clicked on.
  • Click on one of the diamonds which has appeared around the Symbol or Image that you have selected.
  • Drag to the Symbol or Image you want to link to.
  • Release the mouse button.
  • Notice that an arrow has been drawn between the two Symbols or Images.

How do I add text to the link?

  • Click in the center of the link of to which you want add text.
  • Type the text in the box.
  • When finished typing, click elsewhere on the screen.
Note: You can always edit the text you added to a link by selecting that link, clicking in the box area, and retyping the text. After you finish, click anywhere outside of the box.

How do I change the link style?

  • Click on the link you want to change.
  • Click on a link in the menu.
  • Select any style that you want.

May I add a hyperlink to selected text?

Yes, Inspiration allows you to connect your document to a Web site or a file that you created in other program, such as a sound file, video clips, e-mail addresses and so on, through a hyperlink within the text.

How do I assign hyperlinks to selected text?

  • Highlight the text (inside the symbol) to which you want to assign the hyperlink.
  • Go to the menu bar and click on Tools > Hyperlink > Insert . . . and the Hyperlink dialog box opens.


  • Press F6.


  • Click on the Hyperlink hot button

    Note: The text you selected appears in the Hyperlink Text box.

  • In the Hyperlink Address box, write the Internet address (URL) that you want.
  • It hyperlinks with blue, underlined text.
  • Click OK.

How do I add time and date to my diagram?

  • If you want to add the time and date to your project, go to Utility > Application Properties, and under Date/Time Format, and select Short Date and Time.
  • Click OK.
  • Left click once in the diagram where you want the date to appear. A cross will appear in that spot.
  • Open the Edit menu and select Paste Date.
  • The date and time appear.
Note: When using the Paste Date feature from the Edit menu, this pastes the current date as text in a symbol only. To apply the current date to an Inspiration document when it is printed, you may use the Header Footer option from View menu. By clicking View, then Header Footer, you may then select where you would like the Footer information to appear. Then choose from the Auto-fill menu the date format you would like. This will only appear when printing.

How do I insert a picture into my diagram?

  • Under Edit, select Insert Graphic . . .
  • Select the picture from your sources (desktop or document)
  • Click OK.

What is the Symbol palette?

The Symbol palette is a library containing more than 1,300 idea symbols on different topics that you can add to your diagram. It floats on the screen in a separate box from the main screen. When you open Inspiration, the Symbol palette appears on the left side of the screen.

How do I insert a symbol from the palette into my diagram?

To browse the contents of the Symbol palette, first click on the downward-pointing triangle in the upper right corner of the palette. This opens a menu with the various libraries, such as Arts, Math, or People. Some libraries have sub-categories, e.g., Science has six different categories. Move your cursor over the sub-category you want and click to open it. Symbols from the library you've chosen now appear in the palette. To browse through them, use the right- and left-pointing triangles in the top of the palette. When you find a symbol you want, left-click on it and drag it into your diagram.
  • When the symbol is in the location you want, release the mouse button.
  • The unconnected symbol appears where you dropped it.
  • You can get a label and preview of the symbol by holding your cursor over a symbol in the Symbol palette for two seconds.

What is the difference between Diagram View and Outline View?

Inspiration has two main views or environments: Diagram View and Outline View. Both keep track of your ideas. Diagram View presents your ideas visually, as a diagram. Outline View presents your ideas as written sentences. Sometimes you will work in Diagram View to create a graphical organizer or map showing how ideas or concepts interconnect. Other times you will work in Outline View when you want to organize your ideas and write a report. Note: To switch from Diagram View to Outline View, click the Outline button on the toolbar.

What is RapidFire?

Use the RapidFire tool whenever you want to quickly add a series of connected ideas to the symbol of which you began.

How to use it:

  • Click on the symbols you want to connect.
  • Click on RapidFire.
  • Type in your words.
  • Click anywhere outside of the symbol.
Note: You can add as many ideas as you want.

How do I save my project?

  • Click on File > Save
  • Note: When you save your project, Inspiration will automatically save your project under the name of your "main idea." Select the location where you would like to save your project, and click Save.

How do I print my document?

You can print a diagram as it appears on the screen. Before printing, it is a good idea to see how your document will look on the printed page. The Print Preview command in the File menu shows you a reduced view of your document. If you like the layout and are ready to print your document, you can do so from the Print Preview by clicking Print on the lower right-hand corner of the screen.

Note: Printing a diagram at full size is useful for creating banners, posters, and boards for presentations. However, symbols may split along page breaks. To prevent this, adjust the position of the symbols before printing. You can also print diagrams at full size without breaking across symbols.

To print a diagram at full size:

  • Open the diagram you want to print.
  • On the File menu, choose Page Setup.