System Requirements

The current version of Incubator requires OS X 10.6 or later (Snow Leopard).  Click here for further details. 

Version 3.0 Upgrade

Incubator 3.0 is a major upgrade which requires a serial number purchased in 2010 or later.  If you have an earlier serial number, please download version 2.6.4 here.

Installation & Activation

Detailed help for downloading, installing and activating can be found here.

Introductory Tutorial

Instructions for downloading an introductory tutorial (available in English, French, and German) are available here.

Choosing Colors & Color Management

Colors are assigned using the Colors panel.  The Colors panel can be opened by either clicking on the Colors icon on the toolbar or by selecting "Show Colors" from the "View" menu.  At the top of the Colors panel, there is a large color well to the right of a magnifying glass.  You can assign colors by dragging them directly from that color well onto elements within a worksheet (or onto a blank part of the worksheet itself).  If a group of elements are currently selected, then all of the selected elements will be assigned the new color. 

If you drag a color from the Color panel onto the center of a worksheet element, it will set its foreground color.  If you drag a color onto the edge of an element, it will set its background color.  Likewise, dragging onto an empty part of the worksheet will set its color.

To capture a particular color from anywhere on the screen, click on the magnifying glass.  Then position the magnifying glass over the part of the screen that contains the color that you want to capture.  Click with the magnifying glass to capture that particular color into the color well. 

New worksheet elements are created using either the particular color specified in the Preferences panel, or by using the color that is currently in the color well on the Colors panel.  You can set your preferred behavior using the Preferences panel.  The Preferences panel can be opened by selecting "Preferences..." from the "Mindcad Incubator" menu. 

Storing Favorite Colors and Fonts

The standard Font and Color panels include mechanisms for storing favorites.  The Color panel stores favorites by dragging from the big color swatch at the top to the little color wells at the bottom of the panel.  It may be necessary to drag the bottom edge of the Color panel to expose the wells.

The Font panel stores favorites by dragging from the either the "Family" or "Typeface" columns to "Favorites" in the "Collections" column.  Again, it may be necessary to expand the panel horizontally to expose the desired columns.

Applying Shadow to Text

The standard Font panel includes controls which allow the application of shadow to text.  To apply shadow, first select the targeted text and then press the button marked with a single lone "T" in the upper right-hand section of the Font panel.  The button will turn blue to indicate that it is active.  Note that you may need to widen the font panel to display this button. 

The four controls to the right of the button determine intensity, blur, distance and direction.  The first three are sliders, the last is a circular knob.  The best way to learn what each control does is to experiment.  Note that the Preferences panel will store an initial font choice including any shadow attribute applied to the font.

If the shadow effect controls are not visible, choose "Show Effects" from the pulldown menu in the lower left-hand corner of the Font panel.

Exporting as PDF with Live Links

An experimental feature has been added as of version 2.2 which creates both web and page links when exporting as PDF.  Note that links to files are not created when exporting as PDF due to a current limitation of the export library Incubator uses.  Because this is an experimental feature, it is recommended that PDF documents be checked carefully for the expected functionality. 

Using Preview to Export a Cropped PDF Worksheet Image

If you need a cropped PDF worksheet image, press Command-A to select an entire worksheet and Command-C to copy it to the clipboard.  Then open Preview and press Command-N.  This will create a new cropped PDF document which preserves the full resolution of both text and images. 

Transferring Worksheet Images to Pages, Keynote and Other Applications

The best way to transfer a worksheet image to another application is to select the entire worksheet and then copy and paste it directly into the target application.  This preserves the full resolution of both text and images. 

Printing Large Worksheets

Mindcad Tiler is a companion application that prints PDF files as posters and banners on multiple sheets of paper.  To use Mindcad Tiler with Incubator, first save any Incubator document as a PDF file using the PDF button on the standard print panel, and then open that PDF file using the Mindcad Tiler application.  More information about Mindcad Tiler can be found here.

Changing Orientation

To change the orientation of an object tree so that it grows in a different direction, select the root object of the tree and then use the root object's context menu (control-click) to select a new orientation. 

Orientation commands are only available for topic-less trees.  The orientation of objects attached to topics is determined solely by the side of the topic to which the objects are attached.  Drag objects to a new side of a topic to change their orientation.

Aligning Objects

Objects can be aligned relative to either a given object or to the worksheet itself.  If an object has focus, it serves as the anchor, around which the other selected objects align.  If no object has focus, then the worksheet itself becomes the alignment reference. 

By using a selection rectangle in conjunction with the shift key, it is possible to select an arbitrary group of objects without giving focus to any particular object.  Alignment commands are invoked from within the "Align" submenu, which is found within the "Format" menu on the main menu bar. 

Importing & Exporting Images

Incubator will accept images in many different formats including PNG, GIF, TIFF, PDF, and PSD.  To import an image, simply drag it to the worksheet from another application.  Additionally, it is possible to drag an image file from either the Desktop or a file folder directly onto the worksheet.

Images cannot be exported as a single entity.  However, an entire worksheet can be exported in PNG file format using "Export As Image..." from the "File" menu.  PNG files are relatively small and are the best option for web pages.

The standard OS X print mechanism can be used to generate PDF files.  PDF files retain the highest resolution and are the best option for presentation and printing.  Choose "Print..." from the "File" menu, and then press the "Save As PDF..." button.

Importing & Exporting Text

Incubator will accept text that is dragged onto a worksheet from another application.  The text is imported as a single multi-line item which can then be split into multiple items using the "Separate" command found within the "Combine" submenu under the "Format" menu.

To drag text out Incubator and into another application, it is necessary to select an object for editing, enter edit mode by either double-clicking or pressing return, select the targeted text, and then finally to move the mouse cursor over the selected text before pressing and holding the mouse button down for a moment before beginning to drag.

Because drag-exporting is a bit cumbersome, it may be more efficient to combine text using the "Consolidate" command rather than drag-exporting multiple text items.  Also, keep in mind that an entire document can be readily exported as an RTF text file using "Export As Text..." from the "File" menu.  The RTF text file can then be opened in TextEdit where multiple fragments of text can more readily be selected and dragged into a third application.


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