Using Rationale

Does Rationale read Reason!Able files?

Rationale™ is a completely new product, with a very different underlying file format.  For this reason, unfortunately, Rationale™ does not read Reason!Able files. 


The picture of my Rationale map is too big to fit in my document. Can I create a text outline instead?

To create an outline view of your map, suitable for pasting into a document,

  • select the map on your workspace (click on the topmost box of the branch or map you want to copy)
  • click on the drop-down arrow beside the Copy icon on the Home ribbon
  • select Text Outline


Alternatively, open the "text panel" and copy an outline of your map from there. e.g.

Text Panel

Can I use the essay planner with arguments other than those you provide?

Currently the essay planner only works with a small number of pre-defined templates.

We do intend to develop a more flexible essay planner, which will work with a much wider range of argument structures.  However this has not yet been scheduled into our development program (Aug 06).


I can't find the answer I need in this FAQ, what should I do?

If you have read through the list of FAQ answers and still can't find an answer to your query there are a number of things you can do:

  • Make sure you have looked through the built in help in Rationale
  • Look through the users guides and other support materials we have on the web site

If you still cannot find an answer please send us an email with your question to


Upgrades - are they included in the purchase price?

For a standard purchase, we follow the usual conventions: minor updates of the software are available free, but major version upgrades (e.g., 1.x -> 2.0) will generally require an upgrade fee.

Alternatively you can purchase a subscription.  These include all updates and upgrades during the period of the subscription. 


Can you insert pictures into boxes?

Currently it is not possible to insert pictures into boxes.

Future versions of Rationale™ will provide various options for including graphics on the workspace and in maps. 


Will there be a PDA version?

Since Rationale™ maps take up quite a bit of screen space, the software is not suitable for small screens such as PDAs and mobile phones.  Hence producing such a version is currently low on our priority list.  


Does Rationale support deciding among options rather than yes/no or true/false judgments?

Rationale™ is designed to handle reasoning and argumentation, and so better suited to supporting deliberation (judging whether a claim is true or false in the light of the relevant arguments) rather than decision making (choosing one option from a range). There are many other software packages available which support decision making in one fashion or another.


Is there a Macintosh version?

Rationale™ is currently only available for Windows. We may produce a Macintosh version, but we'd have to have strong indications of sufficient market demand. If you would like to see a Mac version, please contact us and tell us about your situation.

Richard, our General Manager, has a white MacBook with the virtual machine Parallels running WinXP Pro on which he runs Rationale™ quite happily. His MacBook has 2GB of RAM with Parallels configured with 512MB RAM for Windows.

Rationale Parallels 25pc

Will Rationale run on Crossover or Wine on Linux or Mac OS X

Sadly Rationale™ won't run with Crossover or Wine.

Rationale™ is a .Net application and requires the .Net environment to be installed to run. Unfortunately the .Net environment does not run on Crossover/Wine.

We have investigated the viability of having Crossover/Wine developed to run .Net but it was a large project with little interest amongst the Wine/Crossover developer community.

How do I create a bold heading in a box?

In any box (item, claim, sticky note, etc.) you can create a bold heading by simply typing the following at the very start of the box:

Create bold headings

This can be done for any box on the Rationale™ workspace.


When I paste a map into Powerpoint, some of the text disappears. What can I do to avoid this?

Windows supports two similar formats for vector based images, WMF (Windows MetaFile) and EMF(Enhanced MetaFile). When you copy a map as an image, Rationale creates the image using the EMF format which is newer, and in theory a bit better quality.

For some reason Powerpoint defaults to using WMF when you paste vector based images, resulting in some loss of information (Other Microsoft products such as Word default to WMF).

  1. Select Paste Special (rather than Paste)
  2. Select the Enhanced Metafile option and click Ok

The image will be inserted using the EMF format so there will be no loss of information, and your map should appear exactly as is does in Rationale.