*This page is designed to take you through the basics of
the SemNet program. You should have a better understanding of SemNet once
you have finished this tutorial. This tutorial provides an introduction
to semantic networks, and to the basics of reviewing and constructing them
with SemNet. With the step-by-step instructions, you can try your hand at
reviewing a network which you can build on your own. This tutorial explores
only a small portion of the capabilities of SemNet. The tutorial assumes
that you understand how to perform basic Macintosh operations such as using
menus, using the mouse, and opening and closing windows and documents. If
you need help with these operations, you should first consult the Macintosh
System Software User Guide before trying to use SemNet.If you require further
help using SemNet you can download the SemNet manual from the bottom of
The first thing you need to do is open SemNet. Double click
on the SemNet icon () after you have downloaded the program. Opening the
SemNet application should get you to the following screen. Keep in mind
that the following frames are from a newer version of SemNet not yet available
to the public. The program you are using behaves in the exact same way without
Now you have to create a central concept or unifying theme.
This central concept is the central idea you are going to describe. On the
menu bar choose Concept
and then scroll down to Create and let go of the mouse or click the mouse.
Now, you should see the following screen. You must now
enter a new concept name. You can choose anything that you like.
For the purpose of this tutorial, our central concept will
be Earth. You now should see the following
After typing in Earth press OK. Then you
should see the following screen.
Now that we have a central unifying concept we can create
other related concepts. First we have to create a relation. Do this by selecting
Create under Instance.
After you have clicked or let go of the mouse button you
should see the following screen.
Now we have to create a relation to the earth. In the Relation
box type in has continent. This will be one
of the relations in our net.
Now we must choose a related concept. Since most of the
creators of SemNet live in the United States go ahead and type in North America under the Related Concept box.
After you have typed in North America,
press OK. Doing this will get you to
another screen. You will have the Relation screen. This screen by default
will choose to display the relations assymetrically. For this tutorial do
not change anything on the screen. It has also chosen an up name and a down
name. By default, when you type a relation of has
****, the reverse relation will always be ****
of. You will find similar cases of other relations. The two
clocks that you see will determine the positioning of the relation rays.
You can change these as you add more related concepts. For this tutorial,
we will leave everything as is so go ahead and press OK.
Now you should see the following screen.
Now you have a central concept and a related concept. To
make North America the central concept double click on it and you should
see the following screen.
Now we would like to make another concept that is related
to North America. Under the Instance
menu choose Create.
Now we can come up with another relation ray and another
related concept. Since North America has countries we can use the relation
has country and the related concept will be the United
States. Now, fill in the Relation box and the Related Concept box
with what is below. After you have done this press OK.
Now you should have the following screen. Notice that both
of the clocks show 12:00 and 6:00 respectively. We remember that we have
all ready used those times for the first relation rays. Click on each clock
to make the relation rays appear at 2:00 and 8:00 respectively.
Once you have done this you should see the following screen.
Now you can press OK
and the new relation rays will appear at the 2:00 and the 8:00 position.
You should get the following screen after you press OK.
Now if you double click on the United States you can see
that North America is now at the 2:00 position. You should see the following
Go ahead and double click North America to make it the
central concept. We now need to add a few more countries to North America.
Now you should be back to the screen with North America as the central concept.
Now we need to add another country to the list. To add
more countries select Create under the
Instance menu and you will get the following
On this screen move the cursor over the pull down menu
next to the Relation box and select has country from the menu. The following
screen is what you should see when you do this.
Now you need to highlight North America in the Related
Concept box by clicking and dragging the mouse over it. After you have done
this type Mexico and it should replace North
America. You should see the following screen.
After you have replaced North America with Mexico press
OK and you should see the following
You now can create related concepts and relations. To add
more continents to the list just make Earth the central concept and use
the same instructions as adding Mexico to the list of countries. Now we
will need to save our net. To do this select Save
as under the File menu. Name
the file "Earth" and save it anywhere you would like. The following
screen shows how to save the file.
After saving the file your screen that has been labeled
"Untitled" is now named "Earth" (see below). You may
continue on and add more concepts and relations or if you choose to, make
your own net!
This concludes our SemNet tutorial. You now have the basic
skills to create a net. If you would like to learn more about SemNet you
can also download the manual by clicking the icon below.