HyperCard was one of the first commercially available broad-based hypertext systems.

HyperCard was developed by Bill Atkinson for Apple and first published in 1987. It was then delivered from 1987 to 1992 for free with Macintosh computers, and thus became the first useable for larger user groups hypermedia authoring system.

The late 1980s and early 1990s HyperCard was the preferred development environment for hypermedia learning systems.


Bill Atkinson developed a notepad application called Quick File, could be detected and displayed as a tab in the texts for Apple in 1985. In addition, however, cross- links were still possible. The consistent further development of this system led two years later to HyperCard.

After 1990, various attempts have been made to develop HyperCard. Under Kevin Calhoun HyperCard 3.0 has been pushed to the beta version and distributed in 1996 at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC ) in an edition of 600 pieces. New features have included full color support, Internet compatibility.

For unknown reasons, the new version was not published. Calhoun, the driving force behind the release, left Apple in 2001 disappointed. 2004, the sale of version 2.4 by Apple is set.


The scripting language Hyper Talk enables also programming beginners with little learning curve applications such example, to create an educational software for computer-aided instruction. Even the most successful computer game Myst was developed using HyperCard.

The range of applications of HyperCard ranges from simple cross-linked structures ( index cards with text) to complex databases. Base document is always the " stack " (English stack).

Alternatives to HyperCard

The following successor products to HyperCard, which sometimes even can scan old HyperCard stack, and the Hyper - Talk scripts with little or can not perform changes, there are:

  • Free Card (Java) - Open Source project with the goal of a 100 % compatible HyperCard clone.
  • Live Code - There are companies that offer follow-on products that can read the old HyperCard stack. One of these is LiveCode (formerly Dream Card and Runtime Revolution ), running at identical data not only on Macintosh computers, but also on Microsoft Windows and Linux. It thus provides a lightweight multi- platform development environment dar. revolution based on the product MetaCard, whose development was discontinued. LiveCode is developed and used on the Desktop Platforms Macintosh, Microsoft Windows and Linux, and can be exported to mobile iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.
  • Supercard - clone of HyperCard 1.x series, 1989 by Bill Appleton created as " a better HyperCard ". From the beginning, it offered color support and could read HyperCard stack. The program was revised for Mac OS X, and includes a HyperCard converter. A peculiarity of Supercard was the separation in SuperCard and SuperEdit, so as to change projects without accidentally trigger scripts.
  • Wildfire - Open Source project with the goal of a HyperCard clone the most part is compatible and modernized.
  • Oracle Media Objects - Previously developed as PLUS the Format Publishing and displaced HyperCard clone that ran under Windows. ( Submitted )

More products are based on Structural Ideas HyperCard:

  • HyperStudio - multimedia tool for education with board structure. Programming takes place in a logo variant.
  • Macromedia Director - entertainment program with an initially hyper talk related programming language called " Lingo ". The language became more and more changes in the direction of JavaScript, and the object model differs significantly.
  • MTropolis
  • Python Card - In Python planned GUI environment under the guidance of Hyper Talk Developer Dan Winkler.
  • SumTotal ToolBook - formerly Fa Asymetrics.