Using Windows Environment Variables in MindManager Hyperlinks

July 1st, 2014

Windows has a set of variables which work wherever Windows is installed. Maybe you have booted from a USB drive or decided your home drive should be Z:. You can use these variables in MindManager hyperlinks.

For example:

  • “%windir%\System32\calc.exe” as an absolute link will start an instance of the Calculator (It may not be in the foreground).
  • “%UserProfile%\AppData\Local\Mindjet\MindManager\14\Library\ENU\” will open your library folder.

You need to use the Open outside MindManager option or press Ctrl when you click the hyperlink on the map.

Here are some more variables:

  • %AllUsersProfile% – Open the All User’s Profile
  • %HomeDrive% – Opens your home drive e.g. C:\
  • %UserProfile% – Opens you User’s Profile
  • %temp% Opens – temporary file Folder
  • %systemroot% – Opens Windows folder
  • %windir% – maps to Windows folder

If you send a map with links of this type to other Windows users it will work on their PC regardless of how they have set it up.

My inspiration came from here: Is there a list of Windows special directories/shortcuts (like %TEMP%)? . Many commands are listed and there is a link to a page with many more.

Perhaps I could create a PC maintenance map?

 

Recoverying your My Maps pane set up in a new install

June 30th, 2014
My Maps tab - folders and maps

I have been off air for a while. I have been busy on other projects and reinstalling Windows 8 after two years of operation.  It had slowed down to something less than a snail going in reverse up a steep hill.

My process was to make a disc image on a spare hard drive which could be plugged in later via a USB station. Then install Windows 8/8.1 from scratch followed by all the applications. That went well and I have been able to copy across files from the “old” drive. But what I forgot to do was to export the Registry specifically the HKEY_CURRENT_USER (HKCU) section and even more particularly the MindManager keys.

Why would I want to do this? Because there are a few important personalised parts of your MindManager set up which are stored in the Registry. One of these is your My Maps pane set up of collections and folders. It is an easy process to import your old registry keys once they are in *.reg file.

My problem was how to open the old Registry. Here is the solution (I won’t bore you with the things that failed to work e.g. Trying to boot from the old USB drive – Windows wanted to do a repair first and failed to get this to work)

  • This is how to get access to your old HKCU – How to import the HKCU values of a different profile into your registry
  • This did it for me – reg.exe load HKLM\TempHive h:\users\Andrew\ntuser.dat
  • Which gave me access to
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\TempHive\Software\Mindjet\MindManager\14\MyMaps
  • Export the key
  • Edit the registry file - replacing HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\TempHive\ with HKEY_CURRENT_USER\
  • Close MindManager
  • Import or double click the registry file
  • Open MindManager and my maps and folders are back as shown in the image!

Warning don’t dabble with the Registry unless you have backed up and created a restore point.

I wonder what other stuff I can now extract from my old MindManager keys?

MindManager and PowerPoint Brainwave

March 4th, 2014
Presentation Web Export Template

Presentation Web Export Template

I just had a moment of inspiration when answering a question about exporting to PowerPoint in the Mindjet Community.  There has never been a easy way to transfer your maps to PowerPoint. The current exports to PowerPoint do not show off your hard work of laying out the map and formatting it.  They transfer the topic text to bullet points or PowerPoint objects (bullet points in blocks).  My recommendation has always been for simple maps to export the image then insert and link to a slide.  For more complex maps either use screen grabbers to capture sections of the map or sub-divide the map in to several maps using “Send to new map” then export the images.  All a bit painful.

Here is my using the web exports for PowerPoint slides brainwave

1. Use the Presentations web export

This will automatically produce a set of images intended for a set of web pages from your map. You will need to play with Customize – Advance Settings before you get the best images for your presentation.

  • Open the map
  • Export to web using the Presentations template
  • Create a new PowerPoint presentation or use an existing one.
  • Then insert and link the image files you will find in the web export folder.
  • Tip: It helps to sort the folder by file type.

2. Use Linked Map View and Clickable Image Map web export

This idea follows on from the sub-dividing suggestion above.

  • Open your parent or master map for the presentation.
  • Export this as a Clickable Image Web export.
  • Tip: In Customise – Advanced Settings: Include Map Background – True (jpg good if you have photos) / False (gif produces smaller image files)
  • Go to Linked Map View.
  • Select the number of Map Levels required
  • Select All
  • Web Export
  • You have now created a folder for each map with an image file in it
  • Insert and Link the images to your PowerPoint slide.

Why have I bolded the Insert and Link? Simple: if you edit your map, repeat the export, close and reopen your PowerPoint file it will be refreshed with the new images.  (I failed to find a Refresh button or shortcut key in PowerPoint)

Just wondering if I have missed something obvious in MindManager associated with the Slide View.  Please tell me if I have.

Laws of the Game - Linked Map View

Laws of the Game – Linked Map View

The Power of Linked Maps in MindManager for Windows

February 13th, 2014

The Power of Linked Maps

The Power of Linked Maps

The Linked Maps view (was called Multimap View) in MindManager for Windows is powerful and often unknown feature of the application. It allows you to create a collection of maps which can be manipulated, shared, exported, printed and combined. Its a feature I have used to get overviews, to publish multiple maps in Word & Web form, to sort out bad links and print several maps in one go to a PDF or standard printer.

With suitably constructed dashboard, master or parent maps you can easily manipulate information and share it across projects and clients. For instance you may have a standard Terms and Conditions map. Link this to the collection of maps you have for a specific client and it can be included in every collection of maps sent to the client.  Please read on to find out how to use this feature.


1. Master Maps

Structured or not
It may be that you already have a set of linked maps that grown over time. The linked map view will display all the maps linked from the current map. It will not display maps which have a link going to the current map unless there is a link from the current map.
However you may be better off creating a new dashboard or map to link the maps in a coherent manner. Its easy to create a new linked map, see Link your maps below.

Levels
You can control the number of linked levels displayed in the Linked Maps view. Levels is equivalent to parent, child, grandchild which is 2 levels. Your maps may not be linked in an organigram like structure the Linked Maps view will just follow links from one map to the next.  If you can create a structure of levels e.g. Company, projects, phases it will help you later.

Markers and Tags
By adding markers: icons e.g. priority andtags e.g. departments, to both the dashboard map and other maps you will be able to perform some neat tricks later.


2. Linking your maps
There are a several ways to link your maps:

Use Send to new Linked Map
As the complexity of map grows it makes sense to sub divide the map. Right click the main topic and Send to new map to transfer all the sub-topics to a new map with a link from the parent topic to the new map and there will be a link from the central topic of the new map back to the parent.
As the map I use to manage my company grows, I have used this feature to create maps focused on Finance, Marketing, Sales etc.
Drag and drop maps from File Explorer on to a master map
Open File Explorer then drag and drop the maps on to your master map.
To remove the .mmap in the topic text use Replace (CTRL-H) “.mmap” with “” but make sure hyperlinks is not selected in the Options.

CTRL-K or Insert Hyperlink
You can link maps to topics with this process but you have to write the topic text as well as browsing for the map. Drag and drop is easier.


3. Linked Map View
Now open your highest level map and View ribbon > Linked Maps. The default one level of map thumbnails will be visible. Lets run through them.

Linked Maps
You can select individual maps or hold down CTRL to select multiple maps or Select All.

Send as eMail
 Packs all selected maps and linked documents in to one zip file and attaches to an email

Pack and Go
Just creates a zip file of the selected maps and any other files linked in them.

Quick Print
Prints all selected maps using their individual page setups.

Search
Searches through the selected maps for text in topics and topic notes.

Web Export
Export the parent map to a folder and the sub-maps to sub-folders.

Edit

Rename
 Selected map not maps

Select All

Deselect All

Refresh
 Refreshes previews to latest version (Someone else could be editing a Cloud map)

View

Levels
The number of links away from the parent. Take care, opening all levels, may overload some of the functions.

The map I use to manage Cabre’s business goes through the levels as follows:

1 level – 18 maps
2 levels – 105 maps
3 levels – 150 maps
All Levels – 210 maps

Thumbnails
 Size adjust: Squeeze more maps into the window

Assign

Markers
Add a marker set to all the maps, Useful for
  • Adding Resources to all maps e.g. a new employee or collaborator
  • Adding a new marker to all maps
  • Removing unused markers from all maps

Map Themes
Rebrand the maps for:
  • A new project or client
  • Harmonise for a presentation

Web Templates
Apply the same web export template to all the maps. For similar reasons to Map Themes.

Combine All
Create a new map which combines all the maps at the current level. Use it to take a snapshot:
  • Save versions of it (Don’t forget Pack and Go)
  • Filter it: to create reports, overviews, task lists
  • Print it out for a meeting (Large format printer or poster print)
Note:
  • You now have duplicate data
  • It does not dynamically update
  • It is not the selected maps.

Adding maps quickly to your desktop background

January 31st, 2014

This morning I wanted to paste two maps on to my second screen for reference during a webinar I was giving on Four Crucial Tips for MindManager Users.  They were my management map and the attendees.  I looked hard for ways to paste them in various applications and then I went back to Windows Paint.  Here is the simple process:

  1. Select central topic of map and copy CTRL-C
  2. Open Paint  and paste.
  3. Drag the edge of the canvas so it will cover the required part of your desktop.
  4. Repeat with another map pasting on to the same image and arranging as appropriate.
  5. In Paint > File > Set as Desktop Background > Centred

Now I had these prompts on the desktop of the second monitor along with the web cam array and the GoTo Meeting Control Panel. In my primary monitor I was sharing MindManager.  The image I created is below.

14-01-31 Four Crucial Tips Prompts

Do you have a better option?

Some of you may remember being able to have a clickable image map in a live Windows background in Windows 3.1!

Mindjet Mobile Tips – How to make things happen

December 2nd, 2013

Last week someone said “You are keyboard man”.  I was trying to encourage a “mouse man” to use the keyboard to speed up their interactions with MindManager desktop at the time. Now I have to use my fingers in a different way on another instrument, the mobile version of Mindjet.

I struggle to remember the different taps, press and drag combinations I have to use to interact with the maps.  Here is my crib sheet for doing it.  Click the image to see a full size version or download the Mindjet Mobile Tips Map to your desktop or iPad or iPhone. There is a Mindjet app for Android but it does not behave like this.

Tips for Mindjet Mobile Apps on iPhone and iPad

Use Background Images to size your maps

November 5th, 2013

I have composed a map as the image for the Cabre Facebook Page. Facebook have some guidelines for this: What are the dimensions for my Page’s cover photo? . The cover photo will be displayed 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall. If you submit something smaller: it will be stretched, something bigger and you will have to select part of the image. How do you compose a map in MindManager so it fits?

Here is my method which can be applied to situations where you require a map which will export to a specific image dimensions:

  1.  Facebook Page Cover 851x315Create a rectangle of 851 x 315 pixels with a light colour background in your image software.  Better still use the thickness of the rectangle’s line for the margin around your map.
  2. You also need to black out the area your Profile Image appears in the bottom left 230 x 125px.

    Click the image on the right and download it.

  3. Save this image to your Background Images folder. Set up a Package Folder for this if you haven’t got one.
  4. Create a new map > right click the background > Background >
    1. Assign image from library or
    2. Background Properties > Select Image
  5. In Background Properties select the Center Tile option, increase the Transparency if you wish.
  6. Return to the map view and you will now see the space you have to fill.
  7. Add floating topics at the top left and bottom right of the background image. I found these characters in the Wing Dings font set: Wing Ding Arrows Characters. Move the arrow tips until they touch the background image corner. You could also use a floating arrow image.
  8. Create your cover image with MindManager.
  9. Hide the background. Right click background > Background Properties > 100% transparency.
  10. Export the map image at 100% zoom. Tip: If there are no photos on the map: use PNG or GIF. With photos JPG. Don’t use BMP. You will get best resolution and minimum file size.
  11. Crop the image in your image editing software using the arrow points as the edges of the cropped image.
  12. You should now have an image 851 x 315 which you can upload to Facebook.

Download my Facebook image map template file. This has the background image and the floating topics.

This works similarly for Biggerplate cover images in the Trainer directory.  The image size seems to vary depending on browser and image size/

Biggerplate Cover Image BoldMindManager maps place the central topic in the center of the image which may not be where you want it. For the Biggerplate image I added an offset a rectangle above the required image area which “pushed” the central topic towards the top of the cropped image I then uploaded to Biggerplate.

If you have a better process please tell me.

 

Auto calc, formulas, properties and map parts

October 22nd, 2013

MindManager calculator map partI have been experimenting with the topic calculator tools in MindManager 14 for Windows today. The result was this Selling Price map part. This calculates the retail price for an item based on the cost to the retailer, a % margin, VAT (tax) resulting in an inc. VAT and ex. VAT price. I saved this as map part for use in other maps.

The process is simple:

  • Select a topic
  • Insert properties: Cost, Margin, VAT & Quantity
  • Insert formulas ex VAT and inc VAT
  • Check the results
  • Result the property values to default ones
  • Open Map Parts task pane
  • Select or create a folder (I created one called calculators)
  • Save Selected Topic

I wonder what other calculators would be useful?

 

I wonder what other simple calculators would be of use to MindManager users?

 

MindManager Macro’s can save you lots of time

October 3rd, 2013

Stop reading this if you are a Mindjet Web, Mac or Mobile user, it’s applicable for Windows users only.

Since MindManager 2002 you have been able to write macros to speed up your use of MindManager. I use them for tasks I do repeatedly which are not easily accomplished using select and the Ribbon or right-click Context Menu tools.

MindManager Hyperlink Context Menu

Hyperlink Context Menu

For example I produce maps which I export to the web so the world or a private group can use the content. Generally I like the hyperlinked topics to be in blue and bold, to highlight to the users of a clickable image map, that there is a link there. It is possible to select all hyperlinked topics using the Find tool and apply bold and blue to the font. (Open the Find > Options menu, tick the hyperlinks box and find “http://”) But I noticed Nigel Goult at Olympic Limited has a page called Mindjet Macros (FREE) page and it reminded of his expertise in this area.  To make my clickable image maps more search friendly, I also realised that I wanted the Alt text of the exported links to be the Topic Text and not the URL. A Skype conversation with him turned around the following macros very quickly:

I subsequently created another macro from these by copying and editing:

Download the macro by clicking the text.

I was also able to add the macros to the right-click menu of a hyperlink icon on a topic as shown in the menu above.

How do you do this?

MindManager Macro Organiser pane

MindManager Macro Organiser pane

Well the easiest route is to ask Nigel but you may wish to have a go yourself.  Open up the Macro Editor. It’s at the end of the View ribbon.  It’s similar to Visual Basic.

To use a Macro you need to add it to the applications using the View > Macros > Organize Macros tool.  I save my macros in a sub-folder of my user directory called My Mindjet/Macros (It also contains folders for all my Templates and Styles which I use via the Package Folders tool).  You will find a couple of macros already listed. Use the Add button to add a Macro file.

Macro Modify Menu

Macro Modify Menu

In the Macro pane you can add a macro to an existing menu. There are lots to choose from. The Hyperlink context Menu is appropriate for mine. You can also run macros directly from the Macro Organiser.  Also Activity Owner has an Add In called MyMapMacros for adding macros to the Ribbon and Quick Access Toolbar.

Editing macros can be done with the Macro Editor or a text editor. I simplified one of the macros Nigel produced for me. I made a copy of the macro file with a new name and removed a couple of lines from the code to stop the bold and blue commands:

tSelectedTopic.Hyperlink.TextToDisplay = tSelectedTopic.Text
tSelectedTopic.TextColor.SetARGB(255,0,0,255)
tSelectedTopic.Font.Bold=True

became

tSelectedTopic.Hyperlink.TextToDisplay = tSelectedTopic.Text

If you have something you do repeatedly which can be automated consider using macros. You could save yourself a lot of time and scratching of the head whilst thinking how did I do that last time.

Do you have any macros to share or a requirement?

Mindjet and the Web – Rapidly assembling knowledge – The video

July 25th, 2013

This is my cut from a Visual Thinking Hub webinar in which I show how to use MindManager or Mindjet for Windows to create a knowledge map about a subject. The techniques of drag and drop or copy and paste for text, links and images from web pages are also applicable to files and folders on your local PC and network drives. This functionality has been in MindManager for more than a decade. You will also see how to use the map parts to add search results to your map ( a recent addition about five years ago). For a map outlining the video content please visit my previous blog

If you have any questions, please use the comment form below.

Mindjet or MindManager and the Web – Rapidly assembling knowledge