Converting tables (spreadsheets) into MindManager Maps

Have you ever been frustrated about adding a table of data to your MindManager map? There it is all nicely arranged. It could be a list of meeting attendees e.g. Ecademy 12th Birthday Party. You can copy and paste it (just the attendee table) on to a map but the result is not what I want. Each row gets concatenated into one topic.

Here is how I process it in Word to produce the map I want. Paste part of this attendee list as unformatted text in to Word or use a simple two column table with a few rows of data.

Then Insert > Table > Convert text to table

Now you have a tabulated set of data. In this case the Name column comes with some excess baggage. Use search and replace to remove the guff. Delete any columns you do not need.

Select the Name column apply Heading 1 style
Select the Organization column apply Heading 2 style

You could have Location as the Heading 2 style or make it a sub-sub-topic with Heading 3 style. I also added Ecademy Meeting in Title style.

Open a new map in MindManager.

Select the table contents in Word and then click the MindManager button in Add-Ins. Hey presto.

Alternatively save the Word document and the import in MindManager. Ecademy meeting becomes the central topic. You can also copy and paste Spreadsheets in to Word and process them similarly.

Do you have a better way?

About Andrew Wilcox

Andrew is an experienced user of MindManager who shares his knowledge and advice for free here. And provides commercial training and consulting on how to exploit MindManager and other mind mapping software applications in business, organisations and for individuals at Cabre For more information about Andrew please visit his Google + profile.

12 Responses to “Converting tables (spreadsheets) into MindManager Maps”

  1. Bebedores do Gondufo says:


  2. baltalar says:

    Very useful topic. Thank you very much Andrew.

  3. Alex says:

    Thanks, that is a neat trick, Andrew – I wasn't aware that MM would handle Word tables like that if you applied heading styles to the columns.

    Using your Ecademy attendance list as an example, I found it slightly easier to start off by pasting the list into Excel first, which immediately puts it into a table format. I could then clean it up there and paste the table back to Word to convert to MM.

    I also experimented with changing the column order to put the organisation first and then applying the heading style formatting. This worked OK, but unfortunately merging the cells with the same organisation name did not produce what I hoped for in MM – a single topic for each organisation with the attendees from that organisation listed as sub-topics (MM converts only the first person's name under each organisation).

    There is however a way around this. Set up the word table, apply the heading styles and merge the cells with the same organisation name as I describe above, then convert the table back to text using paragraph returns to separate text. Go through and eliminate all surplus returns (search for ^p^p and replace with ^p), highlight the lot and click the MM button. Hey presto, all the contacts for each organisation appear under the topic for that organisation as sub-topics.

    Enough work-avoiding and time wasting – I've got to get back to work!


  4. Andrew Wilcox says:

    Hi Alex

    All sorts of ways to perform this trick.

    I have different results depending on which browser I use Firefox or IE. One of them used to produce several topics for one row in a table but not anymore.

    It is worth while running a few experiments


  5. Steve Rothwell says:

    Thanks Andrew – I would never have thought of starting with a table. I like it.


  6. Andrew Wilcox says:

    Glad to be of service


  7. […] was Andrew Wilcox who first described the underlying “trick” to get around this, which is to apply Word’s […]

  8. Dawn says:

    Hi Andrew,
    How do we just insert the table to mindmanager mindmap with it appearing the same as what’s on word?

  9. Andrew Wilcox says:

    If you want to see a Word table in MindManager copy and paste it into a Topic Note or use screen grabbing software to copy and paste the table as an image in a topic.

    Apologies for delay in repsonse. WordPress has only just told me about this comment. (An update seems to have restarted the comment indicator)

  10. […] often I go via Word or Excel to tidy things up and then paste to the map.  This blog about Converting tables in to MindManager maps may […]

  11. […] to be displayed) then the method outlined in my earlier post (which was based on an approach first described by Andrew Wilcox in his Applications of MindManager blog) is probably the best […]

  12. […] a direct import of a spreadsheet into an outline. There’s one guy online who’s got a process that routes the information through Word into Mindmanager. Unfortunately this blew up Mindmanager […]

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