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What do you think about Multiple Hyperlinks in MindManager 2012 topics?

I am not keen.  Today I was updating the hyperlinks on a map. It happened that I had set View > Show/Hide > Hyperlinks to off. I was merrily dragging links from my Cabre web site on to a map that already had all the topics I wanted.  It was going to be a visual index on the web site.  Halfway through the process I realised my web page names were causing some problems.  So I changed them and redragged the links to the map.

After posting the clickable web export of the map into the web page I tested it and found it did not work.  I had already been scratching my head a lot today about various web site issues and this one seemed to be an unecessary problem. I have created hundreds of clickable image maps in the last decade and they normally work.

When I looked at the image map html code more closely I saw the problem. The URLs were pointing at a local network URL http://192.168.1.77 etc. Where did that come from?  I went back to the map and set View > Show/Hide > Hyperlinks to on.  No Cabre favicons only a figure of 8 link!  The penny dropped multiple hyperlinks per topic.  The local URLs were from when I tested the site on my local PC.  They were followed by all the URLs I had subsequently dropped on the topic.   The first URL in the list is used by the web export.

This disrupts my long standing and very effective way of working.  Please Mindjet can I have switch in the Options of the next service pack to turn this feature off?

On a more general note I don’t get having multiple links per topic. How do you know what they are without their page title or your topic text?  Some web sites uses numerical page names which have no hint of the content and many are longer than you will be able to see on the Manage Hyperlinks screen even when you mouse over.

I know there are many MindManager users who have been begging for this feature for years. What do you think?

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.

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13 Responses to “What do you think about Multiple Hyperlinks in MindManager 2012 topics?”

  1. Maurice Poole says:

    I too cannot see why it is necessary to have multiple hyperlinks on one topic when several daughter sub-branches could have one each and provide reasons/explanation of inclusion. If some users value the feature there may be good reason to keep it but it seems clear to me that some would prefer not to use it. Having said that I have not yet tested MindManager® 2012 to that extent. Does it not beg the question though of web export – the foregoing being OK up to there (covering nearly all my usage to date, hence first reaction) – that each (sub-)branch becomes a separate web page? Wouldn’t that mean unnecessary multiplication of pages with little information on each?

  2. Robin Capper says:

    Haven’t tested this aspect of 2012 yet, thanks for the pointer. I can see a use for multiple links where say you are researching a topic which several web pages address. Could have a separate topic for each but often just want a link to the page to refer back to.

  3. Andrew Wilcox says:

    @Maurice

    For the multiple page web exports you can choose at what level topic’s notes and links are all listed on the parent page without creating sub pages. You need to lay your maps out accordingly.

    With multiple links on a topic only the first is processed in the web export. (Tested for the clickable image map web export and believed to be true for the others.) Hint: Don’t use multiple hyperlinks if you want them all to appear in the web export. I doubt whether the Mindjet Flash viewer supports then either.

    @Robin

    That only works if you can make sense of the URLs.

  4. MindManager has always had a means way to capture multiple hyperlinks on a topic with good descriptions. They are called subtopics :-).

    I have been using MindManager since 2006 and have never seen a situation where I wanted two hyperlinks on a topic.

  5. Alex says:

    Andrew,

    I’m afraid I’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. I’m particularly pleased with the multiple hyperlink feature.

    As Robin suggests, it’s useful for research, particularly if you have a map that you want to keep fairly neat (I know you could hide the hyperlink topics, but I prefer being able to distinguish between “real” topics and those that are just for hyperlinks and to have all the “real” topics open). It’s also a pain when you add a hyperlink with a long URL which you then have to edit anyway – it’s much easier to just to add it via the hyperlink manager to a set of multiple hyperlinks.

    I agree that it would be better if the hyperlink manager let you add a short name for each hyperlink, but in any case it does show the favicons and, when you mouse over the hyperlink icon, a substantial portion of the URL name. If you are still getting the URLS mixed up you can always revert to attaching them to individual topics – after all, nobody is forced to use multiple hyperlinks.

    However the real value of this facility is when you want to hyperlink to a bunch of your own files rather than attaching them. Since you know what they are the file names shouldn’t be an issue and if they are you can change them anyway.

    The multiple hyperlink feature is proving really useful for me in a project I’m currently undertaking which involves hundreds of PDF documents. Rather than attach these I can now have different groupings of files hyperlinked to each topic, as well as having the same file hyperlinked from different parts of the map. Often this just means three or four hyperlinks per topic – having put in a separate sub-topic for each link would just be a distraction, especially in my current map which is an outline of the final report where each topic represents a report heading or sub-headfing.

    I must admit that since I don’t need to do clickable web exports, but I would have no objection to an option to turn the multiple hyperlink facility off if it interferes with this facility – just as long as it was an option. And if only the first hyperlink is exported in web export, at least this is consistent behaviour.

  6. Andrew Wilcox says:

    I do like good debate supported by real use cases.

    @ActivityOwner I’m with you. The change disrupted my workflow.

    @Alex I would not want to permantly disable this function. I may find a use for it. For now I have many maps with 10s if not 100s of links in subtopics. I find the Level of Detail controls sufficient for me. It allows me to append notes (sub-topics or notes) to the links when required.

    Your comments suggest you can drag and drop a group of files from File Explorer to a single topic. Is that the case?

  7. @Alex — Could you instead be linking to folders containing the documents rather than having multiple links to different files?

  8. […] site where users can suggest and vote on new features for MindManager. I learned of this after Andrew Wilcox posted a suggestion on the mindmanager yahoo group for adding an option to disable new multiple […]

  9. Bob Levy says:

    I was (and still am) excited about the multiple hyperlinks. I have wanted them for a long time.
    Part of this debate is the simple fact that mind mapping CAN be a very personal process.
    There are times when a map will only make sense to the author and other times it IS a very effective communications tool.

    I like the “manage” aspects of the view but am sympathetic to Andrews problem. It seems that in addition to an “on off” there should be a much better “export” process where each link would be separately attached to the topic.

  10. Alex says:

    @Andrew – I certainly have no objection to an optional switch being added and I apologise if my “homage” to multiple hyperlinks gave that impression.

    I actually think an optional switch is a good idea but I did think of another way of achieving the same outcome (which I posted over at the Mindjet blog), which is basically to have a switch to determine how hyperlinks are handled at the time they are attached to a topic with an existing hyperlink – either always overwrite, never overwrite or ask the question each time. This could also be integrated with a facility to optionally give each hyperlink a short name.

    Also, I don’t drag and drop files as I haven’t found a way yet do this that doesn’t just end up with multiple topics- though you can do this then, cut and paste the individual hyperlinks to a single topic and delete the unwanted topics. Instead I just select the path via the hyperlink manager dialogue box; if you are selecting several files in the same directory it’s not too much of a hassle (though I would love a proper drag and drop facility).

    @ActivityOwner, no just linking to folders won’t work for me. Leaving aside situations where you might have hundreds of documents in a directory and want to link to only a few of them, a more real-world example is the current project I’m working on, which compares different approaches to aspects of local government organisations – to simplify matters, let’s say I’m considering management structure, finances and work program – between Australian states (oh, the joys of a Federation, but I digress).

    Some of the source material covers one of these subject areas across all states but more commonly the articles and reports relate to one or more of these subjects in a specific state. I therefore have organised the material in folders by state with one more folder for federal policy and another for more theoretical studies. It is not possible to further subdivide the material by topic as many documents cover more than one area.

    The report is structured into sections which discuss individal states and others which discuss subject areas. For the sections which cover each individual state in detail I could have just a hyperlink to each state folder, though as there are subsections on each specific subject area I find it’s very helpful instead to be able to have multiple hyperlinks to the relevant documents for each subsection.

    However it is for the concluding sections which discuss subject areas across all the states that the multiple hyperlink facility really shines. I can easily establish links for each sub-section to all the relevant material across all the directories. This approach means I can really use MM as a document manager integrated into the report structure.

    Alex

  11. NickDuffill says:

    This macro will clean up your maps, making the last added hyperlink the one and only link on topics with multiple links. No guarantees as to fitness for purpose 🙂

    ‘ Delete all but the last hyperlink on topics with multiple links
    Option Explicit

    Sub Main
    Dim m_Topic As Topic
    For Each m_Topic In ActiveDocument.Range(mmRangeAllTopics)
    While m_Topic.Hyperlinks.Count > 1
    m_Topic.Hyperlinks.Remove(1)
    Wend
    Next
    End Sub

  12. Andrew Wilcox says:

    Nick, Thanks for the macro.

    Another use case where multiple hyperlinks fail for me: I have hundreds perhaps thousands of maps with hyperlinks on them, they go back to MindManager 3.0. Today I opened a five year old map, ctrl-clicked a link and the web site address was not valid. I found the new URL for this business in my browser and dragged it to the topic on the map. Fortunately I remembered that I have to edit the link and remove the dead URL. In all versions before MindManager 2012, I would have had nothing to do, my map would have been correctly and efficiently updated.

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