Posts Tagged ‘tips’

Tips for formatting and splitting topics

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Inspired by receiving a reply from the HMRC (UK Tax) as a continuous string of text punctuated but not paragraphed.

A few tips for formatting topics:

  1. Splitting Text: You can split the text in a topic into topics or sub topics using the context menu (Right click) > Split Topic or short cut keys:
    • Select the text to move to the new topic then Shift-Alt-Down for new topic or Shift-Alt-Right for a subtopic.
    • Select the topic then Ctrl-Alt-Enter to create a new topics. Ctrl-Alt -Insert will produce subtopics.  I thought this would be for each word or at each punctuation remark but it was that not definite. Experiment!
    • Useful for splitting a list of words: “red, blue, green, yellow” or a piece of text from an email or document for analysis and comment.
  2. Topic Width: You can drag the left and right hand blue edges of a selected topic to increase or decrease its width.  If you want to apply this width to the other topics in the map, Right click > Format Topic > Map Theme > Save in Default Theme for This Map.
  3. Line Breaks: Shift-Enter will insert a line break in topic text. Useful for formatting the Central Topic and lists or paragraphs in topics.
  4. Seeing all the options: Right click the topic > Use Font or Format Topic to see all formatting options.  Or use the little dropdown box in the Ribbon Sections for Font or Object Format.

Do you have any more?

Hyperlink or Attach that is the question?

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Not quite as fundamental as to be or not to be but it is important to understand the difference.  The question was raised in another forum and I thought I would summarise my thoughts here.

Where are the files?

Hyperlinked files (and web pages) remain where they are on your hard drive, network drive or on the web.  Hyperlinks won’t work with USB memory sticks, SD cards and other portable memory devices if they are removed. Hyperlinks won’t work if the file name or folder is changed.

Attached files are copied from the original location, embedded in the MindManager file and there is no link to the original file.  They increase the file size.  Providing the MindManager file does not become corrupt, you will always be able to view and edit the files (assuming you have the file editor on the computer).  Temporary copies of Attached files are created in your temporary user folder when editing them.

How do I create a Hyperlink or Attachment?

Hyperlinking is simple, drag the file or folder from Windows File Explorer on to the map and either create a new topic or add it to an existing topic. You can also drag links from web pages and the browsers address field favicon.

Alternatively select a topic and use the toolbar tool or Ctrl-K to open the hyperlinking dialogue which gives you some additional options.

MindManager Hyperlink Tool

  • Existing File or Web Page to create a link to a file, folder or URL (could be a web page or file)
  • Topic in this map useful for related topics in large maps
  • New document create, save and link a file
  • Email Address and subject. This link will create a new email
  • Options has more fields for web exports and adding an arguement to a file e.g. to open it at a specific page
  • Relative or Absolute will be discussed further down.

MindManager Attachment dialogueAttaching a file can be achieved with drag and drop from Windows File Explorer, if you press and hold the Ctrl key, and then release the mouse when the file is postioned as a new topic only. You will be given the option to hyperlink or attach the file.

Alternatively select the topic, use the Attach tool or right click the topic or Ctrl-Shift-H to open the attach dialogue opposite. You can also create a new document.




What can I (not) Hyperlink or Attach?

Hyperlinking will work with anything on your computer you can open by double clicking in Windows File Explorer: files including executable ones and folders. These can be located on your local PC, portable, mapped network and WebDav drives.  Obviously the latter 3 drive types will not work if they are not present.  You can hyperlink to any URL which could be a web page or a file and includes FTP links.  If you can get at it in your browser, you can link to it.

Attaching works with files only. But you can zip a folder and attach it. Or convert a link to a shortcut file.  Again you are not limited to document files. Executable files can be attached. Perhaps you have batch file or a piece of shareware which can be used with other files attached to the map.  Attach them to a topic with a note about how to use them.

How many Hyperlinks or Attachments per topic?

As many as you like with MindManager 2012 (previously hyperlinks were limited to one per topic). If you drag another URL/file/folder on to a topic it will be added to the list of hyperlinks.

MindManager Hyperlink Multiple Dialogue

When you have one hyperlink on a topic, the file icon is displayed and one click will open that file. When you have more than one hyperlink, a link with a dropdown triangle is displayed. Clicking it opens the dialogue shown above.

Personally I prefer the single hyperlink per topic and using drag and drop to replace rather than add to the list.  I would like an option per map to choose whether to have single or multiple hyperlinks. Add your vote for this option in Mindjet Voice Multiple Hyperlinks – Please can I turn them off.

Clicking the Attachment icon on a topic opens this dialogue. You can add as many attachments as you require.  By clicking the files you can open them for editing.  You cannot add more attachments by dragging files to the topic.

MindManager Attachment Manage Dialogue

Where do I edit the documents?

You have a choice: A click on a hyperlink or attachment will open it in the MindManager editing pane with the toolbar for the document type. This works for Microsoft Office documents, web pages, PDFs and folders. If you hold the Ctrl key down whilst clicking or use the option in the dialogue you can open the web page or files in the default browser or application.

Absolute or Relative Hyperlinks?

It depends:

  • Relative hyperlinks are good for moving groups of maps, files and folders to a different computer or drive and the links will work in the new location.  For instance you could copy a group from your c: drive to a portable drive, connect the drive to someone elses computer which calls it the h: drive and the links will work.
  • Absolute hyperlinks are good for files which always remain in the same place and may be referenced by many maps. The contact list or the logo folder for instance. This may also be located on a server e.g. the company network drive n:

You need to think about what will happen to these links, if you give this map to someone else!

There is an escape route if the links do not work when the map is moved. Use Find and Replace > Options > Look in Hyperlinks to replace for example c: by h: or ../ by c:/mynewdrive/onthispc/

Hyperlink or Attach that was the Question?

Hopefully the above has helped you understand the technical differences between the two choices which will back up tmy observations on my original question.

It depends:

  • Hyperlinks
    • Are good for files other people are responsible for and editing
    • Will not increase your MindManager file size significantly
    • If a drive, file or folder name is changed the link is broken
    • If you use the File > Save & Send > Send using Email your hyperlinked files can be zipped up with the map
    • If you use the same file in more than one map


  • Attachments
    • Put all the data in one place. A portable project file.
    • Can only be edited by those with editing rights to the MindManager file
    • Will increase your MindManager file size significantly. You may exceed email and uploading limits
    • Can be used to save versions of the map with all the documents as they were at that time.
    • If you email or upload the map, all the attachments go with it in one file.
    • Make sure your map file is backed up. If its deleted or corrupted you will lose all the attached files as well.


Use both were appropriate. 🙂

Happy New Year



The MindManager Options I change from the default values

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

MindManager has a range of settings which are accessed via the File tab > Options. Here are the ones I change, most are applicable to previous versions of MindManager. Click OK whenever you change a page of settings.

  1. General
    • I tick Reopen last open maps on start up but if like a cleanstart use the Open document on startup: to point at your dashboard map.
    • I raise the Recently used files list: to its maximum 15
    • I untick Enable online help. Normally the built in help is enough
  2. Edit
    • I untick Auto-balance new main topics.  It disconcerts me when main topics start moving.
  3. Save
    • I tick Prompt for Map Properties on first save  Just I ever want to add some meta tags to the map and it shows you whether you are identified as the author etc. of the map.
    • I Always create a backup copy .BAK before saving maps. Self preservation in a hostile environment.
    • I Save Autorecover info every 5 minutes. As above.
    • I set Compression on saving to Super Fast. Disc space is less of problem these days and you don’t want to be held up by the auto recover save every 5 minutes.
  4. User Information
    • Fill it in. It is automatically transferred to map properties. Note it will not overwrite information that is in a template map e.g. Mindjet’s
    • I have never found out where the web site and logo information are used. They could be incorporated in a web export.
  5. Spelling
    • If your text is being incorrectly corrected the Autocorrect Options are in here. 🙂
  6. Topic Alerts
    • If you don’t want your Topic alerts synchronised with Outlook untick.
  7. Add-ins
    • Turn off the ones you don’t use, including those that come with MindManager. eg MPX and MS Project Export

Hope you find that helpful.  Do you have any recommendations or questions?

Dragging topics from one map to another

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

During today’s Cabre MindManager Training Day the pupil taught the master something. I did tell him that he would at the beginning of the day :).

The pupil dragged a group of topics from map 1 on to the workbook tab for map 2. He held the mouse on the tab for a moment and the map window switched to map 2 and the topics could be positioned on the map 2. The topics were moved from one map to the other. If you hold down the control key you will copy the topics from one map to the other.

I wonder how long you have been able to that?

Have you discovered or had demonstrated to you any new functionality in MindManager recently?

Restoring your Quick Access Toolbar set up after a repair

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

If you run MindManager > Repair in the Control Panel to fix a problem, the Quick Access Toolbar will be returned to its default install state with 8  tools.  I have  just had to Repair the Outlook MindManager button which adds mail, contacts, calendar and tasks to your current topic.  I lost the 18 tools I had added to the Quick Access Toolbar.
BUT prior to running the repair I exported this key using Regedit from the Registry to my Desktop as QAT.reg:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Mindjet\MindManager\9\User Interface\BCGRibbonBar-59398

After the repair I ran the QAT.reg file and the MindManager – Quick Access Toolbar was restored to its pre-repair state.

You could use this process to create different Quick Access Toolbar sets for different applications of MindManager. I have 5 Ink tools which allow me to map in Ink without having to open the Insert ribbon.

Quick Access Toolbar

Resolving problems with customised web exports in MindManager 9

Monday, September 27th, 2010

I have not been able to use customised web exports which were working in MindManager 8 and earlier versions in MindManager 9.  Which is a bit of a blow because I publish a new web page or site via MindManager most days, ConferenceREACTION event record pages being one example.  Copying the folders from your MindManager 8 web templates to the MindManager 9 templates is not enough.

Here is the answer:
Replace this string
‘#Reference {A41FC8F5-ED0F-4333-9843-51C0539B19D3}#4.0#0#C:\Program Files\Mindjet\MindManager 8\Mm5WebExport.dll#Mm5WebExport 4.0 Type Library
With this string
‘#Reference {F2454FB8-64C3-48fe-B0DD-E7EDEA107825}#5.0#0#C:\Program Files\Mindjet\MindManager 9\Mm5WebExport.dll#Mm5WebExport 5.0 Type Library
in all .mmbas and .cls files
I use Useful File UtilitiesBatch Replacer with this RTBL file UpdateCustomWebExports to do this for each web export template folder.

If you would like me to update any web export folders for you, please zip up to five  folders and email them to me. I will send you a PayPal invoice for £7.99 inc VAT in the UK and the same price for all other countries.  On receipt of payment I will return the updated files. If you have more than 5 folders to process please send an inquiry email for a price.

An alternative process may be to copy the .mmbas and .cls files from MindManager 9 to your related customised folder.  You could do that with File Explorer.

This was my process of elimination to find the source of the problem.

  • I have a map which has exported via the clickable image template successfully.
  • I have made a copy (COPY 1) which also exports successfully
  • I have a customised template which works in MindManager 8
  • I have copied the four edited .xml files to COPY1 and the export works
  • Stopped this copy and test route and went to file compare
  • Comparing MindManager 8 clickable image template folder with MindManager 9 using Total Commander 7.50 shows all mmbas files are different in content. Opening identical files in Notepda++ and using Compare utility show first line is different.
    And its obvious why.
  • ‘#Reference {F2454FB8-64C3-48fe-B0DD-E7EDEA107825}#5.0#0#C:\Program Files\Mindjet\MindManager 9\Mm5WebExport.dll#Mm5WebExport 5.0 Type Library
  • v
  • ‘#Reference {A41FC8F5-ED0F-4333-9843-51C0539B19D3}#4.0#0#C:\Program Files\Mindjet\MindManager 8\Mm5WebExport.dll#Mm5WebExport 4.0 Type Library
  • But this is a comment! Perhaps not.
  • The reference is the same in all mmbas files in the original folder
  • Does replacing them in a custom export template solve the problem? Time to use Useful File Utilities – Batch Replacer
    to change the reference in my “old” template to the new reference.
  • It did for 48 out of the 54 files. What is different for the other six?
  • They are tables of parameter names and other files specific for my customised export.
  • Time to try it out.
  • Failed at the BeginExport.mmbas ???
  • Copy MindManager 8 “Clickable Image” folder to MindManager 9 web templates renamed to “Clickable Image ex 8”
  • Run the search and replace on the .mmbas files and the web export works!
  • More investigation of my custom export template required
  • First let me try one of my simpler custom web export
  • Tried and failed. Ran the search and replace on all files. The reference is also include *.cls files.
  • Ran simple custom web export. SUCCESS!
  • Ran Search and Replace on more complex web export. Ran export and SUCCESS!

Using MindManager Ink Mode with the Tablet PC

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Using MindManager in Ink ModeAs part of my session in the Mindjet MindManager 9 RoadShow I showed how you could use the Tablet PC with MindManager in ink mode to record a presentation.  The map is an overview of the process and tools used to do this. Click the image to see full size.

If you attach a graphics tablet to a PC running  Windows 7 or Vista, you can open Control Panel > Programs and Features > Turn Windows Features On or Off (LHS column) and enable the Table PC Components. Note you get much better visual feedback when using the Tablet PC.

As you can see the ink mode uses a set of gestures. I generally use the first 5. Getting the rest by right clicking or using the ribbons or Quick Access Toolbar. Customising your stylus button (using the Wacom driver) to be Ctrl helps for copying.

The ink to text tool can be found on the Extras Ribbon or by right clicking a topic. Generally I do a topic by topic conversion to make sure the text is correct and to add extra topics or edits.  I think you will only find two or three erros in the Accept All conversion shown below the ink map.

If you do not convert the ink to text, the map will contain the five versions of the text the ink to text engine proposes as conversions.  This enables search to find ink!

You can also write and sketch in the notes. This can be converted to text or an image.

My next blog will show how the process was used to report Bill Creekbaum’s presentation at the Mindjet MindManager 9 Road Show in London.

Ink to text conversion in MindManager

Speeding up MindManager 9 and previous versions

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Here are my tips for reducing the time it takes to load and to speed up MindManager.


  • Options > Add Ins > Disable all those you do not use
  • Options > Catalyst > Disable if you do not use it as your main mode of use
    On my PC, MindManager was ready to use after 27 seconds if Catalyst with sign in is enabled on start up and 18 seconds disabled.
  • Disconnect from any databases and SharePoint Servers you are not using.


  • Choose a start up map strategy.  Your choices are:
    • Options > Save reopen last open local maps on startup (My preference)
    • Options > General > Open document on startup
      • New
      • Existing e.g. your current project or personal dashboard
    • Or do not open a map on start up
  • Add your favourite maps and folders to the My Maps pane. Cull unused maps and folders.
  • Reduce the number of folders in your Library pane.  MindManager refreshes the links everytime you open this pane.
  • Options > Spelling – Disable check spelling as you type
  • Options > Turn off any visual effects you do not need
  • Close maps which you are not using and have these characteristics:
    • Hundreds of topics
    • Attachments
    • Map parts: Outlook, Excel, News Feeds, Web Services, Sharepoint, Databases
    • Catalyst maps

Do you have any more suggestions?

Being a veteran user and revised features for Task Managment in MindManager 9

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Task Roll Up DependenciesOver time you become programmed to expect that adding a relationship between two topics with an arrow head at the destination implies a finish to start dependency.  It did for several years but now there is an extra step.

This picture (click to see the full size version) shows how you define the dependency type.  The roll up calculator ignores the dependencies until you do this.

You can select all relationships and define as Finish to Start in one action.  Home Ribbon > Select > Select Special and then select the dependency type in the Task Management pane.

Now I can plan that event in minutes!

Things to do post installation of MindManager 9

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010
  • Start populating the Quick Access toolbar with your frequently used Ribbon commands.  Right click a command > Add to Quick Access Toolbar.
  • You can minimise the Ribbon with the white up chevron between the binoculars and question mark top right. It changes to a down chevron when minimised.
  • If you do not have a personal map style, open a blank map.  Home > Map Style > Modify the colours, line styles, fonts, text colour etc. to suit. Apply and Close.  Then Home > Map Style >Make Current Map Style the Default.
  • My Options tips are:
    • General: Increase recently used files list to 15
    • General: Disable on line help
    • View: Enable Developer ribbon tab
    • Save: Prompt for Map Properties on first save ( I don’t always fill it in)
    • Save: Always create a backup copy (It is a copy of your last save)
    • Save: Save Autorecover info every 5 minutes. (Trust time for Windows and MindManager et al)
    • Save: Compression on saving: Super Fast (MindManager files are zip files. This will increase disk space used)
    • Save: Application startup > Enable Reopen last open local maps on startup (i.e. return to yesterdays desktop)
    • User Information: Fill it in (Saves you doing it in Map Properties and elsewhere)
    • Spelling: Check out the AutoCorrect Options. (You may be happy with eg not e.g.)
    • TabletPC: Height of ink input field > 120 (lets me write two lines of scribble)
    • AddIns: Disable any you are not going to use.
  • Template Maps
    • Change the author of the template maps you use to you.  It means you don’t have to change the author from Mindjet to you every time you save a new map, assuming you use Map Properties.  Enable the Developer ribbon in Options > View.  Open Map Templates in the Developer Ribbon.  Select a template > Modify.  Right click the Workbook tab > Properties >Change the author and any other fields e.g Category. Save the template.
    • You may wish to add logos and change line colors etc. to your branding.
    • If they are templates for maps that involve resources, add the people you will use repeatedly to a Resource floating topic. Save it as a Map Part and you can add it to other maps or templates.

Hope this helps.  If you have any questions, comments or your own suggestions please add them below.