Freemind: Open Source Mind-Mapping Software

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Freemind: Open Source Mind-Mapping Software

Freemind User Guide(Version 0.8.0)By Shailaja KumarUnder the guidance of:Beth AgnewProfessor, Technical CommunicationSeneca College of Applied Arts & TechnologyToronto, ONPermission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document underthe terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any laterversion published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections,with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the licenseis included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

Freemind: Open Source Mind-Mapping SoftwareTable of ContentsCHAPTER 1: WELCOME TO FREEMIND . 51.0 Introduction to Freemind. 61.1 What Freemind is good for. 61.2 Features . 72.0 Installation. 92.1 Basic requirements of Freemind . 92.2 Downloading and installing JRE . 92.3 Downloading and installing Freemind. 11CHAPTER 2 : GETTING STARTED. 133.0 Exploring the Freemind interface . 143.1 Creating and deleting nodes . 163.2 Saving your mind map. 183.3 Editing node text . 193.4 Formatting a node. 213.5 Using the Physical Styles . 273.6 Searching nodes. 29CHAPTER 3 : ADDING CLOUDS, LINKS, AND ICONS . 314.0 Adding clouds, links, and icons. 324.1 Highlighting nodes with clouds . 324.2 Adding hyperlinks. 334.3 Adding icons. 354.4 Adding graphical links. 37CHAPTER 4 : ADVANCED OPERATIONS. 395.0 Features that simplify your work. 405.1 Selecting multiple nodes . 405.2 Dragging and dropping . 415.3 Copying and pasting . 425.4 Folding and unfolding . 455.5 Using Undo . 466.0 Navigation features. 466.1 Moving around. 466.2 Changing to a different mind map. 476.3 Scrolling the map . 47

6.4 Zooming . 486.5 Following links . 487.0 Exporting and importing data . 487.1 Exporting data . 487.2 Importing data. 527.3 Integrating with Word or Outlook . 548.0 Printing. 559.0 Setting preferences. 5610.0 Using different modes . 5710.1 Browsing files on your computer . 5710.2 Browsing mind maps . 5811.0 Using rich text, pictures, and file locking. 5811.1 Using rich text by means of HTML . 5811.2 Using pictures in nodes. 5911.3 Using experimental file locking . 6012.0 The Freemind web applet . 6012.1 Installing Freemind applet at your website . 6112.2 Using the Freemind applet . 6113.0 Keyboard shortcuts . 62INDEX . 64

Freemind: Open Source Mind-Mapping SoftwareChapter 1Welcome to FreemindThis chapter introduces you to the mind mappingsoftware application Freemind (version 0.8.0). Itprovides an overview of the application and explainsthe general features of Freemind. You will learnabout installation and configuration, installationprerequisites, and usage techniques.Chapter 1: Welcome to Freemind-5-

1.0 Introduction to FreemindFreemind is an open source, mind-mapping softwareprogram written in Java. A mind map is a knowledgeorganization tool used to elicit ideas from one or more usersby placing a topic in the center of an empty space andbranching out with related ideas. The general premise ofmind-mapping software is that it will help you to organize,link, and integrate thoughts. The primary focus of a mindmap involves making an arrangement of words into apicture, which has a key concept at the centre or at the top,and related words and concepts linked with the key conceptby means of lines and arrows.Mind mapping software can be used for brainstorming andconceptualizing, where you have ideas you need to putdown, structure, expand, and connect. Freemind also worksas a tree editor. You can create foldable trees of plain textnotes enriched with colors, icons, cloud-shapes, and othergraphics. This will help you to customize your map. Forexample, you can use clouds to group together the nodesthat are interrelated, colors to differentiate betweencompleted tasks and other tasks, and icons to prioritize anode.Freemind is useful for organizing your ideas and for keepingtrack of all the things that are involved in completing a task.You can use Freemind to keep a personal knowledge basethat is easy to manage. You can take advantage of thescientific method and write-everything-down approach inyour daily life. Freemind is a valuable and effective tool forpeople who want to manage themselves systematically.1.1 What Freemind is good forCurrent users of Freemind use it for the following purposes: -6-Projects - Freemind helps you in keeping track ofprojects including subtasks, state of subtasks, and timerecordingChapter 1: Welcome to Freemind

Freemind: Open Source Mind-Mapping Software Information – Freemind helps you in managinginformation including links to necessary files,executables, and source of informationInternet research – Freemind helps you in performinginternet research using Google and other sourcesKnowledgebase – Freemind helps you in keeping acollection of small or middle-sized notes with links onsome area, which expands as needed. Such a collection ofnotes is sometimes called a knowledge baseEssay – Freemind helps you in writing essays andbrainstorming your ideas, using colors to show whichessays are open, completed, not yet started etc, using sizeof nodes to indicate size of essaysDatabase – Freemind helps you in keeping a smalldatabase of something with structure that is either verydynamic or not known in advanceInternet favorites – Freemind helps you in maintainingcommented internet favorites or bookmarks, with colorsand fonts having the meaning you want1.2 FeaturesFreemind is an excellent application for mind mapping andbrainstorming your ideas. What makes it so different fromother mind-mapping applications? The main difference is itsusability. The presence of a simple and intuitive interfacemakes the application easy to use and understand. It can bealmost fully controlled by the keyboard.The Freemind (version 0.8.0) application has a set of uniquefeatures: Folding – This is the ability of Freemind to hide ordisplay all the information below a selected node. Easycontrol of folding is an essential property of Freemind.Navigating with a single click – This also includesfolding / unfolding with one click and following linkswith one click at the same time. You can move the mapby dragging the map's background or by using themouse wheel.Chapter 1: Welcome to Freemind-7-

Following of HTML links – HTML links can be stored inthe nodes, including the World Wide Web links and linksto local files.Using Undo – The Undo feature is used to remove theeffect of a previously used menu option.Smart Dragging and Dropping – This includes thepossibility of copying nodes or styles of nodes; draggingand dropping of multiple selected nodes; dropping oftexts or list of files from outside.Smart copying and pasting – This feature helps inpasting of links from HTML or structuring the pastedcontent on the basis of the number of leading spaces in aline; pasting of lists of selected files.Exporting your map as HTML – This feature convertsyour mind map to a standard, hierarchical text structure.Using the Find facility – This feature displays the founditems one by one on selecting the “find next” option. Themap is unfolded only for the current item.Using Built-in icons – Built-in icons can be used withcolors and different fonts to decorate nodes.Storing maps in XML format – Freemind exhibits lowcost of risk of switching away to another mind mappingtool, because Freemind stores maps in XML format. Ifyou have a lot of maps created by Freemind and youwant to switch to another program, writing a conversionprogram should be easy, especially if that programfeatures Visual Basic scripting facility.Using the File mode – The File mode can be used tobrowse the files on your computer, seeing the folderstructure as mind map.Freemind has an edge over many other applications becauseit can be easily customized and has an extensive set offeatures. The entire process of creating, using, and sharingmind maps is made very user friendly. From a practicalpoint of view, Freemind does allow you to try out a differentway of structuring and visualizing content. By visualizingyour content and its various connections in a fluid way youmay be able to gain a better grasp of it all. All thesecharacteristics have helped in increasing the popularity ofthe application.-8-Chapter 1: Welcome to Freemind

Freemind: Open Source Mind-Mapping Software2.0 InstallationThis section provides details about the prerequisites andtechniques to download and install Freemind. The latestversion of Freemind (version 0.8.0) occupies 9.5 MB of diskspace.2.1 Basic requirements of FreemindThe following are the minimum requirements for usingFreemind: Java Runtime Environment (JRE) version 1.4.2 Windows, Linux, or Mac operating system Internet connection2.2 Downloading and installing JREThis section provides details regarding downloading andinstalling JRE 1.4.2 in the Microsoft Windows environment.You must first install JRE 1.4.2 and then install Freemind.Kindly verify your system requirements before downloadingJRE.System requirements Approximately 200 MB of disk space.Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT 4.0, Windows2000, or Windows XP.This installation requires Windows Installer 2.0 on yourmachine, or an Internet connection for it to beautomatically downloaded.A Pentium 166MHz or faster processor with at least 32megabytes of physical RAM is required to rungraphically-based applications. Intel or a 100%compatible processor is supported.Chapter 1: Welcome to Freemind-9-

The Supported Browsers are Netscape 4.7.x, 6.2.2, or 7 Mozilla 1.2.1, 1.3, 1.4, or 1.4.1 Internet Explorer 5.5 (SP2 ), or 6.x.Downloading and installing JRE 1.4.2 forMicrosoft Windows using Internet Explorer1. Enter the following link in your ml2. Go to the section J2SE v 1.4.2 10 JRE. Click onDownload J2SE JRE.The Download section for Java(TM) 2 RuntimeEnvironment, Standard Edition 1.4.2 opens.3. Review the license agreement and click Accept.If you are not satisfied with the terms and conditions,and you do not click Accept, it is not possible todownload JRE Click Windows Offline Installation, Multilanguage.5. Select Save in the dialogue box that opens.This saves the downloaded file without installing it.6. When the download completes, click Open.The file j2re-1 4 2 version -windows-i586.execontains everything needed to install the Java 2 RuntimeEnvironment, including the installer, characterconversion classes, and support for locales other than theUS English locale.7. Run the file downloaded in step 6 by double-clicking theinstaller's icon. Follow the instructions the installerprovides. Click I accept the terms in the licenseagreement and click Next.- 10 -Chapter 1: Welcome to Freemind

Freemind: Open Source Mind-Mapping SoftwareYou cannot download JRE 1.4.2, if you do not accept theterms and conditions.8. In the Setup Type section, by default the Typical setup isselected. Click Next.The Typical setup installs all the recommended features.9. Click Finish, when the Install Shield Wizard completesthe installation.10. When done with the installation, you can delete thedownloaded file and recover the disk space.2.3 Downloading and installing FreemindThis section provides details regarding downloading andinstalling the Freemind application in the MS Windowsenvironment. Kindly verify your system requirementsbefore downloading Freemind.System requirements 9.5 MB of disk space.Freemind works with Windows 95, Windows 98,Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP (SP1 & SP2),and Windows 2003 Server.The Supported Browsers are Netscape 4.7.x, 6.2.2, 7 Mozilla 1.2.1, 1.3, 1.4, 1.4.1 Internet Explorer 5.5 (SP2 ), 6.x.Downloading and installing Freemind forMicrosoft Windows1. Enter the following link in your .php/Main Page2. Go to the Download section and click Windows InstallerMax available under Microsoft Windows.Chapter 1: Welcome to Freemind- 11 -

A download window stating Opening FreemindWindows-Installer-0 8 0-max.exe opens.3. Select Save to Disk and click OK.4. Once the download is complete, click Open.The Freemind Setup Wizard launches.5. Follow the instructions of the Setup wizard to completethe installation.6. Once the installation is complete, double click the fileFreemind.jar which is an Executable Jar File located inthe folder lib to run the application.Note: You can also download Freemind by selecting andclicking Download (Free version).ORAn alternate location to download Freemind for freeis down the page and click DownloadFreemind.- 12 -Chapter 1: Welcome to Freemind

Freemind: Open Source Mind-Mapping SoftwareChapter 2Getting StartedThis chapter explains the basic interface of Freemind.It provides details about working with nodes andcreating mind maps. You will learn about editing,formatting, and applying patterns to a node byworking with physical styles. The primary objectiveis to help you learn the basics of Freemind.Chapter 2: Getting Started- 13 -

3.0 Exploring the Freemind interfaceIt is very important to be familiar with the Freemindinterface to understand the basics of Freemind. The interfaceof Freemind has 3 main components:1. The Menu bar2. The Formatting bar3. The Icon toolbarMenu barFormatting barFont pull downName of thecurrent mapIcon toolbarRoot nodeChild nodesNode with formattingWeb linkFigure 1 The Freemind InterfaceYou will be exploring each of the toolbars in detail in theupcoming sections.- 14 -Chapter 2: Getting Started

Freemind: Open Source Mind-Mapping SoftwareFreemind operates in the “mind map” mode. Before creatinga new mind map, you should be aware of some commonterminologies used in Freemind. A node is a text box that isused to store information. Nodes are connected togetherusing curved lines called edges. When you create a newmind map in Freemind, you will notice a grey, oval shapednode with a label “New Mindmap”. This is the root node.You will build your map by adding nodes to the root node.The root node is currently selected when it is highlighted ingrey color. Clicking on it will open the text for editing.A child node originates from the parent node and ispositioned 1 level lower than the parent node. A siblingnode is positioned at the same level as its reference node. Forexample, when a sibling node is created for a child node, it ispositioned at the same level as that of the child node. A rootnode can only have child nodes. Other nodes can have bothchild and sibling nodes.As you build your map, you can set colors, sizes, fonts andother attributes to emphasize nodes and edges. This helpsyou to customize your map. For example, you can useclouds to group together the interrelated nodes, colors todifferentiate between completed tasks and remaining tasks,and icons to prioritize a node.Nodes can be "folded" or "unfolded" by clicking on them.Unfolding a node displays the nodes below it. You can alsoinsert, delete, and rearrange nodes quickly. Most of theoptions also have keyboard shortcuts.Chapter 2: Getting Started- 15 -

3.1 Creating and deleting nodesCreate a new mind map by working with nodes and edges.Create a mind map called “Writing an article”.Creating nodes1. Click File in the menu and select New.A new screen having a root node labeled as “NewMindmap” opens.2. Click the root node to change the name. Erase “NewMindmap” and enter the title of your map. In thisexample, enter the text “Writing an article”.3. Go to Insert, and click New Child Node.Freemind inserts a new child node to the root node.Note: To create a child node while editing anothernode, press Insert while editing.4. Click the grey area to open the text editor. Assign a nameto your child node. In this example, enter the text “Topicsto cover

Freemind is an open source, mind-mapping software program written in Java. A mind map is a knowledge organization tool used to elicit ideas from one or more users by placing a topic in the center of an empty space and branching out with related ideas. The general premise of mind-mapping software is that it will help you to organize,

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