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Node icons

Node icons are icons that a user can attach to a node, offered in the left toolbar.

User icons

In FreeMind 0.9.0 beta, you can add your own icons to your minds maps, alongside the standard set of icons delivered with FreeMind, such as the priority icons or the flower icon. To do that, add PNG files of your icons to the folder <user_home>/.freemind/icons. FreeMind treats all *.png files in <user_home>/.freemind/icons as user icons, offering them in the list of available icons.

The size of icons can be arbitrary, not limited to 16 x 16 pixels.

If you send a mind map with your custom icons to another person, the person won't be able to see the icons, though, as the icon files are only stored at your local computer. To see the same icons as you do, the receiver of your mind map has to copy your icon files to his local folder with user icons.

Tool icons

Tool icons are icons used in the menus and toolbars of FreeMind to represent tools or actions, such as "Save". Tool icons are not meant to be changed by users, but they can be changed. If you are a technically minded user, you can set your own tool icons by replacing the standard ones in the "Freemind.jar" file. To do that, you need to unzip the "Freemind.jar" file, replace the icons, and zip it again. TODO: Describe the location of the icons in the zip file.


Implementation of node icons and user icons:

Classes and methods:


Sources of icons

FreeMind uses (a) tool icons used in the toolbars, and (b) node icons attached to nodes. Especially for the node icons, a good comprehensive source of free icons is needed. FreeMind uses PNG icons, in the size of 16 x 16. Nowadays many icons are drawn in SVG vector format first, and converted to 16 x 16 bitmap images afterwards.

Ideally, it would not be the task of FreeMind team to draw icons; this task should be outsourced instead. Whether this is a realistic assumption remains to be seen.

Sources of free icons:

More relevant links


  • User icons are not stored in the mind map, so another person who receives an email with a mind map that contains custom user icons does not see the custom icons.
  • Node icons are PNG images instead of SVG images, so they scale up poorly upon zooming.


node icon 
An icon that a user can attach to a node, offered in the left toolbar.
tool icon 
An icon that is assigne to a tool or action such s "Save as" or "Unfold".
user icon 
A node icon that is not part of the standard FreeMind, but rather is added by a user.
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