In FreeMind, a node is a rectangular box that contains text. Nodes are organized into a hiearchy, so they form relations named after a family metaphor: parent, child, and sibling. A node can be formatted by setting its text color, background color, font family, font size, cloud around the node, and more. The text can be plain or a rich text one, including boldface, italics, bullet lists, tables, and hyperlinks. Nodes can be folded or collapsed, so their children become invisible. Nodes can be connected using arrow links. Each node can have a note attached.
Each node can be either a short node or a long node. A short node can only be formatted in plain text. A long node can be a plain text one or a rich text node. While a sort node is edited inline, a long node is edited in a pop-up dialog, no matter whether it is a plain text one or a rich text node. A long node can be split by pressing Alt + S in the editing dialog, or using the button "Split" in the dialog.
Per default, a node's location on the screen is being determined automatically by FreeMind. However, the user can set an individual horizontal and vertical offset for each node. To do that, move the mouse pointer to the left of a right-placed node (or right of a left-placed node) until an ellipse appears and the mouse cursor changes to a cross. Then drag the ellipse to move the node around without changing its parent node.
To reset the offset to zero and thus return to a fully automatic layout, double-click the offsetting ellipse of each node that has a non-zero offset.