Requests for enhancements

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Latest revision as of 11:29, 25 February 2011

Please look first if a similar request for enhancement already exists, using Ctrl + F. Also, there is a section of requests for enhancements at FreeMind's project page at SourceForge.


Features in development

2006-07-16. The development team of FreeMind is currently working on the following features. (We cannot guarantee that the features will actually make it into the next release; most of them should.)

  • Attributes on nodes
  • Filtering which nodes are shown by icons and contained string
  • Rich text nodes
  • Save All function

Purge this list

Could this enhancement request be purged when features are implemented? --Mvalle 6:49, 2 Dec 2008

Project management

Firefox Integration

My suggestion is to integrate FreeMind with Firefox so you can classify anything you download and extract useful knowledge. In case of being a html page also would be great some clipboard features to add selected text to FM notes in a particular node or as a new child etc.. My html notes consist on a short text I write about the webpage, below link to webpage and below selected text of this webpage, then I save the webpage in a directory for later use. Currently I am using FM to organize some info from my html notes and recent html pages (several hundreds) I have downloaded and I would find this feature fantastic. First you download a file/html page with selected/typed/default text as filename and assign selected or typed text to their FM node, then you organize downloads in a new tab in which FreeMind is running.. Wonderful!! (Also persistent notes instead of temporal ones or at least the ability to choose their behaviour would be great too)

To make FreeMind a productive tool with Firefox, at the very least, when you drag the URL icon from the URL toolbar on the top of Firefox to a node in FreeMind, FreeMind should create a single child node with the correct label and link in it. Currently, it creates multiple child nodes with messed-up labels, which require tedious manual cleanup after the drag-n-drop.

Ganttproject/Freemind integration

It would be very interresting to integrate Ganttproject, for a better project management. This solution would be very close from JCVGantt pro + mindmanager ( Both (Freemind and Ganttproject) are GPL, and java coded. - actually there is already a data converter for this: Freemind2gantt converter It now needs a tighter integration and some more intelligent overlap of contents, so that 1:1 conversion is possible (in both directions) --BoP 05:31, 22 Jul 2007 (PDT)

Time management and dependencies

Integrate date attributes and a timing view Allow to set other attributes (people, groups, objects, locations) Build on top of that a half-hierarchical structure with dependencies

--BoP 05:31, 22 Jul 2007 (PDT)

There should be the option for recurring Reminders (e.g. every week, every month, etc.). --Terkor 07:29, 19 Aug 2007 (PDT)


Allow nodes to be moved up or down within heirarchial structure

Allow nodes to be moved up or down within heirarchial structure, where you can allready physically change the distance between nodes it would be great if you move a node too high or too low it shifts it up or down accordingly with the structural fromat of the mind map

Allow picture-nodes to be Pasted

I've been using FreeMind as a note taker during lectures for a while, and its great. Of course, every once in a while you need to add a picture quickly. I wish FreeMind would allow for me to draw a picture in Paint or whatever and simply Paste it into a node. -RogerF

KeepNote has a build in Insert Screenshot function, which is very easy to use. That would enhance note taker jobs enormous. In addition a creation of a journal note with default date and time would be nice. -JSp

Bugrequest for this feature


As a note taker during lectures, FreeMind is great. Of cource every once in a while the lecturer will draw a more complex picture on the board, and suddenly you're out of ways to 'capture' an important part of the lecture. I would like to be able to add a 'Sketch' node, that would bring up a popup Window and a simple SVG editor. It doesnt have to be advanced, but being able to draw circles, ellipses, straight lines, a few colors an line widths etc. would come a long way with respect to FreeMind as a note-taker during lectures! -RogerF

Improved Table editor

IMHO, the table feature of FreeMind is great to have, but a little inflexible. I would like to see features such as: - drag to indicate number of cells (similar to Word) - insert row, column etc. should be avaiable from the right-click menu - change background colors

and generally I would encourage that tables are formatted as compact as possible by default.

Add Fonts, Especially Strikethrough

- I use Freemind for, amongst other things, task management. I'd like the ability to format node text with strikethrough so the placeholder is kept but it's clear on a quick scan that the task has been handled. I find this much easier than, say, using an icon to identify a completed task

Automatically selecting a specific node on startup

html allows you to access specifically marked sections immediately using the anchor syntax, which is incorporated into the url. But in freemind, all nodes already have unique id's. It would be very convenient if you could refer to a specific node id right after specifying the filename so that freemind could jump to that particular node immediately. For example:

freemind -> opens and selects the center of the map

freemind bar -> opens and goes to the node ID'd bar.

This kind of syntax will make it very convenient for a user of freemind to make a network of mindmaps, and to jump in between networks using the hyperlink input. Of course, for this to be useful, there must also be a shortcut to display the current node's unique ID, and a mechanism for freemind to recognize other hyperlinks that are also mindmaps.


Automatic Numbering of Nodes

A key feature of MindJet and Simtech mindmaps is the ability to toggle a numbers on or numbers off view. This makes a large mindmap more workable, because everyone can quickly reference specific nodes by the node number(s). This is especially useful after converting a map to Open Office or Word, so you have a numbered outline. The numbers would be the logical parent-child relationship seen in outlining or data modeling. The number should be displayed above the node text with a dashed line or shading to distinguish it from the node text. The user should also have the option to display numbers with dots, or without dots (to reduce the length). When a node is moved, deleted, etc. - the maps numbers are auto-recalculated to show the new relationships. This enhancement (along with spell check) would make FreeMind a more useable business tool.


FullACK. The feature should allow to have all/selected nodes ISO2145-numbered (in map-view or at least on export). I believe this would not be too difficult to implement. (Probably in 0.9.0 this can be done more or less easily by Groovy-scripting, but maybe it would just turn into a standard-feature for everybody, if it was included into one of the standard-menus.)

Thanks, Golgol

Numbering can be easily achieved by having an external plugin, which is a program that analyses the data (node) it receives, and just adds a "number" attribute.


Automatic word wrap in Nodetext

I'd like to see this feature. I want for example set a default max node width. So the text will wrap when this width is reached. This would make mindmaps more readable and easier to edit.

Edit: I just noticed, that it is possible by giving "width=" to the body tag in html mode (or rich formatting) but it would be nice having this in plain text mode, too.

Edit2: If you set a "width=" in the body TAG the Node will be this wide. The Node should get smaller if the given width is not needed.


Automatic transition to Edit Long Node

When the user starts typing a node, she/he may not know in advance if the text will fit on one line or require multiple lines (Long Node). It would be advisable that pressing ALT-ENTER at the end of a single line node, switches to the Long Node editing window as it does now, but with the cursor already on the second line of the editing window, so that the user can keep typing right away from there. Currently it's necessary to press END and then ENTER to obtain this behavior. The proposed modification would avoid pressing this two extra keys.


Add to alert to a node

I do use Freemind to keep track of my current tasks. MindMaps are IMO a very good way to organize to chaos in them (if you know a better tool, please mail But since some tasks do contain da deadline, the possibility to add an alert would be very handy (e.g. like Outlook-alerts).

  • Tools -> Show Calendar... -> Remind Me At This Date; also see: Tools -> Show Time Sceduler List... --Terkor 19:32, 11 Feb 2008 (PST)

Sorting nodes

It will be very useful to SORT SELECTED NODES at the same hierarchical level like a list. The simplest and fastest sorting rule would be the alphabetical order. It will improve the visibility of a map. It could be added as plugin or function at the same level as the function "join nodes". It would have to work even if the nodes have subnodes. Thanks. Franck --Fb5 02:50, 15 Nov 2007 (PST)

Synchronised nodes / mirror nodes / relational nodes

Some times you might want a node in two locations. What you can do today is to add a link and/or a graphical link. What I would like to is to have mirrored / synchronised nodes. Say that I have node A, and that I want the same node in another location as well. Simply I should be able to ‘Insert mirror node’, and wupti node A is shown here as well. No matter whether I now edit the node at the new or original location the nodes is changed in both locations (but of course only stores once). If a plugin for this exists then please mail me at


Another more data centric way to look at this is as relational nodes. Instead of restricting the data model to a simple tree you could store the data in a relational format. This would give users the ability to store nodes with many parents.

This would produce the effect described about but would also open up the possibilities of the app for more human like brain dumping. I am almost certain that the human brain does not relate 1 single piece of information to 1 other piece, it is more natural for us to relate it to as many other pieces of info as possible as this helps us to remember.

So... new data model!! Many to many relationships!  :-)

A simple way of storing this type of data would be a flat list of nodes with IDs and then another list of relationships with a focus on Parent relationships. There is only a need to store which Parent(s) a node belongs to. This could be none or more than one.

Some other considerations include rendering the data. For e.g. if a user highlights a node which appears in more than one location in the map (i.e. has more than one parent) do you explode both end points, just the one or maybe provide the option to do either.


Free-standing nodes

The main feature missing from freemind is free standing nodes, not initially connected to anything, which you later organise, making them parents or children or simply just linked to other nodes. This is how our brains work - it's important not to be restricted to an hierarchical model as currrently. PBL

Yes i definantly agree free standing nodes is essential. Furthermore from this, a more network orientated view of nodes and links would be a lot freeer and natural. So Linking the nodes with links, and then being able to view them in different ways, Selecting different root nodes or groups of nodes, or the main topic as the root node as it is now.

I completely agree. I have long felt that this is the single biggest thing missing from freemind (and most mind-mapping tools). Being limited to a hierarchy under a single node is a very severe limitation. It completely artificially constrains my natural organizational habits and it leads to "uncomfortable" mapping layouts. For example, I prefer to have my parent nodes on the left and my child nodes on the right, but I quickly run out of visual real-estate when working with mindmaps in my lop-sided way. If I could detach nodes and arrange them freely I could see and work with so much more on a single screen. Also, by having free nodes, I could use a single mindmap for a lot more (possibly my whole life) - and I could avoid having to manage or maintain several maps to manage several separate projects. My mind is not "free" without free nodes. :-)

Other node print layout for very big maps

While working with a map having 4000 nodes - well structured - it is useful to have a plotter to print it on one sheet. On the other hand there are no walls 5 meters high in this office. So I'd like to request an alternative print mode with a 90 degree rotated layout. This would also enable collaboration of 2 and more people in front of this wallpaper. Noiv

Inheritance of Node Characteristics

If the font size/type, colour and background colour of a node have been set then any child nodes that are created (as opposed to moved into place) should inherit those characteristics. --Anton 12:20, 25 Jul 2008 (PDT)

I wouldn't use the above suggestion much, actually. Instead, I'd want nodes to inherit font size/type, edge styles etc. from their siblings. This makes sense to me as nodes on a particular level would tend to be section headings, which I'd want e.g. in a larger font than the nodes that come below them.

Perhaps there could be the option for both these types of inheritance. For any 'leg' of a map, the user could right click and get a menu listing the various elements which could be formatted (font [+size, +colour], edge [+style, +width, +colour], etc.), and could indicate whether that element is to inherit from Parent, Sibling or No inheritance.

It sounds a little complicated, but I'd like to have that level of control. It'd save a lot of time for large, complex projects. -- Doubi 20:13, 6 Dec 2008 (UTC)

ALT/ENTER to close Long Node editing window

As you can use ALT+ENTER to open long node editing window, it woult be logical to use the same keys to close this window.


Merge several nodes back into one branch

This feature could work as follows: ctrl-select several nodes. hit "insert". all selected nodes are now connected to the newly created node


Export and Import

Import from an "interpreter", Export via "programs"

Possibly the most important feature to have for FreeMind is to have an "interpreter" plugin, of scripts - external programs - which can "suck in" content that is defined in a SIMPLE (and by simple i don't mean XML) format.

FreeMind should therefore, ultimately and effectively, be a "cacheing" and "display" and "edit" mechanism.

Likewise, for exporting of information, it should be possible to feed internal data to a predefined program (where the program to be used should be an attribute, where the attribute itself can be the result of a decision made from running an external script!!)

Ultimately, therefore, it should be absolutely trivial to do all of the import and export capabilities, listed below, in terms of well-defined and very simple external programs.

(side-note: the external programs can be non-java programs, of course - even shell scripts. java is a really stupid programming language to do this kind of work in: as a statically typed object-orientated language, it's simply not up to the job. it's great for display purposes, and it's great for platform-independence, but that's about all that it's good for)

RFE 1687292

Import and Export from HTML and different Wiki formats

Simple import/export scripts can be written which have "rules" on understanding the different types of web pages, for example Wikis, and, also, the current "wiki exporter" should be the first plugin created as an "exporter".

It would be trivial for people to then use lynx or wget for example and a few lines of awk or perl to write an HTML "import" plugin. Instead of having to wade through tens of thousands of lines of stupid java (which is only really suitable for display purposes and platform-independence).

Include an option to state whether the notes file should be in a pop-up window, or a link to a separate file in a scrollable window (in the last version I used notes text came up in non-scrollable temporary pop-ups).

Export to HTML

Exporting to HTML the various labels are styled with a <span> that has a long style="" entry. It is better to create a set of CSS classes, one for each distinct style, and reference them in the various <span> blocks. This simplifies also the import into MS Word. --Mvalle 08:43, 20 Dec 2008 (UTC)

Thinking about cheap export to MS Word a new export to HTML option could be added with every level of the map producing a different <hx></hx> title. The central node becomes <h1></h1>, the first branch <h2></h2> and so on. The node notes could become the text below this level heading. Or the map leaves could become the contained text. --Mvalle 08:43, 20 Dec 2008 (UTC)

Import and Export from Bugtrackers

It would be really nice to have import/export plugin scripts which understand the different bugtrackers. FreeMind is already an extremely good project management tool: why isn't it also helping to be the Uber-Project Project?

Import and Export databases

Any database connectivity would be nice to have, especially import, be it either via ODBC or MySQL. Thanks, UndiFineD

Corresponding requests for enhancement.

Filesystem Integration complimenting Import/Export

Definitely powerful would be the use of a node to view/edit the contents of a local file instead of an in-program node. This could effectively replace a lot of import/export functions, as a mindmap could be stored as a folder instead of as a single file, so that clients could extract wanted nodes without having to bring their freemind executable. Secondly, while native viewers do not yet exist, it could help users access their data nodes in extraneous formats. Some ideas.

Loading viewers for certain data nodes

Now that nodes can be given attributes, it isn't too that farfetched to create different kinds of viewers/editors for different kinds of nodes - or to load viewers for those nodes specifically.

Completely virtual nodes

Likewise, nodes whose content relies entirely on an external text (or other) file could be created which could be parsed back as text to freemind when viewed.

Directory operations

Freemind's hierarchical structure of node viewing makes it an interesting way to organize directories.

Exporting from command line

A feature I would really like would be to be able to do export programatically from cmdline.. something like:
freemind-export --flash -o mymindmap.html

You not need to export mindmaps, if you want to browse it with flash browser (visorFreemind). Just use one «smart» HTML/Javasript file which takes mindmap name from parameters, like this: [1], [2], [3]. But this feature (export from command line) will be very useful to export SVG (corresponding ticket). --StasFomin 19:48, 2 Mar 2009 (UTC)

Exporting Legend of used Icons

It would be nice when a legend would be attached to the exported graphs, explaining the meaning of the icons used in the map. Would support usability for everyone who doesn't know what the freeMind icons should mean; even if they should be intuitive.

comment on the above:

"Yes, I agree too. It would be great also if a TITLE and SUB-TITLES can be placed (and movable) anywhere in the MindMap, so when it is printed out, people know what this mind map is for.

Also, since we can color our own ARROW LINKS, having their descriptions customizable alongside with those colored arrow links inside the legend would be a great enhancement!"

Export to OpenOffice

FreeMind-0.8.0 can export mindmaps to OpenOffice Writer files. However, the fonts, colors, and formatting are not exported. A method that works well is to export as HTML, open the exported document in Konqueror (or some other web browse), and copy-and-paste the entire document into OpenOffice Writer.

Unfortunately there seems to be some problem though with opening the files in version 2 of OpenOffice. I haven't had a chance to go and check against the 1.x versions.

I have the same problem with OOo 1.9.104 (package from Knoppix). I can provide maps where this happens. Regards, Zapyon 14:02, 16 Nov 2006 (PST)
Freemind .9beta9 exports to OOo 2.2x though it's not pretty.

Export to OpenOffice Impress

I wonder how difficult it would be to export into Impress presentation. The Nodes cen be Slide Headers, Subnodes can be Outlines and so on. Then Notes can be exported into Slide Notes. One can do a presentation off the screen, give away handouts with full notes to keep. --Koaster 08:48, 7 Aug 2006 (PDT)

  • It's not that difficult, at least for simple cases and when ignoring styles/patterns. I just implemented a small xslt-stylesheet which does the job for me. I may set up a project for that (or give it to the contributions). Meanwhile please contact me -- htgoebel 2008-01-08

Export Options to Open Document Format .odt

Allow user to set options such as:

  • number of levels which translate to heading levels
    • thereafter use bulleted list levels.

Export to Scalable Vector Graphics format (SVG)

Available in FreeMind 0.8.0 RC2. Yes! I'd love to see something done with scalable vector graphics, or some such... I really wish Freemind could export to SVG, or maybe even flash... -- Bruce And happily, developers are thinking the same thing: -- Here's Dimitri on that very possibility in forum thread.

Export to Portable Network Graphics format (PNG) (enhanced)

It is already possible to export mindmaps to PNG. But the export function can be enhanced. E.g. the possibility to export PNG pictures with a transparent background instead of a white background (respectively the color thats used in the presets) would be very handy. Also possibilities to adjust the resolution and PPI (pixels per inch) are very useful when it comes to green printing documents with embedded mindmaps in the PNG format. --UrsusExplorans 10:04, 1 Aug 2009 (UTC)

Export to Flash or teach Flash to view mm

SVG, however, is still not widely supported - not even in desktop browsers, so it is mostly a way to exchange drawings and print. Exporting to Flash or having a Flash viewer that displayed .mm files (after all, ActionScript can now load XML data easily) would enable quick and effortless integration with current Web browsers without requiring them to install the Sun JVM (which can be a major issue in some environments).
Edit: Good news: I was looking for the same and came accross this: View source to see how it is made, it simply loads the .mm as parameter in a javacript, and I suppose the graphics and rules from freemind is programmed into the .swf. Should be able to take it appart, if noone has the sourcecode for something similar already. Mskogly 15:54, 20 Sep 2005 (PDT)

This appears done in .9 beta 9. Please test --Ddaniels 20:40, 22 Mar 2007 (PDT)

Support for Embedded Freemind Maps in Pages.Google

Embedded maps on free hosts like would be very cool. Here is a video of my efforts to get Freemind flash maps to work in --Ddaniels 20:40, 22 Mar 2007 (PDT)

Export to LaTeX

Feb 10,2005. MindMapping concept is perfect when organizing the structure of a document. I believe that it would be a great feature if freemind could directly export a mindmap as a LaTeX file (using the text of the main node for the title, the text of the main branches for \section and so on).

In the mean time (and since I know nothing about java) I wrote this perl script to translate mm->tex. Any improvements are welcome. I will mantain this utility here, but I hope this feature will be included in freemind one day.

June 19, 2007 The above links to the perl script are broken. Does anyone have it or something similar?

17 mei, 2008 I export the mindmap to OpenOffice and uses OpenOffice to export it to Latex. I use OpenOffice 3.0, not sure if that option is already available in 2.0.

9 Feb, 2009 This is probably the most important feature I'd like to see in freemind; the openoffice conversion trick doesn't work for my needs. The link to the perl script is still broken and the link to Freemindtolatex appears down now too.

Export and import to Ganttproject

This link takes you directly to the download and instructions for the export / import xslt files : export / import to ganttproject via xslt

in Freemind 0.8 you can use "File->Export->Using XSLT" to export a ".gan" file using the xslt file from the link above

Export to favorites or bookmarks

Requests for enhancements:

Export to ontology formats (OWL, DAML)

Requests for enhancements:

Export and import to OPML

Requests for enhancements:

See also OPML. OPML - Outline Processor Markup Language.

Export branch as folder tree

A function like "export folder structure" would be useful for the use cases of bookmark manager, and of project preparation. I use Bookmark Manager from SourceForge, a very nice project. I found that importing bookmarks into FreeMind is a great option, if there only was a plugin to export them, Freemind would work as a perfect bookmark manager. Plus, Freemind would work as a nice 'project manager' for creating directory-trees for large projects, at least I see I could find it very usable in my projects which require managing a lot of project files. Creating such structure in Freemind and then exporting it would be very usable. Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2004 18:10:33 +0200

Import through any XSLT filter

The File->Import Menu should have an item "using xslt" (just as File->Export has "using xslt") This would ease the integration of costum transformations (e.g. ganttchart <-> freemind)

lkcl: not recommended. xslt is so bad at doing "programming" that you will have an absolutely _awful_ time. however, if there's a plugin mechanism, and you want to shoot yourself in the head by having an xslt import/export plugin - then great! if the plugin architecture idea is ever taken up, and comes about, i will watch with fascinated horror at your efforts to add an XSLT import plugin...

Export and import to GraphViz

Export to eps

Integrate with Microsoft Outlook

support for adding specially labeled nodes to Outlook's calendar and Outlook's todo list.

Is there a way to integrate the calendar dates for start and completion of events into Outlook.

The export formats allowed in Freemind and the import requirements of Outlook appear to be different. Is there a format that is acceptable to both of them or a process such as converting to notepad and then into Outlook.


Integrate with Microsoft Office

Enable export in EMF (enhanced metafile format). It will help to integrate FreeMind's Mind Maps with Word, Excel or Powerpoint.


I'm a new user, and a very computer-illiterate one, but if possible would love to see more integration with Windows Word. At the moment I can copy-paste from FreeMind into Word to get an indented list representing my mindmaps, but could see myself better able to use FM for putting together documents if it had more functionality:

(1) Dynamic integration between Word and FM with nodes mapping to (formatted) Word headings.

(2) Text placed in a node's Note appearing under the corresponding heading in Word as body text.

(3) Changes made either through Word or FM being reflected in both the document and the corresponding mindmap (including rearrangements, additions, changes to text etc).

No doubt a tall order, but it can't hurt to ask :)



Import/Export in various Calendar formats

The idea being that I can import can a list of meetings, or tasks into Freemind. They would be imported into a sub-node and then i can redistribute them in my mindmap as I want. -- Thanx AP

Import via XSLT

Would be nice to hase the same dialog for importing as the xslt dialog for exporting. That means the user can import any XML with a proper XSL (sure that needs to generate valid .mm, otherwise the importer will throw an error).

Export to Executable JAR File

Export to an executable JAR file that can be sent to anyone who has Java installed so they can run the mind map in read only mode. The JAR file would contain the Freemind (browser?) JAR and anything else it needs to run, as well as the mind map file I created. This would be extremely useful because it would allow me to send people mind maps who don't have Freemind installed. I just send them the exported JAR, they double click it and they can view my mind map. This is better than PDF or image exporting because people could actually expand and collapse nodes and it's better than HTML export because it would look and work much better, like the applet does. Hopefully it would only include the necessary stuff for read only/browse mode to keep the JAR as small as possible.

Integrate Editor of choice

I'd like to have the opportunity to integrate my editor of choice (well there are only vim and Emacs, right? *g*). Being able to invoke an "edit with ..." using a keyboard shortcut (Ctrl-e perhaps if I'm able to redefine the existing "Export to HTML"-shortcut) enables me to edit e.g. notes of nodes in my editor.

In my editor, I do have *a lot of possibilities* FreeMind is not likely going to implement at all or at least that fast: spell check with my existing personalized dictionary, my already defined macros, vertical/column edit mode, various syntax highlighting, enhanced navigation possibilities, completion, folding, search/replace also with regular expressions, undo/redo, ...

-- novoid 2009-05-14

This would be nice. Would love to do long node editing in gedit on Ubuntu. Firefox has a plugin called "It's All Text" that lets you edit a web page text box in a configurable text editor. It handles things pretty well with opening up in gedit (for me), and then you save and close it and the web page text box is updated. Something similar would be super here, although I'd recommend just jumping straight to the external editor for long node editing, if you've defined one. Scarpent 19:07, 20 Aug 2009 (UTC)

Copy nodes as image (export image of nodes to clipboard)

An option under edit masquerading an export - "Copy as image" - which creates an image of the selected nodes and puts it in the clipboard. This would be an easy way to use freemind images all over the place, not the least in office products such as a Microsoft Office. An image of a part of a mindmap in the notes of a powerpoint presentation, for example.


Insert Hyperlink

Insert Hyperlink should include a way to create new maps in a wiki like fashion. This option could be used to create and save a new map. For instance, I'm setting my life goals, one of them is to write a book, I want a link to my first book, which I'd designing with FreeMind. Right now I have to create a new map, save it, then I can hyperlink to it. Wiki like functionality would be nicer, where if you define a Hyperlink that isn't found it's determined to be new, and when clicked on creates a new map of that name. --KenGribble 22:58, 18 Dec 2009 (UTC)

  • UPDATE: Sorry, found feature exists, right after thinking it was needed. Simply select a node, right click: Export->Branch as New Map. It will suggest name that is the same as the node for the new map as it saves it and opens it. Nice link back to the parent map too! --KenGribble 23:10, 18 Dec 2009 (UTC)


Requests for enhancements:

Further searching requests.

  • regular expression search
  • incremental search. No popup; with every letter typed, a node containing the string typed so far is found. Can be modelled on Emacs.
  • standard global search and replace functionality of text expressions within nodes
  • search accross all the maps that happen to be open at the time

Actually, I'd wish that we have search across all maps opened or not. Just like

'find . -name "*.mm" -exec grep -H "long term" {} \; > /tmp/scratch,

but much more user friendly. Ideally, there should be a Google Desktop search plug-in for FreeMind. I wish I knew how to do it. --yushen 00:17, 28 Feb 2007 (PST)

Plugin architecture for "actions"

Searches is a specific category of the general category of "actions", which should themselves simply be external plugins of actions, with an input capability, output capability and an "iterator" capability.

essentially, what is needed is this:

* Internally, the "search" terms that you're performing are stored in a FreeMind database.
  so, the text (as it's being typed!) is entered into a list of "Searches".
* The "context" is the location where the search is to be performed.
* Then, an external script is run called "search" which is passed the two nodes:
  the search terms as they're being typed, and the "context" i.e. the data to be searched.

Essentially, you're applying subject-predicate-object to the issue.

Then, you could _have_ your "google desktop" search plug-in, because if the data is stored in flat files (instead of XML) and the search term is turned into a flat file, your plugin can return search results by parsing the HTML that comes back from the Google Desktop search and returning new "nodes" or "attributes" in the simple "import" format that was recommended to be added.

Notes attached to Nodes

Note enhancements in 0.9 beta 7 ...

  • As already mentioned in some postings it would be cool if it would be possible to place the note window optionally on each side of the application.
  • Further it would be cool if it could be detached from the main-window so that it becomes a kind of tool-window.
  • The graphical version of the note window is cool. But it consumes a lot of space ... Is it possible to avoid the nested tabs and put the tabs for "Layout view/HTML Code view" instead as a toggle button on the toolbar? Would save a lot of space and is more useable! Also maybe we could hide the "<END>" Tag in the graphical editor.
  • A possibility to set a <br> instead a <p></p> in notes would be great. In other programms it's often shift+return. This would lead to less used space in notes.

Word wrap for notes

The notes are very important and I tend to write a lot of things in them! So it would be helpful to have for the notes the word wrap option already available for nodes.

Shortcut for adding a note to a node

It would be nice if there was a shortcut for adding a note to a node

In mousing from the selected node to the menu in order to reach the Insert->Note menu item, I often overfly another node: the selection changes, which is a useability feature I like very much - but then the note drops on the newly-selected node, which is not where I wanted it.

  • ditto, a shortcut for adding notes would be of great use. --Goncalopp 08:03, 27 Sep 2007 (PDT)

Link to Nodes from Notes

I wish to have the ability to create links to various nodes on words within the notes pane. This would be a great feature.

I agree.

Mechanism to delete a note from a node

I have not found a way to delete a note from a node.

Just delete the text from the note.

In my case this doesn't work - the note icon remains at the node and the notes window keeps appearing if I mouse over such a node. Deleting jsut the text doesn't help. (Version 0.8.1) - Florian

I can confirm the problem isn't just for you. Although it isn't too hard to open the saved file and remove the Note lines. (Version 0.8.1) - vanstrien

Option to keep Notes window open

Many but not all of the nodes in a map have notes. As I mouse around the map, the Notes window pops into and out of existence. This is distracting: I would like an option to keep the Notes window open, and see its text update if the selected node has a note.

Include with this an option to stick with the current note - and be able to move around the map from node to node without changing the note and still be able to edit it.

Option to position Notes window at right

I would like the Notes window to be at the right; others may prefer it at the bottom. Or to undoc the notes node - movable separate window.

Attach note to a node

Requests for enhancements:

Many people want to have a note attached to a node. Some mind mapping programs have this feature. In my view, such a feature creates a basis for splitting of uses. I would expect long nodes to contain paragraphs or even small articles; I have such nodes, both plain and HTML. I also have long nodes containing nicely set HTML tables. An XSLT transforming script can either assume that paragraphs are in the long nodes or that they are in the notes; not both. Different uses would then require different XSLT scripts. Searching would need to be extended to also search through notes. Notes of different nodes, unlike nodes themselves, cannot be made visible on the canvas at the same time. Without note, every piece of the text in the mind map is a node and therefore first class citizen; it is allowed for it to have children, and whatever feature is offered to other nodes (like icons, time reminders, changing of the default color and the like) is offered to it as well.

Screenshots showing how long nodes can be used follow.

FreeMindLongNodes.png FreeMindLongNodes2.png FreeMindLongNodes3.png

As this is such a requested feature, I'd like to invite you to discuss pros and cons here. --Danielpolansky 11:47, 15 Feb 2005 (PST)

The main reasons for enabling node text are as follows: a). to speed the process of map construction & brainstorming. many times note text can be added "after" the primary brainstorming of a topic is complete, as the dimension of information is different - usually it is more detailed. b). the second reason is just or even more important, and that is, to enhance "readability" of the map itself. At our company, we teach that a good mindmap should not contain full sentences, but instead, it should have short phrases - even just one or two words. That is, studies have found out people can understand the main point of any topic by "seeing" just a few words. Maps should be "seen" and not "read". Then, when more detail is needed, you just open the specific node, or view it by a mouse-over type operation. So to summarize, SPEED and READABILITY are critical to the maps actual development and use for most people. --GregArndt 14:15, 15 Feb 2005 (CST-US)
I don't get the point of a). Current solution does not prevent anynode from adding long nodes after the first brainstorming phase. In fact, without separate note, you can always add something afterwards as there is no limit to the depth. What concerns b), long nodes can be folded. This prevents map from being cluttered.
Admittedly, mouse over operation is not sufficient to show the long nodes folded behind a short one. Having a quick look at many long nodes, one at the time, is currently not that easy; it requires a lot of single clicks. --Danielpolansky 12:42, 19 Feb 2005 (PST)
Ok, here's my go ahead. So many people want this feature, and so many mind mapping programs have it. As I am not a mind mapper but rather knowledge manager, I can't judge on this issue properly. Let's get surprised. --Danielpolansky 12:48, 19 Feb 2005 (PST)
Great news. This will be a real positive addition. And for users that like long notes on the map, they can still always do that. Thank you in advance, this is an excellent application that will continue to improve. ==GregArndt 23:12,, 19 Feb 2005 (USA-CST)
To me, HTML long nodes impair Readability of large mindmaps. On the other hand, I get the point that notes don't exactly fit into the concept. Why not go for a compromise: Long nodes would consist of (1) a first line of text, which is always visible/editable and (2) a formated long text, which is only visible/editable in a drop-down window. I would also appreciate a simpler way of editing formated long text than HTML tags. Why not using a RTF editor add-in? RainerFaller 30 Dec 2005
I am all for this. I think that if there was some kind of collapsability the long text problem would be solved. It may be because I am used to programming, but to be able to collapse a bit of text is superb. This would mean that a long node would be collapsed into a single line, say the first line. You can still tell what the node is saying with the first line, but the bulk is concealed. Also, I think that if the nodes are resizable it could be resizable, that would solve the problem. Say a really large node is constructed containing an article, you could resize it to create a scrollable text box. You would only be viewing part of the article at a time, but i think that is manageable when the structure of the mindmap on the whole is preserved.--Peterw 12:00, 5 Oct 2007 (PDT)

Maybe it could help to add something like a 'keep-folded' property to a node. Idea behind it: A node with 'keep-folded' set is not shown, when the parent of it is unfolded. You would need extra handling for setting the property or showing those 'moved to the background' nodes though. But that way a note could just be a node with that property set. I think a property like that could be helpful in other contexts, too. If you use the Mind Map as a todo-list, you could keep done ((sub-)sub-)...)subtasks folded for example. Hilmar

Notes are essential: While you can write really large nodes, a large node will obscure the mindmap. Lets describe it this way: I do want to perform some medical laboratory tests. This is my primary node. I want to add notes on the various aspects how tests should be ordered. The child nodes describe various symptoms and the attached notes add epidemiological information and detail. The next child nodes describe these tests based on the parent symptom nodes. Again, notes offer further details. The problem with notes-as-nodes is, that the huge text size will obscure the siblings (and even the children of those siblings), thus rendering the map ugly and difficult to comprehend. IF the notes would be only on the last hierarchical level, this wouldn't be such a great problem, BUT IF the notes are written on parent nodes, than the nodes-only approach is a mindblocker, not really a FreeMind.

Copy/Export note(s) of node(s)

WYSIWYG & note editor ... are very inviting for extensive usage of notes.

  • at the moment it is not simple to export or copy them alltogether (with relevant nodes). Option for exporting the notes (also when clipboard-copying-pasting) would be very welcome - something like "Copy With Notes", "Export With Notes" or "Print with notes":
    • e.g. for Export/OpenOfficeWriter notes are not exported (they were in 0.8) - I understand that xslt-s have to be adapted to the new xml format of mm (<richcontent ... type=note...> instead of <hook ...>)
  • Q: can we consider the freeMind mm.xml format as fixed (at least for 0_9_0)?


--ap 07:26, 28 Sep 2006 (PDT)


Having created a map, it might be more natural to enable us to either show the notes as tooltips, or alternatively to add tooltips as seperate children to notes.

--Slowlearner 12:08, 12 Aug 2009 (GMT)


Please make freemind more colorful

Just like Tony Buzan said, mindmap needs to be very colorful to make your brain exciting. Freemind is just too "grey" right now.

Screen clipping

If you used Microsoft OneNote, you will notice a very good feature, Screen clipping. It allows you anytime, switch to your screen, select an area, got a snapshot and paste the picture in your notes by just few clicks.

This is extremly useful if when taking notes for an online document or electrinic book, no matter what you are reading, pdf, html or ppt, just click and drag, you got the picture in your notes.
If freemind will support similar feature, that would be great.

Multiple Maps at Startup

When I start FreeMind it loads the last map I worked on, which is very good. I can have multiple maps open, which I juse a lot, so I can work on multiple projects at the same time. However when I close FreeMind and open it again, it only loads the last active map. It would be very usefull if it loaded all the maps that was open when FreeMind was closed, so I quickly can continue to work on my ongoing projects.

Yes, I want this very much! --Ase 10:29, 9 Jul 2008 (PDT)
So do I. Leos
Me as well. --Terkor 02:32, 4 Nov 2008 (UTC)

Single Copy Multiple

The Single Copy command is used to grab stuff to duplicate without also copying all child nodes. For example I have numbered items that I keep in an "Unresearched" node, and the same numbered items in a "Researched" Node. Instead of entering the node #'s of 1 - 20 several times, I would like to be able to use the Copy Single command while selecting multiple items. Obviously it would have to be renamed "Copy Without Children" or something similar. Just keeping the command the same but adding support for multiple selection would help me a lot. Then I could copy items 1 - 20 and paste them somewhere else in one shot.

This is definitely a good request. The action for copying without children would have to be renamed from "Single Copy" to "Shallow Copy" or "Copy without Children" as you suggested. --Danielpolansky 10:13, 2 Jun 2006 (PDT)
I would also need something in the same vein. I have a deep tree of actions from which I choose leaves to do today. I would like to keep the classification embodied in the ancestors of any chosen leaf node I copy to the Today FreeMind. If I could click on a node (not just a terminal leaf) and "Copy Ancestors", then paste I would save a lot of time. The Copy Ancestors would copy all ancestors exclusing the single root node. A variation would be to click a series of consecutively embedded nodes and "Copy Chain" which would copy the nodes themselves only, without any other children, and keep the chain as a unit.

Print across pages

Would be great to have a possibility to print spanning over several pages if mind map is huge.

Hint: In 0.8.0 this is possible if you deactivate the "scale to one page" checkbox in the page format dialog and enters a scale factor like "1.0". But there seems to be a little bug; if I enter just "1" as scale factor the output is still scaled to fit on one page.

Print out of notes

I think it is a very good idea to add the possibility to print out the notes together with the map(on a separate page/pages), something like as in the export of HTML sides.

  I agree with this suggestion. It makes a lot of sense to be able to print your notes.

Print preview

I would like to have a print preview dialog to see if my manually set scale factor (defined in the page format dialog) is ideal.

Auto scale to fit one page wide for printing

I would like to be able to set a map to print "one page wide" rather than just "fit one page".

Auto scale to fit several pages

As RFE 972845 another has already provided code to have FreeMind scale the output to fit several pages. It would be really nice to have this enhancement in the normal code base.


I think that is good idea to add possibility to associate numeric values with nodes and make top nodes to recursively calculate sum of child nodes' values. This feature will turn FreeMind into easy and visual way to do home accounting or resource planning. Adding, removing or dragging child nodes between parents must cause sum to update.

More complex feature - adding multiplication factors to parent nodes.

I vote for this. I think such a feature would open Freemind to a new business public: those who must build work resources planning/estimations WBS (Work Breakdown Stucture). Excel could be favourably replaced by mind maps softwares with such capabilities.
From a more technical point of view, I would add that each node should be associated with an aggregation function like sum (default), average, geometric average, or even user defined aggregation function. Nodes would gather value of their children and aggregate it to set their own value.--OliGator 08:55, 22 Oct 2006 (PDT)
For now, I didn't used the Time plug-in ; my expects would go in two directions ( 200706222:
Go-ing to plan a bussiness, I would like to get some Calculations as said above, that I could get back into a calc-like spreadsheet in another window.
May I imagine better than a number and an aggregation function, I would enjoy to improve in triplet-properties, not only a number and a function for each node... You may know high potential in A.I. for that representation for many qualities (I began to work on on that matter..)

Support for Unicode and RTL languages

I think that the inclusion of better support for Unicode and RTL languages such as Hebrew and Arabic would allow a larger number of people to use Freemind as their mind-mapping tool of choice.

What support of unicode are you missing? FreeMind is unicode-enabled. --Danielpolansky 11:56, 27 Jul 2005 (PDT)
It doesn't work with Vietnamese. Try this: Hà Nội, Sài Gòn, Chợ Lớn * a á à ả ã ạ ... DeltaVictorLima 11:24, 18 Jun 2007 (PDT)

Use UTF-8 in the XML file to store unicode characters

FreeMind 0.8.0's utf-8 support is limited, I think. When open file, FreeMind simply loads the file contents into buffer without valid and proper encoding, if .mm file version matches current freemind version. And all Chinese characters encoding as "&#x...;" is meaningless for Chinese. I have a patch for this: User:Jiangxin/Better_chinese_characters_support. --Jiangxin 11:53, 6 Apr 2006 (PDT)
Indeed, FreeMind does not support UTF-8. Maybe it would be better if it would. That would improve the ease with which the XML files can be read directly in plain text editors. --Danielpolansky 10:18, 2 Jun 2006 (PDT)
Shouldn't the .mm-file be changed to a real XML file first? It does not have a XML declaration, like <?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>... This gives far better support when opening it in standalone XML editors, and you can also validate your XML. --pahles 21:16, 3 Jun 2006 (UTC+2)
Vote for this! It is impossible to compare/merge different mindmaps (also process/edit) with «entities gibberish» like «по проекту «SAT»Ã‚»--StasFomin 19:36, 2 Mar 2009 (UTC)

Support general graphs rather than trees

Some users want FreeMind to support general graphs rather than only trees. To an extent, their wish is covered by what we call arrow links, and what is called connectors in Microsoft Powerpoint. FreeMind's arrow links are not that powerful as connectors, but that can be improved.

Still, FreeMind is not planned to become a general graph editor, or a concept mapper. Some years ago there was a discussion on that in Open Discussion forum, followed by a concluding consideration by me where the final position on the issue is stated together with an explanation. --Danielpolansky 11:56, 27 Jul 2005 (PDT)

Always On

I would like to minimize to the system tray(for Windows). Or better yet, let's run FreeMind as a transparent window docked to the desktop. Like my brain, I like to always have FreeMind on in the background. Regardless, thanks!

You can google for RBTray, which lets you minimise anything to the system tray. -- JettLogic

Better File Operations, Restore Workspace, New File Extension

On Mac OS X at least, the file dialog is buggy - it does not show network drives or my iDisk. Also, it would be useful to have FreeMind re-open the last edited file (and restore the workspace as it was when the user last quit). Still, the most annoying thing is the .mm filename extension - that extension is tied to Obj-C code files in Mac OS X, and probably on other platforms as well. Maybe .mind or .mmp? -- RuiCarmo

File Dialog Improvements

The file dialogs could use some minor improvements. I would like the dialog boxes for load and save to remember what directory they were in and start from there the next time the dialog is open.

Also, if you try to open a file from the "recent files" list but the file no longer exists, there is no warning from freemind. It would be better to have a "file not found" warning, and better still to remove the bad entry from the list when that happens. --fist_187

It would be better not to "remember what directory they were in", but add possibility to choose "Default directory" in Preferences, which will be opened automatically whenever you save or load something. --Elwin

Yes the file dialogs could use some improvements. It should be possible these days to simply use the native OS'en File Open dialogs. IMHO, either that or a full-featured file dialog that a) provides a few shortcuts to frequently used directories, b) remembers the directory used last time, -or- uses a default directory, and c) allows one to create new directories

Crosslinking Nodes

The possibility to create cross-references between nodes which are already part of the mindmap tree would be a great feature. In many real-life mindmaps items could not be categorized in one and only one category. The possibility to visualize these dependencies would be a great advantage over other mindmap solutions. Something like this is already implemented in Freemind by selecting two nodes and pressing STRG+L.

For enhancing this feature the following aspects should receive attention:

  • the application should visualize cross-references in a eye-friendly way
    • nodes with cross-references should be directly identifiable (i.e. by color, shape-type, ...)
    • mouse-over effects visualize the dependencies with flashing nodes
    • dashed grey lines sound visualize cross-dependencies
  • cross-references, especially those which reside not current view-context, should be traceable by a hotkey which toggles b+etween the source and the destination node of a link.
  • if a source or destination-node is in hinged position the link should be optionally visualized by propagated a parent nod+e as source or destination-node

Is it possible to add links to specific nodes in other FreeMind map files? Perhaps using Request Parameters in the external hyperlink URL? Identifying the target node while creating the link may be tricky. Here is an idea on how that can be done:
When creating the link, a dialog window with two textboxes can be used. One textbox would be for the hyperlink URL and the other would be for the target node name. The target node name textbox would have an auto-complete feature (with dropdown) that uses a list of node names that were obtained from the target map file. There could be a button next to the URL textbox that starts the node name retrieval process from the target map file. Before hitting the button the target node name textbox is disabled, and it is enabled after the node names have been read. --EdB 10:37, 2 Sep 2009 (UTC)

Unlimited/Arbitrary Attributes

We use a couple of different products (including an internally developed one) to manage requirements. In each case we have the ability to assign arbitrary attributes to requirements at any level in the structure (e.g., Type=Priority Value=High or Type=Source Value=Mike Jones). To support migration between Freemind and these requirements management tools, Freemind should allow X number of attributes per requirement. Though I know this concept would scare the minimalists. -- unknown

And a custom plugin might read these values, then calculate and display something on the map, e.g. an indicator or an aggregate. -- abadger 30 May 2006 (or even just set the colour or insert a tick or cross icon) --Violetlight 15:24, 2 Aug 2006 (PDT)

It would be really nice if as well as text attributes, we could support check or radio buttons (e.g. "done", or "priority H/M/L")
A node action or a function key/pattern (see below) could check the box. --Violetlight 15:22, 2 Aug 2006 (PDT)

Node-specific actions

At the moment, there is one "action" on a node (discounting the usual edit/cut/paste etc) - navigate to the target link. <p/> I can see a reason to have more than one action on a node, depending on the semantics of the map's content, and specifically the storage backend or plugin. For example, a map that was a live visualisation of the tree structure of a website could have an action to navigate to a page, to check it with a W3C validator, to edit the page, to submit it to a search engine etc etc. These actions would be defined by the plugin supplying the data content, or by other plugins resident - e.g. "schedule this node" for the time scheduling plugin or "bookmark this node's target" for a (possible future) Google Bookmarking plugin.
I can see two (possibly co-existing) methods of implementing this:

  1. A context-specific node sub-menu cascading off the right button menu called "Actions->"
  2. A control-right-button menu just for actions on the node

I'd welcome feedback on whether this is a nutcase idea. --Violetlight 15:16, 2 Aug 2006 (PDT)

Images in freemind

I really like the way freemind can use images as nodes. However, one of the problems with adding a lot of images to a map is that they are all different sizes. So, I wrote this php script:


       $tsize = 100; //thumbnail size

       function noresize($name)
               global $argv;
               $fullpath = $argv[1] . "$name";
               echo "<node TEXT=\"&lt;html&gt;";
               echo "&lt;img src=&quot;$fullpath&quot;/&gt; \"";
               echo " FOLDED=\"true\">\n</node>\n";

       function thumbit($name, $w, $h)
               global $argv;
               $fullpath = $argv[1] . "$name";
               echo "<node TEXT=\"&lt;html&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;$fullpath&quot;"; 
               echo " width=&quot;$w&quot; height=&quot;$h&quot;\" FOLDED=\"true\">\n";
               echo "<node TEXT=\"&lt;html&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;$fullpath&quot;\""; 
               echo " FOLDED=\"true\">\n</node>\n";
               echo "<node LINK=\"$fullpath\" TEXT=\"$name\">\n</node>\n";
               echo "</node>\n";

       if ($argc < 3)
               die("usage: " . $argv[0] . " IMAGEPATH IMAGE1 [[IMAGE2] ... ]\n");

       echo "<map version=\"0.7.1\">\n<node TEXT=\"Ian's image generator\"";
       echo " FOLDED=\"true\">\n";

       for ($i=2; $i<$argc; $i++)
               $myimg = $argv[$i];
               $props = getimagesize($myimg);
               $w = $props[0];
               $h = $props[1];

               if ($w <= $tsize && $h <= $tsize) //too small
               else if ($w < $h) //resize height to 100, scale width
                       $w = intval(($tsize * $w) / $h);
                       $h = $tsize;
                       thumbit($myimg, $w, $h);
               else //resize width to 100, scale height
                       $h = intval(($tsize * $h) / $w);
                       $w = $tsize;
                       thumbit($myimg, $w, $h);

       echo "</node>\n</map>\n";

This is a command line PHP script, so to use it under linux you would type something like:

$ php freemindImgGen.php "file:////path/to/prepend/to/images/" image1.jpg [image2.jpg ... ]

This will output the text for a new mind map (direct it to a file of your choice) with each image thumbnailed in its own node. The images should all be in the same directory (for some reason, relative paths for images don't seem to work). Each thumbnailed image will have 2 child nodes: one node with the full size image and one node with the filename of the image as a freemind link.

Anyway, the reason that I'm posting this here in the request section instead of the user contributions section is that I would like to see this behavior ported into freemind itself. This would be a better behavior for when you drag-and-drop an image file into freemind, as it does just about everything you would want to do with an image in one shot. --fist_187

User:lkcl - fist_187: this is a fantastic example of an import/export plugin program that should NOT be added into freemind: it should be possible to RUN this program on-demand from FreeMind from WITHIN freemind as a plugin extension.

--pdf 22:11, 30 Aug 2009 (UTC): A thumbnail image function is a great idea! Some images can be huge, and thumbnails would be an excellent option. Photographers could make big use of this, but images in general just make an idea map a richer communication tool. In fact, this capability could re-invent the typical image "gallery" that is often a liner row of images, or an unwieldy table, because images would be represented in a hierarchical context of other references or meaning. Of course, a link to the original file always lets a viewer see an image in its full glory.

However, for the general non-programmer user I would implement the user interface like this:

- When an image is inserted, create a thumbnail as a default (or by prompt) to avoid unpleasant surprises of large images taking over the UI and displacing everything else.

- Add an option to convert an image back to normal, or back to thumbnail.

- In preferences, let the user select "thumbnail" as default, or not, and let the user specify the size (as a maximum dimension of either side of the image). Let the user choose whether a prompt appears, or add a check box to the prompt to not ask again. Another useful preference would be to specify a thumbnail directory (default location inside source image directory)

- As another option (or as a future enhancement) the program would either 1)Create new image files to use as thumbnails, or 2)Generate thumbnails on the fly for display only (or read in thumbnails that may already be appended to some image formats by certain images editors) and maybe cache them. The advantage of reading in on the fly is that the size could also be changed on the fly. The downside is the time required for the program to generate on-the-fly images in large maps.

- Provide a link to the file so the user can open the full size version in its associated application.

- When importing a folder of files provide an option to import any images.

- After a folder is imported, provide an option to add images to existing links.

Node Cloning or Mirroring (aka soft links)

Requests for enhancements:

One feature request that has attracted a lot of attention from users is what they call node cloning or mirorring. This amounts to enabling a node to have more than one fathers. That is, such a node appears visually at more places of a map, still, has only one structure and data. Linking a node graphically to more parts of a map is already possible, but users proposing cloning would like to see more visually integrated approach.

Users get encouraged by the fact that the hierarchical application LEO already has such a feature.

This feature has been discussed at forums under threads Cloning of nodes and Node cloning/mirroring.

I would REALLY like it if FreeMind supported 'shortcuts', 'soft/hard links', or 'virtual folders'. You know what I mean? Just some manner of having one node (and its sub-nodes) be able to exist in 2 different places at once. Change one clone, the other is affected, delete one clone, they all go away. (with options to make it a copy instead of a clone, etc...) You'd make my day if you'd add this functionality! --anonymous
Alright, but "cloning" is not a good term for this as it implies having a physical copy of something. Less misleading could be "linking", "mirroring", "redirecting", "pointing", "referring"... --anonymous
You are right; cloning is not a proper term. This is the way our users expressed their wishes. --Danielpolansky 09:26, 20 Dec 2004 (PST)
I agree too - soft links would be a great feature -- Brad Langhorst
Seconded - the suggestion on sourceforge of using a local link, but with a "ghost" display at the current location (instead of jumping to the destination of the link) sounds like the way to go. The side-effect is that you could have a cycle, whereby you are in node A, with child B being a ghost-link to C, expanding C reveals child D which is a ghost-link back to A. -- JettLogic


Creating a mixture of Freemind and a Wiki would be very interesting. It would be shown on the web, and editable by everybody, like a Wiki, but it would not be text-only but a FreeMind's mind map instead.

That is, provide FreeMind user interface to the underlying wiki technology, handling versioning and other issues. Is there any use of wiki markup in this scenario? (lkcl: yes - see "Notes" section!)

User:lkcl - all of these things are possible if you split out a plugin architecture for import / export of data.

Current wiki technology like MediaWiki is already quite attractive in its present state. Either FreeMind interface would be the only one, which would in my view discourage most of the users, or FreeMind interface would be alternative to a web interface, which would require FreeMind to understand wiki markup. This considered, I hold such a project for too expensive compared to the value it brings. Quite another issue is collaborative mind mapping. This issue is similar to wiki, but here the wiki name does not properly apply as neither wiki markup nor wiki's versioning concept applies. --Danielpolansky 13:24, 18 Feb 2005 (PST)

Ok, GraphViz is not really mindmapping, but oddmuse-wiki in colaboration with graphviz is really fascinating, take a look (and don't forget to follow the "Edit the text of the Page"-link): -- HinnerK

I don't get your point. What is the relevance to the topic discussed here? --Danielpolansky 13:28, 18 Feb 2005 (PST)
User:lkcl he's illustrating that the text you see on that page is actually created by simply putting "digraph { ..... }" into the text, you get a really cool graph. in other words, he's illustrating that it would be easy to replace the FreeMind user interface, written in stupid java, by an oddmuse-wiki using the "digraph ...." concept.

I would suggest starting with a simple save-to-WebDAV option, and then following it up with a standardized XML-RPC interface (maybe Atom would be too complex). Having some sort of hooks into node editing operations in the code would be useful, so that people could develop plugins of some sort to perform the actual HTTP transactions live from the applet version -- RuiCarmo

The first thing that came to my mind while opening FreeMind for the very first time was: "Would it be possible to integrate Wiki in FreeMind?". Currently I am working with a project management software (named Trac) which integrates a Wiki Engine. It is a kind of colaborative project management solution, and it has encouraged all the team to document and activelly contribute to each other´s tasks.

Maybe WikiFreeMind :-) could be something similar. I don´t think that FreeMind being the only one interface to be an issue, I think it would be great if we could use wiki formatting inside FreeMind nodes. It would be easy (a gross guess) to allow Wiki-links between nodes, or wiki/web-pages outside the map.

It would not be too difficult to do a kind of serialization of the map as a Wiki Database, each node being a wiki page, following the extension mechanics proposed by WikiMedia, you could allow wiki tags that would keep track of the properties of the node as a serialized wiki-page. It´s pretty much brainstorming, but I think it would be possible to use FreeMind as a Wiki Navigator, and the Web Browser + Wiki Engine as a Node Editor. --loudenvier 17:15, 05 Apr 2005 (BRA)

Have a look at the WikkaWiki software. My zero programming skills don't let me to grasp how it works or what it does. But it seems pretty interesting. It allows to insert FreeMind maps into the wiki. here's a inline example. --Calamar 04:31, 20 Dec 2005 (PST)

This portion hasn't been edited in a while. With the flash plugin in architecture in place for .9 beta 9 it shouldn't be too much of a problem to create graphical representations of a wiki to Freemind. The user would have to download the wiki page into the Freemind application and then upload the finished product after editing. It might seem like a long round trip but it would be very useful.
Furthermore, the Flash application should/could be smart enough to detect a wiki word in the Freemind and auto link it.

--Ddaniels 05:17, 24 Mar 2007 (PDT)

  • There is an development approach for mediawiki and freemind (browser): which is available with GNU GPL v3. I managed it to get it run after understanding the config in the getpages.php and the index.php and discommenting something out in getpages.php. But it currently does not show some articles and categories. Perhaps someone is able to bring it to a better version: Just rename file extension to zip. --Hiverider 15:08, 26 Mar 2009 (UTC)

Applet allowing editing mind maps.

Requests for enhancements:

It would be fine to edit a map via applet and save it to a webserver directory.

Indeed it would be fine. This is related to integration of mindmaps in wikis. In particular, WikkaWiki uses freemind applet to show mindmaps in web pages. Unfortunately, mindmap edition is not possible while it is obviously possible for text. Such a capability would allow mindmap to be editable inside a wiki by wiki users. I also think this is more natural and a lot easier to insert mindmap capabilities inside wiki softwares than implement wiki functionnalities inside freemind. Don't you ? --OliGator 09:18, 22 Oct 2006 (PDT)

I wonder why the .mm extension is mandatory on the applet. At this point on the web we use Content-type instead of extensions, isn't it? Why then don't use Content-type OR .mm extension to open a map with the applet?

Will be fantastic if the applet could capture drop events. With this enhancement we could use a custom toolbar to add custom snippets or integrate it with our solutions

Leos: Editing capabilities would be great benefit. I use multiple computers and notebooks at the office and at home, so it is nightmare to synchronize their content. If I could just open the map from browser, modify it and click save, I would be very happy. If there are some Java security restrictions, you can implement it via some servlet, I could deploy into my server.

Saving maps using WebDAV

Let FreeMind read from and save to WebDAV server. Repeatedly requested.

According to the WebDAV website,

WebDAV stands for "Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning". It is a set of extensions to the HTTP protocol which allows users to collaboratively edit and manage files on remote web servers.

What's the holdup on integrating WebDav into Freemind? There's a patch available already [FreeMind WebDAV Enhancement]. Is there anything wrong with that patch or have people just not gotten around to integrating it? This would also address the need of applets and wiki-like functionality.

Working with WebDAV would make for an outstanding creative toolkit. There is a keen need for a tool like this in our business (long distances; documents cobbled together from Basecamp and IM logs). One consideration: how would changes be merged? And is there an unobtrusive way to identify authors of specific changes and content?

===Changing attributes by depth level.=== Wouldn't it be good if nodes could have levels (defined as outward from the centre) so that you could change color, font and other node properties by level. For instace, all nodes of level two would have red bubbles.

OR Allow user to define default level attributes to be applied when a branch is made. The most common one being font size and edge width. Undefined attributes like colour should flow down. This is just the desired default at creation time and may be changed. Branches further out than the deepest defined default all inherit from previous branch.

Integrated Google web search

How about an accessory software that would input FreeMind's XML and conduct Google and Google News searches on all nodes plus their neighbours? If anything useful is found (and there would be less than x hits), it would *wget* them and add links to the material to the map. Run this as a cronjob and your mind map will always have new ideas when you open FreeMind again.

Seems like a suggestion for a plugin. For sure it does not belong to the core FreeMind. Such a plugin will call external tools like wget which increases the installation costs. --Danielpolansky 09:34, 20 Dec 2004 (PST)

MIDlet for editing with mobile phones

MIDlet idea entry front-end is a MUST! I want to be able to do mind mapping with my mobile phone and then upload the changes to the main map on my desktop.

It is not a must. When enabled with importing various other formats, FreeMind can take data from mobile applications. Also, it is not clear why MIDlet should be the technology of choice, if FreeMind shall run on mobile phones. --Danielpolansky 09:33, 20 Dec 2004 (PST)

Have floating textbox for titles or comments

Hi I would like to request a feature, namely a title and/or comment at the beginning/end of page to be able to use it in presentations, where I would have my name on top right. I would suggest that there is no link to other nodes just a kind of text box. Maybe there are more people thinking about this nice addon?

Request for enhancements:

An editable tree view (like the html export)

With such view I can imagine freemind to be useable an smaller devices like an ipaq running familiar (or ppc). Can you run freemind on such devices? --Alex

A non graphic tree view mode

Similar request as Alex. A non-graphic linear mode would be usefull ! The graphic mode is the best to organise and visualise the information, but a simple linear tree mode is more comfortable for reading and editing large portion of text. It would also allow to access the same databases on a small screen. Freemind has become one of my most important tools on my Pc and I am dreaming to use it on a symbian phone too. Thank you so much. Franck

Il second that, Inspiration also a midn mapping tool used at school does this, translates the mind map into linear. Being able to see the same information in different ways is what computers are amazing at doing. It would be great to see information from different perspectives, Mind map form, linear (for printing essays/or books), Network diagram, etc.

ToughGraph like dynamic layout

Requests for enhancements:

The TouchGraph interface has more potential than the existing fixed one. Mind maps are not supposed to necessarily be hierarchical, but organically growing and intertwined a lot. In FreeMind I can add links, but they aren't really good if compared with something universal like TouchGraph (GoogleBrowser, WikiBrowser).

I think FreeMind would become much more powerful (not to mention cool looking) if it had a dynamic mode without a root node. It would be great if arbitrary links (not just parent/child) between any nodes were supported, if text size and colors would dynamically adjust according to the distance, relevance and other factors, and if the layout would be dynamic, with the graph rearranging itself on the fly.

More details at the TouchGraph site ([4]), and at this page: [5]).

I disagree with the views presented here. A good news for you is that if you don't like the way FreeMind presents data, you can choose TouchGraph instead. --Danielpolansky 09:32, 20 Dec 2004 (PST)
  • Well, in my opinion the links between nodes certainly offer a starting point for improvements. They are more curved than really necessary. --TMaschler 01:46, 17 Feb 2005 (PST)
  • Further, the idea of formatting nodes in function of their distance from the start node (i.e. by style sheets) would greatly enhance the mind map appearance; although it should be possible to overwrite the node formatting style for each node individually. --TMaschler 01:46, 17 Feb 2005 (PST)
  • What about offering a variety of display modes for the nodes (tree view, the current default view, without hierarchy, ...)?

I agree that alternatives to the hierarchical view are important and the whole advantage of using visual mapping in the first place --Ryba 17:16, 27 Oct 2005 (PDT)

More flexible Resize Options

What about the following resize possibilities: --TMaschler 01:46, 17 Feb 2005 (PST)

  • automatically/ dynamically
  • by clicking on magnification glass icons (+ and -)

Resizing should be able to resize a node and the text dynamically wraps and changes the size of the box. The current approach requires hard returns to resize the text boxes.--Ryba 17:06, 27 Oct 2005 (PDT)

More Flexible Window Resize and Reformat Options

Background: We are using Freemind in an internal Wiki to document all the program file paths. Unfortunately, when opened in a browser window, the .mm file shows a couple of hundred pixels of blank area above and to the left of the map, then fails to allow users to scroll all the way to the right so they can see the information. My apologies if the answer is there, but I have not been able to find any information in the forums or help to either reduce the total window size, or to change the map alignment from CENTER to TOP RIGHT. (Help mentions a file, not present in 9.0.x).

Requests: 1. Allow users to resize the window to match the map size, and/or 2. Either allow users to set map aligment within the window, or change auto-aligment settings to the most efficient space use (generally top left, but not always, which argues for allowing the user to decide).

Thanks for a great application!!

Easier to delete nodes

A relatively straightforward enhancement: the Node/Remove Node on the popup menu could be moved to the main popup menu, under 'Insert Child Node'. It would probably be better server by being called 'Delete Child Node'. I think it would also be fantastic if it had a shortcut key - Del probably being the most suitable. I find it a right pain to delete nodes (I notice someone submitted an RFE on sourceforge asking for a delete function, clearly not being aware there already was one - I think this indicates it needs moving!)

David Perez comment: An alternative I use is to cut the node in order to delete it.

Nodes will be easy to delete in the next version. The reason why they are not easy to delete currently is that there's no undo available. In the mean time, pressing Ctrl + X should suffice to delete a node. --Danielpolansky 09:28, 20 Dec 2004 (PST)

Torsten Gräßler comment:

Find the line starting with "#keystroke_remove" in the <user home>/freemind/ file and change it to "keystroke_remove = DELETE". Now you can delete a node with the DEL key. This works on my WinXP Pro, but should work on other platforms, too. -- 04:27, 23 Mar 2004

Most of the times you delete something and sooner or later you find out that you actually need that thing again. Undo is good, but once you have closed FreeMind it's lost forever. Wouldn't it be nice to have a .trash file to accompany every .mm file just to make things easier? --Anonymous.

This is a known issue by now. Deleting nodes is far too easy in FreeMind 0.8.0, in my view anyway. --Danielpolansky 06:51, 13 May 2006 (PDT)


Requests for features:

Show the statistics

  • number of nodes in a map
  • number of leafs (childless nodes)
  • number of nodes with children

on the node level or a map level (once you can do node level, you also can do map level).

Thousands of new icons

Enhancing the number and variety of icons to the sufficient amout would definetely increase versatility of FreeMind. Plenty of small pictures it is a must if you want to organize your knowledge (e.g. notes from collage), so that every 'key info' could be easily remembered. The more icons that help associating the information the better - I would like to see pictures of man, men, woman, women, tree, chair, table and so on - any thing you can imagine, categorized. I know I can use external pictures, but it's really inconvenient if I have to look for each picture on the Internet for a few minutes while creating a new map. Built-in icons would be a great help.

It is clear that a larger icon library would be helpful. --Danielpolansky 13:18, 18 Feb 2005 (PST)

it would be great if i would able to add or delete icons in to the toolbar my self. 22.2.05 by erwin

Not sure if the hyperlink arrows count as icons, but it would be good if they could be colour coded; eg blue arrow for a hyperlink to a local file on the local computer, yellow for a file located on the local network, red arrow for a hyperlink to a html site, Green arrow for a local hyperlink

I use's general purpose silk icons set in most of my projects, there are over 1000 icons, each one of them is a little gem. There are distributed under the creative common license, I don't know if they can be included and distributed in a open source project .. probably. Still, the best would be an kind of icon manager to allow us to build our own icons libraries and includes some basics libraries by default.
--h3 11:00, 27 Jul 2006

I suggested in another place to have groups of icons, so that the access of all icons gets simplified, and the change of an icon gets simplified too. Here are some examples of groups/categories:

* To be Completed, important/urgent/both/not important
* partial/ complete
* mecanism (ex: "rouages"),	GUI, Database,
* draft/under review/finalized (different evident progressing levels)
* analogy with road signal: "sans issue/cul de sac, speed limit, ..."	
* communication mean (phone, e-mail, mail...)
* context (work, home, travel)
* art (music, painting, sculpture)???
* time management (date, time, time duration)
* Satisfaction (smiles)

Thanks :-) --Patco

Zooming With Scroll Button

Being able to pan by holding down the right-hand mouse button and twiddling the scroll wheel is great. What would help navigation a little more would be to zoom in and out by holding down, say, the left-hand mouse button.

New menu entry Save All

Requests for enhancements:

User defined icons

Requests for enhancements

Keep custom/unknown XML tags when saving

Requests for enhancements:

Collaborative editing of mind maps

Requests for enhancements:

Conference-like editing of a shared map. When one user adds a node, other users get display update, and vice versa. Rather demanding request, but also potentially highly useful.

--Violetlight 09:30, 2 Aug 2006 (PDT): Problems to solve in this area:

  • Whether to mesh peer to peer (e.g. Jabber/XMPP) or to use notification via a server
  • How to perform locking (and whether to use optimistic locking)
  • How to resolve conflicts
  • How to bring a new change to a collaborating user's attention without being intrusive (say a "delta icon" in the node or something like that?)

Allow for mathematical formulas using LaTeX or MathML

Requests for enhancements:

People want to type in mathematical formulas in text markup and see something good looking when not edited.

User attributes or tags of a node

Requests for enhancements:

For user editable using a popping up table. File format example:

<node TEXT="Tagged">
  <tag NAME="cost" VALUE="500¬"/>
  <tag NAME="todo" VALUE="yes"/>

Rich text formatting of nodes

Requests for enhancements:

Rich text formatting includes boldface, italics, font colors, tables and the like. It is already possible using HTML in nodes. What's missing is the GUI support for editing HTML nodes. Another thing missing is pasting of RTF - Rich Text Format directly into FreeMind.

Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) in nodes

Nodes could store and view scalable vector graphics (SVG). Currently, nodes certainly can store SVG, but only its source code is displayed. It should be possible that SVG is displayed like graphics. Editing of SVG can be done using external programs like Inkscape, or using an SVG editing component written in Java.

Viewing of SVG could perhaps be achieved using Apache's Batik framework. How fast, and how much more memory consuming it would be is unclear.

Enable spell checking

Requests for enhancements:

Add label to edges

Requests for enhancements:

As I see it, this will make the map difficult to read. I can't imagine how to implement this in a visually acceptable manner. --Danielpolansky 14:02, 5 Mar 2005 (PST)
On the other hand, edge labels make a lot of sense with freely positioned nodes introduced in FreeMind 0.8.0. --Danielpolansky 09:29, 26 Oct 2005 (PDT)

Add label to arrow link

Requests for enhancements:

Sometimes it could be very useful to label arrow link. It may help to better express and easily understand the exact sense (meaning) of specific arrow link.

Filter nodes by their icons

Requests for enhancements

Set filter on a given node, as a list of icon names. When such a filter is set, only those descendands of the filtered node are shown that satisify the filter. A node satisfies the filter, if one of its icons is in the filter's set of icons, or one of its descendants satisfies the filter.

Filtering based on icons is not very neat, as it does not decouple the meaning from its presentation. But it may be a good interim solution anyway. --Danielpolansky 11:02, 20 Feb 2005 (PST)
  • It's done in FreeMind 0.9 --Terkor 04:21, 18 Aug 2007 (PDT)

Insert Current Date and Hour

Feb 25,2005. It would be nice to have a button to insert in a node the current date and/or hour. Thanks!

Makes sense. Can be found in Window's Notepad under the key F5. --Danielpolansky 10:06, 26 Feb 2005 (PST)

It would be great if a time stamp would be created automaticaly wehn creating a new nod. It should only be displayed when a special "Date-Button" is aktive!

You guys, would you mind stopping shouting at us with your exclamation marks? In English speaking countries, it is not necessary to add an exclamation mark to every second sentence. --Danielpolansky 09:31, 26 Oct 2005 (PDT)

Simple Trick for KDE Users


This will be a really nice feature in general. In the mean time, you can use the following method if you are using KDE. Under KDE, you can insert the current date and time (like the one above) into klipper by binding the following command to a key combination (for example, Ctrl-Alt-C):

 dcop klipper klipper setClipboardContents `date +"%Y-%m-%d-%H:%M:%S-%Z"`

After this, Ctrl-Alt-C followed by Ctrl-v should allow you to insert the date, in a format of your choice, into any document (including freemind).

Support for callto: protocol

As pointed out in a forum posting, support for callto: protocol would be helpful.

If this was fully integrated, it would allow integrated voice and mind-map collaboration. For example passing "opinion sections" of a draft map between participants with a voiceover prior to including them into a collated and agreed version. Another example might be calling between the participants of a (limited) brainstorm as the brainstorm was first diverged and then converged within the mapping tool. --Violetlight 09:17, 2 Aug 2006 (PDT)

Support for use as a dashboard

Freemind could be an excellent generic front end as a dashboard for updating information if it supported file polling (refresh) or some other automated update. For example, database loading scripts could write their progress using Freemind's XML format. Any user monitoring processes such as these could see at a glance if a process had failed, add in some context dependent metadata, and could produce a log/report from the XML.

Ability for arrows to have text associated, or be full nodes

Related To 1167198 non-tree graph (concept map?)

I have a need in my current project (uni), to show heirarchies of risks, causes, and parties involved. Associated among these varying levels of heirarchies I have created arrows indicating relationship (affects-this, causes-something-else etc.), the color of the arrows indicating the relationship. It would be helpful to be able to put labels on the arrows. Actually more important than this, arrows should be full nodes, Allowing different objects to be attached as children (including other arrows). Admittedly giving arrows the ability to be full nodes may invite abuse & cause complexity, however informational-relations are themselves complex (solution should be as simple as possible, no simpler). Coding would perhaps be more elegent to allow for more than 1 child node in the code, but have a limit placed by higher-level code? (i.e. no children of children, even though the arrow objects themselves may allow for this)

Object Styles

It would be nice to have the ability to set styles for an object, and be able to select styles (styles would perhaps be associated per object-type) when creating objects.

Objects include nodes, edges and arrow links.

Using styles, the physical formatting shall no longer be set for a node but rather for a style. An example XML representation may be:

  <style ID="S1" LABEL="Urgent" OBJECTTYPE="node"
         COLOR="#404040" BACKGROUNDCOLOR="#FFFFE0"/>
  <node TEXT="Root">
    <node STYLEID="S1" TEXT="Styled node"/>

It is not clear if the user may set the ID himself. Then it perhaps should not be ID but rather NAME. XSLT transforming sheets refer either to ID or to NAME rather than to LABEL of style.

Hyperlinks to Programs with Arguments

In addition to (followable) hyperlinks to web-pages, to local folders, to executable programs, and to executable files (e.g. "datasheet.xls"), it would also be nice to have hyperlinks to programs with arguments and switches such as: "notepad myfile.bat" or "explorer.exe /n,/e,C:\" --Lhg 01:11, 18 Apr 2005 (PDT)

Yes...I am using freemind for System Administration: And it is quite excellent, to have nodes for every computer and user on my system with child nodes for services, nfsmounts, etc... but i would like very much to be able to link to the other computers with executables like

          # ssh mynfsserver.mynetwork emacs /etc/exports


          # ssh mykrb5server.mynetwork emacs /etc/kdc/kdc.conf

Show multiple maps in tabs

XEmacs shows multiple documents at tabs at the top. Microsoft Excel shows multiple sheets of a document at tabs at the bottom. Although this is not a standard user interface model, seems quite useful for FreeMind. Various users requested this feature. --Danielpolansky 11:38, 30 Apr 2005 (PDT)

Could it be possible to have a "restore all tabs" option, as in Firefox? --Patco

This would definitely be a useful enhancement. Typical use case: I'm managing several projects, I have one "mindmap" for each project, that would allow me to have all the maps open at the same time and accessible with a single click, selecting the one I need to watch at the moment. I might try to code this myself if I ever find the time for that :-P --Maathieu 12:41, 22 Jul 2009 (UTC)

Show multiple pages of the one map in tabs

ConceptDraw MindMap has this feature. Right-click on a node, select "send to new page", and the node with its children appears in a separate tab in the same document. This avoids the need to spawn extra files when your map becomes unwieldy and you want to chop off a branch. It is hyperlinked to and from its location on the original page.

Why use this instead of exporting to a new file? Because when the "new" map is conceptually part of the original map from which it was extracted, it is tidier and less error-prone to keep it in the same file. It won't get lost. And with a new page, instead of a new file, the user is saved from having to think of a meaningful file name for the extracted section. Node names do not necessarily make good file names.

Allow more maps to be shown side by side

In XEmacs, Vim or Microsoft Excel, it is possible to see several documents side by side. It would make sense for FreeMind too. Nevertheless, the added value is questionable. --Danielpolansky 11:38, 30 Apr 2005 (PDT)

If a few features are added, seeing two documents side by side would have more meaning. Automatic creation of a cloned node that is the root node of a new document is one. Press Ctrl-Enter (for example) would create a new document. This document would have a root node and filename that is the same name as node from the parent document. A line would connect these two nodes on the screen. Note the line is really two lines that connect at the boundary of each window. This type of line would also show visually the link between any two nodes in any two mm-files. Alternatively you can have the second window show a piece of the same document. This piece would include the node the cursor is on in the left pane and all the child nodes.

Another idea is to show a mind map as a menu. Menus are useful because they require very little additional screen space. Click on anything in the menu and it either shows the rest of the tree from the selected node or it evaluates the node which could mean it opens a new mind map, opens a program or does some other action. --Mars729 17:22, 1 Jun 2008 (EDT)

Direct pasting of RTF from clipboard

In one of the future versions, direct pasting of HTML into FreeMind will be supported; the code for it already exists and has not been published yet. In addition, direct pasting of RTF as HTML would be helpful. A free algorithm for conversion between RTF and HTML is needed for that.

RTF (rich text format) is used in email messages in Microsoft Outlook, and in hierarchical notebooks Key Note and TuxCards. --Danielpolansky 03:36, 22 May 2005 (PDT)

Lock Contents and Hierarchical Position of a Node

It will be really nice to be able to lock the contents of a node so it cannot be edited unless it is explicitly unlocked. Similarly, it might be useful to prevent a node from being moved to another position in the hierarchy of the map.

Better Placement of New "Secondary" Nodes Relative to the Root Node

When adding nodes to the root node, they appear to be placed Right, Left, Right, Left. If some of these secondary nodes are deleted and another one is added to the root node, the side on which it is added appears to be chosen according to the number of secondary nodes on each side.

This seems fair enough, but if some of the secondary nodes have hundreds of child nodes and others only have a few then you can end up with a map which has far more nodes on the right than the left, but still have new secondary nodes added on the right hand side.

How about using the total number of nodes on each side when working out whether a secondary node should be on the right or left of the root node? Alternatively, allow secondary nodes to be dragged onto the other side of the root node (which doesn't appear to be possible currently).

CTRL+[LEFT,RIGHT,UP,DOWN] moves the node and its children accordingly (at least in 0.9.0 Beta 8)

Can we have complete manual control of all secondary nodes originating from the root - so that each secondary node has its own unique point of origin on the root node which can be moved independently of all other secondary nodes. At the moment all secondary nodes originate left or right. It would be useful if they could originate like different points of the compass. North, north north west, north west, etc. and even points in between.

Using basic vector shapes

Using basic shapes like line, rectangle, square, circle etc. would by usefull.

Treat a node as HTML using an attribute

Instead of the cumbersome "<html>" string required at the beginning of the text. And even worse, having to keep the MaxNodeWidth enforced with something like <body width="600">. Why not take a different approach. One that seems like it would have little impact on the code, though I have not read it as of yet...

If html was treated as an attribute like bold and italic as in html="true", then process the entire node as html same as when the string "<html>" is detected at the beginning of the text. There would be a default <style>body {width:<MaxNodeWidth>}</style> in place, though the actual html in the node could override this just the way normal CSS does.

This has MAJOR implications for the use of the xml file. Though I have not written any XSLT yet for FreeMind yet, I was appalled at the thought of having to strip out this "<html>" string out of every node that used it. And positively frustrated at the idea of having to test for tags used to control width, i.e. <body width="600">. I really thought this crude and that it would slow the proceesing of files that use what is really a most beautifully clean concept.

However, an html attribute does away with all of this and seems to me to be a much more elegant and cleanly way to deal with html....

BTW, it would be very straight forward to write an XSLT transform to upgrade existing .MM files.

I just had another thought, why not go all the way and give each node a MIME type, limited to "text/plain" (default) and "text/html" for now. This leaves the door open to readily process other mime types through plugins, or whatever. In any case the attribute concept is something worth thinking about. --danv 10:25, 8 Feb 2006 (PST)

Add pictures to notes

Add a picture to a note of a node. It would be cool to export a map to HTML (Clickable Map) and have the picture only in the note. Whis would be the logical implementation for e.g. overview of new features in 0.8.0. It would not be needed to create extra nodes for pictures only.

Code environment

Possibility to insert source code e.g. html (pre does not work...)

I don't understand what this request is about. You can insert any source code you want into FreeMind's nodes, just that it cannot start with < html >; HTML code can be inserted by setting space as the first character of a node. --Danielpolansky 05:51, 29 Apr 2006 (PDT)

--Danielpolansky 05:57, 29 Apr 2006 (PDT)

Alphabetize Nodes

Automatically rearrange a specified node level in alphabetical order. Today I do this manually in certain circumstances. It can be very time consuming to preform this manually, and hopefully it would not be too time consuming to automate. --Slashdotted 18:22, 21 Jul 2006 (PDT)

Order of Nodes

According to Buzan Mindmaps should be read clockwise. What every mindmapping tool misses is the fact that nodes on the left side of the center should be added from bottom to top, with the last entered node on the 11 position.

that was the first thing i noticed about freemind also. i have been making mindmaps by hand for years now and they are always clockwise. also when exporting eg. to html the nodes should be ordered clockwise. maybe i miss some feature, but when i first exported a mindmap the order was somehow from top to bottom (3 from the right, then 2 from the left, then continue with the right side,...) the other thing is that nodes are always left or right, and not orderered in a circle. the only way i can work with freemind is to put all nodes on the right side but the map looks more like a list then

Selection and Deselection of Icons

It would be great if the icon toolbar on the left would show different styles of an icon (selected / not-selected), so one can easily deselect an icon for a node, rather than go through the contextmenue each time

Besides, it would be great if the context menu could allow remove specific icons, not just the last one.

As an addendum to this request, it would be really interesting to define a "combo box" type where (to do/project milestone/other actionable state) lists defined in the tree could be updated by clicking the drop down on the combo box instead of having to delete the icon and re-add another one.

Reminder nodes - Alerts and possible Outlook / Lotus Notes / etc integration

It would be a great additional feature if it was possible to use FreeMind as a reminder tool too. This idea poped into my mind right now, so it's not pretty much developed yet, but if it was possible to mark a node as a reminder then I would have no need to use Outlook to remind me of things to be done. I was reading something on GTD (Gets Things Done) and it connection with MindMaps and I thought that it would be useful to attach reminders to MindMaps/Nodes. There're a couple of approachs to implement it: The first would be to integrate Freemind with Outlook ot Lotus Notes, and then when you tag a node as a reminder it actually creates a reminder inside Outlook or Notes using the node text and context, so that you get reminded by those applications when the reminder alert occurs. The other option is to write an application that is used to alert user of a node reminder. Loudenvier 11:08, 11 Aug 2006 (PDT) It would also be fabulous if one could hyperlink from FreeMind to a Lotus Notes database document. Currently, one gets a "This URL is malformed!" error message. Thanks!

Demoting Root

Allow insert of sibling of root which auto creates a new root. The old root and the new sibling are both attached to it --Patheros 11:45, 10 Apr 2007 (PDT)

Open Mindmaps in the same already open Freemind

In Windows I open my mindmaps by double-clicking on the *.mm file. It would be nice if double-clicking would not always open a new FreeMind. Instead, I like to view the mindmap in the already existing open Freemind application. wasserratte 10:01, 3 May 2007 (CET)

WBS Mode

I would like to see a WBS Viewing Mode, where the map would be arranged in a top-down hierarchical display. Something like the Organization Chart from Microsoft Office. That would help using FreeMind as a WBS Chart tool.

I would like to see the ability to port a WBS developed with FreeMind into Microsoft Project similar to the plug in for MindMapper. --Tuneboy 07:58, 27 Nov 2007 (PST)

Improve MacOS Binary Package

All files should be contained inside the package, like most other Mac programs.

Revert arrows to draw underneath text

I very much want the new features in Freemind 0.9, but there's one behavior different from 0.8 (on Windows XP) which is very annoying - the arrows draw over the node text, instead of underneath it. I'm using a lot of arrows, and this can make my maps hard to read. Freemind 0.8 draws the arrows underneath the node text, which is much better. (If someone can tell me which section of the code was changed, I'll try to figure out how to recompile Freemind with the old behavior for my own use, if there's some reason why the new behavior is desirable.) --EliezerYudkowsky 22:33, 12 Nov 2009 (UTC)

Allow gradient colors for arrows

I think with gradient colors it would be much simpler to know any arrow's source and destination. When many arrows go from/to the same node you miss this information. --12:01, 2 Dec 2010 (UTC)

As user interface to commands

I would like to assign commands to nodes. So Freemind can then be used as a tool (using .mm templates) to gather and set information from various systems. This, I would like to use when doing investigations/research on systems alien to me. By going through the notes, or merely seeing them, you would be able to instantaneously create the dashboard to your need. Gathering configuration, performance, etc. data in near real-time or historical data. Saving snap-shots would allow for viewing on other locations. Transport them, so you could be able to simulate the situation. This would allow for a single display and configuration framework to show the aforementioned data. Think dimensional!

Principles of Unix

The principles from Unix are that programs should do one thing, and do it well, and to use well-defined inter-communication between those programs. The current design of FreeMind completely violates those rules - mostly because it is written in Java, but definitely because it is written _exclusively_ in Java. However, do not despair! All Is Not Lost!

By splitting FreeMind along very specific lines, it will very quickly be possible to do things like use a completely different viewing front-end (such as a web interface). It will be possible to satisfy one of the RFEs listed here for 'command line only'. It will be possible to use FreeMind as a powerful semantic analysis engine tool.

And none of that is possible because the current design is entirely in some stupid programming language called "java", which should have been put down for its own good, at birth (thank you Sun Microsystems).

For an example of the kind of architecture that you should follow, take a look at It should be _trivial_ to add in a "database plugin" into gnuenterprise, and to have a gnuenterprise "reports" form viewing the same data and attributes etc. that a FreeMind user is simultaneously looking at.

And it's _not_ difficult - IF you split along the right lines.

RFE 1687293

User Interface


It would be great if you could save (and restore) folding states of the map; a simple dropdown list will do

It can prove very handy in a big map - to quickly focus on different parts of the map, without having to do the folding and unfolding on your own every time (and filtering is just too cumbersome for this). Thanks!! / Jeevandark


It would be awesome if FreeMind could allow the 'hoist' of a non-root node. Clicking on the node and choosing 'hoist' would redraw the map showing that node as root, its descendents around it, and the ancestors, which are now descendants, too, hidden.

Watch an example XSLT script, which hoist the anchor from the root to the node where a graphical link, originating at the root, points at. Input sample FreeMind map:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<map version="0.9.0_Beta_8">
 <node ID="Freemind_Link_1870928497" TEXT="a">
   <arrowlink DESTINATION="Freemind_Link_731312914" ENDARROW="Default" 
ENDINCLINATION="219;0;" ID="Arrow_ID_1222167311" STARTARROW="None" 
   <node ID="Freemind_Link_530368245" POSITION="right" TEXT="aa">
     <node ID="Freemind_Link_29760795" TEXT="aaa"/>
     <node ID="Freemind_Link_731312914" TEXT="aab">
       <node ID="ID_1690650363" TEXT="aaba"/>
   <node ID="Freemind_Link_16275782" POSITION="right" TEXT="bb"/>

The Hoist XSLT script moving the root along a graphic link:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<xsl:stylesheet xmlns:xsl="" version="1.0">
 <xsl:template match="*|@*">
     <xsl:copy-of select="@*"/>
 <xsl:template match="/map">
     <xsl:copy-of select="attribute_registry"/>
     <xsl:apply-templates select="//node[@ID=/map/node/arrowlink/@DESTINATION]"/>
 <xsl:template match="//node[@ID=/map/node/arrowlink/@DESTINATION]">
     <xsl:copy-of select="*|@*"/>
     <xsl:apply-templates select="." mode="aws"/>
 <xsl:template match="node" mode="aws">
   <xsl:if test="parent::node">
     <xsl:element name="node">
       <xsl:attribute name="TEXT">
         <xsl:value-of select="../@TEXT"/>
       <xsl:apply-templates select="preceding-sibling::node"/>
       <xsl:apply-templates select="following-sibling::node"/>
       <xsl:apply-templates select="parent::node" mode="aws"/>
       <xsl:apply-templates select="../attribute"/>

It would be nice, if this would be a function inside FreeMind e.g. right click on a node and in this context menu chose New Root. JR 06:34, 16 Apr 2008 (PDT)

Folding Animation

I believe having a very short animation when folding/unfolding a node would increase readability as it whould make it easier to know where nodes where before and where did they moved to.

Left toolbar

I think we have too much icons on the left, most of it isn't used. I think it could be halved, and only show the user preferred icons, and the rest of the place could be used to dock other tools. --Zslevi 13:03, 1 Nov 2007 (PDT)

Leos: it would be nice, if I could remove some icon from the toolbar or rearrange order of the icons (like in MS Office).

to allow an easy access to all the icons on the left bar, one may group icons that follow the same metaphor (ex: numbers, home/office, crosslight red/green/orange ....) and access to the icon of interest by clicking on the group icon. This could serve also to simplify the change: suppose you have an ordered list with the icons 1, 2, 3 ... or with icons representing different states "draft", "in review", "published" ... then you could click on the icon on a node, and have a contextual menu with all the other icons of the same group (and delete/delete all). You could much more easily change from "in review" to "publish" state :-) --Patco


I think it's a great thing to have notes for nodes, but I would prefer more options on formatting note text. (What about integrating with Open Office Writer?) At least the font size should be set, because the default size is so small and hard to read. --Zslevi 13:03, 1 Nov 2007 (PDT)

Zoom to fit

It would be nice if on loading a map, the view executes an automatic zoom-to-fit instead of the default 100%. Also the Fit option should be added to the Zoom drop down menu (as Powerpoint does for example). Also a keyboard accelerator should be added for Zoom to Fit (e.g. Ctrl-Shift-Z, they are near each other). Another small thing: if you have a map larger than taller, the current implementation adjust the scale to fit the map horizontally, but leave the map not centered in the vertical direction. Could this also be fixed? --mvalle 06:14, 2 Dec 2008

Or save the zoom level with the map so it opens at the same zoom and the same node as when saved --MikeS 10:45, 4 Sep 2009 (UTC)


It would be especially helpful if we could reorganize the arrangement of freemind's windows. For example, nodes with notes appear at the bottom and can't be moved around. In other heirarchical editors, a tree view could appear at the left and the text (notes) could be moved to the right, where a large screen and indentation could make most of the text readable as compared to the bottom of the screen.


F1 is conventionally help

F1 is normally a help key in most apps

  • When zooming with the keyboard shortcuts it would be better to have
 Alt + Up Arrow  to zoom-in and Alt + Down Arrow to zoom-out. This is
 a more natural way of thinking about zooming.-ZSDM

Show a help bar on the bottom of the screen for F keys

Have an optional toolbar that can be shown along bottom of screen with buttons that can be clicked with a mouse and operate as per the function keys and also give a hint as to what key does. e.g. [F1 help] [F2 hot][F3 green][F4 ] [F5] And format the text of the key as per the pattern it applies

Enforce Default Per-Line Text Width For Long Nodes

At least 70% of the nodes are multi-line nodes, and to make all the long nodes look *uniform*, we need to manually insert line breaks for each long node, this can get pretty tedious, and also it's difficult to get all nodes of uniform width. A much better way is to have the system enforce a configurable "long node width", that adds line breaks when necessary. If no such paramater is set, it can default to the current behavior.

This can happen through a default attribute of the <body>-tag i.e. <body width="200px">.

Locking Node Focus

Currently the node focus is "set" by moving the mouse. The last node that the mouse flys over is the default focus node, and subsequent operations like "insert an icon" is performed will be performed on that node. It would be really helpful to be able to *manually* lock the focus on a node, this way it's easier to set an icon (all the way to the left side of the screen) to the right node.

Toggle for Re-centering the Map upon node selection =

I love FreeMind and yet I still dream of a more and better version. Under the mouse section, I have suggested a toggle to enable and disable the mouse fly-overs select node mechanism. It would also be nice if there was some means to recenter the map upon node selection to make that section of the map the graphical focus.

Re-centering the Map with Hypergraph-like navigation tool =

The most compelling form of refocusing large mind maps are ThinkMap's Visual Thesaurus, The Brain, The WebBrain. Of course, being a user and not a programmer, I can only imagine how much work that might take. Perhaps, you might find it useful to forge a collaboration with the SourceForge Hypergraph Project and ask them to build an export to Hypergraph module for you. One note of caution: Straightforward implementation of a hypergraphs compress large peripheral nodes into a small and unreadable overlapping space. This defeats the value of the hypergraph navigation. Thinkmap has solved that problem by forcing peripheral nodes to be well-spaced for readability.

"physical style" could be customized

I love the flexibility FreeMind provided to make my mindmap pretty. For each node, I can choose the font size, format, color...The choices are so many that making the changes with mouse is a little bit slow because the choices are buried in many sub-menus. The physical style provides a short-cut. But the styles are not attractive. Why not provide a tool so that the user can define a node format (including font size, format, color and icon et al) and associate it to F3~F9 and Ctrl +F1~F9. So after I type in the content, by pushing one key, the node can be customized within a second.

  • It's done exactly this way in FreeMind 0.9 --Terkor 19:39, 18 Jul 2007 (PDT)


Scroll wheel zoom Operation

a) It would be nice to be able to zoom using just the scroll wheel rather than pressing CTRL at the same time. How about a user preference/option to control this. This is similar to many other Apps e.g. Excel ie wheel = zoom or pan

b) The way the scroll wheel works seems opposite to many other programs which is confusing ie push wheel forward causes a zoom out whereas other apps zoom in

Right mouse popup menu text

The words "Node up" and "Node down" could be easier to understand if there was a verb in it e.g. Move node up Move node down

The operation of it is great, but as a novice it is not clear if it does move up a node - ie where current cursor is moves or move the node - ie the node is moved to a different position on the diagram

Photoshop/Freehand-like Keyboard/Mouse Document Navigation

Coming from the graphics department, it would be really nice to have the standard mouse/keyboard navigation style (which by the way is great way of handling oversized documents and going from overview to detail view with just a few clicks):

a) Space toggles View Panning b) CTRL-Space toggles zoom in (Click to zoom in, zoom centered to position of mouse cursor) c) CTRL-ALT-Space toggles zoom out (click to zoom out, zoom centered to position of mouse cursor) Tried to map CTRL-Space to zoom in, which worked, but not on mouseclick but on keydown. Additional ALT key for zoom out was not accepted at all in settings->keys

Toggle for Mouse fly-over

Elsewhere in this RFE, others have noted that although the mouse fly-over selection mode is great for rapid navigation, there are times when one changes the selection as the mouse cursor moves up to the toolbar. Why not toggle the mouse fly-over by some method. Perhaps one of the most convenient methods would be a left mouse double click on the node to freeze the selection.


Horizontal scroll

Horizontal scrolling does not seem to work.


Toggle toolbar on/off via View Menu

Add ability to toggle display of toolbars via the menu Suggest put it under View menu

Functionality as per RIGHT mouse key on a blank part of the screen

Alter wording of sub menu Mode

As a novice found it hard to understand the difference between Map and Browse would have found it easier if it had said ALT+1 Edit map ALT+2 Browse map ALT+3 File

Add a save all map icons

If you work with several maps, it is impossible to save all maps in one shot, except if you close freemind.

Change View Menu Hotkey

Paste Format (ALT-V) is defeated by &View in frame menu tree, at least in 0.9 RC6. Paste Format is used a lot more than the View Menu.


Icon toolbar

Cross and watebasket look like icons rather than buttons

To a novice the delete (red cross) and delete all (wastebasket) icons look like icons ie add a cross to the map rather than perform operations especially on the popup "select icon" window.

Some icons in left toolbar fall off bottom of toolbar
Clone icon toolbars on both sides

I want to have same icon toolbar on both sides - left and right. If I had icon toolbar on both sides, I could choose the shortest way to the icon.

Top toolbar

Order of icons in top toolbar

Would be nice if these icons were in a more standard order (as per other apps) e.g. New, Open, save, print, cut,copy, paste with next/previous map buttons more to the right

(Icons in V0.08 RC2 look a lot smarter)

Font size pulldown is very wide

Pulldown to select font size is stretching and becoming very wide, which doesn't look neat.

Visual feedback for toolbar buttons

Currently (0.8.1) The buttons in the top toolbar do not show any visual feedback when pushed, so you remain with the doubt to have done anything. -- Mvalle 03-dec-08

Customizable top toolbar

A few functions are often used so it's more efficient to be able to customize the top toolbar to have those buttons, eg. node background color, node font color are both very useful to highlight different nodes for different purpose. Last applied color should be able to use just by clicking the same button. There should be more this kind of depends on individual preference. -- dGuru 08-Dec-2008

New toolbar for format operations

Move font type and size pulldowns to new format toolbar

ie group all formatting functions as per Format menu options onto a format toolbar

Add ability to select a default format for text

e.g. have a split icon left part looks like a letter "A" in colour text is currently set to right part of icon looks like a black down arrowhead which if clicked pulls up a colour picker

Add ability to select a default format for lines

e.g. have a split icon left part looks like a line in colour text is currently set to right part of icon looks like a black down arrowhead which if clicked pulls up a colour picker

Add ability to select a default format for clouds

e.g. have a split icon left part looks like a coloured outline of a cloud in colour text is currently set to right part of icon looks like a black down arrowhead which if clicked pulls up a colour picker

One-click selection of cloud color

It would be nice not to have to go through the context-menu to change the cloud color. This should be as easy as in v0.7 by just clicking in the toolbar.

Enlarge and reduce the text size

Enlarge and reduce the text size will be very helpful.

Map Overview / Navigation Pane seen in MindManager: a small detached window that allows quick overview and repositioning of the visualized map section


How about the ability to use gestures (mouse or pen) to do basic manipulation? Click and drag right to enter new node. Click and drag left to enter new sub-node.

Maybe use middle button click for gestures to avoid conflict with current capabilities.

Remark: This is already possible. Just use the freeware StrokeIt. It very easily adds gestures to any program. --Terkor 18:08, 28 May 2007 (PDT)

Outline View

It would be really nice to have the option of seeing an outline view - which you could also drag and drop with --Slashdotted 18:26, 21 Jul 2006 (PDT)

Along the lines of using gestures for manipulation and entry I use FreeMind on a tabletpc. I would like to be able to use inking capabilities.


Since you can drag for navigation, why not allow the scrollbars to be disabled in order to increase screen real estate?

MacOS Enhancements

Some keystrokes should be remapped (by default) to conform with the keystrokes used on Mac's User Interface, like:

  • Delete Child: CMD-BACKSPACE, instead of DELETE (Mac laptops doesn't have a DELETE key)
  • Zoom Out: ALT-DOWN, instead of ALT-UP
  • Zoom In: ALT-UP, instead of ALT-DOWN (consistent with macos Zoom feature)

Some common keyboard shortcuts should also be implemented:

  • Minimize the window to the Dock: CMD-M
  • Restore window from the Dock: ALT-1

Spell Check

I'm a dyslectic - at least am used to type many errors. (Almost) All software I use (to type content) have some form of spell checker supported. And because I also use FreeMind for mindmaps in presentations; they need to contain as less as possible number of writing errors. (Please in any supported language) --Sent 11:41, 8 Mar 2009 (UTC)


Flowchart for Programming Structure

Flowchart Map

If you try to make it, you will know what is we need. I share my idea and app_note, hope the freemind would be best open source on the area.

Map Structure

Multiple Parents

Creative ideas often have more than one parent but freemind is limited to single inheritance hierarchies: one parent, multiple children, unlike software such as Xmind. Multiple parents maps reflect the way our brains work and would enhance freemind's use for creative rather than analytical modeling. This feature would make such a big difference. If it could be combined with free standing nodes: put ddown nodes first, decide structure later, that would really free my mind! Great software, brilliant job, many thanks!

+1 Freemind allows multiple children, but multiple parents are absent. Just how we have two parents, I believe knowledge can stem "backwards(?)" from more than one node. The quickest way to implement this would be to enable "linking" code thus drawing a line from the child node to the secondary parent (and/or third and so forth). But of course the programmers probably have something better in mind :) AlanIn4D 18:33, 02 Nov 2008 (ET)
+2 I would also like to see the feature of multiple parenting. We are designing a structure for rapid response disaster relief which essentially involves taking order into chaos, then upon arrival making use of any relevant chaos on the ground and rapidly restructuring it into order. An example would be sourcing water from multiple sources unknown until arrival then channeling the water into a single processing unit for a variety of processes and distributions depending on need. Something like 6 or more parents into one child for example would extremely useful. My account is--Jeffryjon 05:44, 23 Dec 2009 (UTC)

Straight Links

The current curved links are often messy. It would be good to have the option of straight line, perhaps dotted links

Horizontal vs Vertical Maps

Current maps expand on a horizontal axis (left-right span). I would like to build maps that expand on the vertical axis (top-bottom span), like Organisation Charts. See e.g. or google for "organization chart". -- Discoleo 11:07, 13 Feb 2007 (PST)

I agree that having the option to make vertical growing maps would improve Freemind a lot! This would make it possible to make for example a Gant Chart. Adding the possibility to detach nodes from the root node would make it even better as it makes the map more flexible.

Another vote from me. This feature would make FreeMind Maps as powerful as some of the expensive software out there. Also for businesse purposes it is ideal to be able to include Flow Charts.--- TheHobbit81 [14:46] 13/03/07

Totally agree with both of you. Detachment is something I crave, that and the ability to connect one item to two things, without having to use the arrow. To expand the vertical axis idea, I would love to have the ability to drag nodes in both directions. This would save tons of space, and would make some of them flow much better. It would make Freemind the best mapping out there. MagnoliaSouth 06:23, 29 Mar 2007 (PDT)

Add my vote for this feature that allow create and mind map and organizational flow charts at the same time. One basic application for this feature is the preparation of a project: tasks on horizontal axis, and resources on vertical.

Another vote for vertical maps! -- aharvey00 [13:00] 10/Jun/2007

My vote, too. I would like to be able to chose which node expands vertically and which horizontally. And when this much wanted feature is implemented, there should also be the possibility to have a third, a tree like structure (like in Windows Explorer). It would make things much easier to follow if nodes have many children.

I'd also like this feature. If you have a long chain of nodes and each node has a lot of text, you end up having to do a ton of horizontal scrolling. If you could place them top to bottom instead of left to right, it would be much more usable. -- jessald 10/Oct/2007

Absolutely a must-have feature! It will drastically improve the usability of Free Mind, especially for creation of work flow charts. Make this great software better! Jacopo 05:08, 15 Apr 2008 (PDT)

Yet another vote, especially for better use of map space. And it also serves more uses as different contents are more conceptually tied to either vertical or horizontal representation. [[User:Tormod|Tormod] 12.29, 13 feb 2008

This is by far the most important feature for freemind to incorporate. It would effectively double the kinds of maps that could be made, because after all, the quality of a map is based on it's similarity to the territory. That's why having a horizontal/vertical-descendant attribute for each node would allow for infinite possibilities, and who wants more of those at your finger tips, right? ;)

Another vote for vertical maps. I'd like to use FreeMind for project management and a vertical map option would be fantastic. -- cperesso Jan 6th, 2011

+1 vote for vertical maps. I love FreeMind but have looked multiple times for the vertical option. I finally found this request section and realize it doesn't exist. Vertical would make FreeMind maybe 50% more useful. Sometimes vertical makes more sense like for org charts or related top down structures. -- nstjohn Jan 21st, 2011

+1 vote for an option to have vertical maps. For some of the subjects/topics, vertical maps make more sense and more user friendly. -- Raju Jan 31, 2011


I would like to define sub-maps. Sub-maps should be: 1.) detachable (see some feature requests below), be able to 2.) export independently (as separate maps), 3.) merge into various maps, 4.) be attached to more than one parental node, 5.) have independent styling characteristics (using e.g. CSS) ...

  • in the initial stages of the mindmap creation process, the structure is NOT yet fully clear, so submaps may be useful: just write some ideas down, even IF they do NOT yet fit together
  • I wish to draw the relationships for relational databases: multiple parental nodes would be quite useful here, as one field in one table may be connected to more than one field in different tables
  • complex relationships are difficult to draw using only simple unidirectional mindmaps
-- Discoleo 13:05, 2 Mar 2007 (PST)

Support for "Detachable" or Floating Nodes

Freemind would be enhanced if it allowed for a user to right click on a node and detach that node from the main tree, resulting in a floating sub-tree or node. This would be an easy implementation, and it wouldn't compromise Freemind's strengths in terms of folding and hierarchy data. Furthermore, a detached node / tree could be moved back onto the main tree in the same manner a regular node is re-ordered about inside the tree. The floating node's location could be tracked relative to the root node using the shift parameters. This increase in usability wouldn't confuse new users, either, because

1) it would be easy to re-attach the floating node, and 2) Detaching a node would only be available through the right click menu

This would allow for use of legends, flowcharting, etc, at minimal effort. --dlooijen 29 Jul 2005

In Mindmanager you can create floating objects like dlooijen describes above. However, a visual improvement would be that floating/free nodes could have their child nodes on any side, regardless of where it is positioned in relationship to the root node. This gives the benefit of visually showing different children (coming from different roots) that are some how related (mindmanger calls this a "relationship", not necessarily a heirarchical one). Such a view would allow for concepts of one stream to be compared to another stream more easily. This might not translate well into a document outline, but the whole purpose I use visual mapping is because I don't want to be constrained by the logic of a document outline! --ryba 27 Oct 2005 + In Mindmanager you can create floating objects like dlooijen describes above. However, a vi

When working on early and relatively unstructured concepts it would be very useful to have such a thing as floating nodes and subtrees. When ideas need further expansion and development before the emediate relationships become clear. --TWingate 04:46, 22 Nov 2005 (PST)

I'd like to implement sibling root nodes for this purpose, and combine the feature with "cross-linking nodes" above, so a node can have zero, 2, or more parent nodes--a dramatic generalization. In the case of "0" parents the network can still be represented in outline form by considering these detached root nodes each like an Appendix. For what it's worth, a new layout mode will have to be introduced, as in the other feature request. --abadger 30 May 2006

"Detachable" or Floating Nodes could easily be simulated if there would be the option to have a transparent Edge Color. --Terkor 18:03, 28 May 2007 (PDT)

I would greatly appreciate the enhancement permitting to create FLOATING topics. User: Mikulas 11:04, 5 February 2011

Allow non-hierarchical, rhizomatic nodal structures

I would like to see more flexibility in the nodal structure of FreeMind's maps. In addition to the suggestion of radial hierarchies above, I would like to propose multipolar, nonhierarchical or rhizomatic nodal structures. By this I mean the creation of maps that do not have a single root node but a cluster or group of root nodes around which sibling and child nodes are grouped. Instead of mapping to a singular concept, a group of related concepts could be mapped this way. I also support the call for linking unrelated nodes as an additional tool to using the graphical links. Archis 22:45, 19 Nov 2006 (PST)

Free positioning of nodes

A node cannot be positioned above or below a parent node, it can only be positioned on its left or right. The consequence is that the map expends on those sides only, even with a few elements a map goes out of the screen and becomes difficult to overview. It would be much better to have a "360" position possibility around parent nodes. This seems very important to me to condense freemind maps and make them less "left-right spanned". --lesguilw 1 Sept 2006

I support this strongly. The current limitations of node positioning make the maps somewhat awkward. Zapyon 23:44, 16 Nov 2006 (PST)
+1. I support a more radial, wheel-spoke-like organization of nodes (enabled by free positioning of nodes) as natural and intuitive, even though the map would loose some of its structured clarity. Ideally, users should be offered the choice to use tree-like, wheelspoke-like, or rhizomatic nodal structures for each mindmap. See also my comment on rhizomatic organization of nodes below. Archis 22:27, 19 Nov 2006 (PST)
I'd also like to request free placement of nodes. I used freemind in every class of my first two semesters of law school. I created overall course maps for use in the exams. They worked very well, but the maps were physically huge - on average five 11x17 pages taped together. There's a lot of wasted white space on these maps. If I could condense them into a smaller space, they would be more usable. Twinotter 08:45, 28 Jun 2007 (PDT)
+1 That would really be a huge improvement and it would allow to create the vertical mindmaps desired above as well :-)


  • Ability to choose form different cloud shapes. For example: Rectangular, Rectangular (Rounded), Strait Lines. Very often the standard cloud shape does not match with what you want to say, and a more "technical", rectangular and more "strait" shape is required.
  • Ability to add a node-like comment to a cloud.
  • Ability to add a note to a cloud.
  • Recent colors for clouds don't persist across program restart--and should.
  • Ability to change color of cloud. Hot key support will be great!
  • From a recent testing experience with Freemind, we found that a user

is not able to draw a cloud around the root node. This would be a convenient feature. -ZSDM

Map inheritance

I believe that having a mechanism similar to inheritance in object oriented programming would be extremely useful. This would most likely require a few other features to be implemented as well, like tab support for example (see feature request 7.54 for example) to be really useful, but that's another story.

I think that the best way to illustrate inheritance is with an example. Imagine that you want to create a map describing the features of Unix operating systems. A lot can be said about Unixes in general, but soon enough you will have to start speaking about differences between Solaris, HP-UX, Linux, etc. Rather than having 3 different maps with a lot in common, it would be much easier to have a main Unix map containing all the general information which is true for all flavors of the OS and three derived maps, inheriting from Unix and overriding the nodes when necessary to include specific information. Each of those derived map could then be inherited further. For example, the Linux map could be inherited by RedHat, Debian, Ubuntu, etc. The Ubuntu map could in turn be inherited by sub-map containing information pertaining to each specific version (6.06, 6.10, 7.04, and so on).

The main point is that if you do this without inheritance, you end up with a lot of different maps that all need to be updated and maintained separately, even if it is to add something which is common to all the maps. With inheritance, you would simply have to modify the parent map (in the example above, the Unix map) and this would be automatically reflected in all the derived maps.

Ideally, all the map from the same parent should be contained in the same file but displayed in separate tabs. And there should be a way, when looking at a map, to easily identify what is inherited from a parent and what has been overridden. Being able to export each derived map into its own file would also be a plus. And finally, having an automatically built 'Inheritance map', showing the inheritance tree and allowing easy navigation would be the cherry on the cake!

Vertical Alignment Variations

Currently all child nodes vertically align centered to their parent nodes by default. You can change this by dragging the oval in front of the first child node down (vertical align: top) or the oval in front of the last child node up (vertical align: bottom). For large maps however, this can be a tedious job ;)

It would be GREAT to be able set vertical alignment for each or all (selected) nodes to a number of presets: "top", "center" (the current 'default'), "bottom". Special options like "below parent node", "25% top" and "25% bottom" would be very useful as well.

Freemind vertical alignment examples.png

Especially "top" and "below parent" vertical alignment would be my favorite, as I use FreeMind a lot for website structure maps, which gain a lot in readability by aligning child nodes that way.

--Diggie 02:02, 9 Apr 2008 (PDT)

Editing / Nodes

Ctrl-Delete to delete previous word

This is a basic functionality of almost all text-entry UIs. Java widgets by default use this (Swing and AWT) but those are clearly not being used. As an early user of this "brainstorming" tool, this editing feature stands out most to me!

  • Done in FM 0.9. --Terkor 19:03, 4 Sep 2007 (PDT)


Header / Footer
Would be nice to be able to add a header or footer
e.g. with name of file, title, date
Background Image
Would be nice to add a user image e.g. logo to a page, or a header/footer (see previous topic).
Coloured background
Ability to define a colour for background paper
Although the background color can be set in, it is not stored in the maps. It is pure FreeMind customization. However, setting the background color in the maps makes sense, as the foreground color of the text can be set in the nodes, too. Both the background color and the default text color should be saved in the maps. I do not know any model application to show this feature. --Danielpolansky 11:44, 30 Apr 2005 (PDT)


Centering Selected Node after selecting
If the user moves through a really big map using the keyboard, the orientation in the map is impaired (e.g. if the child nodes are not visible because they are behind right or left side of shown map part).
Therefore, it would be nice to have an option to center the view on the selected node. I think not a lot of work and still big help. Btw. thanks guys for making such a good program.

Setting/Changing Focus
An option whereby the focus can be set to a selected node. Doing this should then position the node in the centre and only showing its siblings.
It should then be possible to save this as a new map so you can link nodes in other maps to it. --Paul 14 Sept 2006
see the Submaps feature request for the second issue
Unselecting all nodes
There seems to be no method to unselect nodes in a way that no node is selected any more.
This has two drawbacks:
  • You never see all nodes of the map in original color - at least one is always grey.
  • Exporting to PNG or JPG exports the selected node(s) in grey instead of in its original color. So there is no way to get a correct image export.
Simple solution could be:
Clicking on any empty spot on the stage would deselect all nodes.


Center as Root for Main Branches
If you make the branches coming out of the central node, begin at the very center (coming out from behind the center node oval), then you will give us the ability to move the main branches anywhere, including above the central node. This would be better than the way you have it, with the branches sprouting from the left and right edges of the center node oval, giving the map a bowtie look, with no branches reaching above or below the center node oval.
Straight Branches
Current branches follow curved lines. I would like to have an option for straight lines at right angles. See this example for an organization chart where such straight connecting lines are used. -- Discoleo 09:29, 2 May 2007 (PDT)
Settable Line Weights / Styles
Currently all solid lines have a fixed weight and style. It would be nice to have an option to set individual styles for the connecting lines. I would especially like to have variable width for the individual lines: e.g. if a path has a probability of 70% and the 2nd path only 30%, then I would like to make the former connecting line 2 times thicker than the latter. -- Discoleo 09:29, 2 May 2007 (PDT)
This would be excellent for emphasizing parts of the map over other parts of the map. A similar function can be accomplished with balloons, but different line styles would help to make the map more readable. (Balloons seem to clutter the page more, to me.) Twinotter 08:47, 28 Jun 2007 (PDT)


Styles (CSS?)

Currently freemind only allows direct formatting of some properties. It would be much better to have a hierarchical system of (possibly editable) styles that can be applied to objects. I think these styles should be handled by CSS.

I suggest the following properties:

  • node
    • text
      • font
      • size
      • weight/style (i.e. italics, bold, plain, whatever)
      • colour
    • background
      • colour
      • image
    • border
      • line width
      • line colour
  • edge
    • line
      • colour
      • style (dotted, solid, invisible ...)
      • width
      • (possibly) edge text (and it's formatting)

Now, with these properties there might be styles for hierarchy levels. I.e. one set of styles for the root object, one for level 1 nodes (+ one separate style for the accompanying level 1 edges), level 2 nodes and so on.


  • incredulous increase in usability
  • more consistent layout
  • automatic and manual formatting would be much more consistent and only extra formatting would have been done by hand.
  • easy conversion from level styles to headings when exporting to (X)HTML, SXW/ODT, RTF etc.
  • This might also facilitate SVG conversion and maybe an easy way to export maps to working SVG maps for browsers once all browsers support SVG that well (yes, I am dreaming).


  • this is a big one for the developers to swallow ;-)

Zapyon 00:16, 17 Nov 2006 (PST) (PS: feel free to add details inside my stuff instead of adding comments)

Store Styles in Map

The name of the (physical) style of each note should be saved in the file. This would allow XML-processors to take action based on the style. htgoebel 2008-01-07

Auto Formatting


There should be a way to set the colours (and may be more details) of the auto format function. The way it is, it is quite useless form (and possibly others), as I like the way it hierarchically resizes fonts, but I cannot use the coloured text, I prefer black (especially as I use coloured clouds a lot)

Autoformatting works pretty well in 0.8.0 - one click to format in a readable and intuitive way. That said, the enhancement I'd like to see is the ability to set the Autoformatting colours. The current set are not 'professional' looking, and red causes issues for some color blind people. Acodring 07:45, 27 Feb 2007 (PST)

  • It's done in FreeMind 0.9 --Terkor 19:45, 18 Jul 2007 (PDT)
Should include optimal positioning of nodes

This of course only makes sense together with the already suggested 360° positioning of nodes. But it would improve usability of a) freemind and b) the maps incredibly

Automatic Layout Styles

Autoformatting in Version:0.9.0 RC6 is very nice. It should include a way to add more node level formats. "Other's Node Format" should be" "Default Node Format", which would be the node format for any level not defined (so, one could define Levels: 1, 3, 5, and 7. Levels 2,4,6 and 8 would default to the "Default Node Format" --KenGribble 22:11, 18 Dec 2009 (UTC)

Add tool like "Format Painter" as is in MS Office or "Format Paintbrush" in OpenOffice

This tool would enable to copy style of one node or edge to another. It will speed up the work perceptibly.

Looks like this is what you want: Use "Copy Format" and "Paste Format" in "Edit". Or just use the shortcuts Alt-C (Copy Format) and Alt-V (Paste Format). --Terkor 19:35, 18 Jul 2007 (PDT)


Maps should remember filter criteria set during use.

Filter criteria set during use persist until FreeMind restarts. Filtering maps makes them easy to navigate. Restarting wipes out your "trail of bread crumbs."

Done in FM 0.9 Beta 13. --Terkor 19:07, 4 Sep 2007 (PDT)

Show a '*' in window title if map has been updated but not saved

As per other editors show a '*' next to the file name (in the title of the window) if a file has been updated but not saved yet. Remove '*' when it has been saved
What other editors do that? Microsoft Office, Emacs and Vim do not do that. --Danielpolansky 11:31, 30 Apr 2005 (PDT)
Eclipse IDE, Slickedit etc, seems a useful feature --Billigre 07:43, 7 May 2005 (PDT)
Useful feature. (Emacs does put "**" in the modeline when a buffer is modified. So does with Vim which put "+" on the window title or status line.)

Looks like it's done in 0.90b9?

Disable the Save icon if a document is already saved

many text editors disable the Save Icon (grayed out), IF the text has NOT changed (e.g. Notepad++)
the icon is usually activated only IF a change has happened
this way, one knows too, IF something was modified
-- Discoleo 13:14, 2 Mar 2007 (PST)

Switch for change Map mode to readonly/writeable

I often use complex mindmaps and I would wish, there is an easy way to switch the map into a readonly-mode so that I could not change the map. The unfold/fold changes are not important for me, but I fear to delete, move or overwrite some nodes while working with different maps. -- MapGyver 22:58, 16 Mar 2009 (MEZ)

File format changes

Document the FreeMind mm Format in a mm.dtd

The FreeMind map format should be documented. This would be a great time saver writing XSLT scripts. JR 02:53, 17 Apr 2008 (PDT)

CVS/SVN friendly output *.mm file format

FreeMind's .mm output file is XML format, and can be managed by version control system easily. But some attributes not suitable for that.

e.g., "FOLDED" attribute saved in .mm file, makes documents changed frequently and unnecessarily. Why not saved "FOLDED", "CREATED", "MODIFIED"(it's CVS/SVN's duty) outside?

I write a patch for this. When saving file, a *.mmx file is also created. When loading *.mm file, if a *.mmx file exist, load it at runtime. But the code needs review and your enhancement. -- Jiangxin 12:18, 6 Apr 2006 (PDT)

I agree that these attributes are miserable to read, and distracting to CVS. What about a preferences pane to disable extensions, including "built-in plugins" such as this one? -- abadger 30 May 2006

If you use CSV or SVN with .mm, you can disable: Properties > Environment > Always save folding state changes --- User:bgurmendi 23 Sep 2009

Metadata at head of file

Certain data relates to the map as a whole, and could influence its parsing by the tool. This could be as simple as the creator/maintainer of the file, the creation date/location etc. On the other hand, it could define the look and feel on a per-file basis (over-riding and Finally, it could define the location, mechanism and arguments/parameters for accessing data that was not inline within the file. For example, a header that says "use the Google Bookmarks plugin and login with this ID/password". The node data is not within the file, but supplied by the plugin. --Violetlight 09:49, 2 Aug 2006 (PDT)

Support for compressed file

For big map the file is very big and it can be usefull to support compressed format. It cames very handy especially when usign the applet for the browser. Having the map compressed will speedup the download time of the .mm file. --Bobonov 14:35, 27 Sep 2006

SWT-based version of FreeMind

Let's face it - Swing doesn't look and feel good. SWT ([6]) proved as perfect solution (not only) in the Eclipse IDE world (runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, x86/64), and while 1.6 Java should have much better support of native windowing / widgets, I think SWT is the way to go for FreeMind. -- GeorgeV 23 Jan 2007

Make it a Portable App

Check out I really like Freemind alot, and feel greatly restricted when I have to work on a machine which doesn't have it. If you could turn it into a self-contained, portable app that I could stick on a thumb drive, that would be really cool! (and most likely increase your user base significantly). Thanks. ---Dennisn 24 Feb 2007, 7:22 pm PST

Build it with gcj

Freemind is great, but it comes up a bit slowly, and is sometimes slow to refresh the screen. Have you considered building it with gcj to create a binary executable? I'm aware that this will somewhat limit portability, but if you had a Windows, a Linux, and a Mac OS X binary, probably 95%+ of your current and new users would be pretty happy. Thanks. -- Dennisn 24 Feb 2007, 7:24 pm PST

Restore File Associations

After installing Freemind 0.9b9, while still having 0.8.0, all of my maps were associated to 0.8.0. I removed that version, which also removed any of my file associations. I tried re-mapping the .mm file extension in the OS (Win2k) to Freemind 0.9, but somehow it keeps thinking I wanted to map it against Adobe. Can't figure out why, but haven't tried super hard yet. May have to go directly to explorer options windows. But an option in the preferences to "restore file associations" would be helpful. I'll prob just have to uninstall & reinstall the new version.

Keep Filter States & Views

It would be really usefull if filters would be kept inside the .mm file and not lost between sessions. As it is implemented today, everytime you open freemind you have to retype all filters. Even better would be the possibility to create Views, i.e, combined filters that could be saved and easily accessed from a certain menu.

Proper dates treatment for filtering

Freemind can be really usefull for project planning, but in order to be totally effective, it should be able to recognise when an attribute is a date, and then permit proper filtering of it. Example: say you have a bunch of nodes that represents tasks, and they all hav an attribute "date" in the format day/month/year. It would be nice to create a filter "date > 01/06/2007".

option of including images for mm format

I am using a freemind extension for my mediawiki site. It works good, just one thing is very annoying. That is the linked image always causes trouble. In order to show all images in linked by the mind map file, I will have to upload all the images into my wiki site, then right click each of them get their link, paste into the .mm file make them work. It's big issue when the project is huge, and linked many images in the .mm file. I wish freemind will provide an option that can bundle the images and the content together in .mm file. Just like powerpoint, which can let you choose to link picture or embed them.

Requested Ports


Anyone interested in being a user or developer of an iPhone version of FreeMind, please let me know at cevans42ca at yahoo dot ca.

Some preliminary work has been done to identify how to handle cut, copy and paste of text and nodes, since the iPhone does not come with these features. See my user page or iPhone Gestures for more details.

---Clevans 1 Oct 2008, 8:29 PM EDT


A port to the T-Mobile/HTC G1 aka the Android OS should be at least easier than a port to the iPhone due to Java support. Furthermore there will shine up more Android devices this and the next years, spreading the mobile support even more.

Ability to add icon legend to map

It would be nice to be able to add a legend to the map, containing all the icons actually used in that map, with text to explain them.

--MikeS 10:56, 4 Sep 2009 (UTC)
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