Requests for enhancements

From FreeMind

(Difference between revisions)
Jump to: navigation, search
(Using basic vector shapes)
Line 598: Line 598:
Using basic shapes like line, rectangle, square, circle etc. would by usefull.
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
== User Interface ==
== User Interface ==

Revision as of 18:17, 8 February 2006


We prefer that you send your requests for enhancements here. 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.


Export and Import

Corresponding requests for enhancement.

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.

Export to OpenOffice

Now that you can attach notes to nodes, it would be great to be able to directly export a mindmap as an OpenOffice writer document. This would make FreeMind very handy for outlining essays. (I'm guessing that this could be done with an xslt script, if there is anyone who is any good with xslt).

(There is a program on Linux, Kdissert which already does something similar and would serve as a good model --

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.

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 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)

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.

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)

Export and import to GraphViz


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


Code environment

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

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 toogether with the map(on a seperate page/pages), something like as in the expot of HTML sides.

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 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.

Shortcut for adding a note to a node

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


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.

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)

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)

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

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

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!

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

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

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 also would love to see this integrated. --Cameron Hatfield(Kinguy)
I agree too - soft links would be a great feature -- Brad Langhorst


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?

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)

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)

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.

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.

===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

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 ([1]), and at this page: [2]).

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)

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


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

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 potencially highly useful.

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

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)

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.

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)

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)

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)

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).

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

User Interface


F1 is conventionally help

F1 is normally a help key in most apps

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


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


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.


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

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.

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.

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


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

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)

Make the main branches come from the center, not the edges

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.

Add ability to add header/footer

Would be nice to be able to add a header or footer e.g. with name of file, title, date

Add ability to add image to background (or header/footer)

Would be nice to add a user image e.g. logo to a page

Coloured background

Ability to define a colour for background paper

The background color can already be set in It is not stored in the maps; it is a FreeMind customizing. Setting the background color in the maps makes sense, as the foreground color of the text can be set in the nodes. Together with the background color, also the default text color should be saved in the maps then. I do not know any model application to immitate in this regard. --Danielpolansky 11:44, 30 Apr 2005 (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.)
Personal tools