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Freeplane – a free and open source software application for mind mapping

Freeplane – a free and open source software application for mind mapping

Freeplane is a free and open source software application that supports thinking, sharing information and getting things done at work, in school and at home. The software can be used for mind mapping and analyzing the information contained in mind maps. Freeplane runs on any operating system that has a current version of Java installed. It can be run locally or portably from removable storage like a USB drive.

Freeplane supports much more than classic static mind mapping. This is illustrated by the mind map Application areas on the right which summarizes the kind of tasks supported by Freeplane. Click on the hyperlink below the image to navigate the map. Read the node called Caption to learn how to navigate the map and unhide hidden information. And click the node Demonstration creating a map to see how easy it is to make a map.

In the center of the map Application areas you see an elliptical form which contains the central topic (root node) of the map. Extending from it are branches with subtopics (child nodes). At the border you see free topics which are independent of the root-tree. All topics can be formatted or styled and can contain text, hyperlinks, pictures and more; and can be connected with labelled lines or arrows. Also a topic (node) can represent hidden information which shows when the user wants it or can be automatically executed (formula). Or content can be password protected or connected to a particular time or filter.

Freeplane supports the above application areas with the following functions:

  • Note taking with freely positionable, unconnected nodes (post-it’s);
  • Ordering ideas (nodes) into a hierarchy connected by lines (edges);
  • Classifying nodes with metadata (attributes) and style types (system styles, user defined styles, level styles);
  • Grouping nodes with visual containers (clouds) and accolade (summary node);
  • Connecting nodes with dynamic links, free lines (connectors) and labels;
  • Automatically styling nodes (with a bubble, color, edge type, etc.) according to hierarchical level and content (conditional styles, automatic edge color, level styles);
  • Structuring nodes in terms of content (text, scientific formula, calculation, icon, image and hyperlink) and presentation area (core, details, notes, attributes, images and tooltip);
  • Changing views by hiding content (folding branches, filtering, roll-up of details and hiding extensions in tooltip), finding, scrolling and navigating;
  • Tasking with calendar and reminders;
  • Password protecting of whole map and of individual nodes with DES encryption;
  • Ease of use with inline- and dialog editors, object oriented main menu, context menu’s, multi-language support, spell checker, properties panel, drag& drop functionality, hot keys, options for batch execution, publishing, sharing and selectable preferences;
  • Approximate Search (similarity search) which allows to find search terms in a text, even if there is no exact match (e.g. “setup” = “set up” or “flie” = “file”).
  • Support for LaTeX formulae underneath/in nodes
  • Easy extension of functionality with add-ons and home made scripts;
  • Integration with Docear academic literature suite;
  • Extensive support through Wiki and Forum; and tutorial and documentation in the form of a mind map.

The map called Freeplane functions illustrates the main functions of Freeplane. Besides it provides an index with hyperlinks to the tutorial an documentation where you can read more. The links are hidden at first, but become visible and can be clicked if you hover with the cursor over a function (node). This is another example of the power of Freeplane. (To experience these functions, open Help > Getting Started in the Freeplane program and select Index).

Click here to download

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Vijay Gupta
Vijay Gupta1089 posts

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