1) Install Java. 2) Unpack FreeMind. 3) On Windows, run FreeMind.exe; you'll probably want to create a folder called freemind in "c:\Program Files\" and copy the contents of unpacked directory there. If you want, create shortcut of FreeMind.exe on your desktop.
On Unix, run freemind.sh. On both Windows and Mac OS X, you can also simply double click the file freemind.jar located at the folder lib.
You create mind maps in so called mind map mode. This is the default mode FreeMind is started with. If the word mode troubles you, just forget about it.
Operations on node or edge
Quickly change to different already opened mind map
Selecting multiple nodes
+ - Editing by drag and drop
You can move nodes around using Drag And Drop
Drag and Drop enables you to drop node
as a child
as a sibling.
The distintion between child and sibling is similar to distinction between following links and toggle folded
If you hold control while dragging, nodes are copied instead of moved. You can achieve the same by dragging with middle mouse
Before Version 0.7:
if you hold control and shift while dragging, the color and font of the target node is copied to source node.
If you have selected multiple nodes, all are being moved / copied
You can drop sources from external applications
You can edit a new map by dragging and dropping its file into the background of FreeMind
+ - Copying and pasting
Fast switching between maps
+ - Searching
Popup > Node > Find
Popup > Node > Find Next
The search is breadth-first search. That corresponds to the idea, that the deeper the node, the greater the detail described.
+ - Using the keyboard
You can do most of the navigation using keyboard. You can see the keyboard shortcuts in the popup menu of the node. Some of the shortcuts which you do not see that way follow.
PgUp and PgDown
control PgUp and control PgDown
Nice for having a quick glance above and then continue below again
You can select a range of nodes by holding shift and moving around with arrows or page up and down.
You can replace the text in current node and start editing by typing letters. You can also edit node by pressing home or end key, as well as F2.
Technical users can change the keyboard settings in user.properties.
+ - Keyboard while editing a long node
By default, *enter* finishes editing of a long node, and *control enter* enters a new line. By unchecking the check box "Enter confirms" you can reverse the function of the mentioned key combinations, i.e. *enter* enters new line and *control enter* finishes editing. You can set the default value of that check box in user.properties. Moreover the value of the box is saved during a session of FreeMind.
+ - Exporting into HTML
+ - Importing folder structure
To import folder structure into FreeMind, use Popup > Branch > Import folder structure. You will be asked for the folder whose structure you want to import. By structure we mean the tree of all, and not necessary direct, subfolders with the links to the files in these subfolders. An example of inserted structure follows.
+ - Importing MS Internet Explorer favorites
To import MS Explorer favorites into FreeMind, use Popup > Branch > Import Explorer Favorites. You'll be asked to enter the path to the folder where the favorites are stored. The folder's name is "Favorites" and you can find on your disk. On Windows 2000, the path is C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Favorites.
+ - Integration with Microsoft tools like Word or Outlook
You can paste maps or branches into MS Work, MS Wordpad or MS Outlook messages. In general, you can paste it into any application that understands RTF - rich text format. The text formatting and links are pasted too.
+ - Preferences
Only a small subset of preferences is editable using graphical using interface; these you can change in menu: Edit > Preferences. At the time, the following preferences can be changed:
You can set full antialiasing or antialiasing of edges only. Antialiasing of edges is the default option.
You can set a kind of HTML export in preferences.
Other preferences can be changed by more technical users in user.properties, which you have to copy into the folder freemind in your home folder.
+ - Printing
You can print either by fitting the whole map into one page, or by printing the map to several sheets of paper. This choice you can set in menu: File > Page Setup > ... .
Choose page setup landscape. That way it looks better and you have a better utilization of space.
If you want to preview your map before you print it and have a postscript printer or generic postsript driver, you can print the map into file and view the postscript file view ghostview or similar software. Beware that if you try to print the map with printer that does not understand postscript, the resulting file will not be postscript but probably PCL, which is unusable for you.
You can also print from your browser after exporting map to HTML, or from Word or Wordpad after copying and pasting the map into it. You can also export the map into HTML with headings, copy and paste it into MS Word and print it from there. That way you can change styles as you want.
+ - Tips
To be able to enter newlines in long nodes, uncheck the check box "Enter confirms" when editing the long node.
There are newlines here, make no mistake about it.
+ - Pictures and HTML in nodes
An easy way to insert pictures into FreeMind is with Popup > Node > Set Image. You lose all the text you had in the node. Be aware that those images are not correctly pasted outside FreeMind and they need not to be correctly exported to HTML. Pictures in FreeMind are preliminary feature.
This way, you can turn images contained into the links on nodes into the images themselves. As a result, you can drag and drop several image files into FreeMind, select them as multiple nodes, and them turn them into images in one step, i.e. by choosing Set Image.
A more technical and not so user friendly way to do it follows. It is possible to include HTML in nodes. You have to start the node content with the tag <html>. This way, you can have pictures in the nodes.
Formats: On Java1.4.1 on Windows, png, jpg and gif work fine.
There is no support for HTML nodes and pictures in exporting to text, HTML or RTF (Word, Wordpad). At least, it is convenient for publication on the Web using Freemind's Applet.
+ - Example of pictures, working on some Windows distributions
+ - Example of HTML
There are several items:
+ - Physical style - patterns
There is a set of physical styles also called patterns. They are stored in the file "patterns.xml" located at the folder "freemind" in your home directory.
You can create or change patterns by editing "patterns.xml". Pattern applies to node, if there is a <node> tag, it applies to edge, if there is an <edge> tag. <node> tag can have <font> tag as a child. Study the file "patterns.xml" supplied with FreeMind.
+ - Zoom
+ - File locking
Current version of FreeMind has experimental file locking, which is disabled by default. Current implementation does not really prevent race conditions, but it should be fine for the most of practical purposes. What does file locking mean? It makes sure that more users do not edit the same map at the same time, preventing them from incidentally overwriting the information from each other.
You can enable experimental file locking, if you are a technical user and are willing to edit user.properties, as described above.
+ - Changes in user interface of recent version
Some of the key settings have been redefined so that they align themselves with what we consider shared standard or intuitive use. Some of the new key settings are modelled on Microsoft tools. New key settings include enter for creating of new siblings below the node, insert for creating new children, F2 for editing nodes - here the Microsoft influence is apparent while there is no intuitive reason to have F2 for node editing. But once you get used to it in all the applications you use, you want to have that one in FreeMind too of course.
The changes we have made in the user interface are customizable in user.properties to an extent. If you are a technical user and you do not like the changes, change the settings in user.properties.
To copy your selection to clipboard when you are editing a node, press right mouse button and choose copy
+ - Icons
+ - Graphical links
|Mark a node and drag this node to another node holding both shift and control keys and release the mouse button first creates a graphical link between them.|
You can edit some properties of this link using right click onto the line between them.
You may choose the color and the arrow positions.
Moreover you can go directly to the other node (even if its folded) using the right click on the small part of the graphical link.
+ - Clouds
You can browse the mind maps in browse mode. Why is there a separate mode for browsing? That's because browsing is the only thing you can do in FreeMind applet, which can be put to your website. Normally, you would not use browse mode in FreeMind.
You can browse the files on your computer using file mode. To enter file mode, in menu: Modes > File.
You can then browse the file tree as if it was a mind map. You can make any folder the root of the map by chosing "Center" from the node menu. To view or execute a file, follow the link of the node.
The file mode is currently not very useful; it is a demonstration that it's not too difficult to feed data into the tree from other source than mind map. There is no evidence that people would really use this mode.
Although Freemind is primarily a tool for editing Mind Maps, it is designed to be able to view data coming from different data sources. To make a specific data source available for viewing in FreeMind, a programmer has to write a so called mode for that data source. In the standard, there is an example of such a mode, namely file mode. We do not know of any other modes implemented. It is not clear if anyone would really want to make use of this architecture, but it's here to be exploited if someone wants to.
Furthermore, there is code almost ready for Scheme Mode which enables you to edit scheme programs. Again, the usefulness is far from clear. While the mind map mode is clearly a real thing, other modes seem to be more a demonstration of what is possible than something really used by people.
Of the value traps, the most widespread and pernicious is value rigidity. This is an inability to revalue what one sees because of commitment to previous values. In motorcycle maintenance, you must rediscover what you do as you go. Rigid values make this impossible.
The typical situation is that the motorcycle doesn't work. The facts are there but you don't see them. You're looking right at them, but they don't yet have enough value. This is what Phædrus was talking about. Quality, value, creates the subjects and objects of the world. The facts do not exist until value has created them. If your values are rigid you can't really learn new facts.
This often shows up in premature diagnosis, when you're sure you know what the trouble is, and then when it isn't, you're stuck. Then you've got to find some new clues, but before you can find them you've got to clear your head of old opinions. If you're plagued with value rigidity you can fail to see the real answer even when it's staring you right in the face because you can't see the new answer's importance.
The birth of a new fact is always a wonderful thing to experience. It's dualistically called a ``discovery'' because of the presumption that it has an existence independent of anyone's awareness of it. When it comes along, it always has, at first, a low value. Then, depending on the value-looseness of the observer and the potential quality of the fact, its value increases, either slowly or rapidly, or the value wanes and the fact disappears.
Ideally, you don't need any customizing at all. But if you really want to customize FreeMind, copy the file "user.properties" to the folder "freemind" in your home directory and edit the properties in the text file using your favorite text editor, e.g. notepad, Vim or Emacs.
You sure know your home directory if you're working on Linux. On Windows 2000, it's typically "C:\Documents and Settings\<UserName>\", on Windows 95, it's "C:\WINDOWS\". Edit "user.properties" in the folder "freemind" of your home directory. On Windows, you can additionally configure file type of extension mm to open with FreeMind.
To be able to edit node with newlines, it must be multiline (or long if you wish) first. That is, first write text that is long enough, then finish editing, then press enter again and you find yourself in the larger editing window. It is only that window which contains the check box "Enter confirms".
In the pop up menu of a node, edit the link by the menu item "Node > Set Link (Textfield)" and set the links as an empty string.
You can install the applet at your website so that other users can browse your mind maps.
The downloaded archive contains freemindbrowser.jar and freemindbrowser.html. Create a link from your page to freemindbrowser.html. Edit freemindbrowser.html, especially change the path inside so that it points to your mind map. Beware that the applet's jar file must be located at the same server as the map itself, this is for java security reasons. Of course, you have to upload the files to your web site.
In applet, you can only use the browse mode, that is, you cannot edit the remote maps. Click the nodes to toggle the folding or follow the links. Drag the background to move the map. You can also search the map, using node popup menu.