Exporting to FreeMind

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(Go to:Topicscape Pro User Guide - contents list)

A whole Topicscape or a topic group (a branch consisting of a specified topic and all its descendants) can be exported to make a .mm file that FreeMind can read.

A round-trip is supported, meaning that you can edit the FreeMind file in FreeMind and re-import it.

Step 1. Open the Topicscape that you want to export.

Step 2. Ensure that you are not in Limited mode (see Glossary) because in that mode, the Export options will be hidden. If you are, click on the "Mode" button near the left end of the toolbar and select User's or Expert mode.

Step 3. In the File menu, select the Export item. A panel will appear that lets you specify the details of the export.

Step 4. Select "XML" and from the list beside it FreeMind (.mm)

Step 5. Decide what you what to include in the export, from the list of checkboxes in the "Include" box.

Step 6. In the File Name text box indicate where Topicscape is to place the resulting FreeMind file, and name it.

Step 7. Press OK.

Step 8. Open the map in FreeMind v.0.9 or later. It will not open correctly in v.0.8.

Under the hood

When exporting to produce a FreeMind file, the structural enhancements that Topicscape provides, like multi-parents and loose associations cannot be reproduced exactly, so curved lines are used.

If a child topic has more than one parent in Topicscape, the second and subsequent topics are linked to the child with curved red lines. The lines have a single arrow head, where the arrow points at the child. If two topics are loosely associated, they will be joined with a grey, curved line with an arrow head at each end. These types of compromises are tracked and on re-import will be converted back to the appropriate Topicscape feature.

Information you add to topics and occurrences in Topicscape, like Description, Author, Source and Authority, as well as some dates, are transferred to node attributes in FreeMind.

Files with hyperlinks as FreeMind nodes will be treated as linked occurrences in Topicscape, but every file will be a separate topic. If you re-import a FreeMind map previously exported from Topicscape, the occurrences will be handled correctly because Topicscape takes steps to identify the occurrence nodes.

Our implementation of FreeMind round trips includes association-type texts. These won't be immediately visible in FreeMind; they are also stored as attributes: FreeMind does not make concept maps, and does not have association types. But re-importing an exported FreeMind mind map back into Topicscape will preserve any association types you have added.

(Reminder - association types are the verb phrases you can add between topics. For example, "is the capital of" may be an association type between topics France and Paris.)

Below is the familiar "Topicscape in your Life" as a 2D mindmap in FreeMind.


Next: Can Topicscapes be printed?

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