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Tutorial Freeplane 1.

Functions index
Click the link to open a mind map with the main functions of Freeplane. Hover the text to reveal hidden links
to the descriptions of the functions you see in this Quick reference and in Help > Documentation.
To return from the index map to this map: select Navigate >Go to previous map (icon in
tool bar)

1 Introduction
Freeplane is meant to facilitate thinking, sharing information and getting things
done at work, in school and at home. The software supports creating, sharing and
using mind maps, which are a kind of information maps. The Wiki Tutorial
Freeplane contains concrete examples of application areas. The goal of this
Tutorial is to describe the most used functions of Freeplane in a simple and
systematic way. For more and more detailed information, see the documentation at
Help > Documentation.
Reading guide
It is a general practice that people don't like reading manuals. Therefore you only
need to read the introduction of this Tutorial to be ready to start mind mapping
using the Freeplan main menu bar. The main editing functions are to be found in
menu Edit. And some very special functions are to be found in menu Tools. The
chapters after the Introduction are worth reading for the following reason. In
Freeplane the same result can be achieved in a number of ways. Using the
Freeplane menu generally is not the fastest and most effcient way. The different
chapters cover all of the functionality and show what is the most efficient way of
doing using socalled context menus. You do not need to read the chapters in order,
but can pick the things you are needing at the moment. To help you pick the
sections are color coded, with the following meaning: Beginner (lighter-blue/green):
You learn basic elements which could be used for simple but productive tasks like
taking notes and brainstorming. Advanced (yellow): You learn additional elements
which could be used for better organizing information and better communicating
meaning. Professional (orange/brown): You learn about setting preferences and
using production and technical tools. IMPORTANT Check here if there exists a
language pack add-on for your language. Check Help > Documentation Maps
Online if video guides are available.
Main menu's

Menu bar
Tool bar
Filter bar
Icon bar
Properties Panel
Background context menu
Right-click in free place of background

Background Context Menu

Open/close Properties panel

Help > Key reference

Shot cuts or hot keys for most functions.

Hot keys table

A mind map is a plane consisting of so called nodes which can display information.
In a sense, a node is comparable to a paragraph of a book which can display text,
images and other types of information. The difference being that nodes can be
moved around and be hidden more easily. This makes maps more versatile in
situations where information is being developed or information must be displayed
selectively, depending on the users need. The text you are reading right now is in a
node. The text above, "Nodes" is a node. Also the text to the left, "Introduction" is a
node. The big oval to the left is a special node called root.
Family relations
All nodes are connected through lines called edges. The line you see at the left is an
edge. Aseries of connected nodes are similar to branches of a tree. All trees begin
in the root node. Together these branches form a family descendancy. Nodes closer
to the root are called (grand)parents of nodes further away called (grand)children.
Nodes which ar at the same level, but not mutually connected, are called siblings.
As a rule a node's position is rescricted by its position in the family tree. The
exception to this rule is the so-called free node which can be positioned
independently of all other nodes.
(relative) parent

Folding nodes
Genrally, you can fold and unfold a node by clicking the node when the circle with
plus or minus sign is showing. This circle appears when the cursor is above the
node core. Folding will hide possible children. If a node is folded, it shows a small
circle at its child side. Unfolding will reveal hidden children. If you have me
unfolded, to my right you see 4 icons wich also are displayed in the toolbar at the
top of the screen. These are icon-buttons with which you can fold/unfold the
descendants of a selected node. Right-clicking the folding circle will reveal a
context menu with the same icon-buttons for fast access.Now click on node
Introduction to hide its children and notice the circle! And thereafter, click again to
continue reading the following node. Exceptions Clicking the circle with +/folds/unfolds immediately; clicking elsewhere in the node core folds with a short
delay. It is possible to keep a node from folding by setting Edit > Node Group >
Always unfolded node (set/unset). This can be useful in cloud groups. If a node
being folded has a connector to one of its hidden children. a line (and possibly a
label) is visible which can be right-clicked to open the context menu and jump to the
connected node..
Unfold one level
Progressively unfolds the descendants of the selected node. Clicking once unfolds the children, clicking again
unfolds the grandchildren, etc.

Fold one level

Progressively folds the descendants of the selected node, starting at the deepest level in the hierarchy. If four
levels exist, clicking once folds the great grandchildren, clicking again folds the grandchildren, clicking again
folds the children, etc.

Unfold all
Unfolds (makes visible) all nodes that are descendants of the selected node, including all children,
grandchildren, etc.
Hot key
press Space; or
single click on the
node; or
click icon-button in Toolbar

Fold all
Folds (hides) all nodes that are descendants of the selected node, including all children, grandchildren, etc.
Hot key
press Space; or
single click on the node; or
click iconbutton in Toolbar

Edit > Node group > Always unfolded

Open map on Internet
To open a mind map on Internet, this map must first be copied to your local
computer. Menu File > Open map from URL does just this.

2 Core map
Node core
The information of a node is displayed in two major area's. One area is called
node core because it is situated in the inner area of the node and can have a bubble

around it. The text you are reading now is in a node core. The colored area just
above the one you are reading now is in the core of another node. The text in the
core can be short like a title, or multi line and can contain different basic display
components like images and icons. It can also contain hyperlinks, formulas and
components for time mangement and password protection. Besides in the node
core, text can be entered in node details, in notes and in attributes. These fields are
described later.
Core text in-line
When Freeplane first opens you will be greeted by a blank map. It contains one,
elliptical form, the root node. The root node contains a text such as "New map".
This text is highligted, meaning you can replace it by typing your own text. Simply
type your title and press Enter. The Insert key will add a child node - again just type
and press Enter. A second Enter will add a sibling. That's really all there is to it. If
you want to edit an existing node, left-click the node text while keeping
Control pressed (META omn MAC OS). It is that simple. You can now easily create a
simple map. Note To add a new line, press Shift + Enter. If you right-click when
editing text, a so called context menu for editing text opens, giving quick access to
formatting functions like copy and paste. If you first select a text and then rightclick, a Format menu is displayed to make text bold etc. This formatting only applies
to the selected text. Editing can be only started using home, end, F2, double click
or by starting to type a text
New map
Look up in the toolbar at the top of the screen.

Open saved map..

Look up in the toolbar

Print map
Opens the dialog box associated with the printer on which the map will print.

Cuts the node currently selected and all of its children.

Copies the node selected and all of its children.

Pasts copied text. If the selected node is in edit mode, the text will be added to the contents of the node. If the
selected node is not in edit mode, the text will be added as a child node.

New child node

Creates a new node as a child of the currently-selected node.
press key Ins

Same effect:

<Ins> New child node

<Shift>+<Enter> New line
<Enter> Finish edit, select node
2*<Enter> New sibling node
Right-click: contextmenu
Core text in dialog
A second way to edit a node is in a separate dialog. Right-click on the node. This
opens the context menu of the node. (This context menu is different from the
context menu for editing text !) In this context menu choose Edit core in dialog. You
can now type the text and use the shown options to format the text. When you close
the dialog by pressing OK, the text will appear in the node. This dialog has more
extensive options for formatting text than available wen performing in-line editing.
Note You can also open the edit window in the main menu bar. Choose Edit and
then Node core and you will see Edit node core in dialog. In the following we write
this procedure as Edit > Node core > Edit node core in dialog.
Has menu's of its own
<Enter>: New line
Right-click: contextmenu
Saving & closing
Save the map you just made by pressing the floppy-disk icon in the menu bar (work
menu) above, or choose menu File > Save map. Thereafter you can open another
map with the map-icon or File > Open saved map.
Save map
Look in the toolbar for the icon button to save the current map.

Save map as...

Look up in the toolbar

Close current map

Closes the map that has focus. If multiple maps are open, focus refers to the tab that you are currently editing.

Free nodes
Post-it nodes: free positionable, free floating
If you keep Control pressed and click at any free place of a mindmap, a so-called free
positional, free floating node opens. This node behaves like a paper post-it: you can move it
anywhere, independent of the nodes which are part of the root-hierarchy. The format of this
node is determined by the system style Floating node. This standard style can be edited, giving

all floating nodes this edited style. A post-it node can be conected to a hierarchical node by
dragging and dropping it on the node of your choice: it will become a child node of this node.
For examples of different types of free floating nodes, see the wiki Tutorial Freeplane
The floating nodes with hidden edges are intended for adding meta information to maps like legends, titles,
summaries, authors etc. If such informations relates to a whole map, these nodes should have a root node as
their parent so that they are always visible and their position does not depend on anything else. Sometimes
such information is relevant only for a part of a map. In this case a floating node with hidden edge can be
attached to a non root node. For understanding of the context, its parent edge is usually displayed as a dashed
line if a node is selected unless its color was set to the map background color. The free nodes do not require
that you hide their edges. The second use case for them is a better use of map space. The automatic layout
algorithm does not allow any map branches to overlap. If you want to create more compact maps you can
convert some nodes to free nodes. This way they can be placed flexible. And their logical position relative to
other sibling nodes now depends on their coordinates. You can see it too if you change to outline view which
always reflect logical node positions.

Making and moving a free floating node

A free node is a node which is freely positionable, independently of the position of the other
nodes of the mind map. A free node can be recognized by this behaviour and because the oval
handle for moving the node is blue and filled in stead of red and open. A new, free node can
be generated by keeping Control pressed and clicking a free place of the mind map. The
newly generated free node will have the system style Free floating node, wih proerties
rectangular cloud and hidden edge. These properties can be changed in the usual way to e.g.
no-cloud and visible edge. It is invisibly connected to the root. An existing node can be turned
into a free node by selecting it and choosing Edit->Free positioned node (set/reset). In this
case the properties of the node (edge, cloud, folding) stay as they are. You can set the
properties for cloud and hidden edge in the usual way . The freed node initially appears near
the node it is invisibly connected to and can be moved from there to any desired position by
dragging its (blue) oval handle. Moving a free floating node onto another parent / sibling by
usual drag and drop cancels its free positioned status. Note A free node made by clicking a
free space of the mind map will be connected to the root node, also if the connecting edge is
invisible. This explains why a child node of this free node, if moved onto the upper half of its
parent free node, shifts towards the root node.
Free floating node
Hover with the cursor over the left side of me and see my blue, filled oval. Drag me around with this blue

An icon is a small picture. Freeplane has a library with icons. There are several
menu's to select and an icon: The bar of icons which is showing at the side of the
screen. If it is not showing, select View > Toolbars > Icons toolbar. A table of icons
which is displayed when you select Edit > Icons > Icon from table. The structured
menu of icons showing when you select Edit > Icons > Icons by category. To add
an icon to a node, select the node, then select the icon. To delete an icon, select the
icon-remove first/last icon. These icons have a red cross Note You can add more
icons to the same node core. Icons cannot be added to node details or note fields. It
is possible to define and add your own icons to the tool bar.
Image (node core)
Each node core can contain one image which has a fixed "real size". (If you need a different
size, use a drawing program to resize the original image.) To add an image, select the node
and choose menu Edit > Node core > Image by choice or link. This same menu can be used to
convert the textual hyperlink address of an image to the image itself. See also Node extensions
for adding a scalable image.
Link to image (red arrow)
An image in a node takes visual space which is scarce. A hyperlink does not have this
disadvantage, while you can still view the image if you press the hyperlink. To add a hyperlink
to an image, copy the image source and paste it into the node (this is unlike drag and drop !).
If you paste at the upper part of the node, a hyperlink to the image will be added in the node
itself. If you paste at the child side of the node a child node will be created with the hyperlink.
This hyperlink appears as a red arrow. After pasting, also the textual path to the image will
appear. You can safely erase it or replace it with your own text. Note It is possible to drop an
image in stead of a hyperlink-to-an-image by keeping Ctrl pressed while dropping. In this
case the image is not in the core, but in node details (resizable image). See also Inlinehyperlinks (underlined hyperlinks). With these it is possible to have multiple links in the text.
In-line image
Professional users can add images within text with so-called HTML-code. There is also a
script for this. See Help > Documentation.
When you need to show the progress of some sort, you can add a small or big
progress indicator. The amount of progress can be changed. Note that the
procedure to do so differs for small and large indicators.
Small progress (icon)
To add a small progress indicator, select Edit > Core > Progress >Up. To increase the amount
of progress, press Edit > Core > Progress >Up again (repeatedly).
Large progress (icon & image)

To ad a large progress indicator, select Edit > Core >Progress > Extended progress. Then to
increase the amount of progress %, double click. To decrease: Ctrl-double click. Note Two
images are displayed. The smaller one is a pictogram which is being displayed in the node
core. The larger picture is an image displayed in node details. IMPORTANT. The larger
image (svg file) cannot be displayed in a Java Applet !
Joining nodes
The text of different node cores can be combined by selecting the nodes and
choosing menu Edit > Node core > Join nodes. Child nodes of the joind nodes
become childs of the new joined node. Note This only works well if the node doesn't
contain other node components like node details. Hot key: Ctrl + J
Splitting a node
There are two different actions for splitting nodes. One is called from the main
menu, the other from the editor. A selected, multiline node core can be distributed
over several nodes with each node containing one line by selecting the node and
choosing menu Edit > Node core > Split node. When editing a node, the text can be
split at the cursor and distributed over two nodes. In the dialog editor, press the
Split button. Or in the in-line editor press Alt + S. Note Other components like node
details are not splitted. See Help > Documentation for the details.
A core text can, like a spreadsheet cell, contain a formula which starts with "=". If
this is the case, the formula is calculated and only the result is displayed. Note
Scrips can be used to do calculations over branches, hence emulating spreadsheet
like behaviour. Click the red arrow to go to the wiki page where this is explained. As
a standard setting a node core containing a formula is surrouded by a kind of
bubble. You can remove this in View > Node core > Don't mark formula's with a
border. The automatic calculation can be prevented by opening the properties panel
and setting field Format to Text.

3 Selecting and moving nodes

Scrolling and panning the map
You can drag the whole map by: clicking in the background and drag the map
around; or pan the map with Ctrl+Shift+Cursor up/down/left/right
Automatic selection
You can select a node by just hovering the cursor over it. After a short delay the node will
show a blue border indicating it is selected. This is called automatic selection. You can also
click a node to select it. Finally also the Goto actions in menu Navigate and method Find will
select a node.
Keeping the selection

The automatic selection of a node can be unpractical in some conditions. You can keep a node
selected while moving the cursor over other nodes: select the node and then keep Shift pressed
when you move the cursor over other nodes.
Key to the root
With a big map it is easy to get lost. If you press Escape the selection will jump to the root at
Select all nodes
To select all nodes, first select the root (press Escape) and next press CTrl + A.
Moving a node in the hierarchy
To disconnect a node from its current parent and connect it to another parent you can simply
click and drag it to its new location. As you can read below it makes a difference at which
position of the target node you drop. You can also move nodes by sorting.
Moving a connected node in space
To displace a node while leaving its connections in tact, find the oval handle which is at the
parent side of a node. Move the cursor over the this side of the node until the oval lights up.
Then click the oval and drag wherever you want the node to go. All other nodes may move
with it. You can restore a moved node to itsoriginal position by double clicking its oval handle.
Dropping positions
Each node has two positions where you can drop another node. These positions are visible if
the cursor is above it. If the cursor is near the top of the target node, the whole upper half
lights up. If you drop a node here, the node will become a sibling above the target node. If the
cursor is near the child side of the target node, the left or right side of the node lights up. If
you drop the node here it will be connected as a child node. Note In case of the root it is
possible to drop a node to the left or the right side. This is also true in case of a node with a
hidden edge.
Moving a group
It is possible to move a whole group of nodes including the summary node: Select the group :
with Shift pressed first select the first node and then select the summary node. Keep
Shift pressed and drag the group to its new location.
Reset node position
After displacing nodes they can be set to their original positions. Select the nodes and choose
Edit > Reset node position.
Sorting nodes

You may want to sort nodes alphabetically. If you select a node, you can sort its
children by right-cliking the node and choosing Sort children. More sorting options
are available in Edit > Moving and sorting.

4 Relating and grouping nodes

Edges are basic relations which define the node hierarchy. You can change the
curving of edges, their color and thickness and you can hide edges. The place to
do so is in the Properties panel described below, or menu Format.
It is possible to connect any two nodes with a line called (bilateral) connector: rightclick a node and drag to the node you want to connect. The curving of the connector
can be changed by left-clicking and dragging the connector. Drag the dotten handlelines to change the arrow orientation. The style of the connector can be changed
and labels can be added to the connector: Right-click the connector and select the
options in the context menu that opens. Note Alternatively you can SHIFT + CTRL +
left click to define a connector. You can also select two nodes, then right-click the
second node and choose Add connector while keeping Ctrl pressed. After entering
a lable, press Enter. For a connector without begin, a unilateral connector, rightclick the node and drag onto itself.

Summary node group

A group of siblings can be connected to a so called summary node.. This node
connects the siblings with an accolade. Select the group of siblings and right-click
one of the selected nodes while keeping Ctrl pressed. Choose New summary node
(selected nodes) in the node contextmenu. Note There are also more advanced
options. Read more about these in the documentation.
Summary node
Cloud node group
It is possible to visually group a whole branch of nodes with a common background
called cloud. Right-click the parent of the branch and choose Nodes > Add cloud.
You can modify the color and style of the cloud in the Properties panel described

below. To prevent the nodes in the node group from folding, select Edit > Node
group > All unfolded nodes.
cloud a

cloud b

icon-button for Add default cloud

Find this icon button in the toolbar

5 Hyperlinking
What is a link ?
A dynamic link (hyperlink) is an electronic connection from a source node to a
destination object. The destination can be a directory, file, web page, application, email etc. The connection is click-able: double-click to open it. The link appears as an
underlined text, or as a red or green arrow. The red arrow connects to an external
address or an e-mail address. The green arrow connects to an internal address
(other node). The underlined text can represent both. There can be multiple
underlined hyperlinks in each node. There can only be one arrow-link or e-mail
address pro node. The arrow-icon is shown in the Node core. Besides there can be
hyperlinks in socalled attributes. Finally it is possible to link from another
application to a particular node in a map. To activate the underlined hyperlink,
double-click it.
Linking nodes with anchor
The following procudure makes it easy to make a link between two nodes,
especially if two nodes are far apart in the map or are in different maps: right-click
one of the nodes to be linked and select Link > Set link anchor right-click the other
node to be linked and select Link > Make link from anchor or Link > Make link to
anchor. Note Set link anchor will automatically replace the previous anchor. The
anchor will be lost after exiting Freeplane. See below for a different procedure if
nodes are more close to each other. See attributes how to set a link in an attribute
value. There is an easy way to link to other nodes as well.
External link
A hyperlink to an address outside the map can be created by right-clicking a node
and selecting Link. However, the easiest way to add a hyperlink or group of
hyperlinks to external objects, is by drag and drop. Dropping a copy of a directory,
file, or web address will generate a child node of the selected node containing a
hyperlink. The target address of the hyperlink is contained in the title. This text may
be removed or changed without changing the dynamics of the hyperlink itself.
Dropping a group of hyperlinks will generate a group of child nodes, each
containing one of the hyperlinks. To edit the target address of the hyperlink, right-

click the node containing the link and choose Links > Add or modify hyperlink
(type)... In the dialog that opens you can edit the address. With Ctrl + V a copied
address can be pasted in the entry field. To link to a node in a different mind map,
see Link from outside to a particular node. To remove a hyperlink (arrow-link) or email address, right-click the node and: select Add or modify hyperlink (type)... or
press Ctrl + K; and delete the text in the text field ( the address) Note The
appearance of the arrow-hyperlink can be changed in Properties panel, to show the
whole node core as underlined text. This is only possible if no other underlined
hyperlink(s) is active, If dropping an image file on a node, the image may be shown
in stead of the hyperlink. For this keep Ctrl pressed while dropping.
Internal link
A hyperlink from one node to another node (local hyperlink) can be created by
selecting two nodes, then right-clicking one of them while keeping Ctrl pressed, and
finally choosing menu Links > Local hyperlink. To remove a hyperlink (arrow-link) or
e-mail address, right-click the node and: select Add or modify hyperlink (type)... or
press Ctrl + K; and delete the text in the text field ( the address)
Email link
The simplest way to create an e-mail link which automatically opens your email
program is to copy and paste the email address into a node. This will generate
a child node of the selected node with the link. The text of the child node will consist
of the e-mail address. You may replace this address by e.g. only the name. If you
want to add the e-mail link to a particular node (and not to its newly generated
child), right-click the node and choose Add or modify hyperlink (type)... Then enter
in the text field: mailto:emailaddress e.g. To remove a
hyperlink (arrow-link) or e-mail address, right-click the node and: select Add or
modify hyperlink (type)... or press Ctrl + K; and delete the text in the text field ( the
Underlined hyperlinks .
To define an underlined hyperlink (HTML-link), first open the text dialog for Node
core, Node details or Note. Then type and select the piece of text to which the link
applies. And finally select in the Edit menu of the dialog window Add hyperlink
(choose)... or Add or modify hyperlink (type). In the latter case you can type the
address of the hyperlink or you can paste a copied address by pressing Ctr + V.
Example link: This link brings you to the Freeplane Open Forum. Note To change
the text of the hyperlink, simply retype it. This will not alter the hyperlink address.
To change the address of the hyperlink, select the whole underlined text and then
choose again Add hyperlink (choose)... or Add or modify hyperlink (type). There can
be multiple underlined hyperlinks in one Node core, Node details or Note field. If the
text is unformatted, or is formatted with the properties panel, the links are blue. If
the text is formatted with the menu's of the edit-dialog, it has the color and size set
in this dialog. Ta add an internal hyperlink to another node, put #NodeId as address.
To get the NodeID, right-click the node and select Copy NodeId. Then paste the
NodeId with Ctrl + V in the link address which opens when you selct Add or modify
hyperlink (type). Don't forget to put # before the nodeId. To link to a node in a
different mind map, see Link from outside to a particular node. To link to a node in

the same mindmap, the address should contain #NodeID. NodeID is got by
rightclicking and selecting Copy node ID. It can be pasted with Ctrl + V in the fiield
for the link address. To remove the address and the text of an underlined hyperlink,
delete all underlined text of the hyperlink. To delete only the address, leaving the
text: put the cursor inside the underlined text (do not select the text) Choose Edit >
Add or modify hyperlink (type).. Delete the address in the dialog that opens.
Hyperlink to menu item
You can also connect the menu item to a node, so that clicking the node will
activate the menu item. To connect a node directly to a menu item, right-click the
node and choose Link > Add hyperlink to menu item... To remove a hyperlink
(arrow-link) or e-mail address, right-click the node and: select Add or modify
hyperlink (type)... or press Ctrl + K; and delete the text in the text field ( the address)
If you want to activate a menu item, you have to to navigate to it and click the menu
item. To be able to work faster, you can connect a short cut or F-key to the menu
item. For this choose Tools > Assign shortcut. You can also save a named sets with
short keys for different situations with Tools > Hotkeys > Save presets. To install a
previously saved set, just click Tools > Hotkeys and select a set from the list.
Link from outside to a particular node
To jump from another program or source mind map to a particular node in a target
mindmap, the address field of the hyperlink should contain the path to the target
mind map and the nodeID, seperated by #. If source and target mind map are in the
same directory, the address can be defined as, e.g. as This has the advantage that if the
containing direcory is moved as a whole, the link keeps correct. In the other case
the absolute path should be provided. To get the full pathname of a node, right-click
the node and select Copy node URI. Next you can paste the address with Cntrl + V
in the edit field for the link address. Note Jumping to a particular node only works
for applications which pass the nodeID information. Of course Freeplane does this.
Many other applications like MSWord do not pass the nodeID, hence you can only
jump to the root node.( A work around in these cases might be to save the mind
map in a folding state which shows the node you want to jum to.)

6 Formatting & styling

6.1 Properties
Properties panel
Freeplane has many possibilities to to set or change properties which apply to a whole node or
all nodes. You can think of the basic color of a node, enclosing a node in a bubble, the size of
the text, the width of the node core and much more. The most versatile method to edit
properties is in the Properties panel. To open or close the Properties panel, right-click in an
empty space of the background and select Properties panel. Note An alternative way to open

or close the panel, choose View > Properties panel. An alternative way to change properties,
use menu Format.
Editing a property
The Properties panel shows the properties of the node which has the focus. Only the
properties of the selected node can be changed. (Generally you select one node, but with some
properties it is possible to select and change more than one node at a time.) While the panel is
showing, you can select a different node to give it the focus. To change a property, change the
value of the property. This will also set a check indicating the changed value applies. Uncheck
if you want to return to the default behaviour. Also uncheck if you want conditional styles
affect (set) the property. As a first example, find the properties group named Node Shape and
click on Node style. A menu drops down with options like Bubble, Fork and As parent. Try
these options and see what happens. For the node you are reading now option Bubble was
chosen. As you may notice, this option only applies to the core. As a second example, find node
group Edges and check the box for Edge style. Clicking next to Edge style will drop down a
menu with possible styles like Linear, Smoothly curved, Hidden, and others. Try these to
know which styles are possible. Or cselect me to see a few examples of changed properties in
the Properties panel.

Automatic edge color

By default each new map in Freeplane will generate a different color for each new branch.
This supports one of the principles held by the inventor of the mind map, which states that
colors help the brain to structure and memorize information more easily. This property is
called Automatic edge color. This property can be disabled in the Propertieds panel. To
disable automatic edge color, open the Properties panel and find the properties group Node
style, at the top of the Properties panel. Uncheck Automatic edge color, like I did for the the
mind map of this tutorial.
Automatic node numbering
The Properties Panel contains the property automatic node numbering to give a node a
number. You can set node numbering for a group of nodes by first selecting the group (keep
Shift or Control pressed when you click nodes) and then checking this option in the Properties
Other properties
Scan the options of the panel. The properties in the group Node Style will be described in a
moment. Most other properties are self-explaining. All properties are described in detail in
the Freeplane documentation.
Menu Format
The properties in the properties panel are also available through menu Format. Menu Format
contains some properties which cannot be set in the properties panel as well. Examples are
map background an blinking node (in Core).

Tool bar
Some of the properties in the Properties panel are also available as icons in the tool bar which
is below the main menu bar. Examples are italic and bold. Important Bold and italic set in
the Properties panel, menu Format or with the toolbar, are applied (forced) to the whole node
core. To apply bold and italic to a part of the node core, use the method described above in
node Beginner map. Using both methods at the same time to the same node may give
unexpected effects. For example, it is not possible to remove bold set with the first method by
using the second method.
6.2 Styles
Why styles ?
Styles (classes) are a means to quickly apply or change a group of visual properties or define
a template text for all related nodes at once. Styles can also be used to find, select or filter
nodes which are associated with a particular type of content or structure. This Quick
reference mind map is also made with styles, see node The making of this mind map.
Find & apply a style
Freeplane comes with a number of system styles which you can extend with your own styles.
The list of styles is displayed in the workmenu bar at the top of the screen in the field next to
the cloud-icon. You can apply a style to the selected node by clicking a style in the list. For the
node you are reading now, style TitlesContent was applied. Note Styles are also accessable: In
the toolbar In menu Format > Apply style In the Properties panel, in properties group Node
Style, in field Style. N.B. To open the Properties panel, right-click in an empty space in the
background and select Properties panel.
Removing an applied style
Normally you select another style, e.g. style Default. When using e.g. Automatic Level Styles,
you may have added a style to overrule the automatic style. In that case, use Format > Apply
style > Reset node style to remove a manually set style.
Edit styles in node dialog
You can define a new style by selecting a node and choosing menu Format > Manage style >
New style from selection. You will be asked for a unique name for the style and the properties
of the selected node will be copied to this style. Alternatively you can open a special style
dialog with menu Format > Manage styles > Edit style. You can add a style by right-clicking
one of the styles en selecting New style from selection. Once you have defined a style you can
modify the style in the special style dialog with the menus available and the properties panel
Note Read the Documentation
Apply multiple styles
Styles can indicate that a node contains specific information. As an example, the parent node
"pply multiple styles" of the node you are reading is made up of two styles: Advanced, and
Example. Advanced makes the yellow color and Example adds the eye-icon. To implement
this example, first define the two styles and then apply them as node conditional styles by
opening the Properties panel and clicking below Node conditional styles for node. Now a

dialog opens and in this dialog: click New In the rule that opens, click on Default to open the
styles list. Select Advanced. Click New again. Click default again and select Example. Click
OK. After this you will see that your node has both styles applied. Note Read more about
styles in the Freeplane documentation !
Conditional styles
In the node above multiple styles are applied unconditionally. Styles can also be applied
conditionally, if a certain condition is true which is specified in a filter rule. In the following
example a conditional style is used to signal if a node is modified after a particular revision
date. Example: Revisions First a style Revision was defined with a special revision R-icon (see
the styles list). Then in the Properties panel I clicked below Conditional map styles to open its
dialog. I pressed New to add a filter. I clicked the new rule and defined a filter (Modified
after, date). I selected this filter rule and pressed OK. If you are in the conditional styles
dialog, you see the rule I defined to be unchecked. I did so because normally you do not want
to see the R-icons. Check one of the rules and you will see some revision R-icons appear. To
see all revions you have to unfold the nodes. Note Read more about conditional node styles
and conditional map styles in the Freeplane documentation.
Hierarchical level styles
One possible application of conditional node styles is to give each node level a different
appearance automatically. Say you need five node levels. Then you define 5 styles, one for
each level. Next you define 5 conditional style rules. To make it easy Freeplane has predefined
this case for you. In Properties panel you can check Apply level styles in the properties group
Node Style. If checked each node level will get a different appearance automatically. The style
for the root node is called style Title. The styles for the other levels are called Header 1,
Header 2, Header 3 and Header 4. If you do not like the styles used for the levels, you can
modify them as follows: Select menu Styles > Edit style Select the node level you want (Root,
Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 Level 6) Change its format If you want more than 5
different level styles, simply add them in Styles > Edit style behind Apply level styles. If you
want to apply less than 5 level styles, remove styles in Styles > Edit style behind Apply level
styles. Note You may find more information in the Freeplane documentation.
Map style
When making a new map, Freeplane takes so-called map style information from a map called In this way all kind of standard settings are the same every time you start a new
map. To start a map with your own preferred settings, you could modify This
map lives in Tools > Open user directory > templates. A preferred alternative way is to open
your new map explicitly from a different mind map. For this, use Files > Open map from
6.3 Templates
A node style may contain template like information in the form of predefined text in
Details field and in the fields for attributes, Yyou can copy this so called style
related information by hand, select: Edit > Node extensions > Copy extensions
from style node.

The steps to define a template: define a new style, e.g. MyTemplate open the editor for styles
in menu Format > Manage styles > Edit styles edit details of MyTemplate: (Edit > Extensions
> ..details) add attributes to MyTemplate (Edit > Extensions > ... attribute) close the styles
dialog (save the edited style) open a new node apply the new style MyTemplate ( Edit > Node
extensions > Copy extensions from style node) The new node should have the text and
attributes entered in MyStyle.
My Example

6.4 Other
Pasting unformatted text from your browser
Normally if you paste text from your browser, the formatting will be pasted too. If you install
a small program you can paste text without formatting, see .
Fixed node width
If you want to line up nodes, or simply want a different or fixed width: Format > Set node
width limits; or see Properties panel Note The node you are reading now has minimum =
maximum = 300 pixels
Copying format (node core)
The node core has a global formatting function which applies to the whole node core. This
global core format can be copietd with Edit Node core > Copy format and pasted in another
node core with Edit > Node core > Paste.
Paste options
If you select menu Edit > Paste different paste options will be shown, like pasting text without
format (plain text). Note If you copy text from the internet, the regular paste will also
paste the formatting (color, size etc.). The plain text option let you copy plain text only. If you
use this option frequently, consider to define a hot key for it, see Tools > Add hot key.

7 Publishing & sharing

Print your map with the methods for this in menu File. In case of larger files it may
be practical not to print in the standard map layout but in an Outline layout. Use
View >Outline view to set Freeplane in outline mode.
When giving a presentation a map may be greyed except for the nodes having the
focus. For this select View > Presentation mode. The nodes can be visisted one by
one by pressing Ctrl +Shift + Space or Shift + clicking folding circle.
You can share mind maps with other users of Freeplane by interchanging the file. Note that images are not part of a mindmap and therefore must
be interchanged seperately. Make sure that at the new location the images are at the
same relative location (subdirectory) they were when you developed your mind
map. The best way to do this is to develop your and the images in one
(sub)directory. You can then zip this whole directory and unpack it at the other
Publish on the internet (Java Applet)

A Java Applet is a small program which allows you to display a mind map without
Freeplane being installed on your computer. To publish your mind map on Internet
using a Java Applet, export your mindmap with File > Export and choose for the file
format Java Applet. After the export you will have a file yourmap.html and a
directory yourmap.Html_files. If you use images in your map, make sure when
developing these images are in the same directory where resides. After the export, copy the images to yourmap.html_files. You
can now move both yourmap.html and directory yourmap.Html_files to the internet
server and start the mindmap by calling yourmap.html. Your mind map will open in
a browser for reading, but cannot be modified. You can use the same method to
share your map with other user's who don't have Freeplane installed. Move the file
and the directory to their computer in stead of to the Internet server. Note .svg
images cannot be published in a Java applet. See the Freeplane documentation for
more options. See this page to publish a map on the Freeplane wiki. See
this example how multiple maps can be published in one Java applet. It is possible
to set in Tools > Preferences that the folding state must be saved, such that the map
opens each time with the same folding. Freeplane developers can also publish on Documents published here, can be
opened without Java Applet if they are linked through the map opened by Help >
Documentation Maps Online. In that case .svg images can be published.
Publish on the Internet (needs Freeplane)
You can also publish a mind map directly on the Internet or Intranet. In that case
Freeplane is needed to view the map. Use File > Open map from open the
map and enter the full URL-address of the map. Note In MS Windows, right click the
link of the mind map and choose copy hyperlink. Next paste this address in the URL
above is a directory containing mind
maps which can be opened without Java Applet, if the link Help > Documentation
Maps Online is followed. In that case svg images are displayed too.
Interchange with a text editor
The Freeplane documentation desbribes ways how to interchange with texteditors,
keeping some of the formatting code.

Applications index
Click the link to open a mind map with the main applications of Freeplane. An Internet connection is needed
to follow the links in the index.
To return from the index map to this
map: select Navigate >Go to previous map (icon in tool bar)

8 Node extensions
Edit text in node details
The node you see now consistst of a node core with the title "Edit text in node details". The text below the
node core is called node details. This field contains the text you are reading now. A discriminatig
characteristic of this area is that it can be hidden or shown based on a user's need. One way to hide or show
this area is to press the small triangle next to the text (try it !).
To create a node like the
present one, first create a node as you learned before. Then type the title in the core as you know too. Finally
open a dialog window by right-clicking the node and choose Edit details in dialog. Now type the text you
want to appear under the title and press OK. Your node will now appear just like the one you are reading,
Node details can also be entered with an inline-editor. To open the inline editor,

rightclick the node and choose select Edit node details in-line. To reopen existing node details text for editing
in this way, Ctrl + left-click the text. (Double clicking also opens the editor.) This inline editor behaves the
same way as described for the node title text. It has the same context menu.
All methods
available in context menu's are also accessable through the main menu. For example, the in-line editor is also
accessible through Edit > Node extensions > Edit node details in-line

Show text in tool tip (hover text)

Node content can be hidden permanently, only showing when you are hovering
with the cursor over the node. This has the advantage that the space taken by the
node keeps at a minimum. To prepare a node for hovering, right-click the node and
choose Minimize node to hide all information except the first part of the node core
text. To restore the non-hidden state, click Minimize node again. Note Besides
hiding node details it will also limit the length of the core text. So if you have a long
title, it will be shortened. And it can also hide features like images, attributes and
notes which are described below. See Image below for the deviant behavour of an
image in details.
Hidden details
Hidden details can also be made visible by hovering with the cursor over a node's core. This is specially
useful when node details are set to be hidden permanently. In that case there is no triangle to make it display.
A small circle at hte parent side of the node indicates if a node contains this type of hidden text, also called a
tool tip. The node below is an example. Hover with the cursor over it to display its content. (Try it !)

Image (node extension)

Images are not part of a Freeplane map but can be displayed in a Freeplane map. It
makes a difference if the image source is stored on your computer or not. and
which method you use to add the image: drag & drop or copy & paste. Note that the
image in Node core differs from the image desribed here (node extension).
Internal source
To add an image to a particular node, drag and drop the image on the upper part of the node.
If you drop it on the child side of the node, the image is added to an automatically created new
child. In both cases the image can be resized by dragging its lower-right corner. Alternatives
for adding an image are: Right-click a node and select Add image...; or Select Edit > Node
features > Add image.. Note Even if the image is displayed in a node, it is not part of the mind
map. Every time the mind map opens, the image is read from its original location. As a result,
if you move or rename the source image, it is no longer visible in the map. The image is
hidden when View > Minimize node is set An image which is hidden this way does not show
when hovering (in the tool tip)! You cannot move the position of the image within the node.
There is more to learn about (other types of) images and about publishing and sharing mind
maps with images in the Freeplane documentation. If you use copy and paste in stead of drag
and drop, not the image but a hyperlink to the image is added - to the node core. The image is
a node featture and is displayed below the node core. The node core itself can also have an
image. This image cannot be resized. Take care that the image is not in a tempory file. For
example, I you want to use an image from an e-mail program like Thunderbird, first copy the
image to a non-temporary directory.
External source
An image from an external source like Internet can be added by copy and paste. Likewise, an
image made with PrintScreen, can be added by pasting it. In both cases the image is added to
a newly created child node of the node selected when you pressed paste. The pasted image can
be resized by dragging its lower-right corner. Note The pasted image is not part of the
mindmap itself. In case of the source is on the Internet, there must be an Internet connection
to see the image. To keep the image, first copy it to your computer. If you paste an image
copied with print screen, Freeplane asks where you want to save this image first. If you paste
or drop an image from a program which keeps the image in a tempory file (e.g. Thunderbird),
the image may show at first but disappear laler. First copy the image to a fixed directory. If
you select and paste more than one image at a time, only the hyperlinks are pasted.
In-line image
Professional users can add images within text with so-called HTML-code. There is also a
script for this. See the Freeplane documentation.
change image
Once an image is created, right-click and select Change to replace the image by a different
Attributes (node extension)

Attributes in node extensions

Node details can contain structured information, in which each unit of information has a name and a value.
This couple, name=value, is also called an attribute. Attributes are displayed in Details as a table with two

How to add attributes to node details ?

To create the above example, right-click a node and select Edit attribute in-line. Enter name in the left field
and John. in the right one. To add the second attribute, right-click on the name or the value to open the
attribute's context menu and select New attribute.
When you followed the example, you will
find that the width of the displayed attributes does not fit the length of the text. You can solve this in two
ways. First you can right-click the attribute and select Optimal width. Second you could experiment with
moving the slim bar just above the table.
Alternative ways to add a node and
to apply other attribute methods, see:
Properties panel > Calendar & Attributes
Edit > Node extensions
Value options
Professional editing of attrtibutes
Hyperlink (arrow) in attribute

Scientific formula (LaTeX)

If you want to display a scientific formula in a node, this is possible. Use Edit
> Node core > Edit LaTeX to do so. Note Read more in the Freeplane

9 Notes of nodes
Notes are a special kind of node details, the main difference being: By default
notes are presented as hover text. In menu View > Note > Display notes in map it
can be set that all (!) notes will be displayed. Note text can be displayed screen wide
and in a window that stays open when moving from node to node. Consult the
Freeplane documentation for more information. Notes have a note-icon. Note In
Tools > Preferences the note icon can be set not to display (for all notes !) for the
curent map. Exception: On Intenet (Java applet) the icons keep showing.

10 Date & time actions

Time management
The Time manager allows you to set dates, times (reminders) and tasks (reminder texts) in the core of selected
nodes. A clock icon signals that a reminder is set. This icon appears both in the node and its predecessors,
except nodes which are within a Summary node group. A flashing clock icon signals that a reminder time has
been reached.
There are two locations where these functions can be set or edited.
Tools > Time management , with submenu's for Managing time and for managing tasks
Properties panel > Calendar and Attributes, NOT for managing task

Manage time...
Opens a dialog to set or change a date (text) or a reminder which has been attached
to the selected node. The node and its predecessors show a clock icon. This icon
flashes at the reminder time. Also a red exclamation mark flashes in the root node.
Note Properties Panel > Calendar & Attributes for an alternative dialog
Set year, month and day
Insert date in selection
Remind me at this date
Remind later
Remove reminder (time)
Manage tasks
Opens a window which displays the reminders of all nodes. For each reminder are
displayed: date Title icons time created time last modified Note The entries can be
searched, and changed with search and replace.
Remove reminder
Remove the reminder of the selected node. For alternatives: See also Tools > Time
manager... Properties Panel > Calendar & Attributes

This node contains a reminder

11 Filtering & finding nodes

Why filtering ?
Filtering is a means to only display nodes which you want to be visible. The same
filter rules can be used to search or find information. The same filter rules are also
used in conditional styles.
Basics of finding and filtering
Before you can find or filter you have to define a rule which determines what you
want to find or filter for. You can do this with the Filter toolbar. This toolbar is the
horizontal row of icons and entry fields, just above the work area of the map. The
find/filter rule consists of: Node component (Core text, Details, Icon, etc.). It is
possible to use almost any type of node component in finding and filtering. Type of
rule: component exists, contains, =, > etc. Value of component If value is text,
relevancy of case and Approximate search (fuzzy search) If you have set/entered
these elements, you can click icon Quick filter to do the filtering. (See to the left
which is icon Quick filter). Or you can click icon Find to just find one instance at a
time. The result of Quick filter may be modified by setting one or more so called

filter options, see below. To exit filtering, click icon No filtering. (When using Find, it
is not necessary to stop this action.) The Freeplane documentation contains a full
description and examples. Note You can use a filter rule also to find nodes one by
Quick filter
Perform filter action.
Find last modified nodes

No filtering
Stop filter action

Find next
Find text or other criteria in the selected node and all its descendant nodes. And if not found, search further in
other branches. This is called depth first search.
The found node is
If the found node is folded, it is unfolded.
If the found node is outside the
screen, the mind map is shifted to bring it in the visible are of the screen.

Filter methods
To the left are shown the icons of the buttons in the Filter toolbar, with their meaning.

Undo filter
Reverses the effect of the previously-used filtering command.

Redo filter
Re-applies the previously-used filtering command, after Filter > Undo has been used.

Reapply filter
Updates the effect of filtering after changes have been made to the map.

Quick filter
Hides all visible nodes which do not fit the filter rules and options. Icon keeps unset..
No Filter to finish filtering.
Nodes hidden before the
filter was applied, keep hidden.
All nodes left visible move towards each other along the their

Find last modified nodes

To filter for all nodes modified after a certain date, set a filter rule (Date filter, Modified after, date, xxx) and
Quick filter for all modified nodes.
See also
Edit > Find and replace... for an
alternative way.

Filter selected nodes

Display only the currently-selected node(s) and, optionally, their ancestors and/or descendants.
See also
Filter > Show Ancestors
Filter > Show Descendants

Select all matching

Filter and select all matching descendants (visible and invisible) of the node in focus and show and select also
the nodes in between.

No filtering
Removes the effect of any filters which were applied; this is the default. Un-sets icon.

Compose filter
Opens the Filter Composer dialog to create and edit filter rules / manage filters.
The first
row contains three entries to define a filter rule, filled with (Node text, Contains, empty filed). and a check
box for indicating if the Case of letters is relevant (Match case). The box below these editable fields contains
the list of predefined rules. Initially it is empty. Two or more of these rules can be combined to form a more
complex rule with AND and OR operators using the buttons to the right. A rule can be named with buttond
Set Name.
select or enter the conditions of the filter rule, e.g. (Node text,
Contains, filter); Match Case unchecked.
press Add to add it to the list of rules.
repeat for all rules you need.
press OK
To combine two or
more rules with AND or OR operators, select the rules and press AND resp. OR
To connect a
rule to a label, select the rule and press Set Name.
See also
Styles > Conditional
Map styles for example use of Filter Composer
Styles > Conditional Node styles

Filter actions
Applies to filtered nodes (refine)
Toggle Apply to filtered (visible) nodes, i.e. add an additional filter condition, to further narrow the results.

Unfold hidden nodes

Expand all nodes in a map that match the filter. This is not a toggle switch: once the nodes are expanded, they
can only be collapsed using other commands (such as Filter > Undo, which may be used immediately after
this command).
See also
Navigate > Toggle Folded
> Fold All
Navigate > Fold One Level.

Show ancestors
Toggles Display all ancestor nodes of nodes which match the filter when filtering is in effect (Applies to
Filtered Nodes is set)
Can be set before or after Quick filter

Show descendants
Togles Display all descendant nodes of nodes which match the filter when filtering is in effect (Applies to
Filtered Nodes is set)
Can be set before or after Quick filter has been

Filter conditions / states

Find previous
Find text or other criteria in the selected node. The searching direction is opposite to Find Next.
The found node is selected.
If the found node is folded, it is unfolded.
If the found node is outside the screen, the mind map is shifted to bring it in the visible are of the screen.

Find next
Find text or other criteria in the selected node and all its descendant nodes. And if not found, search further in
other branches. This is called depth first search.
The found node is
If the found node is folded, it is unfolded.
If the found node is outside the
screen, the mind map is shirgted to bring it in the visible are of the screen.

Finding / searching
Using filter sets
Filters can be defined and kept for reuse on a later moment. Open menu Filter >
Filtercomposer and define the filterrules you need. In doing so, you can also
combine simple rules with AND and OR operators into more complex rules. And
once you have defined a rule you can give it a label. After you have created all the
rules you need, you can save the whole set. The set can than be shared with other
people who can load it into the Filter composer. The rules you defined with Filter
composer are available in the filter menu bar. To activate a rule, click next to the
field showing "No filtering (remove)" which drops down a list of all available rules.
Click the rule you want and it will be executed. When you are finished, select "No
filtering (remove)" again or click the icon-button No filter.
Loading and using filter set for this Quick reference
Consider using a powerfull feature of Freeplane, filtering, to present to you only the
information of one of these 3 levels (Beginner, Advanced, Professional) at a time.
The procedure for filtering is described below. If you click on the red arrow in my
parent node, the instruction is illustrated in an animation.
Load filter set for this Quick reference
As an example of using filter sets, the Freeplane directory has a subdirectory doc with a file called
freeplaneTutorial.mmfilter. Choose Fiter > Filter composer > Load and find and load this file.
this you can use the filters as described in the following nodes.


Select filter and Quickfilter

To see only the information at the first level of experience (Beginner):
Click in field with "No filtering (remove)": a list with filters drops down.
Select ane of
the shown rules e.g. Beginner
Click Quick filter as shown in the image.
P.S. Make sure Show ancestors is UNselected.

Unfold to make visible

You can now click on each item to unhide its content. Or you can unhide all hidden information at once by
doing the following:
Move the cursor over the central area (root node) to select it
Click on the icon Unfold all to see all selected nodes

View and finish

Click in an empty area of the background and drag the map around until hou have read all.
not forget to press icon No filtering when you are finished.
You can now follow the same
procedure for Beginner, Advanced and Professional.

12 Protecting map or nodes

Protecting child nodes with a password
It is possible to protect your whole map, or a part of the map, with a password. If
you define a password for a node, then all descendants of the node will keep hidden
until the right password has been entered. Within the same map you can apply
different passwords for different nodes and create layers of protection. To define a
password for the children of the selected node, right-click the node and select

Password protection. Note See also Tools > Password protection. Password
protection is implemented with DES type encryption. You can read more about
protection (encryption) in the Freeplane documentation.
New protected map
If you define a new map, you can directly protect is with a password. To do this in
one action, choose File > New protected map. This function can be combined with
password proction of nodes, to create security layers.

13 Fine tuning Freeplane

Freeplane has a lot of tuning options. Most used options are available in menu View
and the others are available in Tools > Preferences. Besides you can write your
own scripts to automate things. The Freeplane documentation describes them all.
All nodes a bubble, particular edge,..

A new node gets stand style Default. This style can be edited: Format > Manage
styles > Edit styles. If you set "bubble" here, all new nodes get a bubble.
Map in Tools > Open user directory > Templates serves as a map
template for each new mind map. Consider adapting the style "default" of this
template map to your personal favourites, e.g. Change arrow-links into hyperlinks:
in properties panel of Style "default", set Hyperlink to checked. Set a bigger or
smaller font for style Default (and the other styles. Set the default style to have a
bubble, etc.
Standard settings in View
In menu View you can set characteristics for node core, like width, selection border,
border marking for formulas and the background color of revisions. You can set if
and how node details should be displayed, with or without tool tip (hover text) and
modification times. You can set if and which attributes are displayed. Also you can
set if and how notes are displayed and with which type of window. Finally it is
possible to set some characteristics of icons. Open menu View and select all
options one by one to know which options are available. In the preferences much
more can be set. Note Viewing settings contains options for printing (outline view)
and presentation (Presentation mode).
Scientific suite (Docear)
Docear is an "academic literature suite". It provides to researchers what an office
suite provides to office workers. By that we mean, Docear supports you in doing all
the tasks related to literature management:
1. Finding new literature (searching
and exploring) 2. Organizing literature (reading, annotating, and retrieving) 3.
Creating your own literature (drafting, writing, referencing, and publishing) Docear
is the successor of SciPlore MindMapping and funded by the European Union and
German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. Click the red arrow
Standard settings in Preferences
Environment preferences
The environment preferences let you set the following:
one instance or more instances of
Freeplane can be running at the same time;
protection (experimental file locking) is allowed [ it
is no longer experimental !];
options for opening and automatic saving of files;
the folding state must be kept when saving a file, to open it with the same folding;
the deault
character set;
if hyperlinks must take relative or absolute addresses
and other

Appearance preferences
The preferences for appearances let you set:
and width of nodes, tool tips etc.
Keystrokes preferences
Behaviour preferences
HTML preferences

the standard properties used

icons showing or not showing


Vertical space between nodes

The vertical spacing between nodes can be set for all nodes of a branch, existing
and new ones. Keep Ctrl pressed, select a nodes handle (oval) and move the cursor
up/down to change the vertical space for all nodes. Note To reset the original
posisitons, select a node and Edit > Set default node positions.
Using and writing scripts
Freeplane has a very powerful scripting possibility based on Groovy. In this way
you can provide for specialised functions which might be lacking. There is a base of
predefined scrips which are published on the Freeplane wiki. In this way you need
not be a programmer to use scripts. Read more in the Freeplane
documentation, visit the the wiki on add-ons and the wiki add-on scrips .
Indexing .mm in Windows7
If you use Windows 7 you can make it indexing .mm files. Do as follows: Go to
Control Panel -> indexing options; or type in Help ""indexing" Choose
"Professional". This gives you a page with two tabs -- "Index Settings" and "File
Types" Choose the "File Types" tab Scroll through the list of files there till you
come to ".mm" The filter description will say "File Properties Filter" Click the
second radio button beneath, which says "Index Properties and File contents. The
filter description should now change to "Plain text filter" Choose OK to leave the
dialog. The indexing will restart and when it is finished, the index is available. Note
In the standard mode only node properties are indexed, not content. The above
procedure also adds the content to the filtering mechanism
Spell check dictionaries
Spell check is pre-installed for English. For other languages, click the hyperlink.
Download language_XX.ortho, in which XX is a two lettercode fo the language. Save
this file in Tools > Open user directory > recources/ortho
Standard short cuts
Freeplane has standard short cuts for most actions which can help speed up
processing of your mind map. These short cuts are visible to the right of the menu
items when you open the menu's in the main menu bar. There is also an
automatically generated overview in menu Help. It is also possible to define your
own short cut sets, for example for F-keys. See Help > Documentation.
Click the red arrow to read more about extensions on the Interenet. Check here if
there exists a language pack add-on for your language.

Frequently Asked Questions

14 Best practices
Click here to go to the Wiki
The making of this mind map
1 Main title with number
Node with
style Begin, Advanced or Professional
fixed min node width = 180

automatic node number

Short label indicating content
Content associated with title

Signals for Example or Revision

style Example added as conditional node stye (applies to single node)
conditional map style (applies to all nodes)

User defined Styles

Bold text


Node backround color green


Node backround color yellow


Node backround color orange/brown

Bold text

Bold text

No bubble

Hidden edge



Template information



Map with all Freeplane Functions (index)

Free node


External link

Map with example applications (index)

Free node


External link

style Revision added as

Display revisions
Multiple views of one map
Working on large maps may be difficult if you need to work at two different node
locations of the map. For this you can open two views of the same map and work in
both views if they were the same map. Choose View > New map view for this. Switch
between views by selecting the respective tabs. You cannot see both views at once.
For this you could open a second version of Freeplane. However, in that case they
are treated as different maps.
Restore from local history
To restore from local history select Menu File > Restore from local history.
Batch jobs
All functions in Freeplane are open for use as batch job, in a command line
interface. With this you can for example: run a function on start up execute a script
an leave