Mind Mapping with View Your Mind

Slides

View Your Mind also lets you create small animated presentations. To begin your own slide show, activate View | Slide editor; a blank list appears on the right edge of the window. In your mind map, highlight the term you want to target first in your presentation and press the button with the camera at the bottom of the screen in the Slide Editor pane (Figure 7). View Your Mind now creates a new slide that zooms the selected term to the center of the view. Now you can click the next term in the mind map and create a second slide via the camera icon.

Figure 7: The speaker points out in the introduction that the next two hours will be about cakes, and specifically, the lemon cake. The topic of the current slide is centered in the view.

Clicking on one of the slides tells VYM to jump to the corresponding term. The blue arrows at the bottom lets you change the order of the slides, and the trash can deletes the currently active slide. Later in the presentation, you can use the spacebar to jump to the next slide. However, this is the extent of VYM support: Because VYM lacks a presentation mode, you have to leave the entire program window open during your talk. Alternatively, you can use Map | Export | Open Office to create a presentation for Open/LibreOffice; however, this process does not take into account the slides you painstakingly specified in VYM.

Export

Clicking Map | Export lets you output the mind map as an image file in various formats. If you choose Webpage (HTML), VYM generates a website that contains the mind map as an image at the top and outputs the contents in the form of an outline at the bottom (Figure 8). This type of structure is also available when you export your mind map to a text file.

Figure 8: The exported HTML page contains the mind map as a graph with an outline and a table of contents.

If you only want to export part of your mind map, select the branch you do not want in your output and press H. View Your Mind adds an icon of a white cloud in front of the term then excludes it and all of its subbranches from the export. To reverse this state, press H again. Functions for saving and loading a mind map can be found in the Map menu. Each open mind map occupies a separate tab within the main window.

Conclusions

Once you have found your way through the VYM user interface and memorized the shortcuts, the small program can quickly and effectively map your thoughts, ideas, and notes.

A few videos on YouTube [3] can take some of the pain out of getting started, and a detailed manual can be accessed by selecting Help | Open VYM Documentation (pdf). The manual also provides numerous tips and explanations about how to automate processes using the built-in scripting language.

The Author

Tim Schürmann is a freelance computer scientist and author. Besides books, Tim has published various articles in magazines and on websites.

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