I recently received word from the developers of Seavus DropMind that their desktop and web-based mind mapping applications are now commercially available. As part of this product launch, the developer has enhanced the programs with quite a few new features.
One of the biggest omissions that I complained about in the beta versions of DropMind was the lack of integration between the desktop and web-based apps. Seavus has addressed this limitation by offering two-way synchronization between DropMind and DropMind Web. The desktop version of the program also includes a convenient synchronization option. When it is enabled, your online maps will always be updated with the changes that you made on your locally stored maps – nice! I tried uploading a map from the desktop client to the web version, and it worked seamlessly.
The commercial version of DropMind also includes enhanced import and export options. During beta testing, the desktop program was able to import MindManager and FreeMind map files; the commercial version also enables you to import maps from XMIND and Microsoft Word document outlines. These two formats can be imported into the web version of DropMind, too.
The desktop version of DropMind now supports six export options: PDF, image, Word document, Rich Text Format (RTF) document, PowerPoint presentation and HTML. The Web version of DropMind offers export as image, Rich Text Format document, Word document, desktop DropMind file, PDF and HTML.
Another new feature: The beta of the Web version of DropMind featured a presentation mode. This capability has now been added to the desktop version. It enables you to generate separate slides of different topics by taking “snapshots” of specific branches and making them into a slideshow. You can also tell the program to auto-generate a set of slides – which wasn’t very impressive when I tried it with a map I produced in the program. I got better results doing my own snapshots, but still its performance was inconsistent. You first drag select topics to be included in a snapshot, and then select “take snapshot.” At one point, I selected three top-level topics to the right of the central topic. But when I took a snapshot, it only captured the bottom topic. Strange…
You can export presentation slides as a list of images. For some reason, DropMind groups them all into a zip file. I’m not sure why, but my personal preference would be for a set of JPG, BMP or TIF images.
In addition, the desktop version of DropMind contains the following new features:
- Insert parent topic
- Insert date and time on topic
- Mark topic is a key topic
- Balance map
- Choose map color with one click
- Unattach topic or whole branch
- Map outline view
- Same map as template
- Send map as e-mail attachment
The web version of DropMind also contains the following new features:
- Format painter, cut, copy and paste functions
- Spell checker
- Background gradient
- Flexibility in icon and image placement
- Outline view of the map
- Same map as template
- Send map as e-mail attachments
The desktop version of DropMind is available from the developer’s website for Windows and Linux operating systems. You can also sign up for an account for the web version here. A variety of pricing options are available.
It’s good to see this promising program improving. Map styles still look somewhat amateurish, however.