NovaMind Development Pty. has just released version 4.0 of its NovaMind mind mapping software for Mac OS X, which is available in Pro and Express versions. The Pro version is more full featured, while the new Express version is designed for new users of mind mapping software.
Based on several video clips that NovaMind founder Gideon King recently posted to the developer’s website, here are a few highlights of what’s new in NovaMind 4.0 for the Mac platform:
The new user interface features a set of palettes in a vertical pane on the right side of the workspace. They contain the most commonly-used map creation and editing functions, and are context sensitive. Each palette can be "flipped" over to display more advanced options. The animation of this is pretty cool! Pallettes can also be minimized to take up less vertical space – nice!
NovaMind 4.0 also features branch styles, which enable you to select from a number of pre-created looks for your map branches. Each style consists of a set of branch colors, fill colors and, text styles, much like the text styles in Microsoft Word. Child topics automatically "inherit" a style when it is applied. If a topic boundary is selected, a style can also be applied to it. This is a great feature for new users, who may otherwise spend lots of time trying to perfect the look of their maps. You can also create styles to meet your particular needs. The styles command can also be extended to the entire map; if no map elements are selected, the styles palette box displays a set of styles that can be applied to the entire map.
Gideon also posted a video clip of some of the functionality that we can expect in the Windows version of NovaMind 4.0, which is due to be launched in approximately one month. When you view the drop-down list of branch styles, as you mouse over each style, the currently selected branch changes to give you a kind of "instant preview" of it. As in the Mac version, styles can also be applied to map boundaries or the entire map.
The Pro and Platinum versions of NovaMind 4.0 will enable you to embed multiple maps within one NovaMind document, displayed within tabs in the program’s workspace. To the left of the tabs is a "document view" button that, when clicked, gives you a high-level overview of all of the maps contained within the document. You can then select one or more map thumbnail images and apply styles to all of them at one time from this view. Gideon also indicates that he and his team have done extensive usability studies on the ribbon toolbar that first appeared in NovaMind v3.2 for Windows, and they have made a number of tweaks to it in order to make it easier to use.