During the past month or so, Gideon King at NovaMind has been detailing the features that will be coming soon in NovaMind 5 for Mac OS X in the NovaMind Blog. As expected, this innovative new release pushes the envelope in numerous areas in terms of functionality, and makes the most of the highly visual Mac interface. Here’s an executive summary of what to look for in this forthcoming release:
Exceptional control over printing
NovaMind 5 for Mac OS X will feature a new printing dialogue box (click on the image above to view a larger version), which give you options for printing with or without the background image (printing with it tends to take a lot of ink), printing with crop marks so that you can accurately cut pages and join them to make larges-scale print-outs, and adding a border around the entire mind map. There is also the option to print without the topic text, ideal for use in settings where you want to provide the audience with handouts where people fill in the blanks as you go through your presentation.
One of the challenges of printing large mind maps in any program is keeping font sizes legible. NovaMind 5 for Mac OS examines the text of all of the visible topics that are going to be printed, and determines the minimum font size in your map. Then, when you tell the program how many pages your map should be printed on, it displays the minimum font size that will be legible at that level of scaling – very cool!
NovaMind 5 for Mac OS X will also provide users with improved control over pagination when printing out large maps; a preview in the printing dialog box will show you exactly how your map will look when it is divided into the number of pages you select.
Finally, you will be able to select an image for the header and footer of your printouts – ideal if you want to incorporate a logo into your printed maps. NovaMind 5 will automatically scale it to 120 pixels in height, so it doesn’t overpower the mind map.
Map themes and color sets
Like the Windows release of NovaMind 5, the Mac OS X version will offer map themes, which give you control of the overall look of your mind map in a single simple setting, and color sets, which help you to create more attractive mind maps – even if you don’t know anything about how to select complementary colors.
NovaMind 5 for Mac OS X adds a powerful media browser, which includes access to your iTunes music library and an integrated Flickr image search – which is ideal for finding just the right image to enhance your mind map. The NovaMind development team is also experimenting with access to Lightroom and Aperture image libraries, plus providing access to images acquired through Image Capture interfaces (e.g., from iPhones and cameras) via the media browser. It’s very cool to see a developer being mindful of all of the new types of content collections that are available on your Mac or out on the web, and giving you the ability to search for them and incorporate these assets into your mind maps. A media library manager will also be included in the new version of the program, which manages the downloading and maintenance of its extensive media libraries. Like the Windows version of NovaMind 5, the new Mac version doesn’t include the media library files in the initial program download. By making them available as a separate download, NovaMind gives users the option to use this asset library or ignore it.
Attachments – on steriods!
Multiple attachments can be added to any map topic in NovaMind 5 for Mac OS X. One intriguing new feature is a tool tip that pops up when you mouse over a topic’s attachment icon (which looks like a paper clip). It displays a number of icons that enable you to:
- Open the file in its default application
- Select which application to open the file in
- Remove the attachment from your file
- Extract the file for use outside of NovaMind
- Edit the attachment information
This new version of NovaMind also adds the ability to monitor any attached files, so it can tell when they have been edited outside of the mind mapping program. A dialog box gives you the option to copy the latest versions of these updated files into your mind maps – that’s cool!
Holy hyperlinks, Batman!
Similar to attachments, NovaMind 5 for Mac OS X gives you a much greater level of control over your topic hyperlinks. Each topic may contain multiple links; a small pop-up window enables you to edit the URL and the visible description of the link (very nice!) and for file links, designate whether the path to the file is absolute or relative. The absolute path defines the exact folder structure within which a file is stored: a relative path starts from the folder where the document is saved.
This is just a snapshot of what Gideon and his team of talented coders have been working on. For more details, please visit the NovaMind Blog.