Mango Software, a developer in China, recently released XMIND, a Java-based mind mapping software program for Windows and Mac OS X. I recently downloaded and installed it, and I must say it appears to be quite solid for a new program. The interface is nicely laid out, incorporating a lot of functionality into tabbed dialog boxes along the right and bottom sides of the workspace. An outline view is integrated into the vertical panel on the right side of the workspace – a nice touch!
XMIND supports floating topics, notes, topic symbols and a variety of map shapes – including right and left trees and four types of organizational charts. You can also create "associated" maps – submaps connected to the main one. You can also filter the contents of your map, based on the symbols you’ve attached to its topics. You can’t filter your map based on keywords, however. For a complete list of XMIND’s features, please click here.
Curiously lacking is support for using the insert key to add new subtopics – functionality that has become a de facto standard for many mind mapping applications. Also, XMIND doesn’t seem to support file or hypertext links, a capability that its developers need to add if they want business users to take it seriously.
XMIND looks like a good, basic mind mapping tool, which I’m sure will steadily improve with time. You can download a 21-day trial version from the Mango Software website; a full license costs US$99.
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