Thursday, September 4, 2008

Review of Innovationgear's MindVisualizer - mind mapping software

I am a retired Teacher-Librarian. I have used over the last several years many mind mapping software programs. One of the most recent software programs that I have been using and comparing with other available software is Innovationgear's MindVisualizer - mind mapping software. The web page for their software is . Among the various features that are very helpful for students and teachers who are creating mind maps are the ease and almost intuitive understanding that MindVisualizer has of what I might want to do, and editing mind maps that are already being worked on.

I have included some examples of mind maps created with MindVisualizer Standard edition in this review. From these one can see that the program gives a clear, orderly structured visual presentation of whatever topic one chooses to brainstorm and work on. The ability to easily edit one's map and change info in the branches – main, child and siblings - is very helpful and stress-free. This includes adding or modifying text layout, font, font/branch colour, order or branches, numbering of branches or not and adding floating text and images if desired. One very useful feature is the ability to just click your mouse on the + icon under each branch so as to include another branch at an equal or subsequent level. Another feature that really enhances one's use of MindVisualizer is the freedom to move branches around and reposition them on your map; when this is done, the repositioned map automatically takes on the new number of its new position. Trust me: NOT ALL MIND MAP PROGRAMS DO THIS AT ALL or EASILY!! The clarity of the finished product, both in viewing and in print, is aesthetically pleasing and instructionally useful.

Other features that are positive aspects of MindVisualizer are its export and import abilities. The mind map created can be saved and either printed as a single or multi-page map or as an outline; it can also be exported to many types of programs: as a pdf, to Microsoft Office as a Word doc , a Powerpoint presentation, an Excel spreadsheet, an rtf. Also the same can be exported to OpenOffice as a document or a spreadsheet. It can also be exported as an outlined plain text file. Or if one wishes the mind map can be exported as any one of a variety of image types: jpeg, png, gif or Bmp. The quality of printed images can be changed to three different intensities and sizes, depending on the RAM in one's computer.

There are a couple of features that I hope will be changed or included in future releases: the ability to use an image that one imports not just at the left, right, bottom or top of text in the mother or central topic but as a background to the text, or as a background to the whole mind map with the ability to make the image transparent. I would also very much like to be able to export mind maps to my iPod – not just as images but as a slideshow and also export them to my pocket PC or Windows Mobile device using Pocket Mindmap and exporting it as an xml file. Another desirable item that should be included in a future version would be the ability to coyp and paste Unicode text into the mind map – either on a branch or free floating and have it recognized as look like it should.

I shall continue to discover other features and add comments on this blog site of mine as I learn and use MindVisualizer even more.

Here are some examples of some Mind maps I've created using MindVisualizer. Try the link to get a trial of the program for yourself and you too can become a MindVisualizer convert!

David Young []

Happy and Successful Mind mapping with Innovationgear's MindVisualizer - mind mapping software

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