The Mind Map SmartPanel lets you brainstorm more freely by putting all the tools you need to build your mind map at your fingertips.
Use the Build buttons on the SmartPanel to add shapes in the direction indicated on each button.
Alternatively, you can use the yellow SmartAction Buttons to add shapes in the direction of the yellow arrows or use Ctrl + any of the arrow keys to quickly build your mind map.
Change the Style of Shapes
By default, mind map shapes are simple rectangles. You can also create a mind map using boxes with an icon or a box with an icon and a dividing line. Simply select the style in the SmartPanel to add to your mind map. To change the style of an existing shape already in your drawing area, select the shape and click on the style you want to change it to.
Draw a Dotted Line
Drawing a dotted line lets you connect ideas on different branches of the mind map. Click the "Draw Dotted Line" button on the SmartPanel and your cursor will turn into a pencil. Touch the cursor to the edge of one shape so you can see black connection points around it and then drag it to the edge of the other shape you want to connect it to until you see a white anchor symbol appear letting you know if you let go of the mouse, the line will connect the two shapes.
You can use the Delete command on the SmartPanel or click on a shape and hit the Delete key on your keyboard. Please note that deleting a shape will also delete all child shapes attached to that shape.
Create a Trello Card
You can easily create a Trello card for any item on a mind map. Brainstorm and run meetings using a mind map and make them actionable with Trello.
Start by clicking the Create Trello Card button.
You'll be asked to login and connect SmartDraw with Trello.
Once connected, you can choose any board, select the lane the task belongs on, and assign team members.
Once connected, you'll see a small Trello icon in the lower right of your mind map shape.
Clicking the icon will take you to the card in Trello.
You can also link any shape in your mind map to an external URL or file. Select the shape and click on the Add Hyperlink button. Enter a URL and click OK. You'll now see a small hyperlink icon appear in the lower right corner of your shape. Clicking it will take you to your selected website.
To remove the hyperlink, select the shape again, click on Add Hyperlink and remove the URL there and hit OK.
Change the Icon for a Shape
The default mind map icon used in any icon-styled mind map shapes is a pencil. You can change this using the Change Icon command on the SmartPanel. If your shape is currently not set to have an icon, using the Change Icon command will add one. You can also remove all icons by choosing the no icon image at the very top of the options.
View as a Gantt Chart
You can turn any mind map into a Gantt chart with just a click. Click on the View as Gantt Chart button in the SmartPanel. This will create a new Project Chart layer for your document and turn your ideas into tasks with some default due dates.
Doing so will show you the Gantt Chart SmartPanel with all the commands available to build and add to your Gantt chart like adding dependencies, changing due dates, adding milestones, and more. You can learn about building Gantt Charts using that SmartPanel here.
Any changes you make in the Gantt chart view will be reflected in the Mind map view and vice versa. To switch back to the Mind Map view click the View as Mind Map button on the SmartPanel or use the Mind Map and Project Chart layers at the bottom of your drawing area to toggle back and forth.
Create a Sub-Map
You can create a linked mind map by clicking the Create Sub-Map button. This will open a new page in your document where you can draw another mind map linked to the original. The link will be created on the shape that was selected when you click the button. This is a good way to organize complex projects and ideas.
Change Chart Direction
You can change the direction of your mind map using the Chart Direction drop down. Choose between Horizontal and Vertical.
Turning AutoStyle On and Off
By default, when you build a mind map, each level of ideas is represented with a different color chosen from the current theme for the drawing. If you prefer to set your own colors or prefer that the colors of boxes remain unchanged no matter what level they're on, uncheck the Use AutoStyle option.
Displaying SmartAction Buttons
The SmartAction buttons are the yellow arrows that appear as you hover over any box in your mind map. Click a yellow arrow in the direction you want to add a new idea and SmartDraw will automatically add the currently selected style of box and connect it with an automatic connector to the previous idea.
You can turn these buttons off by unchecking the SmartAction Buttons option in your SmartPanel.
When you add shapes to your mind map, SmartDraw uses its Intelligent Formatting Engine to make sure that shapes are automatically spaced evenly apart. You can adjust this spacing manually using the controls at the bottom of the SmartPanel. Change the vertical and horizontal spacing independently.
To adjust the spacing between two branches of ideas without affecting the rest of your map, you can use the controls on the lines connecting the boxes: green hollow circles. Just click on the controls and drag them in the direction you want to add or reduce space.
The black squares adjust the horizontal and vertical spacing uniformly for the entire branch.
You can also accomplish the same effect using the green arrow controls inside each shape.
Import and Export Your Mind Map
Instead of building your mind map manually, you can create it automatically by importing a tab delimited csv or text file.
Click on Import from File in the SmartPanel to either build your entire mind map from the imported data or simply append data to the selected shape.
Here's an example of the formatting needed for generating a Mind Map from data:
You can also export your mind map as a text file using the command to Export as Text File on the SmartPanel.
To read the full tutorial on making a mind map with SmartDraw visit our mind map how to guide: