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ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5


Reviewed:

May 15th 2007






Introduction
About ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5
Download and Installation
Using ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5
Pricing and Support
Conclusion


Introduction

Although a presentation with visual elements is more effective than a textual presentation, it comes with its own share of caveats. Mainly, visual information needs to be more well structured and organized than the equivalent text content since a disarray of information is more pronounced in the visual sphere than the textual one.

Mind maps are an effective way to organize any such information in visual form -- and ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5 can help you create the outline of your next PowerPoint presentation more effectively, as we'll explore in the rest of this page.

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About ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5

ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5 is from Computer Systems Odessa, a company based in Ukraine. You can learn more about their products, and download a trial version of ConceptDraw MINDMAP here...

With ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5, you can present processes, ideas, complicated relationships, and other concepts graphically. The program helps you present your learning material in a logical and structured way -- it also includes a comprehensive library of graphics, colors, figures and connections which helps in creating and sustaining the outline structure.

ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5 is available in two editions:

  • ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5 Professional is good for professionals, it supports a range of file formats and multi-page documents. It has extended import/export capabilities including integration with Microsoft Project and allows export to Microsoft PowerPoint. This is the version being reviewed.
  • ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5 Personal is a comprehensive tool for personal planning and organizing. It lacks the PowerPoint export and several other features,

My contact at ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5 for this review was Olga Danilina -- thank you, Olga.

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Download and Installation

Download the installer, run the setup routine and follow the instructions. You'll end up with a ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5 Professional program group in your Windows Start menu (see Figure 1 below).

Start Menu Group
Figure 1: ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5 Professional Start menu Group

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Using ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5

Follow these steps to get started with ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5:

  1. Go to your Windows Start menu and choose All Programs |ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5 Professional | ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5 Professional (see Figure 1 above).

  2. This opens ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5 Professional opening screen, as shown in Figure 2.

    ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5 Professional opening screen
    Figure 2: ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5 Professional opening screen

    Here you can select from several options including:

    • Explore the Getting Started tutorial
    • Create a mind map using a template
    • Open an existing mind map
    • Outline a new idea
    • Start creating a new mind map, etc.

  3. For this tutorial I selected the Start a mind map. option. This opens ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5 Professional interface, as shown in Figure 3.

    ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5 Professional interface
    Figure 3: ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5 Professional interface

    The ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5 Professional interface is explained below:

    1. Toolbar allows you to create/change the structure of the mind map and add or remove topics at any level of the topic hierarchy. It has ability to change the style attributes of the map also.

    2. Outline view allows you to work with a map in the workspace and see it simultaneously in outline view. All changes are simultaneously marked in the both views of the map. This working process will be very familiar to PowerPoint users.

    3. Workspace -- Here you can insert tools and other options to create structures.

    4. Floating dialogs contains six options such as symbols, cliparts, line and fill, link, task info, and note. Choose the symbols or clipart to attract attention. Objects can be easily attached to the topics of a mind map or embedded in them and can change the style attributes of the topics.

    5. Page navigator is a a floating window, where you can see the number of pages used for the project.
  1. Create the structure of your outline using the tools, symbols, clipart, etc.

  2. Once it is done save the file. Thereafter, you can export the entire mind map to a PowerPoint presentation, web page, a graphic file, etc.

    To export to a PowerPoint presentation, choose File | Export | MS PowerPoint (see Figure 4).

    Export
    Figure 4: Export Options

  3. This creates a new PowerPoint presentation containing your mind map structure, as shown in Figure 5.


    Figure 5: Exported PowerPoint Presentation

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Pricing and Support

ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5 Professional costs $199 and ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5 Personal costs $119.

Support is through email, phone and online FAQ.

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Conclusion

Although this review explores how you can use Mind Map Professional as a tool to create presentation outlines, that's merely the tip of the iceberg as far as the program's abilities go. It can do much more, and make your everyday tasks more visual oriented.

And the price:performance ratio is great too.

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