Xmind: Customizing Mind Maps
Desktop Apps Training - Mind Maps

Lesson 4/Lesson 6


You can customize mind maps sheet properties by clicking on the background of the mind map and watching for the properties tab in the bottom right corner of the window. On the properties tab you should see the title Sheet displayed. Below this you'll see the first options for changing the background and wallpaper.

Sheet Properties in mind map


Further down are options to turn on the legend and advanced options including Multi Branch Colors and Tapered Lines.

Legendand other advanced mind mapping properties


Notice the mind map below has a different color branch for each of its lines. It also has lines that taper down naturally in line with the views of many people that say this natural appearance promotes thought and association of objects.

Debian mind map showing multi branch colors and tapered branch options'

Another set of properties you can change are that of each topic. Select a topic first and view the properties tab in the bottom right corner. Here you can change structure, text, shape, shape color, line style and line thickness options.

Mind maps topic properties


For a full makeover of your mind map try out the various theme options included with the Xmind software. Click on View --- Themes to see the options.

View Themes

This brings up the theme thumbnails in the bottom half of the window. Double clicking a theme will apply it to your mind map.

Theme thumbnails for Xmind mind map


One of the important and most powerful features of mind mapping in general is the brain's association with images rather than boring lines of text. If you want to add images to your mind map you can do so easily using Xmind. In the bottom right of the window select the Markers tab which appears to the right of the Properties tab. After selecting the topic you want to add the mage to, click on the marker image you want to insert.

Markers tab in Xmind Mind map

The marker will be added to the topic and positioned automatically.

Marker inserted into mind map


Insert your own custom image by selecting a topic and clicking Insert --- Image. Select the file you want to use and click OK. Keep in mind you can adjust the size of your image by dragging the handlers around the size. Images can be moved into place by clicking in the center of the object and dragging them around. Xmind will attempt to position the image in a friendly manner. One method I've found to work extremely well is downloading an icon set and use that as it keeps some sort of theme to your images.