DWF & Windows, MindManager & Word, seems like it’s the week for XML to break down barriers between users & data. Mindjet have released an extension that allows editing of MindManager maps in Microsoft Word 2007.
How? It packages required MindManager ribbon interface components, macros and complete MindManager map inside a Word XML Document which enables seamless round trip editing between MindManager 6 & Word 2007.
Why? It’s intended to make sharing and collaboration easier in a world where Word is – well, 2007 will be – on far more desktops than MindManager. I applaud this move as it will make life easier for MindManager users, like me, wanting to share map info.
Will it result in more MindManager users? Perhaps Word 2007 users will see enough to lead to a full evaluation of MindManager but I have some doubts…
Is a map a map, when it’s in Word? A unique and powerful part of the MindManager experience is the map format. Will “Word map editors” realise what they are missing editing map content in a word processor?
An outline is no match for a map! When I first used MindManager 5 I longed for an outline view that was editable as it approximated my previous preferred method of making notes – Word in outline mode. Some time later an editable outline view was introduced with MindManager 6 but I rarely use it. I adjusted and found the map format a far more fluid and efficient way to work. While you can expand & collapse outline topics easily a list view is far less visual. This suits some people and tasks but for me it lacks a vital element which makes MindManager such a powerful tool.
Does business expect conventional text formatted documents because typewriters, later word processors, are the established authoring tools rather than being the best communication solution?
Time for a different view? This extension solves the problem of editing map content without requiring MindManager. That’s one barrier broken but I feel the real problem is the need to install viewers for MindManager Map viewing. In these days of locked down corporate desktops, virus & firewall protection installing a viewer is impossible for many computer users. Perhaps the Autodesk/Microsoft move with DWFx and XPS, leveraging the Windows XPS Viewer, is something for Mindjet to consider…
If you are collaborating with Microsoft Office 2007 users full details, a video demo and free download of the extension are available on the Mindjet website;