MindManager Pro 7 introduced a handy new feature to control the appearance of map topics. Topic Styles bridge the gap between editing individual topics and Global” Map Styles which can alter an entire map.
MindManager Global Map Styles?
MindManager has long featured powerful document styling tools. You can control the appearance and layout of map by applying a Map Style. MindManager includes a good selection to get you started and they can be easily customised to create your own personal style. The images below show how changing Map Styles can totally transform a map in a click.
MindManager Map Styles are easily edited/created in the integrated template editor (right). This provides a generic map with every variety of layout, element and a tree depth control. Simply edit the elements as desired, save the new style and it’s applied to your map. You can also store Map Style to apply to any other map using a template/style organiser.
Editing an element in the Template Editor updates all elements of that type in the current map with one exception. If you’ve overridden a topic format in the map, by editing any feature (font, fill etc) manually, those changes are retained even if the map style is updated. If you “reset” a topic (CTRL+Space) it reverts to the current map style.
Topic Overrides can be applied feature by feature, or using the Format Painter tool to clone a topic features from an existing topic in a click. That’s OK on smaller maps but tends to be cumbersome when maps get large. “Painting” topic style overrides to multiple topics means visiting each one with your paintbrush. Surely there’s a better way?
Introducing MindManager 7 Topic Styles:
MindManager 7 introduces the concept of Topic Styles. They sit between the global map style & individual individual topic overrides. Unlike the Global Styles these are not tied to the topics position in the “tree hierarchy”. In the style structure diagram below editing (or importing) the Global Map Style would update the layout and all (Global) Topics. Editing the Topic Style will update all it’s “child” topics. This applies even if the topic is not displayed (in a collapsed tree) when the change is made. This is really useful as previously you relied on a visual scan, or using map filters, to find all the topics to update with the paintbrush.
Using MindManager Topic Styles:
To create a Topic Style simply edit a topic to the desired appearance. Go to Format [Tab] > Topic Style > New Style From Selected Topic. The style is created and displayed in the Topic Styles Organiser pane. You can apply styles to selected topics from the Ribbon tool fly-out or directly from the Style Organiser.
To change a topic style edit any topic to the desired appearance, select the Topic Style in the organiser and “Update style to match selection”. All dependent topics will be updated.
By default your topics are named “Topic Style 1,2,3,…” but you can rename styles in the organiser if desired.
The Free Topic Counter?
I’m not sure it was intentional but Topic Styles adds another useful feature. The organiser will show a count of the visible topics using the style. I use a “Project Topic Style” in my master map and this is a quick way to count projects. 26 as of yesterday!