XMind 2013 makes incremental improvements, maintains excellent usability

Posted on January 13th, 2014 in New Version | No Comments »

Notes: this review is from the famous mind map expert — Chuck Frey. And your can view the original article by clicking HERE.

XMind 2013
In November, mind mapping software developer XMind Ltd. launched XMind 2013 with a host of incremental improvements that make it even more versatile, but without complicating the program’s simple, easy-to-use interface. In this review, we’ll take a closer look at what’s good, what needs improvement and the program’s suitability to business needs.

Local network sharing

Most teams are forced to share mind maps by e-mailing them – or placing them in a shared directory on their local area network. In order to see if your colleagues have updated a map, you must either open it or view its properties within its folder to see if it has been updated recentlty. XMind’s brilliant solution to this challenge is to explicitly enable sharing of mind maps on your local area network. When you first use this command, XMind asks you where you want to store your maps. I selected a shared directory on my employer’s LAN. As soon as I did so, XMind saved a copy of the map I was using there. Local Network Sharing

Where this becomes a much bigger deal is what happened next: The tabbed properties panel on the right side of the workspace now displayed a new tab – displaying a thumbnail view of the map I just saved. Mousing over it displayed its creation and last modified dates. At this point in time, once a map has been shared, there is no visual indication when it is updated, such as the thumbnail image of the map displaying a flag or a change in color – which is what I’d prefer to see. In other words, once a map is displayed in your local network panel, how do you know when your colleague has updated it? By him sending you a message, I suppose. XMind 2013 uses Apple’s Bonjour service to identify other people on your network. This makes it possible to communicate with them via e-mail from within XMind. The developer says the next step will be co-editing of shared maps in real time.

This new feature is quite significant from a collaboration standpoint – because you can keep track of your shared maps without having to leave XMind. While this might not sound like much at first glance, I’ve discovered that if I can continue working within a mind mapping program and not have to jump back and forth between it and other applications, that makes me more productive. This is similar to the advent of embedded web browsers in mind mapping programs. The more you can do within a single software program, the more you can maintain your mental focus. And when you’re thinking and planning, that’s critical! Kudos to the XMind development team for thinking of this little innovation!

Export to Excel/CSV

Export ExcelXMind 2013 export to Excel and CSVNew in XMind 2013 is the ability to export the contents of your mind maps to a tabular format in Microsoft Excel. The export dialog box (see screenshot at right) gives you 3 options:

Merged cell, in which the first column contains the first-level topics, the second column contains its children, and so forth. If the second column contains 7 children, then all 7 rows belonging to its parent topic will be merged into one, with the name of the first-level topic centered horizontally.

Pivot, in which the parent topic appears in multiple rows, corresponding to the number of child topics. This is useful if you want to use the data from your map to populate a database and each column in a row must contain complete data.

Outline, in which the first top-level topic appears in the first column and then the children appear in the second column but one row lower. The visual effect is that of a hierarchical outline. This is the typical type of Excel export I’ve seen in several other mind mapping programs. It’s nice to see that XMind 2013 offers several options in addition to this one!

Finally, CSV export gives you all three options, only your map data is exported in a simplified comma-separated variable format. In other words, your map data is separated by commas so it can be imported into a variety of databases and other programs that can accept data in this popular interchange format.

XMind does a neat job of formatting the output to make it easy to understand. In the 2-level mind map I experimented with, the program inserted its central topic in row 1 of the resulting Excel spreadsheet, formatted in a larger, bold font size and a light blue background. The neat arrangement of columns made it easy to see the relationships between parent topics and their children. This is Excel export done right.

Improved export formats for Word, PDF and PowerPoint

High-quality output formats appear to be a focus of XMind 2013. In this new version, the developer has improved the formats in which exported maps are displayed in these programs. I exported a two-level mind map to Word and PowerPoint and couldn’t see much difference in the output compared to previous versions of XMind. PDF export looks exactly the same as Word export except for of course the outputted text is read-only.

SVG vector graphic export

For the first time, mind maps produced in XMind can be exported to the scalable vector graphics (SVG) file format. This exports your maps and diagrams as a collection of vector shapes, which means you can make the map larger without causing it to become distorted (which is what happens if you try to make a bitmapped image larger than its original output size and resolution). This makes it possible to print out your mind maps in any scale and to view any of its details without distortion.

New map templates

XMind 2013 has added 10 new templates, including flow chart, marketing, negotiation of sales, employee organizational chart, personal management, preparation for a conversation, Six Thinking Hats, to do list, travel plan and weight-loss program. XMind now offers a total of 22 map templates, covering many business needs and a number of personal ones.

Redesigned markers and clip art

Clip Art

XMind 2013 new clipart and markers. XMind 2013 debuts new markers and clip art that give your mind maps a more finished, professional look. I didn’t see anything wrong with the old ones, but the developer apparently felt a need to improve them in this new version of the program. XMind’s list of marker groups (icons or symbols that can be added to map topics) continues to grow, and now includes task priority, task progress, flags, stars, people, arrows, symbols, months and days of the week. The latter two are quite interesting additions to XMind – I can see them coming in useful for task and personal planning maps!

On the other hand, I’m disappointed that XMind 2013 doesn’t contain more business-specific clipart. Under the category of “office,” there are only 22 images – clearly not enough for most business needs.

User interface – no changes here

XMind 2013′s user interface hasn’t changed since the last version. XMind continues to be a holdout – one of a handful of mind mapping software developers that hasn’t adopted the by-now ubiquitous ribbon toolbar. But that’s actually not a problem with this program. When I stopped to think about it, I realized that the typical ribbon toolbar consumes up to a fourth of the typical laptop screen. XMind’s compact toolbar leaves more screen real estate for your mind maps. After reviewing several programs where “menu bloat” has become a problem, XMind’s spartan but well-designed UI is a welcome change.

Conclusion

XMind 2013 is combination of incremental usability and aesthetic improvements, but with a few big surprises thrown in – specifically, the local network map sharing and SVG export capabilities. The former does an elegant job of enabling small-team collaboration on mind maps. I can’t wait to see where the XMind development team takes this new feature, because I believe it has a lot more potential.

SVG export is most useful to graphic artists and visual thinkers. I’ve often been stymied when trying to output mind maps into bitmapped graphical formats for publication in this blog: Detail tends to get lost in larger, more complex mind maps. Also, if I don’t select the right file dimensions for my blog, I must go through the export process multiple times until I get an image size and resolution that’s satisfactory. Exporting to a rich vector format like SVG eliminates this problem – I can make my map images as big or as small as I want, without any loss in resolution or detail. Nice!

The basic version of XMind 2013, which can produce a variety of mind map and diagram formats and can do local network sharing, is a free download from the XMind website. Paid “plus” and “pro” versions are also available, each with unique feature sets that are suited to different types of users. For the business user, your best bet is the US$99 XMind 2013 Pro. A subscription package is also offered. To view the full XMind product comparison chart, please click here.

XMind 2013 is Here

Posted on November 7th, 2013 in New Version | 23 Comments »

XMind 2012 is very good at clarifying thinking and managing complex information. And we’re proud for delivering you this exceptional innovation and productivity tool. However, new challenges come within the past year, and they require more excellent mind mapping software. After long time design and implementation, XMind 2013 (v 3.4.0) official version is finally ready now.

Previsous LogoAs a new milestone, XMind 2013 has 11 new features and 16 meaningful improvements. Also, it is more stable, especially when we fixed most of the known bugs. Along with XMind 2013, we release the logo of XMind. It means that the new rebranding process. In the future, we engage to bring you the more elegant and professional mind mapping tool for business and life. Here, we invite you to take a quick glance of the new XMind together.

More Templates & New Style

XMind 2013 has added 10 new templates, like Six Thinking Hats, Travel Plan, Negotiation of Sales, and etc. The new templates prove that XMind can not only improve our creativity and productivity on the business, but also organize our everyday life. When we design the mind map, the redesigned markers and “Clip Art” makes us access a more elegant and uniform style. And the new style editor makes it step further by choosing a built-in style you like or create your own.

New Templates New Marker New Clip Art

Local Network Sharing

The effective collaboration is the key to team success. Working with the XMind 2013, the local network sharing supports us to share mind maps by one clicking, review our teammates’ mind maps in one place and download the selected XMind files for further editing. More important, the shared mind maps will update automatically, and we can send messages with essential instructions within XMind.

Local Network Sharing

Brand New Export Feature

Mind map is good at innovating and organizing ideas, but it’s not the universal format. And XMind always engages to break the boundary. For the first time, we can export our XMind file to SVG (in vector) and spreadsheet. By exporting to SVG, it is available to print our mind map in any scale and check any details without distortion. And exporting to the spreadsheet brings us a different perspective for new insights. More important, we can review all task information in one place.

Except for the new export options, we’re pleased to inform you that the export to Word/PDF/PPT has been improved. The overall style of the exported file has been redesigned, and catalog can be created to display the whole layout. More important, XMind can now export to Word, PPT and Excel on all platforms (Mac, Windows and Linux), even if there is no MS Office software.

Export to spreadsheet Export to SVG Export to Office on Mac Improved Export to Word/PDF/PPT

Manage XMind files Easily

Maybe we’ve created many XMind files, and many of they have the related content. For this case, we can  merge the sheets of 2 workbooks  perfectly. Then, the files can organized in a better way. Also, we can use the “reduce file size” feature to delete the revisions and preview images quickly.

So many other changes are waiting for you. And now, it is your turn to start off for a new mind mapping journey.

Download XMind 2013

New Branding

Posted on November 7th, 2013 in New Version, Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Old Logo

The current XMind Logo has existed for more than 5 years. Within these years, it has been seen by more than 13,000,000 people all over the world, and helped 2,000,000 of them  to get familiar to XMind. The firstly inspiration of the logo is from a running man, which is full of energy and ready to start off.

After these years, XMind has been more and more powerful year by year. It isn’t the basic mind mapping tool any more, but the most popular mind mapping software in the hearts of our many users. We don’t want it look like somewhat outdated. And we wish to it can focus on the mind mapping again and lead a revolution.

Previsous Logo

Finally, we decided to redesign the logo and spent about half a year to implement. Now the brand new logo of XMind has been ready. It has flat design, without any redundant decoration. It looks like more fresh and pure. The lean design makes it elegant and vivid. For Mac, it corresponds with Mac long term design mode, and the lead design makes it similar to the applications like Safari, Map etc. For windows, it has modern design and fits Windows 8. More important, it stands for that we will focus on mind mapping further and strive to bring you the better mind mapping tool.

The brand new logo of XMind will be launched with XMind 2013 released. So do you like the new logo?

XMind 2013 Beta 2

Posted on October 3rd, 2013 in New Version | 13 Comments »

After more than one year’s hard working, XMind 2013 beta 2 is finally coming, which will be a new milestone of XMind’s history. It is so powerful and professional for local networking collaboration, exporting to universal format, making a beautiful mind map and etc. Now, join us and get a sneak peek of the brand new XMind.

1. Local Network Sharing (huge new feature)

It has been designed to share XMind files within the local networking area in a creative and productive way. It’s really a huge new feature, costing our one year to ship. Working with it, we can interact with out colleagues by sharing our mind maps with one clicking. And XMind can save the modifications to the shared mind map. More important, we can send messages to particular persons within the local networking area in a friendly and creative way. Of course, we can also check the shared mind maps of other by double clicking the target one in the Local Network Sharing view. What an amazing thing is that this important new feature is totally free. You can find more details about this important new feature from Local Network Sharing.

Local Network Sharing

2. Export to Microsoft Excel/CSV

For the first time, we can export our XMind files to Microsoft Excel and CSV. By this way, we can get a totally different perspective. Firstly, we can quickly overview the ideas and the task information within one single page. Secondly, we can better focus on the ideas without visual noise. At the same time, organizing the ideas can be easier and faster. More important, XMind has prepared 3 different layouts of the datasheet for different situations.

Excel/CSV

3. Export to SVG (in vectors)

Exporting mind map to the image, we may find it blurred when we zoom in. But now we can check and print the mind map at any scale as you like by exporting to SVG. By this way, we can check the details of our mind map in a clearer view.
SVG

4. New marker

The new XMind has a totally different marker design. Firstly, we’ve redesigned the markers for a uniform style and we’ve added some new markers, like People, Arrows, Symbols and Month and Week. More important, the marker can resize automatically to fit the topic font for better presentation.

New Markers

5. New Clip Art

“Clip Art”  has taken the place of “Gallery” and it is a metaphor to the big changes. Actually, we’ve redesigned all pictures for a fresh look so that we can express our mind more concise and precise. And the new “Clip Art” has more images than the original one. More important, we can import our own images for further usage by just dragging and dropping them into the “Clip Art” view. Also, people can collapse and expand the different section freely.

Clip Art

6. New templates
XMind can not only be used for business analysis, but also organizing our everyday life. The newly added templates of XMind 2013 Beta 2 has proven. Working with the new template of six thinking hats, we can get a comprehensive and clear view of the situation quickly and effectively. However, we can also enjoy our vocation with a wonderful and creative travelling plan.

New Templates

7. Export to Microsoft Word/PPT/Excel on Mac OS X (huge new feature)
Exporting to Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel is finally available on all supported platforms (Windows, Mac and Linux), even though there is no MS Office installed. This is a great break-through and we’re thrilled to recommend you giving it a try.

Export to Office on Mac

The new features also includes……

  • Print the whole workbook
  • Import from Microsoft Word
  • Merge XMind Workbooks
  • New style editor to design styles
  • Reduce file size

Improvements

Except for the new features, XMind 2013 beta 2 has also got some important improvements.

  • Improved Export to Word/PPT/PDF/HTML
  • Export to PDF(Map) in vector graphics
  • The way to add external file
  • Improved relative hyperlink
  • Shortcut to switch within different sheets (Ctrl + Page Up/ Page Down for windows; Ctrl + Fn + Up/ Down for Mac)
  • Focus on the topic in Gantt View synchronously
  • The order of markers in a topic is as same as the order in marker view.

Fixed-bugs

At the same time, most of the known bugs of XMind 2012 have been fixed. And I just list some of them below:

  • XMind fails to launch after upgrading to Java 7.
  • Menu bar is invisible when pressing “Esc” key to quit the Brainstorming or Presentation mode on Mac OS X.
  • XMind fails to open the file on Mac OS X with Java 7 when the file name contains non-ASCII characters.
  • The hyperlink will be exported into recognizable code.
  • XMind fails to locate to the collapsed topic when double-clicking it within the search view.
  • Italic font can’t display correctly on Mac.
  • There is no hyperlink information of the notes when exporting to Word or PPT.
  • File with non-ASCII characters in name will show “?” in recent opened file list.
  • XMind crashes when we close the internal browser

PS: For Mac users, we’re sorry to say that the “Info.plist” file of XMind 2013 beta 2 has been written XMind 3.3.1 wrongly, but not XMind 3.4.0b2. It’s our mistake, leading XMind displays the incorrect build number by selecting “Finder/Get Info”. But we will fix it so that it won’t appear again in XMind 2013 stable version.

Now its your turn to try the more powerful and professional XMind.Please download XMind 2013 Beta 2 package and post your questions in the Support Center so that we can find and fix them faster.

GOOD NEWS: Buy XMind now and upgrade to XMind 2013 for free!

Posted on September 4th, 2013 in New Version | 100 Comments »

To appreciate your support and trust, we’ve made an important decision. Everyone, who buys XMind now, can upgrade to XMind 2013 for free, which will be public in the near future.

After one year’s hard working, XMind 2013 is finally coming. Compared with the current edition, XMind 2013 is more powerful and professional on collaboration, presentation and integration. It has 1o new features and 11 important improvements. Also, we’ve fixed most of the known bugs of the current edition.

The local network sharing, exporting to CSV/Excel, exporting to Word/Excel/PPT on Mac, exporting to SVG and redesigned markers are huge features and we’ve spent much time to ship. But we believe all of the effort is worthy because it’s really amazing. And we’ve taken it as the biggest upgrade of XMind throughout history.

PS:

  • If your order is from 1st September (GMT), our background system will send you the update news automatically once XMind 2013 is ready.
  • XMind 2012 Pro can upgrade to XMind 2013 Pro and XMind 2012 Plus can upgrade to XMind 2013 Plus, but XMind XMind 2012 Plus can’t upgrade to XMind 2013 Pro.

For more details of XMind 2013, please refer to: Get A Sneak Peek of XMind 2013.

Get a Sneak Peek of XMind 2013

Posted on September 2nd, 2013 in New Version | 74 Comments »

After one year hard work, we’re so glad to say that XMind 2013 Beta version is coming. And we’ve taken it as the biggest upgrade of XMind throughout history. We have the reason to believe that it will be amazing for you. Would you like to get a sneak peek of it with me?

1. Local Network Sharing (huge new feature)

It has been designed to share XMind files within the local networking area in a creative and productive way. It’s really a huge new feature, costing our one year to ship. Working with it, we can skip the emails and don’t need to notify the collaborators to update their files. We just need to share our mind map with few steps and leave the rest to XMind. XMind will guarantee that the shared files will always be the latest ones. More important, we can send messages to particular persons within the local networking area in a friendly approach. All of the shared mind maps have been listed at the local network sharing view panel, and can be opened by double clicking the target ones. What an amazing thing is that this important new feature is totally free.
Local Network Sharing

2. Export to Microsoft Excel/CSV

In XMind 2013, we can export our XMind files not only into Word/PDF/PPT, but also into Microsoft Excel and CSV. By exporting XMind files into the spreadsheet, we can get a totally different perspective. Firstly, we can quickly overview the ideas and the task information within one single page. Secondly, we can better focus on the ideas without visual noise. Thirdly, we can better move the ideas and organize them. At last, XMind has supplied 3 different layouts for the presentation as we like.

Excel/CSV

3. Export to SVG (in vectors)

When exporting XMind files into the images, we may find that it may become blurred when we zoom in. But now we can check and print the mind map at any scale as you like when exporting the file into SVG. By this, we can check any tiny details of our mind.
SVG

4. New marker design and more markers

Compared with the original version, XMind has a totally different marker design and more markers. The new markers have a uniform and brand new style. More important, the marker can resize automatically to fit the topic font for better presentation.

New Markers

The new features also includes……

  • Export to Microsoft Word/PPT/Excel on Mac OS X (huge new feature)
  • Print the whole workbook
  • Import from Microsoft Word
  • Merge XMind Workbooks
  • New style editor to design styles
  • Reduce file size

Improvements

Except for the new features, we’ve also achieved many important improvements of XMind 2013.

  • Improved Export to Word/PPT/PDF/HTML
  • Export to PDF(Map) in vector graphics
  • The improvements also includes……
  • Gallery renamed to “Clip Art”
  • The way to add external file
  • Improved relative hyperlink
  • Shortcut to switch within different sheets (Ctrl + Page Up/ Page Down for windows; Ctrl + Fn + Up/ Down for Mac)
  • Focus on the topic in Gantt View synchronously
  • Make each marker group an expandable section in Markers view
  • Automatic resize marker to fit topic font
  • The order of markers in a topic is as same as the order in marker view.

Fixed-bugs

At the same time, most of the known bugs of the original version have been fixed. And I listed some of them below:

  • XMind fails to launch after upgrading to Java 7.
  • Menu bar is invisible when pressing “Esc” key to quit the Brainstorming or Presentation mode on Mac OS X.
  • XMind fails to open the file on Mac OS X with Java 7 when the file name contains non-ASCII characters.
  • The hyperlink will be exported into recognizable code.
  • XMind fails to locate to the collapsed topic when double-clicking it within the search view.
  • Italic font can’t display correctly on Mac.
  • There is no hyperlink information of the notes when exporting to Word or PPT.
  • File with non-ASCII characters in name will show “?” in recent opened file list.

The above is the simple introduction of XMind 2013. Now it’s your turn to check it.

Please DOWNLOAD XMINd 2013 beta package from here.

The New website, The New Dawn

Posted on September 2nd, 2013 in New Version | 1 Comment »

New Webstie
The brand new website of XMind has just been released last weekend. Compared with the original one, it has a totally appearance and content. Within the last year, we’ve been keeping working hard to bring you a brand new XMind. More important, the new website will only be the starting point of this campaign.

The new website has a fresh theme, clearer layout, and friendly user experience. To make the reading process more fluent, we’ve deleted many decoration elements and hidden much useless information to highlight the important messages. And the background color has been changed into “white”, which is more suitable for reading. You may have found that the images have been totally redesigned, which has an uniform style and better color assortment.

Except for the appearance, we’ve reconsidered the question what XMind is? At last April, XMind was highlighted as the most popular mind mapping software by Lifehacker.com with thousands of volunteers’ votes. And there are millions of people, like you and me, who’re using XMind to clarify thinking, manage complex information, run brainstorming and get work organized all over the world.

After all, our one and only purpose is to explain XMind better with less words. By this way, every visitor can get a better view of XMind without information overload.

Here, we would love to send you a warm “thank you” for your support all the way and we will never take it as granted.  At last, would you love to join us and share your valuable ideas about the new website?

The New XMind 2012

Posted on December 25th, 2012 in New Version | 28 Comments »

Merry Christmas and Happy new year! Today, XMind 2012 SE (v3.3.1) is ready for you, which brings a few new features, and many bugs-fix, improvements.

New things in XMind 2012 SE

  • Korean Language pacakge. Now, XMind has English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, German, Japanese, Korean, French, Spanish, Danish, and Slovenian version.
  • Auto-update support on Windows and Max OS X.
  • View/clear activation information in the license dialog.

Bugs fix and Improvement

  • Upgrade to Eclipse 3.8.1
  • Increase the file saving speed tremendously
  • Re-designed “New…” Tab
  • Drag the file/folder into XMind as a local file hyperlink
  • File hyperlink pointing to a location in local area network is regarded as a broken relative link.
  • Some bugs causing startup crash on Windows.
  • Pressing ‘Enter’ key to type literal words using some input methods finishes topic title editing on Mac OS X.
  • Hyperlink in notes causes failure of exporting to Mindjet MindManager.
  • Debian package contains ‘bad permission’ files.
  • Automatically recover to original state in case of failure to save a .xmind file.
  • Many other minor improvements and bugs fix.

Download the New XMind 2012!

XMind Special Christmas Offer

For Christmas, XMind also prepares a special offer. USD199 ONLY, for 3 licenses of XMind Pro 2012 + 2-Year upgrade service (original price is USD414). And, only one week left now.
End on 2012-12-31, Hurry up!

XMind v3.2.1 is ready

Posted on November 23rd, 2010 in Featured, New Version | 4 Comments »

November 22, 2010 — — XMind Ltd today announced the new XMind update, v3.2.1, with some good improvements and a few fixed bugs.

  • Brandnew dictionary management in Preferences page lets spell check work better.
  • The special XMind version for Japan serves Japanese users.
  • Improved French and Spanish UI translation is waiting for French or Spanish speaking users.
  • XMind Pro can work offline now. (expect uploading map of course.)
  • The signin process in XMind is enhanced much.
  • Fix a shortcut bug (Ctrl+Alt+N).
  • Fix a paste bug on Mac OS X. Now, paste multiple-line content into XMind, and every line would be a topic.
  • And some other improvements.

Would like to know more? Please download and find them out yourself.

XMind Introduces New Version

Posted on September 16th, 2010 in Featured, New Version, XMind Basic | 16 Comments »

September 15, 2010 — — XMind Ltd today announced the new XMind, packed with great new features including New TaskInfo view, Home Map setting, Overview View, French language support, Spanish language support, Office 2010 support on Windows, Unlisted Sharing, Fit Map and Brand new Gallery — all combined in this most powerful XMind.

This new version also features up to the most stable XMind and brings hundreds of improvements and fixed bugs.

Download the best XMind now