FreeMind is a free mind mapping tool used to create diagrams of visually map information branching out from the central concept. Information is stored in text boxes, called "nodes". Nodes are connected together using curved lines called "edges."
FreeMind can be used for brainstorming and conceptualizing, where you have ideas you need to put down, structure, expand and connect. It also works as a tree editor. FreeMind is also useful for organizing, linking and integrating thoughts and keeping track of all things that are involved in completing a task.
This software is written in Java and supports Unicode.
FreeMind can be used:
- to plan and manage projects including subtasks, state of subtasks and time recording
- as an alternative to a tabbed notebook
- as a personal information manager
- to perform internet research
- to help in writing essay and brainstorming ideas
- to keep a collection of small or middle-sized notes which expands as needed, also known as knowledge-base
- to keep a small database of something with structure that is either very dynamic or not known in advance
- to manage commented internet favorites and bookmarks
FreeMind is designed primarily for editing mind maps therefore it is able to view data coming from various data sources.
The standard file format used by FreeMind is the mm format. This format is supported by many other applications and is an XML text format consisting of tagged objects.
Rich features in nodes:
- Decorate nodes with built-in icons
- You can insert an image in nodes. Supported formats are PNG, JPEG and GIF
- Nodes can have different colors
- You can have graphical links connecting node to another with different color and different routing
- Nodes can contain followable links to email addresses, web pages, local folders, executables or any document on your local computer
- Nodes can have different font style, families and size
- Two different node styles can be used: Fork and Bubbled
- You can have clouds with custom colors. Clouds are well suited for highlighting a region and highlighted are the node and all its descendants
- Nodes can be positioned freely and also folded (hidden) or unfolded (unhidden)
- You can emulate labelled edges
- Multiline nodes and short multiline nodes with newlines
- You can move nodes around using drag and drop
FreeMind has a search tool that allows you to search text across nodes (single and multiple) or the whole map.
Mind maps can be exported as HTML, PNG, JPEG, SVG, or XML format. You can import folder structure, in node context menu and Internet Explorer favorites into FreeMind. You can paste maps or branches into any application that understands rich text format such as Microsoft Word or Outlook messages.
FreeMind supports online visualization. You can put FreeMind applet to your website using the Browse mode. Browsing is the only thing you can do in a FreeMind applet.