XMind Mind mapping software open source – a review
Mind Mapping is a process of pictorially representing your thoughts on paper or any other medium such that you as well as others are able to track and comprehend your thoughts better. Now a days, the trend is to use a specialized software to create mind maps and export them to various file formats. There are numerous mind mapping software around, some of them open source and others propritery. XMind is one such mind mapping software which has recently been released as Open Source software. It comes in two versions – XMind and XMind Pro. The Pro version has a few additional features such as exporting your map as PDF, MSWord Doc, PowerPoint or Gantt chart.
XMind is built on top of the Eclipse platform and is plugin based. So the difference between the free XMind and the paid XMind Pro is that the latter has access to more plug-ins. Irrespective of which one you use, you can freely upload the mind maps you create to XMind repository online and share it with others.
Main features of XMind
- Double-click anywhere in the work area to create and edit nodes, even floating nodes.
- Fully functional drag-and-drop support to reorganize nodes, insert markers, map-shot or to attach files.
- Write inline notes.
- Record audio and insert it in the mind map.
- Search your topic in Google and insert images by dragging them back to the work area.
- A good collection of markers which can be used to embellish your mind maps and make them more attractive.
- Add notes, labels and hyperlinks to individual nodes.
- XMind includes numerous styles for nodes as well as themes which ensures that your mind maps are unique.
- Export your mind maps to Image, Text or HTML. To export as PDF, MSWord or PowerPoint, you need to upgrade to the Pro version of XMind.
- Truly portable. Runs in Linux, Windows and MAC OSX.
XMind is not exactly a mind blowing (pun unintended) mind mapping software. But for this unbeatable price (Free and Open Source), it includes all the basic features which will be useful for any average person in need of creating a mind map. If you need additional features, you can always upgrade to the Pro version which sells for a subscription fee of $49/year or $6/month.
Slightly on the down side, XMind being built on top of Eclipse which is in turn being developed using Java language, there is some latency in opening the XMind application. Learn more about XMind and download it from their official website.