The latest update for NovaMind 5 for Mac beta includes significant updates for native support of many of the exciting new features of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.
Having worked with Lion, we are very excited about the new features and underlying improvements that Apple has made to the operating system, and what that allows us to provide for you in NovaMind. We have taken the time to rework a lot of the functionality of NovaMind 5 to be a first class citizen on Lion, and whole-heartedly recommend upgrading when Lion is available.
Make the most of your screen space using the new full screen mode in Lion. NovaMind 5 has full support for switching into and out of full screen mode for a document, and hiding of the menu bar when not in use.
Learn more about full screen mode on the Apple web site.
Reopen NovaMind right where you left off – you never have to start from scratch again. NovaMind supports the new resume capabilities available in Lion, both for restarting the application and restarting the computer and resuming all applications. It also supports the option of holding the shift key down while starting NovaMind to disable opening the previously open files.
When running NovaMind 5 on earlier operating systems, we do have an auto save feature, but we had to alter a massive amount of standard behavior in order to support auto save, and while the results are adequate, the Auto Save functionality built in to Lion allows us to use the much better and more efficient automatic saving functionality. But we have gone beyond the basic auto save functionality and implemented support for Save In Place which automatically makes your files available in the Versions system to allow reverting to previous versions of the files either in their entirety or grabbing bits from old versions of the file that may be of use to you.
Versions is a new feature that charts the history of your documents, taking snapshots in time, and displaying them side by side with the latest versions in an easily browsable timeline. You can review the past iterations of your Mind Maps, restore a previous version in its entirety, or copy and paste topics from old versions to your current document.
NovaMind has full support for the versions system, and conveniently moves your inspectors and other secondary panels out of the way so you can work with the documents without distraction, while restoring from previous versions. It has also been enhanced to work with the new revert to last saved version option.
Learn more about the Auto Save and Versions features at the Apple web site.
Other Recent Updates
NovaMind 5 has always supported multiple hyperlinks per topic, but now you can also link topics to other topics either within the same Mind Map or on other Mind Maps within the same document.
This new functionality plugs in to the existing hyperlink system, and allows you to select from the topics on the Mind Map. The internal links are much better than what we had in previous versions of NovaMind because they track the destination when it is edited or grafted, and provide you with tooltips and link titles that match the current destination topic title.
New Mind Map from Topic
NovaMind 5 now supports the creation of a new Mind Map within your document (Pro and Platinum only) based on a selected topic, floating topic, or callout. It creates a new topic with the same title and information as the selected topic, as the central topic of a new Mind Map, and moves all the children topics to the new Mind Map, taking all the relevant internal links and link lines with it. Internal links are created between the original topic and the new Mind Map, allowing you to jump back and forth across the connection.
We added a context menu option to reset the formatting on a topic – this resets the shape, line, fill color, children coloring, effects, and connection lines to their default values. This is very handy when a topic has had many changes to the formatting made, or the topic was included in an import where many of the default settings were overridden, and you want to go back to the NovaMind 5 standard formatting options.
Reset Mind Map to Current Theme
Similar to the reset formatting option, we introduced the option to reset the formatting on the entire Mind Map. This is available on the theme chooser, and is very useful to go back to a “clean slate” with your Mind Map design – particularly when a file has been imported with many color and shape settings etc, and you want to convert it to work nicely with the NovaMind 5 layout system and shape defaults.
Updated NovaMind 4 Importer
Previous versions of NovaMind 5 had a NovaMind 4 importer which did not import any colors or shapes or anything beyond the basic topic information. This was so that people could work with the new NovaMind 5 layout, coloring, theme, font set, and layout controls easily, but we received a lot of feedback that indicated that many people wanted that graphical information brought across where possible so that they could work immediately with something that looked similar to their previous Mind Maps even though it would mask the powerful new features of NovaMind 5. We therefore updated the importer to import everything we can reasonably import, and added the formatting reset options mentioned above for people who will be working with the updated Mind Maps and want them to play nicely with the new layout, coloring and theme systems.
We have been improving the documentation with just about every release, and have sections covering the new Lion specific features, and have recently added several completely new sections as well as updating the documentation to reflect changes that have been made during the beta testing.
Behind the scenes
As part of the Lion update, we took the opportunity to rewrite various parts of the application that were using deprecated technologies, so that we are in a much better position moving forward. This included rewriting the entire view system for the main window and the code for resizing and repositioning the main Mind Map, outline view, and notes view, as well as the drawing of the tab bar in NovaMind Pro and Platinum.
Many of the outstanding issues have been addressed in the last few weeks, and we are moving rapidly through the wrap up of the final bugs before release. Some of the things yet to be integrated with the main build of NovaMind are reasonably involved, so getting them in and tested properly will take a little bit of time, but it’s nice to see the end in sight and the to-do list shrinking.
From now on until the release of version 5.0.0 for Mac, we will be concentrating on bug fixing and performance tuning, so there will probably be very few things to announce, but NovaMind will continue improving until we get to the Gold Master release.