We recently announced the upcoming release of the NovaMind Presenter, but that was not our only goal for the NovaMind 5.4 release. As we have gone through the beta process, we have been adding more functionality to meet these goals.
How to get this beta release:
You can download it from: http://downloads.novamind.com/novamind5/mac/NovaMind540b6.dmg
The latest beta release of NovaMind 5 includes an indexing component so that your Mind Maps are fully searchable using Spotlight searches, and other applications that make use of Spotlight technology to search files. When you install the latest version, the Spotlight system will automatically detect that there is an importer available for NovaMind files, and will start indexing your NovaMind 5 files. How long this takes depends on a lot of system dependent factors. The information that is included is as follows:
- The entire text of the Mind Maps within the document, including all topic notes are indexed as the content.
- The document creator is set to be NovaMind 5 Mind Mapping Software.
- The item description is set to NovaMind 5 Mind Map document.
- The item kind is set to be a NovaMind Mind Map.
- If you have set the description in the file metadata, that is used as the comment for the item (which is also shown in the Finder info panel).
- If you have set the title in the file metadata, that it used as the headline.
- If you have set tags in the file metadata, that is used for the keywords.
- The Number of Pages in Spotlight is set to the number of Mind Maps in the document.
- The version number in Spotlight is set to the number of times you have saved the document (i.e. times you have forced a save – not autosaves).
With all this information readily available and searchable, you should be able to find your NovaMind documents quickly.
NovaMind includes support for QuickLook, so you can see your Mind Maps from within the Finder or other applications that use QuickLook thumbnail images or previews. If you have multiple Mind Maps within your document, you will be able to view them all in the preview.
The QuickLook previews will be generated for new files automatically, and if you have existing files which do not have the QuickLook preview in them, you can open them in NovaMind, wait for a couple of minutes, save and close the files, and they will have the QuickLook preview images in them.
LinkBack is a system which has been adopted by a number of Mac applications. There are two types of adoption of this technology:
- As a Server: Other applications can have a copy of the data, and when they want to update the data, the server application opens a file which allows the user to edit the data. When the user saves the data in the server application, the client application automatically gets the updated information.
- As a Client: You can paste information from a LinkBack server enabled application into your document, and then at a later time choose to edit the information in its original application. When you save the information in the other application, it is updated in your application.
NovaMind Pro and Platinum act as both a LinkBack client and a LinkBack server.
Sharing your Mind Maps with other applications (LinkBack server):
To share your Mind Map with another application that uses LinkBack, use the Copy Mind Map option, then paste it into the other application. The other application will get both an image of the Mind Map, and the entire data for the Mind Map, which it will save as part of its document. Warning: when this happens, it copies the entire Mind Map, including all images and attachments for that Mind Map, so if you have large images or large attachments, this will lead to the file in the other application growing a lot.
In the other application, if you want to edit the NovaMind document you will have a menu item allowing you to edit the link (usually either in a context menu or as an item on the edit menu). When you do this, a new document will be created in NovaMind, allowing you to edit that Mind Map. You will see in the title bar the information about the owner of the document, and when you save the document, the contents will be sent back to the other application instead of being saved as a NovaMind file.
For example, if you had an OmniGraffle diagram you were working on, and you wanted to add a Mind Map to it, you could create your Mind Map in NovaMind, use Copy Mind Map, and paste it into OmniGraffle. Then if you wanted to edit the Mind Map later, you would select it in OmniGraffle, and choose the “Edit in NovaMind5″ option from the edit menu. When you save it in NovaMind, the OmniGraffle document will be updated.
Embedding information from another application in your NovaMind document (LinkBack client):
Let’s take a similar example, but this time, you have created a document in OmniGraffle, and you want to embed it in NovaMind. You just select the objects in OmniGraffle that you want to put into NovaMind, and copy them.
Then you switch to NovaMind. If you want to paste the image of the objects you copied from OmniGraffle as a topic image or texture image for a topic, or attached shape, select the topic (without starting editing the text – i.e. it should have a blue border around it), and paste, and select the position you want it to go. If you want to paste it as an inline image in the topic title, make sure you are editing the topic text, and have selected the insertion point you want to have the image, and paste. If you want to paste it into the topic notes, set the insertion point, and paste.
Later, if you want to edit that image in OmniGraffle, you would use the context menu. If it is a topic image, then you right click it and use the context menu. If it’s a texture image, make sure you’re not editing the text, and right click on the topic and use the context menu. If it’s embedded in the topic title text, make sure you’re editing the text and right click on the image and use the context menu. If it’s embedded in the topic notes, right click the image and use the context menu.
When you save it in OmniGraffle, the image will be automatically updated in NovaMind. Note that if you have pasted the image in multiple places in your NovaMind document, all of them will be updated when you save the document in OmniGraffle.
When using LinkBack, the entire data for the other application is included in the NovaMind file, which can make the NovaMind file big, so we have included the option to remove that link if you don’t need to be able to edit it in the other application. This option will be disabled if you are already editing the link, so you would need to close it in the other application first.
Similar options would be available for other applications that use LinkBack – we just happened to use OmniGraffle as an example in this case. In particular, we are aware that some people find this option very useful for editing equations using LaTeXiT (included in MacTeX and MacTeXtras). If an application you want to use LinkBack with doesn’t support it, you could suggest that they look into it – it’s a free open source framework, which is designed to be easy to incorporate into existing applications.
Because NovaMind is both a LinkBack client and a LinkBack server, you can chain documents together to progressively build complex content by creating content in one application and pasting it into another and adding new content, then pasting all of that content into yet another application and so on. In this way, you can build complex documents and edit all the way back to the original content.
Document chaining more than a couple of levels can get quite confusing, so it’s pretty much an advanced users only option, and you probably won’t need to use it much – it’s kind of there as a side effect of the application being both a client and server for LinkBack documents.
We hope you enjoy using the new functionality and look forward to receiving your feedback.