I have been looking at this program for several months. I am just an average 'joe", yet I find this a most useful program for me. I use it mapping Bible subjects and it more than suffices. My problem is remembering all the commands and using them. Thanks for a great program!
Every time I try to make a mind map, I try using this or FreeMind (both kindred spirits). Every time, I end up utterly frustrated at the user interface, and going to find some other tool instead. There seems to be a rich supply of features, but even simple operations are a challenge. Cutting everything back to basics would be a huge improvement.
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Sadly, I must also report that Freeplane only looks like a wonderful program, with many features I've been trying to find in a single app. In reality, it is a complete mess that has only left me extremely frustrated and angry at the Freeplane Community for thinking its even slightly acceptable to dump such garbage on an unsuspecting and trusting public, even for Open Source!!! Frankly, it qualifies as abusive. Due to the supposed potential of its features, I literally spent 6 hours trying to learn it using its outdated, incorrect, and often confusing Tutorial. I only made it half way through the Tutorial, and I still feel like I don't have a handle on even basic features due to the mess this App is in. The fun begins with Many Dead Links on the Freeplane Support web pages and continues straight into the Map they use for their Tutorial. Straight away, you're met by a Giant Dead Node labeled "Functions Index" that links to a file that can't be found anywhere in Freeplane's Documentation when you look for it separate from the link. Then, you're blessed with the absence of simple universally accepted logic for how the App works. For example, you can't Click and Drag to choose multiple items. Instead, it doesn't matter what Key you add to clicking and dragging -- the Command, Option, or Shift Key all result in the same action of moving the Map around the screen. Control+Click pulls up the Contextual Menu that Right Clicking does. What a frustrating waste of high value Key+Click Commands. Simple tasks like Deletion and Undo are so stupidly designed, they're still a mystery in many cases, even after my 6 hours of Tutorial-based learning. The word "Delete" doesn't even exist in their Key Word Searchable Help Topics. Nor is there a Menu Option anywhere for Delete. Instead, it's named, "Remove Node", and the Key Command doesn't work. Click on a Node to delete it and only the text is deleted. Try and Undo this and you have to click outside the Node before Undo works to restore the text. Click on the Node's handle to Delete, nothing happens. In fact, the only way to Delete a Node outside the Edit Menu is to use the Cut Command with Command+X -- very dangerous and problematic. Child Node Creation is Menu Dependent as well. Seriously?!!! What nonsense!!! The Properties Panel is also a complete Mess!! Options are no longer Named as Instructed, and the Logic is Confusing. All I wanted to figure out was how to create an evenly spaced list of Nodes with a Similar Style. No way of automatically spacing them out without being tied to very ugly and unusable side effects. The following are just a sampling of additional commands you are told to use that don't do as they say. Sadly, I didn't start the list when it first started happening, so know that there are plenty more to be found in the first half of the Tutorial alone! Moving a connected node in space - Double Clicking oval handle does NOT move node to its original place. Automatic Edge Color - Option does not exist in Properties Panel. Missing - How to evenly space out a Group of Nodes. Free Floating Node Creation - Control+Click (as in one Instruction) and Control+Double Click (as in another Instruction) do NOT create this type of Node. You either have to use the Edit Drop-Down Menu, or create your own Short-Cut Key (Thank God for that feature ability - a True Blessing in this mess!) Free Floating Node Child Creation - Menu dependent, at best. Keeping CTRL pressed while choosing Add Connector does not enable the addition of a Label to the Connector Line Scrolling and panning the map - You CANNOT pan the map with Ctrl+Shift+Curcor up/down/left/right. You CAN with a Mouse Wheel for up/down andr Shift+Mouse Wheel left right. Bottom Line... the Freeplane Community should be ashamed of itself. For something like this to exist is the entire Community's fault, not just one individual's. Freeplane is the type of project that gives Open Source a Bad name!! Thanks for stealing a day of my life for nothing! ---------- UPDATE: Dimitry replied with, "If you want me to change anything please use a classic way and report what you believe to be a bug or inproper documentation. Regards. ---------- Dimitry is clearly committed to preventing other Newcomers from having horribleexperiences. (sarcasm)
Its with great disappointment that I am writing this review. Freeplane is an excellent program no doubt, a kind of which is unparalleled. But freeplane developers do not show any consideration for the Open source and Free software community, especially for GNU/Linux. I am seeing this from many years. Freeplane is giving utmost preference to Windows and Mac platforms. Its as if they are being supported by Microsoft or Apple. Why this betrayal with GNU/Linux community. We love Freeplane but you are betraying our love and running after false love towards Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac, even though they don't give a damn about you. Why are you making it so difficult for GNU/Linux users to install Freeplane? The freeplane we get in Software manager is of very old versions. Why do you betray us? Can't you produce binaries for GNU/Linux like that you produce for Windows and Mac. At least can't you give PPA for us to install manually. WHY DO YOU HATE GNU/LINUX? Freeplane should get more than 5 stars, no doubt. But the pain and agony that comes with the feeling of being betrayed again and again has made me give 1 star. In fact I didn't want to give any stars to them.
Potentially good product, but even though I selected English during the installation process, it ignored the selection and gave me Japanese! And now, there seems to be no way to switch to English. So as is, Freeplane is completely useless. Assuming the user's native language is the same as the computer's locale settings is not very bright. Please fix this bug. Then I could actually evaluate the software.
I was not impressed with the "automatic" language selection at start up, during install I said "english" but still it managed to "automatically" set my language to norwegian, AND ONE OF THE CRAPPIEST TRANSLATIONS OF IT AS WELL. Obviously no quality control there. Just because I live in norway means that I want norwegian as the "language of choice" on the software I use. If I say "English" during install i want "ENGLISH", and i really do not want a language setting done by an idiot that does not know how to translate "Preferences" correctly (its "preferanser" btw).