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Freeplane 1.3.15

A versatile mind mapping tool

by Mike Williams

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License: Open Source
Operating Systems: Linux, Mac OS X, Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Server, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:
Languages: English, French, German
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 27 February 2015
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 1737
Developer: Freeplane
RSS News Feed: http://sourceforge.net/api/file/index/project-id/211069/mtime/desc/limit/20/rss
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Freeplane
A versatile mind mapping tool

Freeplane is a free and open source application for organising, visualising and sharing information.

The program is a redesigned version of FreeMind, and can similarly be used to create mindmaps, although with more features and functionality.

You can use Freeplane to build regular, static mindmaps, simple charts and diagrams which structure information. At its simplest you just press Ins to add a node; customise it, with an image, text, or icon; repeat the process to add other nodes, then link and organise them as you like.

Freeplane goes further, though. This starts with smart tools to help you build better maps. So for instance conditional styling allows the program to automatically give nodes your preferred look and feel according to their hierarchical level in the map, as well as their content.

That content can be very active. You can hide information within a node, present it on demand or automatically, organise it in folding branches, and use hyperlinks everywhere to help users navigate.

Built-in calendar and reminder tools are useful for time and project management.

There's DES encryption of individual nodes or the entire map.

The program can be extended with scripts and some interesting addons.

And once you've finished, the map can be shared as an image, an HTML page, via Flash and more. (In theory, anyway: from what we saw, the exported maps didn't always bear much relation to the original.)

Verdict:

Freeplane is a capable mind mapping tool. The interface is occasionally quirky, though, and there's a lot to learn, so be prepared to invest quite some time before you're producing anything useful.

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Spektrel Art 1.0.0

Free Full Commercial Software

Spektrel Art is a stand-alone program and Photoshop plugin which transforms digital photos into "magical art that glimmers and gleams with intersecting lines of tapered light".

What does that mean? Essentially it applies a configurable mix of effects, enhancing edges, smoothing backgrounds and emphasizing colours. Take a look at the thumbnail for one example, and the official product page has more.

Spektral Art works much like any similar tool. Open an image, click one of the thumbnails to apply a particular preset, or click a few buttons and drag some sliders to fine-tune the results.

There's surprising scope for variation, too. For example, just switching from the "Light" to "Dark" theme can transform a bright and friendly image into something dark and sinister, at least in some cases (results vary depending on the source image).

Please note, the demo version doesn't allow images to be saved.

SPECIAL OFFER: as we write, the developer is offering Spektral Art for free. The offer expires August 29th. Please note that you must provide your name, address and phone number to receive your free license.

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