Astah Mind Maps and Microsoft Office Tools

A Mind Map is a diagramming technique for taking notes and visualizing thoughts and objectives using a radiant structure. For Software Development Mind Maps are a very effective way to gather Requirements from users and focus on primary factors while exploring the user wish.

Below we will introduce you to some of the abilities of Astah, like exporting Mind Maps into documentation, and importing documentation into Mind Maps.

Mind Mapping is available in Astah Professional.

Mindmap Diagram

Save your Mind Map as image

  1. Go to [Tool] - [Export Image] in the Main Menu
  2. Choose which format you want to save as from the list.
  3. Choose where you would like to save the image
  4. Input a name for the image then click [Save]

Mindmap Diagram

Notes

  • Formats that you can choose to save as are: PNG, JPEG, EMF and SVN.
  • Saving as PNG format is recommended if you want to use it as an image since PNG compresses the image better.
  • Saving as EMF format is recommended if you want to use the image for office tools as EMF format can stay clear without loss when being resized.

Copy your Mind Map image to Clipboard

  1. Select topics that you would like to copy. (Go to [Edit] - [Select All] in Main Menu if you would like to copy the whole Mind Map.)
  2. Go to [Edit] - [Copy to Clipboard] in the Main Menu. You can choose which format you want to use: BMP, PNG or EMF.
  3. You can paste it in office tools such as Excel, Word and PowerPoint by [Edit] - [Paste] or [Paste Special].

Mindmap Diagram

Notes

The following Short-Cut Keys may come in handy

  • [Ctrl+A] : Select all topics (meaning whole Mind Map) at once
  • [Ctrl+Alt+C] : Copy (BMP, PNG format)
  • [Ctrl + V] : Paste in an office tool

Try copy & pasting Mind Maps into EMF format for office tools

Pasted images in EMF format will stay sharp even after the size has been changed. Also by ungrouping the image, each object can be taken apart so you are able to modify topic branches and text individually.

Paste images from other tools to a Mind Map

Mindmap Diagram

There are two ways to paste images: either pasting an image specifically where you want it to be in a Mind Map, or inside of a particular topic.

Pasting an image specifically where you want it to be:

  1. Copy an image you want to use to Clipboard.
    (Choose an image and go to [Edit]-[Copy] or [Ctrl+C] to copy in most tools)
  2. Open a Mind Map then do NOT select any topics in Mind Map.
    (Click on space in the Diagram Editor where there are no topics)
  3. Go to [Edit] - [Paste] in Main Menu or use [Ctrl+V] to paste the image.
  4. You can resize the image by dragging one of the corners of image. By holding the [Shift] key down, you can resize while maintaining the aspect ratio.

Pasting image into particular topic:

Note: Images you insert this way will be transferred with topics when they are moved and also be invisible with topics when they are cut with [Alt + X].

  1. Copy an image you want to use to Clipboard
    (Choose an image and go to [Edit]-[Copy] or [Ctrl+C] to copy in most tools)
  2. Select the Topic that you would like to insert the image into.
  3. Go to [Edit] - [Paste] in Main Menu or use [Ctrl+V] to paste image.
  4. You can resize the image by dragging one of the corners of the image. If you hold [Shift] key down, you can resize while maintaining the aspect ratio.

Copy the tree structure of a Mind Map to other tools

Mindmap Diagram

You can copy the tree structure of a Mind Map into a Text Editor (NotePad) or Excel.

Copying the tree structure of a Mind Map to other tools:

  1. Select topics that you would like to copy.
  2. Go to [Edit] - [Copy] in Main Menu or use [Ctrl+C] to copy.
  3. Open the Text Editor (NotePad) or Microsoft Excel then [Edit] - [Paste] or use [Ctrl+V] to paste.

Create Mind Maps by importing the tree structures of topics from other tools

Mindmap Diagram

You can create a new Mind Map or add topics to existing Mind Maps by importing a tree structure from other tools.

  1. Select text you want to make a Mind Map of from a Text Editor or Excel
  2. Go to [Edit] - [Copy] in Main Menu or press down [Ctrl+C] to copy
  3. Select a topic where you would like to insert new topics in Astah then go to [Edit] - [Paste] in the Main Menu or [Ctrl+V] to paste
  4. A new branch is created under the selected topic and all copied texts appear as Mind Map topics.

Notes

The most powerful and convenient way to create Mind Maps is by pasting text that is outlined hierarchically in a Text Editor such as Notepad. You can also generate Mind Maps by importing Matrix data that you created in Excel