Publishing Mind Maps

31 08 2013

If you create mind maps you may publish your work on Biggerplate, your blog, or on social networks like Google+.

Here is a description of how I do it to seamlessly allow other people to download the map. On my iPad I use the app iThoughts HD by Craig Scott, UK, which is the best mind mapping tool for the iPad.

To justify my steps you should consider that

  • Not everybody uses a mind mapping tool but nevertheless is interested in the content of your map.
  • Compatibility between the different file formats used by min mapping tools is more or less limited.
  • For some maps like feature descriptions it’s useful to additionally provide the map e.g. as a Powerpoint presentation.
  • For maps near to artworks like those of Daniel Tay you should provide the map in PNG file format.

Additionally you should know that uploading a map to Biggerplate does not work. The reason is Apple’s filesystem which does not allow direct access to app specific folders or cloud based storages when using the SAFARI or any other browser. The only files you may upload with an iOS device are photos from the camera roll. The functionality is called ‘Take photo or video’ or ‘Choose existing’.

Direct uploads from mobile devices to Biggerplate are hopefully possible in the future.

The workaround …

It’s useful to save maps on cloud-based storages additionally to the local folder of the app iThoughts. Use Dropbox, Box, or any other cloud which can be accessed by a WebDAV connection like iDriveSync (via hostname https://dav.idrivesync.com). By using a cloud storage you backup your map and you can share it with others as well.
Access to a cloud storage can be done in iThoughts when using the function Copy To Cloud. Tap on ‘+’ and enter the credentials for your Dropbox or Box account and additionally the hostname for WebDAV access.
To retrieve the sharing link use the native apps for your cloud account. All these apps are free.
I prefer Box net and iDriveSync because of the many more features compared to Dropbox and the perfect design of the website for downloads.

If your map is created and saved follow these steps.

Step 1 Create a description

Describe your map.
Add links to the files you saved in alternate file formats to improve user-friendliness.
Add some information about yourself as text or link to your website or profile e.g. on Google+.
See the images below for an example.

You can use this map description for

  • upload to Biggerplate
  • your post an Google+ or other social networks
  • your own documentation

Step 2 Upload to Biggerplate

See these screenshots to provide appropriate information to Biggerplate.

Step 3 Share your map

After uploading to Biggerplate dialogs for sharing the map on Twitter and Facebook is automatically available.
Sharing on other social networking platforms like Google+, LinkedIn, or Pinterest must be done manually. Use the image of your map (PNG) to illustrate your post and the description to give some additional information to your followers resp. visitors.

Note
If you include the PNG file format make sure that all topics which should be displayed in details are expanded and all others are collapsed. The PNG is generated by following WYSIWYG.

File formats …

You should provide all the file formats supported by Biggerplate.
This ensures seamless downloads even for people not using the app iThoughts.

For mind maps with more descriptive content try out the Microsoft Word format (docx) and the Microsoft Powerpoint format (pptx) which can be imported in Apple’s iWork Suite (Pages, Keynote) as well.

Compatibility …

Here is an example how mind maps look like in other applications if you use an alternate file format provided by iThoughts.

With iThoughts your map can be optionally saved in the file format of Mindjet (IMX). See this comparison between the map within the native app iThoughts and the map saved by iThoughts in Mindjet file format opened by the mobile version of Mindjet.

Compatibility regarding layout, sizes, and images is limited but structure and content were retained unchanged. By the way: The desktop version of Mindjet does the task much more better.

Summary …

Present your maps user-friendly by providing different file formats and a comprehensive description.

This map summarizes all the main informations of my article.

20130624-182230.jpg

You may download this map in the following file formats

PDF

ITMZ (Native format of iThoughts)

MMAP (Mindjet)

XMIND (XMind)

Related links …

Mind Mapping (3) (containing features of iThoughts)

Remarks to Mind Mapping

Mind Map vs Textual Pages

Apple on Biggerplate.com

Thanks for reading my article.
I appreciate sharing this article to your friends and followers.





Numbering in Apple’s Numbers

6 03 2013

Numbers is Apple’s app for creating spreadsheets.
It’s part of the iWork Suite for iOS.

From my point of view it’s the far away best app for working with spreadsheets on iOS devices.
It’s simple but yet powerful. The UI is perfect and with the last update 1.7 (2012-12-04) Apple provided a functionality called ‘LOCK’ with which you may secure objects, e.g. tables so that their position and their content cannot be changed any longer until they are unlocked.

I want to continue my series about the usage of Apple’s Numbers.
The task is to automatically number lines in a table starting with a given value, to extend the numbering if lines are added and renumber them if lines are moved to new positions.

Step 01 …

Set the start value e.g. 100 in the upper left cell. The cell is identified by A1.

Step 02 …

Define a formula which tells Numbers how to generate the line number for the line following the first line with the start value.

20130119-165031.jpg

To define a formula for a cell double tap the cell and select ‘=’ from the input bar.
The input field is prepared to enter a formula. Tap on the cell A1 which contains the start value 100. A symbol for this cell appears in the input field. Add 1 to this parameter and tap Done on yhe right side of the input field. 101 will appear in cell B1.

Step 03 …

I think you agree with me that you don’t want to repeat this procedure for the next 200 lines.
So select cell B1 and tap on Copy in the upcoming context menu.
Select cell C1 and expand the cell marker downwards for all lines you want to be numbered.
Tap on Paste and then on Paste formulas.

20130119-175324.jpg

Step 04 …

If you add lines to the table the new lines are firstly not numbered.
To renumber all lines just copy the first cell B1 and repeat the Paste procedure described in Step (3). This can also be done after inserting new lines or changing places of lines.

Thanks for visiting my blog.





Safari+Shortcut+1Password

27 01 2013

If you use the password keeper app 1Password you can immediately open this app from within Safari by entering a command in the address field of Safari.
To improve the usability of entering the command first define a shortcut.

A shortcut on iOS devices are some letters or numbers which expand into a word or phrase as you type it.
Shortcuts are often used to expand some characters to the complete E-Mail address.
For example:
Define aid as a shortcut and my.appleid@icloud.com as the phrase. If you then type aid anywhere on your device it’s expanded to the E-Mail address.

Go to Settings – General – Keyboard – Shortcuts.
Tap on ‘+’ and enter
javascript:window.location=’op’+(window.location.href);
for the phrase and pp for the shortcut (or any other shortcut).

Go to Settings – Safari and make sure that Javascript is enabled.

20130120-170307.jpg

Open a website in Safari.
Go to the field which contains the website’s address. Tap on the Cross to remove the content and enter your shortcut pp and tap on Go.

20130120-170317.jpg

1Password opens and displays the website with its own integrated browser.
In the app you can now define a new login for this website with its credentials.

Problems with shortcuts …

20130115-184440.jpg

When typing a shortcut you have to tap on the space bar to expand it.
If you use a shortcut in an input field e.g. 1Password’s field ‘username’ within the ‘Login’ category the app transmits the entire content of this field to the website including the following space character (blank) added by using the space bar.
Apple’s website for example then informs you about wrong credentials due to the following blank. You can only see where the problem is if you mark the whole input field. The marker shows you the additional blank and you have to manually delete it.
This is definitely not user friendly as most of the usernames today are E-Mail addresses and shortcuts are used to automatically fill in these addresses.

1Password and some website developers should fix this like Microsoft did it many years ago with input fields in Microsoft Access forms. They stripped off all following blanks as it makes no sense to save them.





From USB to camera roll

20 12 2012

To compare some settings on a Samsung Galaxy Nexus with those of an iOS-Device, my son made some screenshots of his Android-Device and gave it to me on a USB-Stick.
To use the photos in a blog, I had to copy them to my iOS-Device.

My home configuration …

20121210-154255.jpg

The right app …

There are plenty of options for getting files on and off your iOS-Device, from adding them to specific applications using iTunes, to using cloud storage services such as Dropbox, Box and SkyDrive.

But its always the same problem with this giant App Store.
How to find the app that meets the requirements, does’t crash, is updated to new versions of iOS in a timely manner, provides an understandable and fast support and is consistent with Apple’s iOS Human Interface Guidelines.

The app FileBrowser adds to a lot of (mostly useless) apps for transferring files.
The good news is, it supports the Windows-friendly SMB-Protocol.

Essentially, FileBrowser lets you access any SMB share, whether that’s on a Mac, Windows PC or network attached storage device, on a local network or across the internet. You can browse and download files, send them by mail and easily transfer them from one location to another.

It’s quick, and easy to use once set up – but if you’re not familiar with SMB, that set up can take a while (although the app tries to help you as much as possible with clear instructions).

Steps to do the job …

Set up the connection …

20121210-154603.jpg

Copy …

20121210-154645.jpg





Bugfixing for DATEDIFF(…)

20 11 2012

An error occurs in Apple’s iWork-App NUMBERS when using the DATEDIFF-Function. This function determines for example the number of days between two dates.
The bug occurs, if argument 2 is greater than argument 1 in DATEDIFF(arg1, arg2, “D”).

The downloadable .numbers-Document explains how to fix this bug using the ISERROR-Function.

20121008-141900.jpg Bugfixing DATEDIFF
Properties EN .Numbers iDrive
Alternative Download from Dropbox
Updated 2012-11-20

Preview …
20121027-222427.jpg








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