Copy-paste outline from MS Word into Mindjet mind-map

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  • Updated 3 years ago
Hi,

I'm using an old MindManager version on my company's laptop and want to copy-paste an outline from MS Word into a MindJet MindManager mind-map while preserving the outline structure (tree) in the mind-map.

However, what MindManager does: It simply pastes the outline as a list of lines, without the hierarchical structure. I've seen that MindManager normally converts mindmaps into text with indentations with two blanks per level.

Is there any way to properly paste an MS Word outline into MindManager Pro 9.0.246, without re-creating the hierarchical structure manually? Has this annoying thing been improved in newer MindManager versions?
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ewhroiwq3

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Posted 3 years ago

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Michael Deutch, Official Rep

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Hi Christian, 

I haven't spoken to our developers about this yet but I suspect that it is limited by how and what is stored when we 'cut and paste' content. In the current version you can import a word outline and it appears correctly. This is likely true of earlier versions. Give it a shot and let me know how it goes. 

Michael
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ewhroiwq3

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Hi Michael,

I meant a Word bullet point outline, like this one:


Try copy-pasting this one into MindManager (at least v9), and you'll see what my problem is.

Christian

·         A

o   B

o   C

o   D

·         E

o   F

§  G

§  H

o   I

§  J

§  K

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Michael Deutch, Official Rep

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I see. MindManager doesn't handle that well currently. Thanks for pointing that out. 
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Michael Deutch, Official Rep

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I've added this to our product backlog of features and requests. Thanks!
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Alex Gooding, Champion

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Hi Christian,

See my response (after Ary's comment) below on how to do this.

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Alex Gooding, Champion

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Hi Christian,

How MM works when importing from Word hasn't changed that much from v9 to the current version.

A lot depends on how the Word document is formatted, as MM has to have something to work with to establish the corresponding Mindmap tree. There are four options; the most reliable approach is if you have used Word's heading styles to establish the hierarchy, from Title for the document title down through Heading 1 for major section or chapter headings, Heading 2 for main sub-headings and so on down to normal for plain text. A word of caution here - normal text will be imported as topic notes, so if you want the plain text to appear as topics you should format it in Word at the lowest sub-heading level.

The second option is if you have formatted the Word document with headings but done so manually without applying heading styles (for example, just capitalising and holding the main headings and so on). Providing you have been reasonably consistent, you can use Word's style manager to highlight all the capitalised bolded text and then apply, say, the Heading 1 style and so on. I won't go into detail here on the process (which you can look up in a Word help) but it is fairly straightforward, though you should check for inconsistencies before importing the document into MM. Use a copy of the original document to apply the formatting - that way it doesn't really matter how ugly the result is in Word, as long as the styles are consistent.

The third option is if the Word document is shown through indenting rather than styles, which makes things are a little more problematic. I don't have my computer in front of me but I recall that I have imported an indented outline successfully, though I can't remember the exact method.

In this regard with all the options I have outlined so far it's always worth remembering that there are three approaches to Word importing. The first and most obvious is to use MM's Word import function, but if that doesn't work, try copying and pasting the whole document into the map. As a last resort, try copying and pasting the Word document but without the main title (don't ask me why, but sometimes that can make a difference).

The final option doesn't sound relevant from what you have said about your Word document but I'll mention it anyway. This is if the Word document is formatted as a table. MM can import Word tables but they have to be formatted in a very specific way. This is doable in Word but if you have Excel available I have found that the best approach is to copy the table to an Excel file and useExcel's Pivotable function to create an MM-friendly document. Search this forum for Pivotables to find the post I did a year or so ago on how to do this.
(Edited)
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Alex Gooding, Champion

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Hi Christian,

I just re-read your message and realised that you have an indented outline. As I said in my first response these can be tricky but I think I have got these to import in the past - I'll try to replicate this later today. Failing that there may be a way in Word to convert these to a hierarchy based on heading styles which would be easier to import, so I'll have a look at that too.
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Ary Velstra, Expert Trainer

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In addition to the way Alex Gooding explains you should consider Importing from MS Word: It is easy to do and has a lot of extra's.
It works in MindManager since version X5, and I can personally recommend it.

Copy Paste is a bit rude as a solution to get your outline inside MindManager
Try => File => Import from MSWord. It creates a Mapstructure with all content
You can change the view into outline. =. View tab => Doument views => Outline.
The extra goodies are that you can drag and drop to change the order of the outline,
You also have the Notes available and you can use markers.
(Edited)
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Alex Gooding, Champion

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I know my post was a bit long, but to clarify I did state that using MM's import from Word function is as Ary points out the first and most obvious approach to try and that the copying and pasting methods should be applied if that doesn't work.

The main point of my post was to discuss the different methods for preparing a Word document so that its hierarchical structure would be reflected in the resulting MM map layout, regardless of the method of importing used.
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Alex Gooding, Champion

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Hi Christian,

Actually I experimented with this today and at least in V15 I can get an outline formatted as you described (ie indented two spaces per level), into MindManager but only via the copy and paste method rather than through importing.

My Word outline looked like this:

When I copied the outline (without the title) and pasted it in MindManager, the map looked like this:


- which is assume is close to what you wanted.

Interestingly when I dragged the outline to MM, the map looked slightly different:

I suspect this is slightly more like what you want, but the differences between the two maps are cosmetic and in both cases the outline hierarchy has been maintained.

However when I tried to import the map using MM's own import facility, the result looked like this:

- in other words, the central topic changed to reflect the document title, but all of the outline ended up in the central topic notes.

If however I tabbed the indents in the Word outline instead of using spaces (ie, one tab for the first indent and two for the second), I was unable to create a map with the proper hierarchy. Using MM's import facility produced the same result as above, while copying and pasting or dragging produced this outcome:

Finally (and somewhat bizarrely) formatting the outline using heading styles produced the opposite results to using spaces when importing or copying to Word. Copying and pasting or dragging produced the same result as above, but using MM's import feature resulted in a successful transfer:


This is similar to the first result with copying and pasting an outline created with spaces, only the outline title has also been imported to become the central topic.

So my "take home" message from all this is:

If the outline has been created in Word using spaces to create indents, either copy and paste or drag the outline from Word to MindManager rather than using MM's import facility.

If the outline has been created in Word using paragraph styles, use MM's import facility rather than copy and paste or dragging.

If the outline has been created in Word using tabbed indents, convert it to either of the above options and proceed accordingly.

In relation to the last point, you can convert the tabbed outline to one using spaces by searching for and replacing the tabs with double spaces.

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Ary Velstra, Expert Trainer

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Hi Alex,
Sorry if I reacted a bit fast on Christians post. If I had read your reaction in detail I would have found you already mentioned the import option.

In my defence = It annoys me a bit if someone is annoyed about missing functionality when a better solution is available for a long time.
(Edited)
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Alex Gooding, Champion

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Hi Christian,

Sorry - I didn't realise you were using a bulleted list, which unfortunately changes everything because, as Michael points out, MindManager doesn't handle these well.

Part of the problem is with Word, however, which also has problems in the way it approaches these lists. It is surprisingly difficult to search for list levels, indents, or bullets in Word. You would also think that applying a list involving headings from Word's multilevel list library would work, but while it applies the multilevel number styles the underlying paragraphs remain all the same style, either body text or list paragraph.

There is however a relatively simple solution (though I confess I had to search a few Word MVP and other sites to find it). This is to create and apply a list style within Word, as opposed to a pre-existing list. The steps (based on Word 2010) are as follows:

  1. Create a copy of the document to work on
  2. Go to or create an empty blank paragraph outside the list in your document.
  3. Click on the multi-list button in the paragraph tab on the ribbon.
  4. Click on Define New List Style (not Define New Multilevel List).
  5. When the dialogue box appears, click on the Format button, then select Numbering.
  6. The Modify Multilevel List dialogue box will appear in the list on the left, with the level to modify set at level 1. On the right of the box, click on the Link level to style field, scroll down and select Heading 1.
  7. Click on level 2 in the list, go to the Link level to style field and choose Heading 2. Repeat this step for each level that you need.
  8. Click OK to leave this dialogue box then in the Define New List Style box decide whether you want to leave "Only in this document" selected or click on "New documents based on this template" button (the latter means you may be asked to save the template later). Then click OK.
  9. The paragraph which you used for this exercise will now be formatted as a heading. Delete it.
  10. Highlight the whole list and click on the multi-list button in the paragraph tab again. You should now see an additional item under the heading List Styles. Click on this and the list should be formatted with the appropriate heading style for each level.
  11. Save the document and then import it to Word using MindManager's import facility and you should get the appropriate document hierarchy. Don't use copy and paste or dragging.


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Colin Horner

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Hi Christian

Import from a properly hierarchically structured (Heading Styles) Word file has been available in MindManager since MM5 pro.  

If you require a simple Copy and Paste process from a list construct the list in an .rtf file and use Tab indenting to create hierarchy

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Alex Gooding, Champion

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Hi Colin,

I was intrigued by your advice to construct a tabbed list in an RTF file as a basis to copy and paste into an MM map so I tested this and also retested doing the same in a Word file.

To my surprise they both worked. I'm not sure what is going on here, as when I tried tabbed indenting in Word the other day it wouldn't copy properly.  However when I set up exactly the same copying process today there were some idiosyncrasies with the Word document, but on the whole it worked fine when pasted into a mindmap. I'm therefore not sure what using an RTF file does to this process, except possibly to add more consistency.

Christian's bulleted outline however remains a problem as MM does not seem able to handle any sort of symbol or number in front of the indent (unless it's associated with a heading style) irrespective of whether it's coming from a Word or an RTF document (and the latter doesn't handle multi-level bullets).

He will still need to get his outline into another format and while it appears that a tabbed list can work after all, I think his best bet would still be to convert the outline to a list based on heading styles using the method I described earlier.

(Edited)