Is it possible to create a map from a list of items with links (e.g. on a website), so that the links are preserved in the map?

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I wish to map a website with a list of names (items) with links, e.g. this one = https://www.sundhed.dk/sundhedsfaglig/laegehaandbogen/undersoegelser-og-proever/klinisk-biokemi/blod..., so that the names appear as topics with links in the map. Is that possible?
 
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Ulrik Gerdes

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Posted 1 month ago

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Alex Gooding, Champion

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As I understand it, you want to produce something like this, based on the first part of the list on your website link, with the names as topics and the links as hyperlinks:


This is surprisingly tricky to do in MindManager - as you have probably discovered, simply pasting the list in a map results in the links being pasted as the topic names; this looks fairly ugly and the links are no longer active. You can try going via Excel and using MM2020's new Excel import facility but this doesn't seem able to import live links either.

I have found a way to do this but I warn you it is a bit technical, uses some undocumented aspects of MindManager and requires the use of MS Excel and Word (with the Send to MindManager add-in, which should have installed when you installed MindManager). 

The following outlines this technique, which is actually less complicated than it looks, especially as you're not likely to be doing it very often. However, if anyone has a simpler approach I'd be very happy to hear it! Anyway the steps for my process are as follows:

1. Before you start the actual import process you must import MindManager's Word styles into Word and save them in a template. What many people don't realise is that when MM exports a document to Word it sets up its own styles based on the corresponding Word template styles, so you will end up with styles such as "MM Topic 1". MM Topic 2" and so on. This has its drawbacks (the MM style formats are identical to but not integrated with the original Word styles) but once the styles are incorporated in a Word document they can be used to control what MM does with them when a document is exported from Word to MM.

I describe this process in the following post on my blog: https://sociamind.com/2016/03/21/the-ins-and-outs-of-mindmanager-word-importing-part-a-standard-word... - look under the heading "Using MM Word styles to improve the import process". This should result in a set of the MM styles appearing in the template styles list.

2. Go to the website page with the table and highlight the list - and only the list and copy it (you may have to do this in stages).

3. Open up Excel and in a blank worksheet paste the list in the first column and again in the second column so you have two identical columns side-by-side (you don't need to add column headers). Highlight the first column only, right click and click on Remove Hyperlinks. Then copy the two-column table.

4. Open up Word and paste the table (again, you don't need to add column headers). Highlight the first column and apply either a standard Word heading style or a MindManager topic style such as the MM Topic 1 style to all the cells in this column. Then highlight the second column and apply the MM Hyperlink style to all the cells in this column. This step is critical - without it the links will be converted into topic notes containing the links rather than hyperlinks on the topics. Save this document.

5. Open a map in MindManager and return to Word. Highlight the whole table in Word and click on the Send to MindManager button on the ribbon. A map something like the one above should be created on the blank map in MM - the only difference is that as well as the functioning hyperlinks, each topic will have a note also incorporating the hyperlink (except sometimes for some mysterious reason the first topic will only have the hyperlink).

I haven't been able to work out how not to paste the notes in the map but you can simply remove them if you don't want them. Alternatively if you want the hyperlinks only to appear in the topic notes, format the second column with the normal Word style in step 4 before sending the table to MM.

Edit: I forgot to say that in theory you can accomplish Step 3 entirely in Word without using Excel, but when you copy a list direct from a web page Word tends to want to apply all sorts of formatting which you then need to remove. In addition Word lacks Excel's ability to remove hyperlinks en masse from a group of cells with a single command; I know you could write a Word macro to do this - in fact you could probably write one to do most of the above steps, but I find it easier just to do it in Excel. 

Finally, this method will work only with simple lists of hyperlinks on websites. It can be modified to work with two-column lists where the name is in the first column and the link in the second, but anything much more complicated would require a lot of editing in Excel and/or Word.


(Edited)
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Ulrik Gerdes

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Dear Alex,
Thank you SO very much --- the technique worked perfectly!

Kind regards,
Ulrik
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Alex Gooding, Champion

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Thanks Ulrik. I've written up an expanded version of these steps on my blog - https://sociamind.com/2019/10/16/mind-mapping-the-world-wide-web-one-page-at-a-time/