Is it possible to link to an individual topic on a Mindmanager 2017 map using a URL in a completely different Windows application

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Hello 

Is it possible to link to an individual topic on a large MindManager 2017 map, using a URL in a completely different Windows10 application?

e.g. I would like to get topics in Scapple to link specific parts of my MindManager 2017 map.

Failing that I would like to have a large MindManager map that contains say 150 free-floating (unlinked) topics and get them to link to another MindManager map that contains a large hierarchical tree containing about 200 topics which are linked together.

Is any of the above possible?

Cheers

J
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John Smith

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Posted 1 year ago

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Alex Gooding, Champion

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Much to my surprise when I tried this the answer was a qualified "yes".

I say qualified, as the processes involved particularly for Scapple are a little fiddly. Scapple has a limited ability to recognise and convert URLs when typed into a new note, but only if they are web addresses that end with standard endings such as ".com", ".net" etc.

It's a little bit better with addresses that are pasted into notes. If you want to do this with a specific MindManager map topic you have to get its full URL - and to get this you have to start the process not in Scapple and not in the original MindManager map with the topic you want to link to, but in another map.

Create a new map and on a subtopic or floating topic and add a link. In the Add Link dialogue box under Link to: click on the Select File button and choose the original map containing the topic you want. Then under Topic/Label click on Select Topic, choose the topic you want and click on OK.

Under Link Path click on Absolute. Then go to the Link to: box and highlight and copy the whole URL that should appear there. You can now either save the link (and the underlying topic and map) or cancel. Close this map, save the original map and then close MM (in practice you can leave MM open or closed but you should close it the first time you do this to confirm that the process works).

Go to Scapple and create a new note with whatever reference text you want. Highlight this text and press CTRL SHIFT and L simultaneously. When the Link dialogue box appears paste the URL you copied from MM into the Link Destination field and click on OK. Double clicking on the note should now open the target map in MM with the target topic highlighted.

The above should give you a hint on how to do this between maps within MM - just follow the instructions as far as adding the link to a floating topic in the new map. You can also leave the address as Relative provided you aren't going to move either map.

There is another way to do this within MM provided you have MM 2017.1 or later. This is to use the Map Rollup facility. This approach will copy the actual topics from the original map to the second map as well as providing a link. You can also show either individual topics or whole branches this way. Unfortunately the MM Help instructions are still a little scant on this, but I wrote an article on my blog on how to use rollups (if you have 2017.2 ignore the comments on using rollups within the same map as the source topic/branch, as this now causes MM to crash).






(Edited)
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Nick Duffill, Champion

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Alex, could you paste an example of a link that directly addresses a topic? When I tried it I only got the filename, not any component that identified the topic. The topic was selected when the map opened because MindManager remembers the last selection anyway.

This question has been open since the dawn of time. URLs that address a specific bookmark are well established but they are served by web servers, not Windows applications. Maybe there is a protocol for links to bookmarks in MS Office that MindManager also observes? The topic must be identified somehow, either by its label or by its Guid. If there is a supported format for links then it would be easy to create a little macro to generate the external address of a topic without needing to create a link to it from another map, in the same way that you can right-click on a link in a browser and copy the link address.
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Nick Duffill, Champion

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John, on the subject of your next-best solution, can you describe the issue you need to solve? I recently needed to resolve two large hierarchies against each other, where each node related to one or more in the other tree. It involves more than just creating hyperlinks, as they are not very visual. This is quite challenging to implement in MindManager as shipped, but I did create a solution that I would be happy to share if this is what you need to do. If not then it would be a distraction.
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Alex Gooding, Champion

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A thousand apologies John - Nick is absolutely right. When I tested it I closed down MM but as Nick points out MM still remembers the last selection. This is why I was surprised - it seemed to be too good to be true, and it was. The other instructions I provided for creating links between maps and for using map rollups are still valid.

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Alex Gooding, Champion

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To atone for my sins in not testing properly my failed attempt to establish a link from an external program to a MM topic, I decided to explore the syntax of MM links. I assume others have looked at this already but I thought the difference in the handling of unlabelled and labelled topics was interesting.

A typical Absolute link to an unlabelled topic called "Linktest2" in a map called "Testmap" looks something like this:

D:\Users\Username\My Maps\Testmap.mmap#xpointer(/descendant-or-self::ap:Topic[@OId='GfrWhamKDUiRCQPkaFSg1Q=='])

Where 'GfrWhamKDUiRCQPkaFSg1Q==' represents the topic Linktest2. Clearly there is no apparent link to the actual topic name and I imagine this presents some practical difficulties in writing macros.

Intriguingly, MM makes special provision to select only labelled topics in the Select Topic dialogue box and the links made to these topics are much more comprehensible. Here is a link (also Absolute) in the same map to a topic called "Test link topic" which has been given the label "Test_link_topic":

D:\Users\Username\My Maps\Testmap.mmap#xpointer(/descendant-or-self::ap:Topic[ap:Bookmark/@Name='Test_link_topic'])

This suggests that there is a much more consistent format for the generation of links within MM to labelled topics, which should present a much easier proposition in trying to establish external links. Unfortunately I have not had any more luck in getting links to labelled topics to work from an external program than the unlabelled ones - both just open the MM file. Copying either link syntax and pasting it into the link list attached to a topic in another map does however appear to work - the map will open with whatever topic was last selected and then the highlight will move quickly to the linked topic.

Unfortunately with my extremely limited macro and programming skills I can't take this any further, but I'm hoping this might give someone some ideas - unless of course this approach has been tried and failed already.


(Edited)
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Nick Duffill, Champion

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Hello Alex
The first format is the GUID or Globally Unique Identifier. This is actually better because it does not change, whereas you could change the label on a topic and break inbound links. Both formats are equally easy to generate by code, but as you found the actual problem is that they only work inside MindManager and not in the wider context of Windows. It would be very helpful to find this working with any other application (e,g, bookmarks in Word documents) but so far I have not found anything.
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Alex Gooding, Champion

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Hi Nick,

Yes - there doesn't appear to be possible to get this to work outside MindManager. I also take your point about the GUID but the labelled topics are easier to play around with. You can for example edit a page of links to labelled topics in Word and then paste these into topic notes in MM and they seem to work - well, mostly at least, as every now and then MM won't see the links. Even when it works properly however this isn't of great practical utility as of course you have to go to the trouble of labelling the topics first in MM.

(Edited)