ARMED WITH A well-thought-out outline which gives you the sureity of knowing what you want to write about, you can now dive into writing out the details of each individual node.
In this section of the user guide, we'll cover the features primarily to do with the content editor that each node is able to expand to show.
2.1 Distraction-free Editor
Beyond being just a mind map, each individual node on it can be "opened" up to a content editor, where you can write and jot notes you'd like to include under that node. The editor allows you to edit, style and format your writing however you like with laser focus.
TIP: A powerful way to quickly generate writing for a node's contents is to use the mind map view to generate sub-points and ideas for a node, then pulling them into the contents of that node. For more information, check out section 2.2.6 Absorb Children below.
Designed to be free of distractions to allow you to go deep on the point you're making in each node, the content editing interface is free of any extraneous or unnecessary elements which serve marginal or no purpose.
Besides that, while in the content editor interface, the toolbar also transforms its functions. Reaching for it exposes a set of tools for you to format and style your text, as well as adjust the font size of the letters you're working on at the moment, among other options also available.
2.1.1 More Than Mind Maps
A mind map turns into a fully-fledged WriteMap with the added difference of being able to write notes and formatted text within each node of a mind map.
2.1.2 Easily Accessed
You can transition into the content editor of each node by double-clicking or double-tapping it, or by using the
Ctrl+E keyboard shortcuts.
2.1.3 Designed For Focus
The content editing interface was rid of any unnecessary visual elements in its design, with the full intention of letting you focus on your writing.
2.1.4 Multiple Formats
Besides typing plain text, the content editor allows you to organise your writing using several text formats, such as lists, code blocks and links. These can be input either from the toolbar in the content editor, or using their corresponding keyboard shortcuts.
2.1.5 Color Accents
Applicable text elements in the editor such as links and quotes are visually styled to mirror the node's current color tag for further aesthetic quality.
2.1.6 Set Task Status
You can also toggle the node's task status from within the content editor, by selecting the tag icon from the toolbar at the bottom of the screen.
2.1.7 Editable Title
Besides being able to edit the contents of the node, you're also able to directly edit the node's title from the content editor without leaving it. The node's title then gets replicated in the node in the WriteMap itself when you return to that view.
2.1.8 View Node Info
The content editor also displays relevant information about the node on the top-right of the screen, similar to what's displayed on the left and right of each of the WriteMap's nodes. This can also be toggled to display different pieces of information like content word count, by using the Toggle Node Info command.
2.1.9 Adjustable Text Size
You can adjust the editor's text to your a size most comfortable for you from the toolbar. This can also be saved as a default from the Preferences menu.
2.1.10 Auto-Begin Editing
On the iPad or iPhone, you can configure the default preference of whether to automatically focus to show the keyboard, every time you bring up the content editor. Do note also that there exists the keyboard shortcut of
Cmd+Enter when in the content editor view to bring up and dismiss the keyboard.
2.1.11 Windowed Editor
The content editor also can be popped-out into a separate window on desktop versions, so that you can view the mind map alongside editing node contents. Look for the "Open Editor In Window" toolbar button option while in the content editor, and select it to do so.
2.1.12 Quick Edit Node
Besides the full editor, a Quick Edit mode is also available, which can be triggered by the
Ctrl+Cmd+E macOS keyboard shortcut (
Ctrl+Alt+E on Windows), or from the right-click or long-press menus of a node. This allows you to make quick and small changes to a node's contents while still keeping the WriteMap in view. Note that due to smaller screen dimensions, Quick Edit Node isn't available on WriteMapper 2 for iPhone.
2.1.13 Quick Search
You can also search the contents within the content editor using the Quick Search function. Hitting
Ctrl+F brings up the search interface, and you can enter the keyword(s) you'd like to look for. Next, either click on the search icon () in the search bar, or hit the
Enter key on your keyboard. To dismiss the search interface, simply hit the
Escape key on your keyboard, or click outside of the search bar.
2.1.14 Code Block Syntax
Have a lot of programming code in your WriteMaps? Code blocks within the content editor, starting with WriteMapper 3, can also be configured to format its contents with code syntax. The app will detect which coding language the code block contains, and display its contents accordingly. This setting can be made via the Preferences menu, under the "Editing" tab, under the "Content Editor" section. A restart of the app (save any unsaved work first!) is required to apply this setting.
2.2 Auto-Expand Lines
While immersed in the writing experience of the distraction-free content editor, it might be easy to inadvertently slip back into your old ways and end up jotting down your further sub-points inside of the node, instead as separate child nodes on your WriteMap which you can then continue to further develop later on.
We've got a quick and easy solution to remedy this awkward situation: selecting the lines you want to turn into nodes, right-clicking and choosing the "Auto-Expand Lines" option will help you to auto-magically turn those lines into their own nodes in the mind map, leaving you free to continue brainstorming ahead.
2.2.1 Saves Time
Instead of having to manually shift your writing out from the content editor into nodes individually, this helps you let the app do the work for you, pretty much automatically.
2.2.2 Keyboard Shortcut
With the text you want to turn into nodes selected, you can use the
Cmd+Shift+E shortcut on macOS and the
Ctrl+Shift+E shortcut on Windows to trigger the auto-expanding action by the app.
2.2.3 Continue Editing
After the action is completed by the app, you can carry on editing the nodes and rearranging them in your WriteMap (and even write contents in them) as you would with any other node in the mind map, without missing a beat.
2.2.4 Action History
This automated action that adds nodes to your WriteMap also integrates into the undo/redo action history, letting you accurately retrace the steps taken in creating your WriteMap's structure when you perform undos and redos.
2.2.5 Matches Color Tags
When the resultant child nodes are created using this function, they adapt to use the same color tag as the node they're created from, ensuring consistency.
2.2.6 Absorb Children
You can do this the other way around too: pull child nodes into the contents of the parent node. This helps with generating ideas for writing a node's contents. The Absorb Children option will be available from the long-press and right-click menus of any node that has one or more children, or can also be triggered by selecting that node and pressing the
Shift+Cmd+A (macOS, iPad) or
Ctrl+Shift+A (Windows) keyboard shortcuts. The app will then bundle up all the text and data available within all the child nodes of the currently selected node and their contents, and add that text to the contents of the currently selected node. The content editor will open to show you the newly generated node contents as well.
2.3 Markdown Syntax
Markdown adoption has come a long way since its creation in 2004, being loved by so many for its readability and usability, and so Markdown-style syntax writing is directly supported in WriteMapper's content editor.
TIP: Your WriteMap can also be exported to Markdown format as a full document, which we'll be learning more about later on in the next part of the user guide.
For customers who're used to writing in Markdown, we've included support for its syntax in our content editor, so you can style your writing with snippets of Markdown, which automatically convert into the intended type of formatting as you type.
2.3.1 Syntax Support
Markdown-style syntax support is covered for the range of all format types that WriteMapper already includes in its content editor, such as lists, block quotes and links.
2.3.2 Automatic Conversion
If usage of Markdown is detected as you type, the app automatically converts that typed snippet into the corresponding format, without requiring any additional action on your part.
2.4 Image Support
The content editor of the WriteMapper app functions not only as a text editor, but also allows you to insert images to supplement your writing and illustrate your ideas, be it from a file on your computer, or from a URL. On the iPad app, you can use drag and drop to insert images into the content editor instead.
Once inserted into a node of the WriteMap, the image data is then imported and stored within your WriteMap file itself, so that there is no need to retain the original file for the WriteMap to refer to and load data from.
These images also processed and included when exporting to compatible text document formats, such as DOCX and HTML.
2.4.1 Insert Images
On desktop, you can insert images in your WriteMap from the toolbar in the content editor, whether from a URL or from a local image file on your computer. The respective default keyboard shortcuts for doing this in are
Shift+Cmd+I on macOS, and on Windows
2.4.2 Drag & Drop
On the iPad version of WriteMapper, you can insert images into the content editor by using the drag-and-drop function native to iOS devices from iOS 11 onwards, dropping images from other apps into the node's contents.
2.4.3 Saved In WriteMaps
Image data is handled and saved internally by the program within WriteMap files, so you don't lose images even if you delete the original image files.
2.4.4 Export Compatible
For applicable text document formats like DOCX, exports will include images, while text-only formats like Markdown instead use the image source URL or path represented textually.
When in a hurry to get your writing done, or when you've been at it for an extended amount of time, it can be sometimes difficult to have your typing be on point for your whole duration of work.
That's why we've introduced the spellcheck function to the app, which helps you spot and correct your typing mistakes quickly and easily, without any fuss: simply right-click on misspelled words with a red squiggly line indicators, and choose the word you meant to type from the list of corrections that appear.
If you prefer not to see any red squiggly lines while working, the app also lets you turn off the spellcheck function from the settings in the app's Preferences.
2.5.1 Spellcheck on Desktop
On desktop versions of WriteMapper, spellcheck shows the familiar red dotted underline for misspelled words. Right-clicking it shows suggestions to correct the misspelling to. Also, styled text retain their attributes when corrected.
NOTE: Microsoft has ended support for Windows 7 since 14th January 2020. Do consider upgrading to Windows 8 or up should you need spellcheck, as you may be unable to use the feature if you're running Windows 7.
2.5.2 Node Titles
Spellcheck is also applied within the text inputs when you're actively editing the title of a node from the WriteMap view, while you're Quick Editing a node's title.
2.5.3 Configure Preferences
You can also set whether or not to enable Spellcheck at all from the app's preferences window. This is available on the desktop (macOS and Windows) versions of the app.
2.5.4 Action History
Edits triggered by spellcheck from the right-click menu are also saved to the app's undo/redo history, allowing accurate retracing of your typing actions.
2.5.5 Autocorrect on iOS
On the iOS versions of WriteMapper 2 for iPad and iPhone, you can use the built-in autocorrect and suggestion capabilities to correct your typing mistakes as you go along typing.
2.5.6 Autocorrect on Desktop
We've also built an Autocorrect mechanism into the content editor, allowing for an even smoother typing experience. Autocorrect also uses a smart algorithm to determine if your typing should be corrected, based on the similarity of the suggested correction. You can enable or disable this behaviour from the Preferences window, where it's enabled by default on macOS.
2.5.7 Language Preference
On desktop versions, you can also set the language you wish spellcheck to work in, allowing WriteMapper to help you check your work in more languages. Depending upon your operating system, you might need to also change your computer's keyboard language input setting to the corresponding language, in order for this feature to function as intended.
2.6 Emoji Support
Everyone's finding more and more uses for Emojis, as an increasing number of apps and operating system ecosystems begin to support their use.
WriteMapper supports and allows you to use Emojis freely, so whether you'd like to use them as icon headers in the content editor, or liven up the look of your WriteMap and draw more attention to certain salient points of individual nodes, go ahead and inject that bit of color and cuteness into your WriteMap.
2.6.1 Use As Icons
Demarcate the ideas in your WriteMap better using Emojis as little graphic icons, helping your eyes and brain easier grasp the title of each node.
2.6.2 Supporting Content
Or, an alternative use of Emojis in the app is to use it within the content editor, allowing you to label individual points or supplement your text.
2.6.3 Export Compatible
Text documents can be exported from WriteMaps containing Emojis, and will get displayed when viewed in apps that also support Emoji capabilities.
2.6.4 Emojis on Mac
You can easily input your desired emoji from your Mac by hitting the
Ctrl+Cmd+Space keyboard shortcut while an input is actively selected.
2.6.5 Emojis on PC
For Windows users, you can too natively input emojis from the touch keyboard in the icon tray in your task bar, or from the
Win+; keyboard shortcuts.
2.6.6 Emojis on iOS
Ensure that the Emoji keyboard has been added to the list of available keyboards in Settings, then select it from the globe icon found on the iOS keyboard.
With your writing work now mostly completed, it's on to the next part of the guides: Getting Done.