Use Spreadsheet to import 9000 Tags into map

Aaron L. shared this question 11 months ago
Discussion Open

Hello, I love my MM 2022 that I recently purchased. Thank you for this wonderful invention.

SCENARIO:

I have a project that requires approx. 9000 tags to track the (transactions and item transfers) of 9000 items from various customers to their customer base. I have the same problems as many MM users:

1. Numbered tags will not arrange correctly (and I have 9000 = too many for A01 workaround).

2. Manually entering the tags will take too long.

I would like to quickly create the 9000 tags in an Excel Spreadsheet (create 2 and drag to 9000 to fill the spreadsheet column). The tag names will be NFP#1, NFP#2...to...NFP#9000. Ideally, I would create groups and sub-groups if possible as well. I have looked all through this forum and youtube, but cannot find an answer to the following question.

QUESTION:

Is it possible to do the following: Create the tags in an Excel spreadsheet, then import the tags into the map (so that the Tag numbers are in proper order low to high).


NOTE: If I succeed, I will then proceed to analyze relationships, and manually create items, customers, and tag them (e.g. some customers own several items). See the map in progress attached.

Best Answer
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I cracked at last :) To save Alex time documenting the import from Word, here is a macro that will generate 9000 tags in groups of 100. You can change the tag format, group naming, group size and tag count by playing with constants at the top of the macro. It is better to close the Map Index task pane before running this, as it will take a few hours (compared to a minute or so) if the task pane is open. It will be interesting to see how MindManager copes with very large numbers of tags, so look out for side effects.

Replies (2)

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Do you want to create 9000 tags in the Map Index for assigning to topics from there? Or do you need to create topics with up to 9000 tags on them?

Either way, tag names "NFP#1" to "NFP#9000" will not sort alphabetically in the Map Index. They need to be "NFP#0001" to "NFP#9000" to sort correctly.

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Excellent Question! I need 9000 Tags in the Map Index (in order of low to high). See image below attached to this reply - I started creating the tags in groups of 20 as needed - However, the result is that I will have groups out of order. NOTE: I could use groups of 99 if need be, however (a group of 20 is easily viewable on my monitor).

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Thank you RE: "NFP#0001" to "NFP#9000" - Good to know - I will try that manually ... however, [if] I could import them from Excel spreadsheet I could save a lot of time.

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At this scale, it needs automation. Automatic generation by software would be the most direct way. But before considering that, are Tags the best solution for the subsequent processing? Tags will let you see an index of which topics have a specific tag (although it is not going to be easy to see that in 450 groups of 20!). They will show up on the topic so you can see them in the map. I don't think it will be practical to use the Tag views because of the sheer number of groups, and if a topic has tags from different groups, you will not see them together.

Alternatively, would Topic Properties be an alternative? Instead of creating every potential value, you would just enter them as required on each topic. You will still see them on the topics themselves, and can use the Power Filter to view specific values in the map (e.g. to see which topics have NFP#27 on them). Sorting would then no longer be an issue so formatting of the name would not be needed.

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One option would be a combination of tags for the groups and sub-groups, and topic properties for the tags themselves.

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Thank you both, I appreciate you tremendously! I'd love automation. In perfect candor and honesty with you - I had considered disassembling the map file and seeing what makes it tick within a notepad++ app ... [IF] I can grasp the map coding (e.g. xml), perhaps I can create some customizations. Or in the alternative - I can also explore the Zapier apps. All options are still very new to me. I have not explored "Topic Properties" yet, but will locate it on YouTube. I have your MM YouTube page bookmarked, I am studying MM and hope to have a basic understanding of most aspects in the next month (with a little luck). This is one of several similar projects moving forward. The big picture is analyzing who does what, when, where, and how - so that I can visualize operations, distribution, where the most profit is being made, and who is holding up various processes. Also, what other sources customers are collecting items from, and if they are working harmoniously or are they frustrating various processes.

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Using MindManager macros will be much quicker than working with raw XML. See https://www.mindmanager.com/en/pages/developers/api/22/#Welcome.html

MindManager coupled with macros makes a highly versatile information processing tool. A macro to generate 9000 tags in a map would be half a page.

Zapier is good for sending stuff out of MindManager to other apps, but I don't think it would help at this level.

Your application sounds like a database solution. Using MindManager to visualise databases is a scenario that surfaces fairly often. Some organisations use it to prototype management dashboards at low cost and test the human side of operations before committing to more expensive tech. Some have custom integrations written so that MindManager can directly query databases.

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Thank you for your thoughts! I have macro software that could do the job in theory but I'm hesitant, and certain what you have in mind is much better than my current options. Custom integrations to query databases sounds very useful - can I build such a beast? Point me in the right direction please and I might try.

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Hi Aaron, as Nick suggests a database might be a better option or if you want to do something like this in MindManager a macro is the probably the best way to go, especially if you want to do this more than once. If however you only need to import the list once then it is doable - at least up to a point - using a combination of Excel and Word with MindManager.

I was able to generate and import a list of 2,000 text markers using this approach without too much difficulty. However, I think you may start to run into performance issues if you try to work with many more markers than this, especially if it is a large map.

Unfortunately, it will take me a couple more days to fully document this approach - and rather than post it here I'll probably write it up as an article on my blog, with a link from this thread.

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I'd love that! I will probably do this only once. This workstation that MM is installed on here, is pretty good, because I use it for 3D renders. OK, take your time and shine : ) ... I save my map to another iteration (map 31, map 32, ...) after every 5-6 major changes, so I could just fail test it with tags and such without concern of loosing anything.

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I cracked at last :) To save Alex time documenting the import from Word, here is a macro that will generate 9000 tags in groups of 100. You can change the tag format, group naming, group size and tag count by playing with constants at the top of the macro. It is better to close the Map Index task pane before running this, as it will take a few hours (compared to a minute or so) if the task pane is open. It will be interesting to see how MindManager copes with very large numbers of tags, so look out for side effects.

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Thanks - that's rather neat Nick, and it's also useful for much smaller numbers of tags.

I will persist in writing up the Word tag import route as part of an overall update of my articles on importing from Word. It's still useful if you already have a large set of tags, numerical or otherwise, that you wish to import. The Word approach also works for importing topic properties en masse (I suppose that could be done through a macro as well).

More generally my approach is an option if you want to import a table (generated in Word or Excel) with a large number of tasks and task attributes.

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EXCELLENT, CAN'T WAIT!!! I pinned Nicks method at the top so that Alex would immediately see it fast ... MUCH THANKS TO NICK ... with one small caveat = I have to figure out how to use the macro mmbas file, open it and modify it, (I have no idea yet lol). : )

I appreciate your Diligence Alex, I will be awaiting your article as well, thank you!

May I please ask Alex - where are your articles on importing from word (among the main "View All Topics" section)?


FOOD FOR THOUGHT: One of the things to update is the Manual (I have the 2017 I downloaded from this website) found no newer one ... is there something newer ... i.e. even if you make a few adjustments and rubberstamp a new manual 2022 - it would give confidence to your customers that it has been reviewed recently.

(perhaps I'm mistaken???) Thank you

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Hi Aaron, thanks - I'd already seen Nick's response which looks like the easiest way to go, though I'm still working on the article.

In order to use Nick's macro, download it and save it to a folder. You can use the default Macro folder, which will be something like D:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Mindjet\MindManager\22\macros, but any folder will do provided you can navigate to it easily.

Then in MindManager click on Macros under Advanced on the ribbon and select Organize Macros. When the dialogue box opens click on Add. In this dialogue box click on the icon next to path and go to where you stored the macro (hint: you can open this dialogue box before you save the macro to find the default macro folder location). Add a name - you can also optionally add a Menu where you can display a link to the macro and/or add a description but I'd leave those blank for the time being - then click on OK.

You should be returned to the previous Macros dialogue box. At this point make sure the Map Index task pane is closed. If you select the macro name and click on Run it will first ask if the Task Pane is closed then default to adding 9,000 tags in groups of 100 with the prefix "NFP#" - this will take a minute or two.

If however you want to change the number of tag groups, the number of tags in each group, the prefix or the format you have to edit the macro itself. Return to the Organize Macros dialogue box, highlight the macro name and click on Editor.

When the edit screen opens you should have something like the following near the top of the window:

Option Explicit
Const N_GroupSize = 100 
Const N_Groups = 90 
Const T_GroupMask = "{0} - {1}" 
Const T_TagMask = "NFP#{0}" 
Const T_TagFormat = "000#" ' under 10,000 tags
You can vary anything after the equal signs in these lines but be very careful how you do so. The GroupSize and Groups are fairly obvious and I would leave GroupMask alone for the time being. In TagMask you can change the prefix inside the quotation marks but don't touch the {0}. In TagFormat you can vary the number of leading zeros - obviously if you are generating more than thousand tags you will need the default of three zeros.

When you have finished making the changes click on the save icon and close the Editor. You can then run the macro to see the effect of the the changes.

Now, back to documenting my own method!

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Thanks Alex :)

Aaron, the MindManager help for your version is usually accessed by pressing F1. In the case of MindManager 22, this goes to https://onlinehelp.mindjet.com/22/index.html?app=MindManager&lang=en#/l1TOC0. As this is a version-specific URL, it should not be affected by any browser caching issues. PDF versions can be downloaded from https://www.mindmanager.com/en/support/download-library/.

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Thank you to Alex for the above Macro native default location and Editing info. I collected the info and tested it successfully.


Thank you to Nick for the location of the library documents... I bookmarked it, collected the info., I see the index, and collected the PDF's.

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There are a couple of ways to do this.

The easiest is to use the MAP add-in for MindManager, which includes a feature that can convert groups of subtopics in a map to groups of tags. This means you could import a grouped list of tag names from Excel into a map as topics and sub-topics, then use the MAP feature to convert these to grouped tags. https://www.olympic-limited.co.uk/mindmanager-add-ins/map-for-mindmanager/topic-actions/

There is also a way to do this from a Word document but as there are a few steps involved. If you are interested I’ll post the process in a separate comment

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I just signed up for Olympic via email, and am contemplating their options now.

Yes may I ask please: I would love it if you would post the Word Document method / steps, [if] it is not to inconvenient.

Thank you.

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Hi Aaron, when I first read this early this morning (my time) I thought you said 2,000 tags, which is extremely ambitious but I thought doable. However, for 9,000 tags I think you would have to think about some level of automation as Nick suggests. I think that there might be implications for software performance as well.

I’m taking a short break at the moment and I don’t have my laptop with me but when I’m back home over the weekend I’ll post the method using Word. There may be some issues however with importing a map this size.

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Thank you Sir. I know it sounds a little silly, but I just paid $350USD for this - I want to test its limits hehe and see what all it will do before I start adding other packages to it just yet. I will monitor this post for Word method, when you have time. I will try to establish a pattern or get half way there if possible ... even 2000 tags is better than nothing : )

Thank you.

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Hi Sir,

Did you happen to get the Word way to do it this weekend from your Laptop please?

Thank you

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Hi Aaron,

See my comment in response to Nick's earlier reply. I managed to do this for 2,000 tags - it isn't too difficult but there are quite a few steps involved and it will take me a day or two to write up everything as I have some deadlines to meet.

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NICK’S MACRO RESULTS SUMMARY: (SUCCESS)

The Tag-macro completed successfully without fail on the first attempt.


PROCEDURE:

0. SYSTEM USED: MM 2022 installed on a spare computer Lenovo TS150, Win10Pro installed on a 1TB PNY Solid State Drive, 32GB Memory@2400GHz, Xeon hex core@4.1GHz.

1. MACRO STATUS: I examined the Macro code in Notepad++ and it seemed to be perfectly written according to my requirement.

2. SAFETY TEST: I double clicked the macro, and nothing happened because I had to create a new map first (have a map open).

3. CREATION RATE: Once a map is open pressing play on the macro resulted in a tag being created at a rate of approximately 1 tag per second (in a format that was expected). This continued until about Tag 3,000 when the creation rate seemed to gradually slow to about 1Tag/3sec.

4. TAG SECTIONS (OPEN CLOSE +/-): Tags were created with each section of 100 tags open/expanded. Therefore, I closed/collapsed every new section periodically as it was being created to avoid 9000 tags being visible all at once.

5. SAVING: Every 2000 Tags, I paused the macro, and saved the map, then played/continued the macro again.


RESULTS: Nick’s Tag Macro took 7hrs and 16 minutes to complete. Microsoft resource monitor results - The Tag macro was very low impact on my system with MM using 267MB of memory, and 11% of CPU, 20 threads on average. Once completed, the MM software seems to have no trouble running. Close and then reopen takes 6 seconds to completely open the file with 9000Tags.


ATTACHMENT: Blank map with the 9000 NFP Tags.


Now I have to figure out how to merge the maps.

I'll circle back at the end of the week to read Alex's Word Topic.

Thank you both VERY much!

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Hello Aaron

At 7h 16m I assume you had the Map Index task pane open! This would mean that MindManager was recreating the index at every tag, which would get slower as the number of tags rises. If you close the Map Index task pane then it should only take a couple of minutes or less because it won't rebuild the index until you open the task pane.

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Oh, hehe - I see ... yes, I had no idea that is what it was doing ... so next time I will close the pane completely by hitting the X, or just tab over to "Elements" and it should be fast. Thank you!!!

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