Troubles with boundaries - limited to one tree only

Jernotti shared this question 16 months ago

Hello folks!

I am MM beginner using version 2019.

I am trying everything possible to put a boundary around multiple trees/branches, but fail. Every single tree/branch/object gets its own boundary. Boundaries never span over more then one object, Problem appears with different map types. (See attached screenshot.)

What am I doing wrong?



Replies (1)


Insert another level of subtopics, and you will see that the boundaries grow. (Boundaries only work on hierarchical maps, not flowcharts, and concept maps do not have a hierarchy that the boundaries can grow around as topics are connected with relationships. For those maps you should use shapes as shown in the second image below)


For non hierarchical maps:

Hope that helps


Your explanation cleared things up.

Thank you!


Hi Joel,

On the subject of boundaries, I think there was a suggestion some time ago proposing options like adding a boundary to only some subtopics, and even the ability to overlap boundaries. Some of MindManager's competitors are already able to do this.

In the map below I've demonstrated how these boundaries could look using shapes. These work OK for demonstration purposes, but since you can't group or lock shapes and topics together the topics concerned can easily be moved out of place relative to the shapes by adding additional topics and subtopics to the map.

Are these boundary options being considered? A simpler option might be to allow shapes to be locked to topics which would produce a similar result.






Not quite sure whether you’re quoting me, or asking for a quote regarding my response…


Alex, I think it's important that you post improvement ideas as an idea allowing users to vote for it. To post an idea in a comment to a user question risks "hiding" your ideas.

To comment on the idea as such (and I know - that you know Alex - but explaining for newer users).
I would use tags for such a use case. A boundary is just a visual queue. A tag can also be colored (visual queue) but in addition, filtered for which you can with a boundary. = Tags would (in my view) offer a better solution to overlapping areas in a map, regardless of whether in MindManager or another system.

I've built (and attached) a small example where I work with Tag A and Tag B, in combination with three SmartRules applying a topic style to match the tagging.


But please post your idea in the idea section, and let's hope for many votes. As of right now, I do not recall seeing overlapping boundaries on the road map.


Hi Joel,

Thanks for your detailed response.

Yes, I am aware of the advantages of posting ideas as ideas rather than as comments (I fact, I've posted around 35 ideas on the current forum), but as I pointed out in this case I thought it had already been raised as a suggestion which I was following up. As it turns out it has been suggested at least a couple of times, but only the old community forum, so I will raise it again as an idea here.

Thanks also for your suggested workaround. I use tags and SmartRules extensively and while I don't think this approach provides a complete substitute for boundaries (I'll give my reasons in a moment) it is still a neat solution in some situations.

I have one question though. You have used topic styles for the different effects. The single-tag/single-colour ones are easy enough to replicate, but I'm intrigued as to how you created the "50:50" half-orange half-green topic style.

I thought I would do something similar but a little simpler, which is to use SmartRules to directly apply fill and line colours based on tags and tag combinations, as follows:


This approach has the advantage that you can apply these colours to any topic at any level without using specific styles and without changing the rest of the topic's style.

Now to my comment about tags and topic colouring versus boundaries. As I said I use tags a lot and for many purposes they are great, but not necessarily for highlighting a group of subtopics and in particular overlapping groups of subtopics, for the following reasons:

  1. Usually you want to use a boundary to highlight a specific part of a map, or to clearly delineate different sub-groups of topics. Even if they are grouped together, similarly coloured topics simply don't stand out as much.
  2. Unlike applying boundaries, even two or more overlapping ones, setting up tag-based topic colouring requires a degree of planning. It also means that you have to devote a set of tags to this task. These could easily become a distraction especially if you are already using tags in the map, and the problem is compounded if you are also using topic colouring for other purposes.
  3. Likewise, using this approach especially for overlapping groups requires the development of a set of SmartRules which have to be designed carefully and then sorted into the right order. In your example with only two tags you need three SmartRules, for mine above with three tags you need seven, and so on.
  4. By contrast, in the programs that offer an overlapping boundary facility you simply just apply the boundaries to the relevant topics, select the colours and set the appropriate transparency for the top boundary. Boundaries can be easily and quickly added, and removed.

My final two comments are that while overlapping and partial boundaries haven't been nominated recently as an idea on the forum (which I am about to rectify), there certainly have been questions on whether or how they can be used. And while MindManager clearly dominates the field in terms of its mapping smarts, versatility and sheer power, I think its presentation tools could be broadened (for example, with more map types such as tree tables, circular/pie maps, etc) and their overall appearance updated. MindManager maps should be capable of looking, for want of a better word, a lot "sparkier" - and yes, I'll make some suggestions along these lines.


Hi Alex,
Thank you for your comprehensive explanation. Your suggestion regarding boundaries is great, and we appreciate all ideas for improvements to MindManager. Sometimes we are limited in what we can build due to the complexity of MindManager and the various environments it operates in. We have Windows, Mac, Web, Chromebook, and Teams to consider, plus all our readers need to be updated for each build, making some features more challenging to develop than others. Boundaries are especially complex and important to align between all platforms as they are vital to the map's look. We can't just say, "hey, it's easy to accomplish in our Web version," - and do it there ;)

However, we constantly work to improve MindManager and add new features that our users will find helpful. We recognize the importance of improving the presentation tools in MindManager, and we are always looking for ways to make maps look more dynamic and engaging. We are also committed to providing our users with high customization and flexibility, so we appreciate suggestions like yours for new features and improvements.

I greatly value your vast product knowledge and dedication to MindManager. Your feedback is incredibly valuable to us, and we always take highly rated ideas in our forum into consideration when planning our roadmap for future updates.

Thank you for your continued support of MindManager.

Ps: Here's how I created the split color in my topic style: (The image is attached). The effect in the SmartRule is "Apply topic style" when tags A and B are inserted into the topic.





Hi Joel, thanks for your response and your very kind comments, and also for the background on the split colour custom topic.

I understand that introducing new features or improving existing ones like boundaries is a challenging process for a program as complex as MindManager. In this regard I wonder whether the supplementary suggestion I put forward re boundaries, ie, introducing the ability to group shapes with topics, is a help - or a hinderance.