Is there a way to inherit parent background color?

Stefan Lischker shared this question 14 days ago


In a Kanban Map I want to visualize a task to its parent node by inheritig the parents background color. How can I do this?

Comments (3)


Hi Stefan,

What version of MindManager are you using?


Hi Sia,

I use the latest MM 2021 on Win10 PC.


It's difficult to "inherit" the parent colour directly. You can set up a SmartRule in which you can set the fill colour for all subtopics belonging to a specific parent by selecting the "Topic belongs to branch" trigger, nominating the specific branch and then selecting the fill colour. You would have to create a SmartRule for each parent.

Under this approach you don't have to establish the fill colour directly for each parent as they will also assume the branch colour (unless you tick the Include only descendants in the Select branch(es) dialogue box), though there are some advantages in doing so.

The main problem with this approach is that the fill colour will be applied in all views and not just the Kanban one. You can however turn the relevant SmartRules on or off; if you do want to turn them off in other map views then you should consider applying the fill colour to the parent topics directly so that the parents will always have the appropriate colour regardless of the type of map view.


I've added a few images to show how to do this. The first is an example SmartRule:


When you click on the Select Branch(es) trigger you can click on the branches required. The following shows the four SmartRules:


This is the result in Map View:


- and this is the Kanban view:



Hi Stefan,

Alex's suggestion to use SmartRules is probably the best solution, the downside as stated is you need to set up rules for each parent that you want this functionality for. If you need help setting it up or you get stuck let us know!


Hi Stefan,

As Alex mentioned, one option would be to use Smart Rules. But maybe it is easier to use the line color instead of fill colors. The line color is inherited to the subtopics in hierarchical maps.

Map View:


Kanban (Tag-) View:


Hope this workaround fits to your requirements.





thank you very much for your proposals and the quick responses. I'm really overwhelmed by your knowhow!

Using the Smart Rules seem to be the best solution.

To be honest the background color issue is (resp. was) only one task in my requirement..

Let me explain: I like to use with MS ToDo to organize my daily work. But very often the small tasks are part of a (very) little project. MS ToDo is not focused on project "management". So I had the idea of a process like this:

1. Enter a Task in MS ToDo in a specific project-task list. Now an MS-Outlook task is created in this sub list "project-task".

2. In Outlook I open the Tasks and give the tasks in the sub list a colored category. (This sholud be don only for the first task of a new project; later you can do this in mindmanager too)6aae074259ee381585b79936802c687c

3. I set up a Kanban mindmap in Mindmanager. By creating a sync link into Outlook tasks (advanced-Outlook-Query) and select the task sub list "Project-task".


4. In Mindmanager I start the query to synchronize the tasks. Now the Outlook task are part of the mindmap with all categories (and their colors). The Outlook categories and colors are shown in every single mindmap-task.


5. Adding new tasks from MS ToDo to Kanban map is simple: The uncategoreized tasks are shown in the mindmap as uncategorized. Now I add a mindmap categorie to the uncategorized task and start synching twice: First to create the task in Outlook which adds the Color of categorie to the task. Second to synch the Outlook task with the mindmap. Here the task has the background color of the category.

So I hope you can follow my description. If you have any question or comments to it don't hesitate to talk to me.



Hi Stefan,

I’m glad this is working for you. I used to use this approach quite a lot to sync tasks with categories and category colours between MindManager and Outlook, but then I started experiencing syncing problems in MM19 and 20. I could never get to the bottom of the problem so I gave up.

With MM21 task syncing seems to be working again, but while categories are synced, for some reason I can’t get the colours to sync. Your response seems to suggest this may be a local issue rather than a wider bug so I’ll give it another go.

One tip - if you want to make all the Outlook categories and their colours available in MindManager in one go, create a dummy task in Outlook and apply all the categories to it, then sync it with the map you’re using in MM. The categories with their colours should appear in the Map Index.

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