The ability to lock not only objects but also topics.

Mike shared this idea 2 years ago
Voting Open

Changing the geometry of smart objects can sometimes lead to ugly jumps of related floating topics or other nasty visual accidents. This cannot always be avoided and the consequences are so time consuming that they cannot be ignored. Particularly complex constructs, which continue to grow and often require radical redesign, can easily lead to such situations.

Hence my suggestion: Let us also lock individual topics or entire topic groups, or at least all topics at once. This would make it possible to reshape all types of objects without causing undesirable side effects.

This would be a bit like working with layers in any professional graphics software. Anyone who knows this will no longer want to work any other way.

Replies (2)


Are you using the "Topic Container" feature of SmartShapes?


Thanks for the tip! A better use of containers make the work and elements more controllable. I have to "study" MM more closely, it seems ;-)

Nevertheless I still want to be able to lock the topics, but I've thought about how I can adapt the suggestion to the current functionality and combine it with other related needs. So I'll stick with the container feature as a way.

Current Situation

  1. Smart shapes act as containers, which is a kind of "soft locking" topics.
  2. Smart shapes can be locked.


  1. Topics are not really locked, hence not completely "safe".
  2. We can only unlock a shape from the side pane. (open it, find the locked shape, unlock it. A long way). Container on/off is also not possible until we unlock the shape.
  3. There is no mouse over effect for locked shapes. This is good and bad at the same time. If we need a kind of invisible shape, hence one that has the same color as the background, then we cannot recognize if it is there, if locked.


You have to see the attached picture to get a better idea, but here is a brief description.

  1. Smart shapes would always show little indicators while mouse over. (in the visual sample represented as locks)
  2. Indicators don't only indicate, they are Buttons too. Whatever you do, you can always do it directly clicking on them.
  3. A smart shape can have three states now. We already know two of them: a shape is locked/unlocked and a container active or not. The third and new function is a hard lock for contained topics. This means, contained topics cannot be moved anymore. Shape and topics are one. (If it is allowed to change other things like topic color or shape, if they can be linked or not, these are things for the options panel)
  4. A click on indicators locks/unlocks... shapes or topics. Holding down an anditional key while clicking leads to a hard lock. Or we could click three times o an indicator if they have three states.


  1. Always feedback while mouse over. (So you even discover "invisible" shapes if they are there)
  2. You can always act instantly. No side pane excursions, no need for the context menu function lists.
  3. Completely safe topics or topic positions if needed


Re issue #2: you can also lock and unlock all background shapes at the same time in the map context menu. Right-click in the background and go to the "Background" submenu. This is often quicker than using the task pane, unless you have given every shape a meaningful name that helps to identify it.