How do I start a new map?

There are two ways to start a new map.

Method 1: Click the New Topic button on the BigPicture ribbon

Click the New Topic button on the BigPicture ribbon. The new topic is placed at the location of the active cell.

Method 2: Right-click a cell and select New Topic

Select a cell where you want the new topic to be placed and right-click. To the right of Excel's shortcut menus, you will see a BigPicture shortcut menu, and you can select New Topic from it.

Method 2: Right-click a cell and select New Topic

Method 3: Creating a New Map from an Outline

You can use the Outline Pane as an easy way to create a new map by quickly adding individual topics or by importing an outline from a text editor like Microsoft Word.  

Via Manual Entry

Click the Outline View, and then start typing in the <New Topic> box. Each time you hit <Return> a new topic will be added to the map. This allows you the freedom of being able to brainstorm without having to worry about what order your topics are in. You can click and drag the topics in the outline to move them to appropriate locations.

Via Import of Outline

Copy the outline form your text editor. Note that the outline is a simple outline with a tab indentation to denote new levels. You can also copy your outline from an Excel worksheet where a new column represents a new level. BigPicture has included an example file Outline to Map.xlsx file that you can practice with. Here are the steps.

  • Open a blank workbook
  • Click on the Outline icon in the View section of the BigPicture Ribbon (See #1)
  • Click OK when asked if you would like to use the Outline to create a new map.
  • Copy the Outline from either Word, Excel or other program (See#2)
  • Click on the top entry in the Outline Pane (Map - Sheet1)
  • Click the import button
  • Click OK

BigPicture builds the map for you. (See #3)