Understand the Freeplane interface


The main workspace in Freeplane is the map window in the center. You can have several maps open at the same time, each one marked by a tab at the top of the map window.

Above the map window are the Menu bar and several toolbars. At the top is the Menu bar, which lets users take actions such as opening and editing maps. Below that is the toolbar (lets you perform Menu actions by clicking icons), then the filter bar (for searching and filtering nodes), and then the F-bar (for quickly performing actions using Function keys as hotkeys).

On the left is the Icon Panel, used to easily add icons to nodes, and on the right is the Tool panel, which has four tabs used for various functions. The Icon Panel and Tool Panel can be toggled open and closed by clicking on the black triangle/arrow on the skinny sidebars on either side of the map window.

When made visible, the Notes Panel is below the map window, and at the bottom of the Freeplane interface is the status bar, which shows information about the selected node.

The Freeplane interface

Here we describe the default Freeplane interface in more detail. Almost all of these elements can be customized or hidden.

Map window

Tool bar

Filter bar


Icon panel

Tool panel

Docked on the right side of Freeplane is the Tool panel, which can be toggled open/closed with Alt+P or by clicking the arrow in the right skinny sidebar.

The Tool panel has four tabs, also called "panels": the Format Panel, the Attributes Panel, the Calendar Panel, and the Presentations panel. Of these four, most users will only use the Format Panel.

(to be added)

Format panel

Attributes panel

Calendar panel

Presentations panel

Note panel

Status bar

Undocked control windows

Some of Freeplane's functions are controlled by windows that appear upon certain user actions. These pop-up windows include the following:

Style Editor

The Style Editor is the main interface for editing node styles. See Styles for more information.

(to be added)

Filter Composer

The Filter Composer works together with the Filter Toolbar to help you find and display a subset of your map nodes, which can be useful for a wide variety of tasks. See Filtering nodes for more information.

(to be added)

Script Editor

Find Panel

The Find Panel provides a pop-up version of the Find Toolbar that can be left open to better manage searches. See Searching Nodes for more information.

(to be added)

Find and Replace Panel

In-Dialog Node Editor

Freeplane nodes and node elements can be edited "in-line" or "in dialog". Editing nodes in-line means to edit them directly in the map. This is the most common way to edit nodes. To edit nodes or node elements in dialog means to edit them in a pop-up window that offers more editing options and controls.

Freeplane uses an editor called SimplyHTML. It is a basic editor with some drawbacks (such as limited support for keyboard controls), but the team does not currently have the capacity to update it or integrate a different editor with Freeplane. Offers to help on this front are welcomed.

(to be added)

Map context menu (right-click menu)

Right-click a free space in the background to open the so-called Background Context Menu. In this menu you can activate or deactivate the "menu bar", "tool bar", "filter bar", F-key bar and "icon bar"

(to be added)

Node context menu (right-click menu)

View options

To view or hide workspace elements


View settings

Working with map windows

Activating maps / moving between maps

Creating map windows

Arranging map windows

Split views


Understanding hotkeys

Customizing hotkeys

Saving/loading hotkeys

Viewing hotkey assignments

Other resources