The Canvas includes your entire document. Think of it like you are a painter without the limits to the base of your painting. You will find the styling options for your Canvas in the Themes Panel.


The most important decision for the readability of your document is certainly the layout. The arrangement of your information determines how easy it is to comprehend what is there. We have two branch styles, curved and orthogonal that you can apply to a map. We also have the option for a layout that is vertical or horizontal. These can be applied individually for each main node.

Smart Layout

Smart Layout automatically arranges your nodes in a compact, easy to read layout. To have branches on only one side, or on both sides you can grab and move them across. If you want to have a balanced document you can choose to Balance Nodes in the Action panel.

Manual Layout

If you want a different node alignment, you can also select Manual Layout.

MindNode will still shift your nodes slightly so they do not overlap each other. If you want control over this too, you can de-select this in the Preferences, uncheck the option Prevent node collisions in manual layout.


To make creating visually appealing mind maps as easy as possible, MindNode provides themes.

You can find the themes in the Theme panel scroll through the themes and when you find the one you want to use double tap. Theme settings get synchronised via iCloud between MindNode on macOS and on iOS.

Personal Themes

To create your own themes, create a new document with a main node, six child nodes and one connection. Set the colors and font to your liking, then select `Add Theme > Extract Theme`This will save the style and it will now be available in the theme selection, where you can also choose a new name.

personal theme
Figure 1. Personal theme layout

You can add existing themes and share your own themes with others. Tap the gear icon underneath the theme for more options.


You can choose to change the background color of your canvas at the top of the themes panel.


Next to the global settings like theme and layout you may want to style individual nodes, or branches to show their particular significance. You can do this in the Style tab. After creating your style selection, you have the option to apply the style to just the current node, or to the whole branch at the bottom of the panel.

The options are to change the node’s width and shape, fill color, and border (including line type, thickness and color). Per default node width is set to automatic. The nodes adapt to the width of the node title, with a maximum around 320pt. For the branch you can select line type, color and thickness. Per default Auto-Decrease Branch Thickness is selected. You can deselect this to choose your own branch thickness.

When reconnecting a node you may want it to inherit the style of the new parent. You can set this as default in the Settings.

For connections you can choose end point styles, both in the origin and at the finish, line style, thickness and line color. The label will have the same color as the connection.

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