Building a map

Getting started

You can begin your map from scratch by dragging an initial map item from the Building Panel onto the workspace and typing in your text. Good item types to start with are Question, Topic or Contention.

You can also start with a template such as the Basic Map. Just drag it from the Building Panel onto the workspace, and click on any box to add text.

Adding a new box

There are several ways to add a new box to your map.


Drag and drop your chosen map item from the Building Panel onto the workspace.

Double click on the workspace to create a new box. Enter text, and then drag the box to its new home in your map. The box type will be decided automatically depending on its place in the map. If you want to change the type of box, click on the ‘Box’ button in the Home ribbon or use the right click menu.

Press the Insert key to add a new child box to a selected box. The new box is automatically set to be the appropriate type for the next step in your decision mapping process, but you can change it by clicking on the ‘Box’ button in the Home ribbon or using the right click menu.

Press the Enter key to a new sibling box of the same box type to a selected box. If you’re editing the text in a box and want to exit and add a new sibling box, you can do this by pressing Shift-Enter.

Connecting a box

When you drag a new box near your map, indicators appear to show you where it will attach when you release the mouse button. The parent box it will attach to is outlined in blue and a red line shows where the new box will be in relation to the boxes around it.

The same thing happens when you relocate a box or a branch within your map. Just click on it and drag it to its new position.


Detaching a box

To detach a box or a branch from your map, click on it and drag it away from the rest of the map. It will stay on the workspace and you can reattach it where and when you like.

You can also select ‘Detach’ in the right-click menu, or press Ctrl-Shift-D.

Deleting a box

Press the Delete key or select ‘Delete’ from the right click menu to delete the box and its descendants from the map.

The ‘Delete’ button on the Home ribbon will also delete the box and the branch it heads. Use the drop-down menu to delete the selected box only.

When a box is selected, press the Backspace key to delete the text in that box.