Customize Your Map's Layout

This feature is available to all users

Choose one of MindMeister's auto-layout options to quickly organize your topics. If you'd prefer to manually drag and drop topics on the canvas, you can also disable auto-layout.

Explore Three Layout Options

There are three types of auto-layout in MindMeister: mind map, list and org chart. 


  • Mind Maps: In mind maps, first-level topics are organized around the central topic in a radial structure. Second-level topics branch from the first-level topics in the same way. 


  • List. In this layout, topics are aligned in a single, vertical list. Second-level topics are placed underneath their parent topics, slightly indented to show hierarchy levels. 


  • Org Chart. In org charts, first-level topics are aligned horizontally underneath the central topic. Second-level and lower-level topics are aligned vertically beneath these using the list structure. 

Select an Auto-Layout for Your Map

To change the layout of your entire map:


  1. Select the central topic of your map.
  2. Click the Layout icon in the right sidebar.
  3. Choose between a Mind map, Org chart or List for your map.


Map Layouts

Changing your map's layout from the central topic will change the layout of all child topics (in many cases, this is your whole mind map). However, disconnected topics (or topics for which auto-layout has been disabled) will not be affected by the new style (see below).

Use Multiple Layouts in a Single Map

Advanced mind mappers may feel the need to combine multiple layouts in a single mind map. Let's say, for example, that one branch of your mind map would be best displayed as a list. To combine map layouts:


  1. Right-click the topic you'd like to branch off into a different layout (or select it and click the ellipsis).
  2. Click the Layout icon.
  3. Click the switch to disable Auto align.
  4. Select a new layout from the list.
  5. Press Tab to create a new sub-topic in your chosen layout.


Multiple Layouts

Adding multiple layouts to your map may cause certain topics to overlap! Be sure to manually move topics and find a layout that works for you.

Disable Auto-Layout to Manually Move Topics

If you'd prefer to manually drag and drop a topic anywhere on the canvas, you can disable auto layout. To do this:


  1. Right-click the topic you'd like to manually move (Or select it and click the ellipsis ...).
  2. Click the Layout icon.
  3. Click the button to disable Auto align.
  4. You can now move your topic anywhere using drag and drop.


Bulk Selecting

You can hold the CTRL key to select multiple topics on your map and disable auto align for multiple topics. Be careful! Disabling auto layout for a few select topics works well, but as your mind map grows, having too many manual topics can quickly make your map difficult to handle!

Create a Free Floating Topic

You can detach any topic to create a floating topic separate from the rest of your mind map. Use floating topics to create keys, indexes or even entirely new maps within a single canvas.

Find out more in our dedicated article here.

Still Scrolling?

Ask your question in the MindMeister Community!


Was this article helpful?