Alternatives to CmapTools for all platforms with any license



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  • yEd Graph Editor icon

    yEd Graph Editor

    yEd is a powerful diagram editor that can be used to quickly create diagrams manually or import external data for analysis and auto-magically arrange even large data sets by just pressing a button. You can use yEd to quickly create...

    Free Mac Windows Linux Web / Cloud BSD

    No features added Add a feature
  • LibreOffice - Draw icon

    LibreOffice - Draw

    Draw lets you produce anything from a quick sketch to a complex plan, and gives you the means to communicate with graphics and diagrams. With a maximum page size of 300cm by 300cm, Draw is a an excellent package for producing...

    Open Source Mac Windows Linux BSD

    No features added Add a feature
    • CmapTools has more space on the screen to draw a flowchart, LibreOffice Draw no. Anyway CmapTools does not work on my version of Windows 10 instead LibreOffice yes. Guest • Aug 2016 Disagree   Agree
  • Microsoft Office Visio icon

    Microsoft Office Visio

    Microsoft Office Visio makes it easy for IT and business professionals to visualize, explore, and communicate complex information. Go from complicated text and tables that are hard to understand to Visio diagrams that communicate...

    Commercial Windows Windows RT

    No features added Add a feature
  • Visual Understanding Environment icon

    Visual Understanding Environment

    Visual Understanding Environment (VUE) is a mind-mapping and concept-mapping tool. It is also a non-linear presentation program.

    Open Source Mac Windows Linux

    No features added Add a feature
    • Discontinued The last commit to the GitHub repo was made on October 8th, 2015.
  • Mindomo icon


    Mindomo is the easiest online software for creating mind maps, concept maps, outlines and various other types of diagrams. The following features make it the perfect choice both for business and education: * real-time collaboration ...

    Freemium Mac Windows Linux Web / Cloud Android Android Tablet ... iPad Chrome Safari Firefox

    No features added Add a feature
  • Edraw Max icon

    Edraw Max

    Creating flowcharts, organizational charts, business diagrams, science illustration, network diagrams, mind map and lots more. Free Examples Download.

    Commercial Mac Windows Linux

  • Coggle icon


    Coggle is a simple, beautiful, powerful way of structuring information. It's designed to help you understand things, and then share your knowledge by arranging your document in the same way that your mind works. This way of...

    Free Web / Cloud

  • ThinkComposer icon


    Create deep visual documents, adaptable and multi-level diagrams, flowcharts, concept maps, mind maps and models. Users can: - Define their own types of nodes and connectors, to reuse nomenclature, symbols, details structure. - Add...

    Open Source Windows

  • Protégé icon


    Protégé is a free, open source ontology editor and knowledge-base framework. The Protégé platform supports two main ways of modeling ontologies via the Protégé-Frames and Protégé-OWL editors....

    Open Source Mac Windows Linux

    No features added Add a feature
  • icon is an easier and more flexible way to create mind maps and brainstorm online. It allows to connect notes, images, files, etc. into free form maps.

    Free Personal Mac Windows Web / Cloud

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  • Flying Logic icon

    Flying Logic

    Highly visual software for planning support used by strategists, process improvement specialists, and teachers. Windows and Mac OS X.

    Commercial Mac Windows Linux

    No features added Add a feature
  • Aibase icon


    Aibase is a universal software: Knowledge Builder, Learn Helper, Hyperlink System, Outliner (with notes), Vector Graphics Editor, Calculator (is document-content; extensible by Python), Concept-Mapper, Mind-Mapper and Flow-Charter....

    Commercial Windows

  • Calligra Braindump icon

    Calligra Braindump

    Braindump is a tool to dump and organize the content of your brain (ideas, drawings, images, texts…) to your computer.

    Open Source Mac Linux

    No features added Add a feature
  • Diagrammix icon


    Diagrammix is a tool for efficiently building attractive diagrams. If you are an office worker, developer, manager, supervisor, student or home user you can draw almost anything in extremely simple and intuitive way. You'll...

    Commercial Mac

    No features added Add a feature
  • Compendium icon


    Compendium is a software tool providing a flexible visual interface for managing the connections between information and ideas. Many people use Compendium to manage their personal digital information resources, since you can...

    Open Source Mac Windows Linux

    No features added Add a feature
    • It's a software for learning purposes. It's more than CMapTools Guest • Dec 2015 Disagree   Agree
  • PathVisio icon


    PathVisio is a free open-source pathway analysis and drawing software that allows drawing, editing and analysing biological pathways.

    Open Source Web / Cloud

    No features added Add a feature
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  • Creately icon


    Creately makes diagramming and design easy. We do this with an access anywhere, online application that is purpose built for collaboration. Creately allows teams to solve problems and collaborate visually. It stands out from the...

    Freemium Mac Windows Linux Web / Cloud

  • argunet editor icon

    argunet editor

    Argunet Editor is a free argument map editor for analyzing and visualizing complex debates. You can use it offline and save your debates on your hard-disk. Or you can use it as a client-server application.

    Open Source Mac Windows Linux

    No features added Add a feature
  • Inspiration icon


    Inspiration K-12 supports visual thinking techniques, enabling students to easily create and update graphic organizers, concept maps, idea maps and other ...

    Commercial Mac Windows

    No features added Add a feature
  • Novamind icon


    Produce unique, information rich, vivid solutions for enhanced creative thinking and compelling presentations. Smooth curves and colorful pictures create powerful images for your brain to remember. Branches can be contoured to your...

    Commercial Mac Windows

    No features added Add a feature
  • textografo icon


    Online diagramming application which generate diagrams based on text and allows real time collaboration.

    Commercial Web / Cloud

    No features added Add a feature
  • comapping icon


    Comapping is the best online collaborative mind mapping tool for business process planning and group projects management.

    Commercial Mac Windows Web / Cloud Adobe AIR

    • Discontinued The program seems to be no longer updated. Last version, released in 2013, can be still bought from the official website.
  • Cogimap icon


    Professional Mind Mapping app for BlackBerry PlayBook: Awesome support tool for intensive brainstorming session Share, discuss and improve your ideas Manage visual todo lists Write meeting minutes

    Commercial PlayBook

    No features added Add a feature
    • Discontinued The app is no longer updated. Last version,, released in July 2011, can be still downloaded from Blackberry AppWorld.
  • Nevron Draw icon

    Nevron Draw

    Nevron Draw is a powerful yet easy to use software for creating diagrams. It provides a large selection of shapes, formula based engine like in Microsoft Office Visio , a lot of automatic layout algorithms...

    Commercial Mac Windows

    No features added Add a feature
  • Mental icon


    Mental is a concept mapping app for the iPad. Concept maps organize knowledge in the form of a graph of concepts. Concepts are represented as a noun phrase enclosed in a rectangular box, and are connected to other concept boxes by...

    Free iPad

    No features added Add a feature
  • Simple Surface icon

    Simple Surface

    If you're planning anything bigger or more complicated, you need a surface! Simple Surface is an agile management tool. Quickly and easily create a surface and spread your ideas out. Add structure. Move things around. Zoom in and...

    Freemium Web / Cloud

  • Argumentative icon


    Argumentative is software for creating Argument Maps (the structural and visual representation of arguments). Argument maps help to make decisions clearer or assist in formulating a position on an issue.

    Open Source Windows

    No features added Add a feature
    • Discontinued no updates since 2009
  • NodeMind icon


    NodeMind is powerful, reliable and ergonomic tool for visualization and design. With the help of this program you are able to create schemes and mind maps, plan events, generate new ideas, exchange information structures, carry out...

    Commercial Windows

    No features added Add a feature
  • Mind Pad

    Mind Pad is a mind map software. Map your ideas paperless, painless. Mind Pad is a concept mapping software designed to organize ideas into nice looking map with text outline.

    Commercial Windows

    No features added Add a feature

CmapTools Comments

Concept maps and mind maps

Comment by marcoguastavigna
about CmapTools Dec 2014

Concept maps and mind maps have a logical model and visually different. The alternatives to Cmap proposals are wrong because they are software to process mental maps.
This error is very serious but it is also very common among those who are visual thinking beginner.


* Also, I've found that the auto-arrange feature is actuall ...

Comment by TimAustralia
about CmapTools Jun 2011

* Also, I've found that the auto-arrange feature is actually a good 'motivational tool'. It's quite fun to make a little map of your ideas, and then how the auto-arrange feature would arrange those same nodes/thoughts.
Note that you can auto-arrange not just the whole maps, but any nodes-and-links you select...'s only a small thrill (!), but it makes it more fun to write/think.


* A more obvious feature is that you can link nodes to othe ...

Comment by TimAustralia
about CmapTools Jun 2011

* A more obvious feature is that you can link nodes to other whole maps...Newbies should know that the way you GO TO the other map is by clicking on the actual NAME of the linked map, not just the little map symbol.


[continued from previous comment]ADVICE:* Don't hesitate to ...

Comment by TimAustralia
about CmapTools Jun 2011

[continued from previous comment]

* Don't hesitate too much to spread a large project over several maps. The search feature and linking makes this pretty workable.


* I stick very strongly by my crit that you can't search inside nested nodes OR annotations. And also the text inside the node is supposed to be searchable but it didn't work when i tried it.

* Also, some export formats don't always work properly. If you are using export to back up, make sure you check.

* It seems difficult to make a style sheet for nodes that operates in all maps.

* There is no easy way to store your cmaps (safely) in the folder of your choice (off of c-drive). You can do so at installation phase, but if you try to do that via a reinstall, it can be tricky...

* Having search in toolbar would be nice, rather than having to call it up...esp considering this is an info-wrangling program so suited to large amts of data!

* Would be nice if you had the choice to make nested nodes take the name of the top node, rather than having to make a whole new name
NOTE TO ALTERNATIVETO people: it would be good if people could EDIT their comments.
This would save:
- having info that may turn out not to be true..many programs have alot of features that aren't easy to find at first.
- a build-up of many comments, with often a bit of repetition
After all, software is not some controversial subject where you have to prevent people 'changing it later';


ELABORATION...this product is rather awesome!I've been usin ...

Comment by TimAustralia
about CmapTools Jun 2011

ELABORATION...this product is rather awesome!

I've been using cmap tools for a few days now and some of its features are sufficiently useful that I've changed over to using it to write my book.

* I've discovered it has a (little-known?) feature that allows you to easily LINK nodes to nodes in OTHER MAPS. One way you can do this is by having both maps open, and dragging a link-line ONTO the node in the other map you want to link to. This is EXTREMELY useful for me, and I'm sure others. Awesome!

* I complained before about the fact that the link-lines have two legs (rather than the one used in most mm programs)...which can make for a real dog-legged mess of links as soon as you move a node. I must slightly alter my comments by adding:

- there is an ADVANTAGE to this, in that you can actually link FROM LINKS, not just nodes. This is...awesome!
- also: you can have a link that has just one leg.
HOWEVER: these single-leg link lines can't be labelled. I see no reason why such a feature can't be easily added.

* Adding and removing nodes to 'nested nodes' is still much more complicated than it needs to be, but given the coolness of it's other features, I'm putting up with it for now. What I've also found tho is that you can link from inside a nested set-of-nodes, right out to other nodes. Awesome!
[see next comment]


Frankly, the two-legged connecting line thing ruins the who ...

Comment by TimAustralia
about CmapTools Jun 2011

Frankly, the two-legged connecting line thing ruins the whole is SO irritating!


Could be v useful for study or to plan something like a boo ...

Comment by TimAustralia
about CmapTools Jun 2011

Could be v useful for study or to plan something like a book or project.

* It is one of by far the easiest programs to quickly make nodes and links, and to label links
* It has an open space - you are not tied to a 'master node' like most mindmappers. It's similar to the excellent Compendium in this.
* Has a very cool auto-arrange feature
* You can add both notes and annotations.

* Also has an interesting feature called nesting. This allows you to put a group of nodes inside another node, and then make that node small. This COULD be a useful way to manage a large amount of info by temporarily hiding bits of it. HOWEVER...


* You can't search:
- inside nested nodes.
- inside annotations and notes
This limits the program a great deal if you want to use it to write a large text or organise a large project.

* You can't just copy or throw nodes into nested nodes...
Once you group a bunch of nodes into a nested node, that's it.
To add more, it's a complex process.
This greatly limits what could otherwise be an awesome feature, similar to Compendium's nesting abilities.

* The links between nodes I found VERY irritating.
For some reason the developers decided it was a good idea to give each link TWO legs - one on each side of the label, different to most other programs.
So as soon as you start moving nodes around, you end up with a zig-zagging mess. It would be good if you could CHOOSE to just have the links in single lines. You will USE that auto-arrange!


Very nice package. Under Windows. On my Ubuntu system the ...

Comment by ttmrichter
about CmapTools Jun 2011

Very nice package. Under Windows. On my Ubuntu system the editing pane is permanently blank. Pity it isn't open sourced so people could, you know, fix it when it breaks.