EdTech Help GuidesED200 CmapToolsWhat Are The Basics Of CmapTools?

What Are The Basics Of CmapTools?

In this article, you will learn about the different aspects of CmapTools and how to use them. This will answer questions about creating concepts, connecting concepts, changing the looks of the concept map, and so on.

Using Cmap

For help creating a new Cmap, please view our tutorial called "How do I create a Cmap?"

Main Window

The first step in using a Cmap is opening one. When CmapTools opens, you may select a previously saved Cmap or create a new one.

To open a previously saved Cmap, double click on the icon above the name of your project.

The Cmap will then open in a new window and you will be able to edit it.

Blank Cmap

This is the main window for working within Cmap.

To add a concept, double click wherever you want the concept to appear.

To create a concept connected to an already existing concept, click and hold the arrow button and drag it to wherever you wish  the new concept to be created.

Creating Concepts

  1. This is what it looks like before you release the mouse.
  2. This is what will happen when you release the mouse.
  3. This is a connecting idea. It is a place where you can type words that you feel connect your two concepts. It is automatically created when you connect two concepts.

Connecting Concepts

You can connect two pre-existing concepts in the same manner, simply click and drag the arrow from one to the other.

If you wish to connect concepts without the connecting idea in between, hold shift while dragging the arrow.

Add Text

To add text to a concept, double click on the concept you wish to add text to.

Alterring Concept Shapes, Colors, Size, and Font

Cmap has a style palette much like Microsoft Word. You use this to change the concept shape, you can change the background color of the concept, the font size, style, and color. The next section will cover all of these things.

Opening Style Palette

If the style palette does not open when you click on a concept, click on the "Window" tab and select the "Show style palette."

The Style Palette and Editing Font

This is the style palette. When it opens up, this is the default setting.

  1. The Font tab is the default tab. From this you can change what you want with the font.
  2. This is where you can change the size of the text within the concept. Click on the arrows to select a new size.
  3. If you click on the arrows of this box, you can change the style of font for your text.
  4. Clicking on one of these three letters will change the text to bold, italicized, and/or, underlined. To remove this formatting, click the button again.
  5. To change your text color, click on the arrow in this box and simply select whichever color you desire.
  6. Concepts are set to have their text alligned in the center. By clicking on this arrow you can change the allignment of the text.

Editing Objects

  1. Click on the Object tab in order to alter characteristics of the concept shape and its color.
  2. To change the shape of the concept, click on the arrow and a menu will appear beneath it. There are three shape options: box, rounded box, and oval.
  3. Changing the background color of the concept requires you to click the arrow and then select what color you wish your shape to be.
  4. The Shadow option creates a colored shadow underneath the concept. Click on the arrow and select what color you want the shadow to be.

Object Examples

  1. Box shape with background color.
  2. Oval shape with colored shadow.
  3. Rounded box with both background color and shadow.

Editing Lines

  1. Click on the Line tab to change characteristics of the borders around a concept as well as the lines connecting concepts.
  2. This option will change the color of the border around concepts and the color of connecting lines. Click on the arrow and select which color you would like.
  3. To change the thickness of borders and lines, click on the arrow and select how thick of lines you want.
  4. There are several options for how your lines can look. By clicking on the arrow you can view the options and select one.
  5. This button can change the layout of lines from straight to curvey, or other options. This is less likeley to be used.

Editing Cmaps

  1. Clicking on the Cmap tab allows you to alter characteristics of the concept map in general.
  2. By clicking on this arrow you can change the background color of your whole concept map.
  3. This button allows you to add a background image that has already been imported into Cmap. This will be covered in another tutorial.

Note: Whenever you have alterred the styles for a concept, the next concept you create will automatically have the same settings. You may have to change settings for individual concepts.

Change Size of Concept

To increase the size of a concept shape, click and drag the box with an arrow in it at the bottom right corner of the shape.

Miscellaneous Helps

Moving Multiple Concepts

To move multiple concepts at the same time, click and drag your cursor to encompass all of the concepts you wish to move.

Then, click and drag the selected concepts wherever you would like them to go.

Cmap Navigation Tool

The Cmap Navigation tool may appear when you are working on a Cmap. It can also be brought up manually. It is useful when you are working on a larger project because you can scroll through the concept map using it. To open it, click on the "Window" tab at the top of your screen and select "Show navigation tool."

This is what it looks like:

Spell Check

To do a spell check of your Cmap, click on the "tools" tab and select "spelling."

Making Cmap Larger

In order to enlarge the space that you are working with in Cmap, create a new concept, or select an existing concept.

Click and drag this concept to either the right or bottom edge of the screen, and hold it there while the screen moves. This will create more space for you to work in.

Created by Kevin

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