How to Create Mind Maps in Word 2011

Written by david weedmark Google
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Word 2011 is part of the Microsoft Office for Mac Suite. This version contains a lot of features that were not available in Word 2004, especially with the number of SmartArt sets of shapes available. Many of these sets are predefined in their structure, such as the "Heirarchy" or "Pyramid" sets. While these are great for some illustrations, try not to use them when creating a mind map. Because a mind map is an illustration of ideas and their relationships to each other, mind maps should take on their own structure as they are being developed and not restrained by a template.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Open Word 2011 on your Mac and start a new blank document. Change the page layout to landscape if desired by clicking the "Layout" button and selecting "Landscape" from the "Orientation" menu.

  2. 2

    Click the "Smart Art" button in the second menu bar from the top.

  3. 3

    Click the "Shape" button and select any shape. Drag the cursor across the centre of the page to place the shape. Use this shape for your central idea, from which other ideas will branch out.

  4. 4

    Click where the shape says "Text," then type a word or two to describe the idea the shape represents.

  5. 5

    Select a new shape as described above and place it anywhere you desire on the page.

  6. 6

    Connect the shapes by drawing a line between them. Click an "Arrow" shape in the SmartArt menu and drag the arrow between the two shapes.

  7. 7

    Repeat the above steps, adding new ideas and drawing lines between the shapes to represent their relationships.

  8. 8

    Add text to an arrow to describe the dynamics of the relationship between two objects.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep your words short and succinct when drawing a mind map in Word. If you find the map is becoming too large or the lines between ideas too complex, try drawing the map on paper first. You can then recreate the most important ideas in a mind map using Word.

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