Here is my problem: I am creating mindmaps with Mindjen MindManager (see an example here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mindmanager.png)

The problem is that this program has very poor printing capabilities. You have the option to print either an entire map or a subtree of this map with its children or branches to call them so.

If your map is big one you can chose to print it in a poster like manner (the map is scaled to cover let's say 2x2 letter pages) but the result is disappointing because you waste lots of paper. If you chose to print all in one page then because of the down scaling the text can not be read.

The solution that I found it reasonable was to print subtrees of the map. I print that to PDF. The program will let you select and print just one subtree at a time :-(

So if I have two such small subtrees the result will be two PDF documents of one letter page each with just 50% of the space of each page used. What I would like to do is to merge the content of the two PDFs in one letter page now used 100% because now I will have two subtrees on the same page.

Practically that means that I have to open the two documents and copy and paste the content of one into the other and rearrange the content What tools can I use for that ?

  • I tried that but when I move the objects on page the text looks distorted and the background of my modes looks like it left a track behind ..like the track a drop of water leaves on a glass when it moves... The software seems to be able to do everything I need BUT it is incredibly complicated for a beginner. What I need is just a "Select" "Move" sequence followed by a "Copy from the other document" and "Paste in the current document" Sounds simple but the "Move" step does not work as I explained above AND the paste leaves me with strange results, text is not readable ... all in all a mess :(
    – MiniMe
    Jan 10, 2014 at 22:52
  • I don't have installed Mindjet MindManager, but the documentation tells about exporting as image (JPG/PNG/TIFF). Have you tried to export your sub-trees as image and import (and manage) the images in a wordprocessor (to be used to produce the final PDF)? Jan 11, 2014 at 11:24
  • Yes I know that I have that option but it is not a useful one as it requires a lot of toying with the image for an optimal in page positioning. The PDF format is the closest one to the original format (mindjet) which seems to be some sort of vector format. I would have been the happiest person in this word if I could export the mindmaps to Visio as vector objects. ...unfortunatelly that is near to impossible. I have gone down that path too but no luck.
    – MiniMe
    Jan 11, 2014 at 14:54
  • To tell you more about the inconvenience of exporting a subtree to an image take into consideration that my mindmaps will end up as PDFs which among other things allow commenting and annotations and copy and paste for text. All in all the PDF format as close as it can be to the text format has lots of advantages compared with the image format.
    – MiniMe
    Jan 11, 2014 at 14:58
  • Perhaps you'd better find a different software, able to export in SVG format. Jan 12, 2014 at 7:56

2 Answers 2


I finally got around it (sort of). Mindjet has the option to print with borders. When you print with borders it groups the border object and some text in the nodes together and you can not do much about editing the pdf. When you try to copy and paste you get the borders too so the merged document is a mess. Deleting the borders will also delete the text.

Here is how I did it: I selected no border at printing and in that way I was able to select and manipulate the group of nodes together in one or two moves. I was able to obtain the layout and and the efficient editing as I wanted. Man ..what a mess is this PDF/SVG world. Each product with its own implementation and rendering ...I learned a couple of things but my target was different. Wasted a lot of time. Thanks guys for everything!

Please if you have any other idea I would be glad to hear it. I am not completely happy with my solution but this is better than nothing.

At this point I am not sure if this is because Mindjet or because of the PDF printer implementation.

Also a free SVG printer driver for Windows would be greatly appreciated.


A PDF is essentially a 'end of the line' file format. It's not meant to be an editable document in and of itself.

As such, you need to get the PDF into a software program that lets you manipulate the content/elements.

Many programs can do this. Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, etc.

How well a program can import a PDF into an editable format is primarily dependent on how the PDF was created. Sometimes it's an easy task. Sometimes it's not so easy.

Instead of combining, what I'd do is export your mindmap as one PDF on one page. Then open that in something such as AI and delete what you don't want, and scale up the rest. That is likely the least painful workflow.

  • Thanks DA01, unfortunately after deleting the part that I don't want I am being left with gaps between the branches of my mindmap tree which I have to cover by moving more objects that I would be moving if I go with just printing what I need, copying and pasting from one pdf to another. Right now I am happy with what I can do with "copy, paste and reposition" but I am not happy with what Inkscape imports from PDF. Going down the SVG route got me worse results in terms of importing, Inkscape just makes everything visible here is a sample link
    – MiniMe
    Jan 13, 2014 at 2:43
  • As described above, I am now able to print to SVG but I have the same problem as above the nodes look like this The horizontal lines that cross the text should not be visible but Inkscape makes them so
    – MiniMe
    Jan 13, 2014 at 2:44
  • I think you are at the mercy of how MindJet exports, and it sounds like it's exporting a file in a way that gives no consideration to editability.
    – DA01
    Jan 13, 2014 at 5:20

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