Selecting Topics


Many operations (changing color, shape, font etc) can be applied to multiple topics simultaneously. For this to work, you much first select those topics. This page describes how.



Selecting topics on Mac/Windows is pretty standard.

  • Click on the background canvas and drag to create a selection rectangle. This requires 'Drag to move canvas' to be unticked in the Preferences/Settings. If this setting is enabled, then you can click + hold + drag to create a selection rectangle. Shift + click + drag will always create a selection rectangle.
  • CMD (on Mac) or CTRL (on Windows) + click will toggle the selection state of a single topic.
  • SHIFT + click will select sibling topics between current selection and clicked topic.
  • SHIFT + arrow key will select adjacent topics.
  • Right click on a topic and choose the Select menu for more options (select all children, siblings, cousins etc.)



There are a number of ways to select multiple topics. The first is to use the SHIFT button in the top left corner of the screen. The SHIFT button acts a little like a combination of the SHIFT, ALT and CMD keys on a Mac keyboard.

If you press and hold SHIFT whilst dragging your finger over the canvas, it will create a 'selection rectangle' as can be seen below.

To select (or deselect) individual topics, press the SHIFT button whilst tapping on the topic as below:

Once multiple topics are selected, you can then apply attributes to those topics (such as colour, shape etc.) You can also drag them and re-home them under another topic. If you press and hold the SHIFT button whilst dragging the topics it will duplicate them - as can be seen in the following 2 screenshots.

Whilst SHIFT is good for fine grained control of the selection, a faster way is often to simply tap the topic then choose 'Select' from the popup menu.

The Select option will then present up to 4 more options:

  • Children
  • Siblings
  • Cousins
  • All

The Cousins option will select all topics at the same level (on all branches) as the topic tapped.

NB: If you are using an external keyboard then you can also use the arrow keys and shift key on the keyboard to select adjacent topics.

NB2: For users of the original app, this multi select approach replaces the previous 'Apply to Children/Siblings' buttons.

NB3: For those of a left handed disposition, you can switch sides for the SHIFT button in the System Settings.