CoCo Systems Ltd.    (Support Web)

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This page contains answers to common questions handled by our support staff for our VisiMap Professional 4.0 and 4.1 products, along with some tips and tricks that we have found useful.

Note: In our answers we follow a few shorthand conventions for describing user-interface procedures. Key combinations are presented like this: Ctrl+Shift+F, which means that you should press and hold down the Ctrl key, the Shift key, and the F key at the same time. Menu selections are presented like this: File|Open, which means that you should open the File menu, and then select the Open command.



Formatting & Styles

Importing & Exporting





Q: Can I install and use VisiMap Professional on a desktop and a laptop computer without purchasing a second licence?

A: Provided you are the only user of the multiple copies, our licence states: "you may install and use the Product on one or more computers provided the Product is not accessed remotely across a network or via other remote means, and that you do not use the Product on more than one computer at a time, and provided that a reasonable mechanism or process is in place that assures the Product may not be used concurrently in more than one place at a time".

Under all other circumstances you must purchase one licence for each computer on which you install and/or use VisiMap Professional.


Q: Sometimes the maps I create become very large. How can I split a large map into several, interlinked, smaller ones to make them more manageable? If I do this, can I later re-integrate one or more of the divided maps back again?

A: VisiMap Professional has two commands that make these processes straightforward: the Tree|Cut to Linked Map command and the Replace with Linked Map command for map links.

Cut to Linked Map takes an existing tree in the 'host' map and transfers it to a new map (the file name of which you specify) making the root of the tree into the new map's centre. The tree in the host map is removed, and a named map link to the newly-created map is added to the tree's parent branch.

The Replace with Linked Map command implements the converse operation: it removes a map link in the 'host' map and adds the linked map as a new child tree.

Formatting & Styles

Q: How do I change the colour of branches?

A: This is done most easily using the colour palette (which by default is docked near the bottom of the VisiMap Professional main form). Select the branch you wish to colour and click the left mouse button over the desired colour. You can use the right mouse button similarly to set the shading (background) colour of the branch, too. If you hold down the Ctrl key while performing either of these operations, the colours will also be applied to the whole tree below the selected branch.

You can also control branch colours by using styles or the Properties Inspector. Search the on-line help system for the term "colour".

Q: Can I apply a formatting change to multiple branches in one go?

A: You can apply most formatting operations to a branch and the whole tree below it by holding down the Ctrl key while you make a selection with the mouse. For instance, if you hold the Ctrl key down while you click the B (Bold) button on the tool bars - or you make an equivalent change via the Properties Inspector - the Bold attribute of the branch and all of its children will be turned on or off.

Q: How can I revert the formatting of a branch to its underlying style?

A: A branch's formatting is determined by its underlying style, but you can override one or more formatting properties for the branch. If you wish to remove any formatting overrides for a branch, use the Format|Revert to Style command (or press Ctrl+Space). Alternatively, you can right-click in the Properties Inspector to access commands to revert one or all properties to those of the underlying style.

Q: How do I create and use a new style sheet?

A: To create a new style sheet, choose Format|Modify styles and then press the Save As button. You will be prompted for a file name. You can then modify, add and delete styles to this new style sheet as you prefer. To attach the new style sheet to a map, open the map (if it is not already open) and use the Format|Attach Style Sheet command.

Importing & Exporting

Q: Can I import documents from other programs into VisiMap Professional?

A: Yes, VisiMap Professional can import from both RTF (Rich Text Format), MPP (Microsoft Project), MPX (Microsoft Project Exchange) and Unicode or ASCII text files. VisiMap Professional can determine the structure of the import files in a variety of ways (for instance, by using embedded outline information, indentation or section numbering) and create a map with this structure. Body text found in the import file is added as notes to the appropriate branches.

You can import a file in a number of ways: use VisiMap Professional's File|Open command, drag a file from Windows Explorer and drop it onto the background of the VisiMap Professional main form, or pass the file name on VisiMap Professional's command line at startup. When you import the file, VisiMap Professional will detect the file format automatically and present you with an opportunity to configure import options particular to the recognised import format.

Q: I understand that VisiMap Professional supports export to XYZ, but I cannot find the XYZ in the quick export bar or the Save As form. Why is this?

A: When performing a typical installation of VisiMap Professional, the installer will attempt to automatically detect the presence of supported target applications and install a set of appropriate export filters. For instance, it will install the Microsoft Word export filter if Word 2000 or later is detected at installation time.

If the target application is not present at the time of installation (or for some reason it is present but not detected by the VisiMap Professional installer), the related export filter will not be installed.

If you believe that the target application is installed, or you install it some time after installing VisiMap Professional, you can add the desired export filter to your VisiMap Professional installation, as follows:

  1. Close VisiMap Professional (if it is running).
  2. In your Control Panel, double-click the Add/Remove Programs icon.
  3. When the list is populated, scroll down to and select the "VisiMap Professional 4.0" or "VisiMap Professional 4.1" entry, as appropriate: then press its Change button. This will start the VisiMap Professional installer wizard in maintenance mode.
  4. Press Next to move from the Welcome page and on the next page ensure the Modify option is selected before pressing Next again.
  5. In the tree of features you see navigate under "Import/Export/Clipboard Filters" to "Import/Export", and then under that you will see a list of the available filters.
  6. Make sure that the filter you want is selected: it will show a disk icon with a white background when it is. Click the icon if necessary to change its status.
  7. Then press Next and complete the installation wizard.

Q: I have a number of interconnected maps which form the basis of a web site I am designing. What is the best way of saving these to HTML?

Create a map which links to the top-level maps of your web and save it using one of VisiMap Professional's multi-save options, either by using the quick export bar or the File|Save As command.

When you use a multi-save option in conjunction with the HTML export format VisiMap Professional not only saves the map you specify, but it also traverses all the map links found in the map, and all the map links found in those maps, and so on. VisiMap Professional saves every map it finds in the same export format (HTML in this case), and automatically translates and fixes up all the file- and map-links it finds.

For more information on the multi-save options available in VisiMap Professional see the VisiMap Professional User's Guide and the VisiMap Professional on-line help system.

Q: When I export a map to HTML, some of embedded images don't display properly. On inspection, I note that the HTML files contain a lot of extra text which appears to be something other than HTML. What can I do to fix this?

A: When exporting to HTML VisiMap Professional uses Microsoft Word via a hidden process called "OLE automation" to convert branch notes from RTF (the internal format used by VisiMap Professional for notes) to HTML. By default Word adds a large amount of XML code, which it uses primarily for "roundtripping" purposes. This XML code is generally not needed or wanted in the HTML pages that VisiMap Professional generates.

If you have Word 2002 or later installed, VisiMap Professional instructs Word to omit the extraneous XML, so creating pure HTML. If you have Word 2000 installed, however, it may well not be able to filter out the extraneous XML and it will appear intermingled with the HTML in the generated HTML pages. While it will increase the size of the HTML pages, in most cases it will not cause problems, but we have noted that images in branch notes do not always appear correctly when the HTML pages are viewed with a web browser.

To circumvent this problem with Word 2000, you need to install an HTML filter for Word 2000 - this filter is available free of charge from Microsoft. At the time of writing, it can be obtained at this URL:;en-us;236967

(this is the Microsoft Knowledge Base article number 236967).

Q: When I attempt to export a map to PDF or XPS formats in VisiMap Professional 4.1 or 4.2 the operation appears to proceed normally, but finally ends with an error message containing the words "feature not installed". What is wrong?

A: VisiMap Professional leverages the PDF and XPS support in Word 2007 and Word 2010 to export to these formats. However, PDF and XPS support is not included as part of a standard Office 2007/2010 installation, and must be downloaded and installed separately. You can do this free of charge by following the instructions given here:


Q: How do I print the graphical map in landscape, and the text in portrait?

A: VisiMap Professional has an option to achieve this. Choose the File|Page Setup command and make sure the 'Auto-orientate map' option is checked on the Map Settings page of the Page setup form. When this option is checked, VisiMap Professional will print the graphical map in the best orientation (i.e. if the map is wider than it is tall, VisiMap Professional will print it in landscape, otherwise it will print the map in portrait). The textual form of a map is always printed in the default orientation you have set for your printer.

Q: The page running headers and footers I have set up do not print. What is wrong?

A: VisiMap Professional prints the running headers and footers in the top and bottom page margins: you have most likely set your print margins too small. To correct this, first choose the File|Page Setup command and, in the Page Setup form that appears, highlight the page layout you wish to change. Now select the Margins/Headers page and make sure the top and bottom margins are large enough. Values of about 1" (approx. 2.5 cm) are typical. Finally, set the placement of the running headers and footers inside these margins. If you have set your margins to 1", offsets of 0.5" are sensible.

Q: When I try to print a large map, the text prints too small to read. How can I print a large map at a readable size?

A: By default, VisiMap Professional will reduce a large map in size sufficiently to fit on one print page. If this results in text which is too small to read, you can choose to have VisiMap Professional print the map at full size over as many pages as are necessary. To set this option, first choose the File|Page Setup command and, in the Page Setup form that appears, highlight the page layout you wish to change. Now select the Map Settings page and then choose the "Print as mosaic" option. Change this option back to "Shrink to fit page" when you later wish to revert to the standard behaviour.

For manageability and readability reasons, you might also like to consider using VisiMap Professional's map linking and multiple-print features to keep your maps modular and relatively small. You can link related maps together, and at print time choose to print the whole set of interlinked maps. For more information on these features, see the VisiMap Professional on-line help system.


Q: After scrolling around a large map, I sometimes forget which branch I am currently working on and find it difficult to locate it again! Is there an easy way I can bring the currently selected branch into view?

A: Yes, select the View|Centre On Selection command.

Q: How do I enlarge the map centre and/or branches so that they accommodate all of the text I have entered?

A: VisiMap Professional will optimise the size of the map centre and branches of the map so as to make best use of the display or print space available, word-wrapping titles onto two lines where necessary. In an effort to preserve an aesthetically-pleasing layout, however, VisiMap Professional will clip some very long titles on the graphical map: such branches are identified by the presence of an ellipsis (...) at the end of the title.

If you routinely use long branch and map centre titles, which VisiMap Professional then clips, you can instruct VisiMap Professional to allow longer branches by setting an option. To do so, choose the Tools|Preferences command and increase the "Max. branch length" setting on the Maps page of the Preferences form

Q: VisiMap Professional appears to use a proprietary file format. Apart from giving away a printed map, is there any way my friends and colleagues can view my maps?

Yes, we also offer the VisiMap Viewer program, which you are free to re-distribute to your friends and colleagues. Refer to the VisiMap Professional User's Guide or the VisiMap Professional on-line help for details on how to redistribute the VisiMap Viewer.

Note: To reduce download sizes, the VisiMap Viewer is not included as standard with the VisiMap Professional electronic distribution packages. You can, however, download the VisiMap Viewer separately and free of charge via the VisiMap Viewer page of our main web.


Q: Does VisiMap Professional run on Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0?

A: VisiMap Professional is certified for installation and use on Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008.

Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 do not always have recent-enough versions of certain system files that VisiMap Professional needs to install and run correctly, and updating these to later versions is not always possible (especially given that Microsoft withdrew support for these operating systems some time ago). We are not able, therefore, to certify VisiMap Professional for use on these platforms.

Q: When I run VisiMap Professional 4.0 in a limited user account under Windows 2000 or Windows XP, it informs me that the number of users currently exceeds the limit of my licence and refuses to run. I am only trying to run one copy. What's going on?

A: This is an issue which affects VisiMap Professional 4.0 SP-2 and earlier when run under a limited account on Windows 2000 and windows XP. It does not affect users on other versions of Windows, nor does it affect users with "Administrator" or "Power User" privileges on Windows 2000 or Windows XP.

When VisiMap Professional starts up, it attempts to grab a user 'lock' on a special control file which is used to limit the number of simultaneous users. This operates in the same way for single-user licences as it does for concurrent-use licences. With a single-user licence the control file offers a single lock (so that one user at a time may use the app).

If for any reason VisiMap Professional is not able to obtain a lock (for which it needs to write to the control file), it announces the error and then terminates.

When run by a user with limited account privileges, VisiMap Professional may be refused permission to write to the control file. In this case, you need to explicitly set the permissions on a specified folder so that users with limited accounts are not prevented access. The procedure is as follows:

1. To perform the change of permissions, log on to an account with administrator privileges.

2. (Windows XP only) Once you have done this, make sure you are not using 'simple file sharing':
a. In Control Panel double-click the Folder Options icon.
b. In the Folder Options dialog box that appears go to the View page.
c. Scroll to the bottom of the "Advanced Settings" tree and make sure "Use simple file sharing" is turned OFF. Then press OK.

3. Using Windows Explorer navigate to the folder to which you installed VisiMap Professional. By default this is "C:\Program Files\CoCo Systems\VisiMap Pro".

4. Locate and right-click the folder named "Control" to display it's pop-up menu.

5. Choose Properties from the menu and go to the Security page of the Properties dialog box.

6. In the "Name" (Windows 2000) or "Group or user names" (Windows XP) list at the top, locate and select the "Everyone" group (Windows 2000) or "Users" group (Windows XP).

7. In the "Permissions" list below it, switch on the "Read" and "Write" options under the Allow column, and press OK.

The product installer for VisiMap Professional 4.0 SP-3 (and later) sets the folder permissions automatically, eliminating this issue.

Q: Sometimes it can take a very long time to copy a map to the clipboard: the hour-glass cursor stays on-screen for many seconds and I am unable to interact with the program. Why is this? Is there anything I can do to improve the performance?

A: When you have a large map, the Bitmap graphics clipboard copy filter can take a long time (and use a large portion of memory) to create the bitmap. You can significantly improve the performance of the copy operation by disabling the Bitmap filter, and only enabling it when you need to copy bitmap versions of maps to the clipboard.

In most cases the Picture (Enhanced MetaFile) format will suffice for transferring graphical maps to other applications, and also produce better results. For this reason, the Bitmap clipboard copy filter is disabled by default in VisiMap Professional.

If you wish to enable or disable the Bitmap filter, use the Tools|Filters command and go to the Copy page of the Configure Filters form.

Q: When I run the spelling checker, sometimes only a part of my map appears to be checked. Why is this?

A: The spell-checking process is designed flexibly, to allow you to check the spelling of all or just a part of your map. You probably have a branch other than the map centre selected at the time you start the spell check: this will cause the spell checker to verify only the selected branch and any tree below it (plus any notes in the tree). If you wish to verify the spelling of the whole map, make sure you select the map centre before starting the spelling check.

Conversely, if you wish only to check a given tree in the map, select the branch at the head of that tree before initiating the spelling check. If you wish to verify the spelling of a single branch's notes only, make the notes editor active first.
Last Modified: 24 May, 2018
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