BigPicture available to purchase at special introductory price!

EN_StrategicPlanning_ForBlog

BigPicture is now available for purchase!

Special introductory price!

Palisade is pleased to introduce BigPicture, the diagramming and data mapping software add-in for Microsoft Excel. With BigPicture, you can create mind maps to organize thoughts and ideas, create dynamic data maps from any type of spreadsheet data, or explore your options with strategic maps. You can even create automatic organizational charts from your personnel data.

BigPicture takes advantage of the fact that humans are visual animals and we tend grasp complicated information at a glance when presented as a “picture” – or as a BigPicture diagram.

For 30 years, Palisade software tools have been helping decision-makers gain powerful insights in their spreadsheets; now, BigPicture adds a new, visual diagramming platform to your decision-making toolbox. BigPicture is available stand-alone, but is also integrated with Palisade’s DecisionTools Suite v7 to visually enhance decision analyses.

Buy now to take advantage of the special introductory pricing!

Click here to download today!

 

Two Rave Reviews for BigPicture

 

Industry leader Mind Mapping Software Blog says: “BigPicture’s elegant toolset is ideal for any executive who already uses Excel in his or her work… Calling BigPicture an add-in hardly does it justice. It offers a comprehensive toolset that enables you to quickly get to work creating new mind maps, concept maps and flow chart diagrams, while leveraging Excel’s existing drawing and editing tools to adjust the formatting of individual elements.” Read the complete review here.

Small Business Trends’ review of BigPicture says, “by the time you reach the center of BigPicture, you’re going to wonder how you ever lived without it… With its deeply flexible features and functionality, as well as an ever growing set of documentation and videos, BigPicture is the one tool you don’t want to overlook in 2015.”

 

What’s New in BigPicture? Attach Custom Shapes

The BigPicture development team is always working to improve our software, which means regular updates.  Here’s a sample of what we’ve added to our latest deployment of BigPicture Beta on May 5, 2015:

Attach Custom Shapes

This option is available under the Attach Shapes category, and can be found via Attach Shapes > Custom. This is simply a way that you can add Excel shapes to the selected topic(s).

By utilizing the Custom command a default light yellow call-out shape will be attached to the selected topic(s) and will move with the topic(s). Simply select that topic(s) that you would like to attach an image to, right click and choose the Attach Shapes > Custom > Add New command. (NOTE: You can also access this command from the Topic Tools icon in the BigPicture ribbon.)

Here are some additional notes describing how this command can improve your maps:

  1. The default light yellow call-out shape will appear above top-most topic selected.
  2. You can customize your shape by utilizing Excel’s standard capabilities of changing the color, shape effects, size, font, text, etc.
  3. If you decide to move the topic(s) that the custom shape is attached to, the shape will move also.
  4. Custom shapes can overlap.
  5. Multiple custom shapes can be added to the same topic, or group of topics. All of which can be moved and re-sized. (NOTE: To access any custom shapes that may be hidden behind another one, simply right click and utilize the Send to Back and Bring to Front commands from the pop-up menu.)
  6. If you collapse (hide) any of the topics that the shape is attached to, the shape will collapse (hide) with it.
  7. A custom shape can be to a single topic or multiple topics.

If you would like to use the same style custom shape (or any other existing “non-BigPicture” Excel shape) that already exists:

  • Select the topic(s) that you would like to add that custom shape to FIRST
  • Choose the Attach Shapes > Custom > Copy Existing command.
  • At this point a dialog will appear asking you to select the shape that you would like to copy. Click on the existing shape that you would like to duplicate.
  • Click OK.

NOTE: To remove a custom shape, just click on the shape and hit your delete key on your keyboard.

screensteps2Click here for a complete overview of BigPicture updates.

What’s New in BigPicture? Attach Boundary Shapes

The BigPicture development team is always working to improve our software, which means regular updates.  Here’s a sample of what we’ve added to our latest deployment of BigPicture Beta on May 5, 2015:

Attach Boundary Shapes

BigPicture now has the ability to Attach Shapes to your existing topics. There are two commands that have been added under the “Attach Shape” category. The first is the Attach Shapes > Boundary command which will typically be attached to a group of related topics. The second is the Attach Shapes > Custom command that would be more applicable with a single topic. These new commands are incredibly flexible and will help you add some additional pizazz to your maps!

By utilizing the Boundary command a default shape will be placed behind the selected topics and will move and re-size with the topics. Simply select that topics that you would like to “group” together with a boundary and right click on a topic and choose the Attach Shapes > Boundary > Add New command. (NOTE: You can also access this command from the Topic Tools icon in the BigPicture ribbon.)

Here are some additional notes describing how this command works and how it can improve your maps:

(Note that the numbers correspond to the image below.)

  1. The default shape will appear behind the selected topics.
  2. You can customize your boundary shape by utilizing Excel’s standard capabilities of changing the color, shape effects, size, font, text, etc.
  3. If you decide to move one of the topics in the boundary shape, the shape will re-size automatically.
  4. A boundary can be placed around a single topic.
  5. Boundaries can overlap.
  6. Multiple boundary shapes can be added to the same topic, or group of topics. All of which can be moved and re-sized. (NOTE: To access any boundaries that may be hidden behind another one, simply right click and utilize the Send to Back and Bring to Front commands from the pop-up menu.)
  7. Boundaries can even be manipulated so that they do not surround the topics – yet will still collapse and open with the topics that they have been “bound” to!

You can change the topics included in an existing boundary:

  • Click on a Topic in the group that has the boundary that you would like to edit.
  • Right-click and choose Attach Shapes > Boundary > Edit Existing command. A dialog will come up that lists the topics that are currently included.
  • To add topics simply click on the topics that you would like included.
  • If you would like to remove a topic click on any of the white space in your spreadsheet to clear the listing and then select only the topics that you would like included in your boundary.

If you would like to use the same style boundary shape that already exists in your map:

  • Select the topics that you would like to add a boundary to FIRST.
  • Choose the Attach Shapes > Boundary > Copy Existing command. At this point a dialog will appear asking you to select the Shape that you would like to copy.
  • Click on the existing Boundary shape or attached custom shape that you would like to duplicate.
  • Click OK.

All in all, you will now be able to add a lot of other supporting shapes to a map and they will conveniently move and hide with the topics they are attached to.

NOTE: To remove a boundary, just delete the shape in Excel by clicking on it and hitting your Delete key on your keyboard

screensteps1Click here for a complete overview of BigPicture updates.

What’s New in BigPicture? Easily Move and Reconnect Topics

The BigPicture development team is always working to improve our software, which means regular updates.  Here’s a sample of what we’ve added to our latest deployment of BigPicture Beta on March 30, 2015:

Easily move and reconnect topics

Good news–our developers have added some functionality to make it easier to move topics and connections in non-auto generated maps.

If you hold the left-mouse button down on a topic for a bit, BigPicture will go into a mode that allows you to move the topic (and optionally, its children) and connect to a different topic. You’ll see the topic temporarily change color when it’s in this mode. Then, when moving topics around with the mouse down, the red square highlights the closest available connection point on other topics. When you release the mouse, it connects to that red square connection site.

You can move and reconnect more than one topic at a time:

Hold the <SHIFT> key down while clicking on the various topics that you would like to reconnect elsewhere. After you have all of the topics selected, hold the left-mouse button down on one of the selected topics and move/reconnect it as you would with just a single topic.

If you would like to move and reconnect a group of topics that is made up of a parent topic and corresponding children topics,  see this blog post.

Click here for a complete overview of BigPicture updates.

 

What’s New in BigPicture? Easily Change the Direction of Map Connections

The BigPicture development team is always working to improve our software, which means regular updates.  Here’s a sample of what we’ve added to our latest deployment of BigPicture Beta on March 30, 2015:

 “Change Direction” command makes it easy change the direction of selected connectors

show_imageWant to change the direction of your arrows, or connectors, between map topics?  You can now do that easily:

Right-click on the connector and choose Change Direction from the BigPicture pop-up menu.

If you would like to change the direction of more than one connector at a time, <CTRL+Click> on the connectors then right-click on any of the selected connectors and choose Change Direction from the BigPicture pop-up menu.

In the example below, we have selected all three of the connectors that are pointing from the Parent Topic to the respective Children Topics. Note that in the resulting map the connectors are pointing from the Children Topics to the Parent Topic.

NOTE: This differs from simply changing the appearance of the connectors (i.e. having the arrow on one end or the other). This allows BigPicture to expand and collapse in the direction of the connectors.

Click here for a complete overview of BigPicture updates.

What’s New in BigPicture? More Flexibility in Connecting and Moving Topic Groups!

The BigPicture development team is always working to improve our software, which means regular updates.  Here’s a sample of what we’ve added to our latest deployment of BigPicture Beta on March 30, 2015:

Move and Reconnect Multiple Topics that are Connected to a Parent Topic

If you would like to move a group of topics that is made up of a Parent Topic and its Children Topics:

  • Simply depress the left mouse button on the Parent Topic for an extended amount of time and it will automatically include the children in the selection
  • BigPicture will go into a mode that allows you to move the topic and connect to a different topic. You’ll see the topic that you clicked on temporarily change color when it’s in this mode.
  • Move the topics around with the mouse down, notice that the the red square changes and highlights the closest available connection point on other topics.
  • Release the mouse to connect to the current red square connection site.

Alternatively, to expedite the amount of time it takes to have it automatically select the children topics, you can also hold the <SHIFT> key down and click on the Parent Topic to let BigPicture know you would like the Children Topics included in the move.

Note: <SHIFT> only matters when starting the move. Once the topic changes color you should release the <SHIFT> key.

Connect Multiple Topics to an Additional Parent Topic

Utilizing the above instructions for easily moving and reconnecting a topic(s) you can also opt to have the topics that you are moving connect to an additional parent topic by holding the <ALT> key down at the start of the move.

Pressing <ALT> maintains the existing connection while adding a new one at the red “hotspot” of your choice.

Note: <ALT> only matters when starting the move. Once the topic changes color you can release the <ALT> key.

Click here for a complete overview of BigPicture updates.