Why Map with BigPicture Instead of Just Excel? Customization, Navigation, and Presentation!

BigPicture uses Excel shapes and connectors for its free-form maps. Those same shapes and connectors can be used to create maps and diagrams in Excel without BigPicture. So, you might ask, what’s the difference?

A lot, actually. In this series of blogs, we take you through some of the key benefits to using BigPicture vs “Excel-alone” for free-form diagramming in Excel:

In BigPicture, supplementary attribute shapes (such as markers, notes and hyperlinks) can be attached to a shape. These  attribute shapes move with the shape as it is repositioned in a map.  In addition, the contents of these attributes can be easily edited in BigPicture.  If attribute shapes are desired when using Excel-alone, they must be manually grouped with the shape, and ungrouped when they need to be changed or edited.

Attributes such as Pictures, Markers, Notes and Hyperlinks

BigPicture has an Outline Pane where all shapes in a map are listed by their label.  You can navigate through shapes by clicking on entries in the outline.  In addition, you can search and replace label text throughout shapes in open maps. In Excel-alone, a Selection Pane can be shown which list shapes by their internal name, such as Rectangle1, not their label.  No facility is available in Excel to search or replace text in shape labels.

Navigating Free Form Maps

Slide Shows

BigPicture allows you to create slide shows where the map unfolds in any way you like. This is especially useful if you are presenting the map to an audience and you want to explain it in steps.  These slide shows can include supporting text and images that are displayed by slide.  Excel-alone has no facility for presenting shapes and diagrams step-by-step.

Slide Shows
Want to see more reasons for using BigPicture rather than just Excel?  Check out our other blogs that explain how our software makes concept mapping that much easier!

Why Map with BigPicture Instead Of Just Excel? Adding and Labeling Shapes!

BigPicture uses Excel shapes and connectors for its free-form maps. Those same shapes and connectors can be used to create maps and diagrams in Excel without BigPicture. So, you might ask, what’s the difference?

A lot, actually.  In this series of blogs, we take you through some of the key benefits to using BigPicture vs “Excel-alone” for free-form diagramming in Excel:

Adding New Shapes and Connectors

In BigPicture, a new shape and connector can be added to a map simply by dragging the mouse from a connection point and releasing the mouse.  In Excel alone, a multi-step process is required. First, the new shape must first be added.  Then a connector has to be added and attached manually to the original shape and the new shape.

Labeling Shapes

Both BigPicture and Excel (alone) support using cell references to label shapes. Accessing “live” Excel content in a diagram is a major benefit of making a mind map in Excel. The labels of shapes update automatically as the values of cells they reference in Excel change. However, only BigPicture supports using multiple cells to label a single shape. With Excel alone, you can only reference the contents of a single cell when labeling a shape.

Auto Labeling of Shapes

Shapes can also be automatically labeled by BigPicture when they are added, with “auto-labels” updating as labels are added to shapes.  Excel alone has no facility for auto-labelling shapes.

Labeling Connectors

Connector labels are automatically positioned by BigPicture and adjust properly when shapes and connectors are moved.  If a label is placed on a connector when using Excel alone, Excel does not move or position the label properly when shapes and connectors are moved.

Labeling Connectors
Want to see more reasons for using BigPicture rather than just Excel?  Check out our other blogs that explain how our software makes concept mapping that much easier!

Get to Know BigPicture Better! Check Out Our Free Webcasts this Week and Next

BigPictureAre you curious about BigPicture?  Here’s your chance to learn more.  First, if you haven’t already, download it for free, and get acquainted! Still, as with any new piece of software, it can often feel like you’re just scratching the surface. We want to help you get the most from our tool, and can guarantee there are applications, shortcuts, and tips that can make your experience even more powerful and fun. If you didn’t get a chance to join us last week, here are a few more webcasts that we will be hosting:

  • Thursday, January 22nd – 10pm GMT/UTC – Register Now
    2pm PST Pacific Standard Time
    5pm EST Eastern Standard Time
    11pm CET Central European Time
    9am AEST on January 23rd – Australiand Eastern Daylight Time
  • Friday, January 23rd – 5pm GMT/UTC – Register Now
    9am PST Pacific Standard Time
    12noon EST Eastern Standard Time
    6pm CET Central European Time
  • Wednesday, January 28th – 3pm GMT/UTC – Register Now
    7am PST Pacific Standard Time
    10am EST Eastern Standard Time
    4pm CET Central European Time

We’ll show you how BigPicture works, and how it can aid in strategic planning, human resource analysis, data exploration, and more. You’ll get a walk-through of how to set up a BigPicture diagram (or “map”), and illustrate several real-world examples of different applications.

After seeing how simple and flexible BigPicture is, you’ll be able to start trying it out on your own data and ideas!

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Free Live Webcasts This Week

BigPicture - Mind Mapping and Data Exploration for Excel

Get to know BigPicture Better!

Attend our informative, free webcasts this week–for anyone who has downloaded their free trial of BigPicture, or who is curious to learn more about this new, powerful mapping and data visualization product.

When exploring new software, it can often feel like you’re just scratching the surface. These webcasts will help you go deeper–illustrating applications, shortcuts, and tips that can make your experience even more powerful and fun. This week, we’ll be offering these two sessions:

We’ll show you how BigPicture works, and how it can aid in strategic planning, human resource analysis, data exploration, and more. You’ll get a walk-through of how to set up a BigPicture diagram (or “map”), and illustrate several real-world examples of different applications.

After seeing how simple and flexible BigPicture is, you’ll be able to start trying it out on your own data and ideas!

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Why Use BigPicture?

There’s always some new software product coming out–how can you know if this one is worth your time?  We’re convinced that BigPicture can make your work and life easier and more organized.  Check out our demo video to see how it can make your tasks and projects that much more efficient:

 

 

Don’t miss out on your chance to try BigPicture for yourself:

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Meet BigPicture

BigPicture - Mind Mapping and Data Exploration for Excel

Mind mapping, diagramming, data maps, and org charts – right in Excel

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, or create dynamic data maps from any type of spreadsheet data. You can even create automatic organizational charts from your personnel data. BigPicture is now available for download in beta!

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.

Download BigPicture Today