CmapTools FAQs

How to Share a Folder in the Cmap Cloud

Permissions and sharing in CmapTools is done at the folder level, so only folders can be shared; individual Cmaps cannot be shared, you need to share the folder that contains them. The sharing of a folder in the Cmap Cloud is done at the Cmap Cloud website.

  1. Login to the Cmap Cloud. Use your Cmap Cloud credentials, the same email address and password used to access the Cmap Cloud from CmapTools.
  2. Go to the CmapTools in the Cloud (Cmaps) section of the Cmap Cloud.
  3. Select the folder you want to share. If its a subfolder, navigate to the folder by double-clicking on the enclosing folders until you are able to select the folder to be shared.
  4. Click on the "Share" Action on the left.
  5. Add each of the users you want to share the folder with. The users you share with need to have accepted you as their "Cmapper" (buddy or friend). If they are already a Cmapper of yours, they should appear on the list on the left of the dialogue box -- select each of them and click on the down arrow. If they are not a Cmapper, type their email address on the right and click on the down arrow. You can add as many users to the Share request as needed.
  6. Select the type of permissions you want to grant. You may limit users to only Viewing, to Viewing and Annotate, or give permissions that allow editing the contents of the folder. Annotating allows the addition of "Post It" annotation notes but not the editing of the Cmaps.
  7. Click on Share.
  8. For users that are already your Cmappers, a shortcut (alias) to your folder will be created on their Home Folder and they will receive a Cmap Cloud message telling them the folder is accessible.
  9. For users that have a Cmap Cloud account but are not your Cmappers, a Cmap Cloud message is sent asking them whether they accept being your Cmapper. If they accept, and accept the Share, the shortcut (alias) will be created.
  10. For users who do not have a Cmap Cloud account, an email message will be sent inviting them to create and account, sign in, and accept you as a Cmapper.

Shared folders have a different icon, with a "hand" indicating they are shared.

Selecting a folder and clicking on the Share action allows you to modify the users and type of sharing for that folder.

Your folder can now be accessed, by users with whom you have shared it, using CmapTools or CmapTools in the Cloud.

Using CmapTools for the Desktop, two users can edit the same Cmap real-time (synchronous collaboration) if both open the Cmap and edit it. The first one to edit the Cmap must approve the collaboration requests from the other users. CmapTools in the Cloud does not currently allow real-time collaboration.

I'm connected to the Internet, but I cannot access the Places or Cmap Cloud

Make sure you are connected to the internet before you run CmapTools. If a list of Places (CmapServers) is not display when you click on the "Shared Cmaps in Places" button of your Views window, it could be because your machine is behind a firewall or using a proxy server to access the Internet. If you have a firewall on your computer, or your access to Internet is through a firewall, the firewall must be configured to allow requests through specific ports and protocols to go through.

You may need to contact your systems administrator if the firewall is part of the local area network your computer is attached to. The specific ports that need to be opened depends on the servers you are accessing:

  • 4447: Output default TCP Connect to most CmapServers
  • 443: Output TCP connect for IHMC Public Cmaps, IHMC Public Cmaps (2) & (3) and IHMC Cmappers
  • 80:  Output TCP Connect for IHMC Cmap Cloud
  • 4747: Output TCP, UDP Connect to the Directory of Places to get the list of CmapServers (places)
  • 4747:  Input UDP Broadcast discovery of Places located on the LAN
  • 5001: Output TCP WordNet Server
  • 8001/80/443: Output TCP Web server of the CmapServer (Place)
  • 31099: Output TCP Communication with the Index Server. Used by the CmapTools' Search.

If access to the Internet is through a proxy server, you need to configure the proxy settings by going to the "Preferences" menu entry (Edit/Preferences in the Views window) and selecting the "Proxy Configuration" tab.

Where can I find the log files for CmapTools?

IHMC CmapTools log files are stored on a folder titled "CmapToolsLogs" under the user's home directory. The Home directory is the area of the file system where personal files are stored by default. In other words, the  home directory is a file system directory which contains the personal files of a given user of the system.

The name of the home directory depends on the operating system, but in all cases it includes the username (also known as user id). In the following list, select the operating system you are using and replace "User_Name" with the username you used to log on the system.

  • Linux: /home/User_Name/
  • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\User_Name
  • Windows Vista/7/8: C:\Users\User_Name
  • Mac OS X: /Users/User_Name/
What are the keyboard shortcuts for CmapTools?

The following shortcuts are available for CmapTools. The shortcuts are shown first for Windows, then for OS X. Note that some shortcuts are not available for both Windows and OS X.

  • From the Views Windows:
    • Open a new Cmap for editing: ctrl+N, command+N
    • Create a new folder: ctrl-shift+N, shift+command+N
    • Open slected Cmaps, folders, and/or resources: enter, return
    • Close the Views window: ctrl+W, command+W
    • Print the current view: ctrl+P, command+P
    • Exit CmapTools: ctrl+Q, command+Q
    • Hide CmapTools: command+H
    • Hide all other windows except CmapTools: option+command+H
    • Cut selected Cmaps, folders and/or resources: ctrl+X, command+X
    • Copy selected Cmaps, folders and/or resources: ctrl+C, command+C
    • Paste resources from the clipboard onto a selected folder: ctrl+V, command+v
    • Rename a selected Cmap, folder, or resource: F2, F2
    • Delete selected Cmaps, folders, and/or resources: Delete, command+delete
    • Refresh the contents of the current view: F5, F5
    • Display the properties of a selected Cmap, folder or resource: alt+enter, option+return
    • Close the Views window: option+F4
  • From an Open Cmap:
    • Open a new Cmap for editing: ctrl+N, command+N
    • Close the active Cmap: ctrl+W, command+N
    • Save the active Cmap: ctrl+S, command+S
    • Open the "Save Cmap As" dialogue box: ctrl+shift+S, shift+command+S
    • Print the active Cmap: ctrl+P, command+P
    • Exit CmapTools: ctrl+Q, command+Q
    • Undo the last action performed on the active Cmap: ctrl+Z, command+Z
    • Redo the last action on the active Cmap: ctrl+Y, command+Y
    • Cut selected Cmap items: ctrl+X, command+X
    • Copy selected Cmap items: ctrl+C, command+C
    • Paste items from the clipboard to the active Cmap: ctrl+V, command+V
    • Delete selected Cmap items: Delete, Delete
    • Select all items on the active Cmap: ctrl+A, command+A
    • Add and edit links to resources: ctrl+R, command+R
    • Find specific text in the active Cmap: ctrl+F, command+F
    • Find the next instance of the text that was found previously: ctrl+G, command+G
    • Open the Styles window: ctrl+T, command+T
    • Perform an autolayout on the active Cmap: ctrl+L, command+L
    • Hide CmapTools: command+H
    • Expand a set of selected items: ctrl+], command+]
    • Shrink a set of selected items: ctrl+[, command+[
    • Create a nested node from selected items: ctrl+B, command+B
Can I install and run CmapTools from my USB drive/stick on Windows machines?

The following procedure describes what is needed to dynamically map the Windows-assigned drive letter your USB drive for CmapTools configuration purposes (this only works for Windows):

  1. Open a command prompt window

    (Start -> Run., then type "cmd" in the box Click "OK").

  2. For the CmapTools configuration we will assume that the public computers do not assign the letter "Z" to any other drive on the machine. We need to reassign the USB drive letter to "Z" (in the example below, the USB drive received the letter "E" from Windows as it was plugged in). Type this at the command prompt and press "Enter":

    subst Z: E:\

  3. Install CmapTools in the USB drive, using the drive letter "Z" for these parameters in the installation:
    • Install directory: Z:\IHMC CmapTools
    • Profile directory: Z:\Profile
    • My Cmaps directory: Z:\My Cmaps
    • Create a log files: No

  4. Run CmapTools for the first time, filling in the boxes with your profile information when prompted.

  5. From the command prompt, create the following file in the root of your USB drive by typing:

    copy con Start.txt
    subst Z: ^z (press the Ctrl key and the letter "z" simultaneously. Leave a space between the Z: and ^z.)

  6. Using a text editor, create a file called: "CmapTools.bat" in the root of your USB Drive and save these lines of text to it:

    @echo off
    cd \
    copy Start.txt  Start.bat > nul
    cd >> Start.bat
    echo \"IHMC CmapTools"\CmapTools.lnk >> Start.bat
    start /min Start.bat ^& exit

  7. Now, when you want to run CmapTools from your USB drive:

    • Connect your USB drive to a Windows computer
    • Open Windows Explorer, and open the USB drive
    • Run the program: CmapTools.bat
Do I need Java in my computer in order to run CmapTools?

The CmapTools installer automatically installs the Java binary files on its working directory for Windows and Linux computers, without causing any conflict with other Java versions installed on your computer.

Under Mac OS X  9 (Marveriks) or earlier, OS X automatically installs the version of Java needed.

As of Mac OS X 10 Yasomite, the user needs to download and install Java 6 separately. When installing CmapTools, the system will point to the location where Java can be downloaded. If Java 6 is already installed, CmapTools will use the installed version.

Is CmapLite still available?

CmapLite was a version of CmapTools with reduced memory requirements built to run on Notebooks that were popular several years ago, particularly in schools. All new computers have enough memory to run the full version of CmapTools so we have stopped making new versions of CmapLite.

How do I increase the amount of memory allocated to CmapTools?

If CmapTools is giving problems because of the amount of memory allocated, possibly because you are working with very large images or huge Cmaps, you may need to increase the amount of memory allocated to run it.

CmapTools is written in Java. The Java Virtual Machine (VM) is assigned a specific amount of memory when launched, and is limited by that amount. On the other hand, the VM consumes memory until it uses all the memory allocated to it, so you need to be careful not to allocate too much memory, particularly if your computer does not have a lot of memory.

If you are using many images/pictures as background to concepts or Cmaps, have opened and saved a lot of Cmaps from servers on the same session (which requires the generation of an image file for the Web Page version of the Cmap when saving), you have dozens of Cmaps opened, or have Cmaps with thousands of nodes, you may be experiencing "Out of Memory" problems.

By default, IHMC CmapTools is assigned 256 MB for the minimum heap size and 512 MB for the maximum heap size of memory. This has been found to be adequate for most users.

Under Windows (see below for Mac OS X):

To increase the amount of memory allocated, you need to modify a file called "CmapTools.lax" which is found in a directory (folder) called "bin", under the directory (folder) where the CmapTools program was installed. By default, in Windows this file is located in the directory (folder):

C:\Program Files\IHMC CmapTools\bin

Inside the file, using a text editor (e.g. NotePad, vi), find the line that indicates, in bytes, the amount of memory that will be used by CmapTools. It should look something like (the number at the end may be different): =536870912

where the number at the end indicates the number of bytes. To increase the amount of memory, for example to 768 MB , you need to change the line to: =805306368

where 805306368 bytes = 768 * 1024 * 1024 = 768 MB

For this change to take effect, save the file and start CmapTools again.

Under Mac OS X:

Locate the folder where the CmapTools application is installed. Open the "bin" folder.

Right-click on the "" file and select "Show Package Contents".

Open the "Contents" folder.

With a text editor, edit the "Info.plist" file.

Look for the entries:

<string>-Xms256M</string> <string>-Xmx512M</string>

These are the minimum and maximum sizes. Change and 256M and 512M for whatever value you need, particularly the maximum size.

For this change to take effect, save the file and start CmapTools again.

Can I store/save Cmaps as CXL (XML) as default?

The CmapTools client and the CmapServer can be configured to save the Cmap as an CXL file (XML) instead of as a serialized java object. (A description of the CXL format can be found here).

In the "cmaptools.cfg" file, in the bin directory in the folder where CmapTools is installed, add the entry:

The Cmap will be stored in a file with extension ".cmap" but the components will be xml files, with the Cmap being in CXL format. The ".cmap" file is really a zip file and can be unzipped with any utility.

How Do I Connect two Concepts without a Linking Phrase in Between

Press and hold the 'Shift' key down while you create your link to either an existing or new concept.

To permanently change the setting you need to modify the "cmaptools.cfg" configuration file which is located in bin directory in the folder where CmapTools is installed. Locate the entry:

    # ===============================
    # By default linking phrases are added between concepts. Set this to true to
    # not add linking phrases by default. (True | False)
    # ===============================

With a text editor, change the last line to read:


How do I display from the Presentation Builder on an attached Projector

Before opening CmapTools, you should first make sure that the projector is securely connected to your computer and that the resolution is set the way it will be used during the presentation. If the resolution on the projector is changed after launching CmapTools, the Presentation Builder will not be aware of the change.

To determine on which of the "screens" to display, the Presentation Builder uses the location of the top left corner of the Cmap window where the Presentation Builder is started. This is particularly important if the projector is not mirrowing the display on the computer. Make sure the tope left corner of the Cmap windows is located in the projector's display.

If using a Mac OS X computer, you can select not to mirror the computers screen on the projector, thereby avoiding have the Menu entries displayed in the projector. This selection is done in the Displays entry of the System Preferences.

Can I get Access to the Source Code of CmapTools?

No, we do not distribute the source code of CmapTools. The software is not Open Source. Only the executable programs are available.

Why are some Places (CmapServers) grayed out in the Views Window?

A grayed out Place (CmapServer) means that CmapTools is aware of the existence of the Place, but is unable to establish a connection to it. This could happen because of several reasons:

  1. If only some of the Places appear grayed out, it means that those Places that are grayed out are not accessible at this moment. This could happen because the CmapServers for those places themselves are behind firewalls, in which case they register with the Directory of Places making their existence known, but your computer cannot access them. These Places will continue to appear gray unless the firewalls that are protecting them are configured to allow connections to come through. Or, the Place may be grayed out because CmapTools "remembers" it has contacted that CmapServer before, but at this point the CmapServer is not responding (the CmapServer may be down, or its connection to the Internet broken). CmapTools will periodically try to contact the CmapServer until it establishes the connection, or, after a few days, will give up and remove it from its list of known CmapServers. If the CmapServer comes online again, CmapTools will add it to its list after finding out about it through the Directory of Places.
  2. If all the Places are grayed out, and have always been grayed out, then you need to check whether your computer is behind a firewall or uses a proxy server to access the Internet (see FAQ above).
  3. If all the Places are grayed out, and CmapTools has been able to access some Places before (the have appeared "colored"), your connection to the Internet is probably down. CmapTools remembers those Places from the list it keeps, but is unable to contact them. Check your Internet connection (e.g. dial up-connection has disconnected, cable connection to DSL or cable modem is disconnected, etc.) You may want to test whether other programs are able to connect to the Internet (e.g. a Web browser) to ensure the link is working.
CmapTools periodically updates its list of Places (CmapServers). You can force it to perform this update by selecting the Edit/Refresh menu entry in the Views window, or with the F5 function key.

How to Install CmapTools on Linux
  1. Download the latest version of CmapTools ( for Linux. The file will look something like this, since it will have a different version number after the "v".
  2. LinuxCmapTools_v6.01 _02-25-15.bin for 32-bit Linux or
    Linux64CmapTools_v6.01 _02-25-15.bin for 64-bit Linux

    If you don't know whether your system is 32-bit or 64-bit, open a Terminal or shell window and type the command arch. The arch command displays whether the system is 32-bit ("i686") or 64-bit ("x86-64").

  3. Change the downloaded installer file to be executable, by typing the following command, depending on your system. Of course, type the filename of the downloaded installer.
  4. chmod +x LinuxCmapTools_v6.01_02-25-15.bin for 32-bit Linux or
    chmod +x Linux64CmapTools_v6.01_02-25-15.bin for 64-bit Linux

  5. If you downloaded the Installer and have permissions to install the program, run the following command, where you use of course the name of the installation file downloaded:
  6. ./LinuxCmapTools_v6.01_02-25-15.bin -i GUI for 32-bit Linux or
    ./Linux64CmapTools_v6.01 _02-25-15.bin -i GUI for 64-bit Linux

    If you didn't download the installer, or you are not the owner of the installation file, you must run the installer as root (administrator), by typing the following command instead. You will most likely be prompted for the root password.

    sudo ./LinuxCmapTools_v6.01_02-25-15.bin -i GUI for 32-bit Linux or
    sudo ./Linux64CmapTools_v6.01_02-25-15.bin -i GUI for 64-bit Linux

  7. Follow the Installation Program's instructions.