The user manual for Edit mode


There are two ways to use the software:

  • Edit mode (Edit)

The edit mode allows you to create your own diagram and to edit those made available by LinkNotions or friends.

  • View mode (View)

View mode allows you to view a diagram already created (by you, by LinkNotions or by someone else). The view mode is explained in another page.

The chessboard of scientific thinking!

Edit Mode

Table of content

Creating a diagram

5 actions in your LinkNotions account:

Importing a diagram into your account:

Inside the diagram

The notion boxes

The links (relations, relationships, influences, …)

Rows and columns

Creating, editing and adding tabs to notions and links

Settings (“Workspace settings” window)

The search Tool

The domains

The subject group


Calculate with LinkNotions: calculate the value of a notion with values of other notions.
The concept map becomes a visual spreadsheet!

Note: if necessary click the images below to enlarge them!

row 1

Buy a license

To create a diagram or to edit an existing diagram in LinkNotions, it is necessary to have a basic license. You can buy it at the shop on the site by clicking “Buy a license” under “Shop”. You also can ask for a free trial for 1 month.

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You arrive on a page that explains the different types of licenses and indicates the prices. Click on “Buy now” if you use the software in private or in education.

Send us an email if you use the software as a company or institution. Indeed, business needs are often very specific and we will have to adapt the software to the needs of each company. We can also, if you wish, accompany you in your project.

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You arrive to the “register” form.

Fill in the required information.

row 3a

You come to the “Login” form. Enter your email address and password. Then click “Login”.

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You get to the shop.

Select the basic license (and possibly additional slots), then click “Review Order”.

You get a chart that tells you what you just bought.

If you want to modify, click the arrow at the top left of the page to return to the previous page.

If your purchases are right for you, click “Pay with PayPal”. You do not need a Paypal account. The following credit cards are accepted:

Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express.

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In Paypal, you can choose to pay

with your Paypal account (see on top)


with Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express.

Click “Continue”.

At the end, return to matriculation and enter your email address and your secret code then click “Connect”.

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In your LinkNotions account

In your account “My LinkNotions” you can:

  • Create a new diagram

(workspace / world ) by clicking “Create workspace” in “My Workspaces”.

  • Copy one of the free workspaces provided by LinkNotions

After copying, you can modify it.

  • Modify an existing diagram

We propose to create a new world. So click “Create workspace”.

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In the window  “Create Workspace” select a language you want to use by default. This is the language in which the diagram will be listed in your account.

You can write your texts in as many languages ​​as you want. Make sure, however, in order to avoid confusion, not to choose a language and write in another.

In our case we choose English.

Please include the title of your world. We choose the title “My first world”.

Indicate the dimensions:

Width = number of columns; Height = number of rows in your world.

As a screen is wider than high, we recommend choosing a width / height ratio of about 2.2. We’ll start with a fairly small world of 22 to 10. So : width 22 and height 10 .

Click “Create” to open the new diagram.

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The structure of a diagram

At the top you have the title of the diagram / world (1).

Below you can see which type of licence you purchased (2)

Still below is the tool bar (3).

The two-dimensional space is called “diagram” or “world” (4).This diagram contains 220 boxes (22 x 10) as you defined in the previous step. These boxes are empty. They are intended to accommodate notion boxes. We shall explain this later.

To the right you will find the map (5), the functions “Domains(6) and “Subject Groups(7) and the “Info” window (8).

Going from the diagram to our account “My LinkNotions”

To do so, click the LinkNotions logo at the top left of the screen.

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The diagram “My first world” is now in the list “My Workspaces”.

If it is not listed, click the “reload this page” button in the top left of the URL (the arrow in circle ).

5 actions in your LinkNotions account

Place the cursor over the text of the created world. Four buttons appear on the right : Edit; Share; Copy; Delete.

Open a diagram in view mode

Click the title of a diagram in order to open it in View mode. In this mode you can look at the content, but you cannot modify the diagram.

Open a diagram in edit mode

Click Edit to open the world in the edit mode. In this mode you can modify the diagram and you have at your disposal differend tools to analyze the content.

Share: send your diagram by mail

You surely want to send your diagram to others. If you click Share you will find two different URL of your diagram in a window. Activate the text by clicking it. Copy the text. Paste it into an email. Send the email.

The URL on top allows the receiver to view the diagram with his browser. He cannot edit it.

The URL at the bottom allows the receiver to view and to edit the diagram.

With both URLs the receiver has always the latest version of the document, even if changes are added after sending the email. Indeed, the document is on the server and the person received an address to the server. If you edit your document, the address will lead to the modified document.

Make a copy of the diagram

Click Copy to make a copy of the workspace.

Delete the diagram

Click Delete for deleting the workspace.

We now will return to our diagram.

row 9.1

Importing a diagram into your account in order to edit it

LinkNotions offers many diagrams on its website. You can copy them to your account and edit them later.

We saw above that a friend can send you an email containing the URL (“copyLink”) of a diagram. By clicking on the URL, you open the diagram in your browser. From there, you can copy the diagram into your account and edit it.

Here’s how to proceed:

1) Open a diagram (that you found on LinkNotions website (A) or a diagram that someone sent to you by mail (B)).

2) Copy the diagram into your account. To do this click on the blue icon (two files) left to the diagram’s title (1). You get the same result by clicking on the “Edit this scheme” button at the top right of the screen (2).

3) A window opens. If you wish, you can change the title of the scheme. Click “Create copy” to create a copy in your LinkNotions account.

The diagram is directly opened in edit mode.

You can edit: creating new notions or relationships, give them content (add files, images, etc.), move notions, add and delete columns or rows …

If you want to get into your account, just click the LinkNotions logo.

Here you can see the imported diagram in the list.

Click “Edit” to open it again in edit mode.

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To learn how to

Navigate in the diagram,

consult View Mode.

In short:

In the toolbar, you find different types of zooms.

Use the hand tool, the bars and the map to move in the space.

To the right of the hand tool we have “undo” and “redo”.

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Other buttons are specific to LinkNotions :

Show / hide the line of the links:

We will see later that a link between two notions is represented by a line between these notions. The “Show / hide links” makes visible (this is the normal situation) and invisible lines connecting the notions. Only “active” links will remain visible, which is sometimes useful if there are many links.

Link Types :

By clicking on the button “Link Types”, a drop-down window shows all types of currently existing types of links in this diagram.

Two Link Types are predefined in every diagram:

  • “positive” (has an influence in the same direction) and
  • “negative” (has in influence in the opposite direction).

We will explain this under row 26.

row 11.1

In the window different actions are possible.

How to edit Link Types

Decide which link types you want to display.

Show / Hide a Link Type

Click on “√” left to the text of the link type to decide whether or not you want to see the lines of a certain type of link. For this purpose can also use the buttons “Show all” and “Hide” all”.

Translate the Link Type

click the key, choose the language (a), translate the name in the chosen language (b)

Change the name of a Link Type

click the key and write the name in the chosen language (b)

Change Line width

Move the cursor over this field to make the line representing the link thicker. Enter a number between 1 and 20 or use the arrow up or down. (c)


Move the cursor to the “Dash” field and change the number between 0 and 100. The higher the number, the greater the spaces are. The number 0 corresponds to a continuous line. (d)

row 11.2

Arrow at Start

By activating this function, this type of link has an arrow at the beginning. This is interesting if a relationship goes in both directions (eg is married to). (e)

Arrow at End

By activating this function, this type of link has an arrow at the end. This is especially important if the links are represented by straight lines and not by lines running-along corridors. (f)

Change the color of a Link Type

click the key and choose a color in the color palette (g)

Determine the behavior of the Link Type in the “XtoY” feature (h)

  • Not Applicable: with this type of link it is not possible to have a result of positive or negative influence in the final result
  • Neutral : This type of link has no influence on the final result
  • Positive : the influence goes in the same direction
  • Negative : the influence goes in the opposite direction


Create a new Link Type (i)

Click “Add…” and write the name of the new link type

Delete a Link Type (j)

Click “X” and confirm deleting

Change the order of Link Types in the list (k)

Click on the double arrow and drag the link type to change the order of presentation.

This allows a logical step in the presentation of the link types.
This can be useful if you want to show a continuity to an audience. You click one link after another.

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The ramification tool

Imagine that many links start from a notion. First click on the bottom of the notion. Then click the “ramification” button. A table appears. You will find listed all notions influenced by the notion clicked. If you click the top of the notion, the ramification table will show a list of all notions that influence the clicked notion.

The “X to Y” tool

This function allows you to display the different paths that lead from one notion to any other.
If you want to know the influence of competitiveness on the exchange rate of the national currency and what all the possible paths from one to another are, click the “X to Y” button in the tool bar.

See “View mode” for more information.

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Colorize a notion:

Click on the “Colorize notions” button. Then click one or more notions to which you want to assign a certain color. Then click the “colorize” button again. Choose a color. All clicked notions are colorized.

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Selecting the language

There are two choices in terms of language:

1) Selecting the language of the software

The software is available in three languages: French, English and German. Select your preferred language by clicking on one of the three flags. In this case, all the titles, buttons and explanations are displayed in the selected language.

2) Selecting the language of the content of the diagram

In the small window in the tool bar you choose  the language in which you want to display text in the current diagram. These languages ​​can therefore vary from a diagram to another.

row 15

Exporting the diagram in PDF or “SVG” format in order to print it

This feature is used to export the diagram in order to be able to print.

Click the “Export” button and choose “PDF” (1) or “SVG” (2) in the dropdown list.

For the common man, the PDF format is best known. SVG will be appreciated by professionals.

Exporting the content of the notions in an Excel file (3)

This feature allows you to export a list of all the notions and characteristics (position of the notion, explanations, etc.) in CSV format which is converted to an Excel list.

Click the “Export” button. A dropdown list appears. Choose “Notions (Table)” (3). In the window that opens you can enter a name and location for the file to download. Click “Save” and then open the downloaded Excel file.

In this list you will also find for each notion:

  • the number of incoming links
  • the number of outgoing links
  • the total incoming and outgoing links
  • the ratio of incoming and outgoing links

Exporting the content of the links in an Excel file (4)

This feature allows you to export a list of all the links and their characteristics (position of related notions, explanations, etc.) in the CSV format which is converted into Excel list.

Click the “Export” button. A dropdown list appears. Choose “Links (Table)” (4). In the window that opens you can enter a name and location for the file to download. Click “Save” and then open the downloaded Excel file.

row 15.1

Importing an entire diagram in another diagram

This feature allows to import, in a few clicks, all notions and all links (with their contents) of a diagram in another diagram. Imported notions will be positioned right in the host diagram. (4)

This can be very interesting if you have multiple diagrams on a subject (e.g.: diagrams of different newspaper articles) you want to combine in a single diagram.

We will import a calendar in an organogram to begin a diagram on holiday planning or on other activities.

Here’s how:

In the open diagram (organogram), click the button “Imports notions and links of another workspace”. (1)

The “Import workspace” opens. Choose a diagram in the drop down list (2). This list includes all the diagrams in your account. We choose the scheme “Calendrier pour planning.”

Click “Import.” (3)

All notions (and the links between them) of the diagram “Calendrier …” are imported. (4) They are placed to the right of the host scheme.

Using the software functions, we can move in a few moments the notions as we like. In this case we simply put the imported under the host. (5)

The new diagram will teach us for example that person X will leave such days (6) (for instance: by clicking the lower part of notion A6), and it also shows us for a given day what people are missing (for instance: by clicking the upper part of notion F3). (7)

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Creating a notion box

Place the mouse cursor (arrow) over an empty box (1)  (the box will become blue) and double-click it.

The “Create Notion” window opens (2) . Enter the name of the notion (3) (we write “Demand”) and click “Create”.

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The result:

You see your notion box on an empty box at C8 position, with the name of the notion on the box.

We say that C8 is the variable nr of the notion “Demand”. The number is variable, as the notion can be moved anywhere in the diagram. The name of the notion is written on the box. By placing the cursor over it, it is accompanied by a text that contains the name of the notion. You find the name of the notion also in the “Info” window at the right of the space.

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Modifying a notion and giving it content

Place the mouse cursor (arrow) over a notion box until the arrow changes into a hand. Right-click, which opens a context window. Click “modify”.

Note: You get the same result by double-clicking the notion.

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Another window opens: “Notion Properties”. Here you can change the notion:

  • Changing the name of the notion (1)

  • Entering the author’s name (2)

(the person who had the idea to include this notion in this world: usually it ‘s yourself, but it may also be people who helped to provide explanations of the notion).

  • Put a picture over the notion square (3)

This picture will be placed on the square of the notion. Click “+ Upload” and select an image in your computer. Then click “open”; then click “save”.

In “Preferences” (top right of the screen), you can adjust the final appearance of the image relative to the text (overlay image, image above or to the left of the text, …). Please see row 35.

  • Put a picture into the notion square (3a)

This image will be inserted in the explanations of the notion (see below 3a). Here is how to proceed.

  • Add a tab in the notion (4)

Under “Information” you can select a tab in the list among the currently existing tabs in this diagram (4). Currently there are three: “General” and “Personal Characteristic” and “”Profession”.

But we will see later that you can add as many tabs as you want by opening “Edit Tabs” at the top right of the diagram (4a) .

In this case we only neeed General. This is the Tab that is predefined. Thus it is still opened. If we would need anther one, we would select it in the list (4) and then we click on “+” (5) to add the tab.

row 20

  • Giving the explanation of the notion

In the section “Information” we find the “General” tab (1). The latter consists of two fields (or items): “Description (Summary)” (2a) and “Description (Details)” (2b).

In each of these fields, we can insert

  • texts (3a) that we can format (change color, size, style , etc.)
  • images (3b)
  • tables
  • URL links
  • etc.

row 21

  • Adding values (1)

(In “Preferences”, we replaced the letters A, B, C and D (see row 19 under Values) by the caracteristics of the inscription: country, date , value , source (2)).

To specify values ​​for this notion

  • Click “Add ” (3). You see empty rectangles in which you can enter data
  • Enter information (4).

Entering values ​​of the notion

Example: The World of Economics (Notion: Demand)

(A)Country (B)Date (C)Value (D)Source
England/Demand for cars 2014 x Statistical office
France 2014 y Statistical office

With the arrows (5) you can change the order of rows in the table.

  • Current value (6)

This is the value you assign to this notion now.

(Possibly future versions of LinkNotions can run simulations based on the values ​​you have specified).

  • Attachments (7)

Click “+ Add file” to add a file (PDF, JPEG, etc.). Click the trash on the right if you want to delete a file.

Note on Add File: You can add any type of file. As for reading these files, it depends entirely on the browser (Chrome, Firefox, …) you use and your computer ( i.e. depends of installed plugins)


  • Delete: Delete the entire notion with its contents
  • Cancel: To exit without saving your changes
  • Save: To save your changes

row 22

Create other notions in the same way: by double-clicking or riht-clicking an empty box. Let’s create the notions “Imports”, “Production”, “Prices”.

Lets get closer to the notions by making a zoom in with one of the zoom function of the toolbar.

If necessary please click the images to enlarge! Click “Esc” to return to this page.

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Linking 2 notions = creating a link 

We want to create a link between the notion “demand” and the notion “Imports” and we want to express that if demand increases, imports are also increasing. The term “demand” therefore influences (positive / in the same direction ) the notion “Imports”.


In LinkNotions links go (get out) from the bottom of a notion box and arrive on top of a notion box.

Creating a link between two notions

Place the mouse (arrow) on the notion “Demand” until the arrow becomes a hand. A big gray dot appears at the top and at the bottom of the notion box. Click the bottom dot. All notions lose some color (if they don’t, you have not really clicked the gray dot). Click on the notion “imports” (anywhere). The link is created.

The “Link Properties” window opens. Here you can edit the link. We will see this later. For now click “Save” at the top right.

The green color is that of the default link. You can change it (see below).

row 23.1

Create multiple identical links

Sometimes you have to create the same link between several pairs of notions. For example in a family tree if a mother has 10 children, or in economics, if you have a “positive” link between several pairs of notions. In this case we can create these identical links rather quickly, without every time going through the window “Link Properties”.

Here’s how:

Create the first link as done above.

In the “Link Properties” window, click “Multiple Links” (1) (if the window is already closed, you can reopen it by double-clicking the line of the link (2)).

After having clicked the “Multiple links” button, the window closes. The cursor is accompanied by the instruction: “Multiple Link Mode active; Select a first notion to begin creating the link; Click in-between notions to stop”(3).

We click eg. on the notion “Demand” (4). Now the cursor is accompanied by the instruction: “Select a second notion to finish creating the link; Click in-between notions to stop” (5).

We click on the notion “Price” (6). A green link (positive link) is created between “Demand” and “Price” (7). This means that if demand increases, prices rise and vice versa. Now the cursor is accompanied again by the first instruction: “Multiple Link Mode active; Select a first notion to begin creating the link; Click in-between notions to stop” (8).

So for example we can first click “Demand” (9 and 10) and then “Production” (11) to mean that if “Demand” increases, “Production” will increase. A green line appears (12) to mean “positive” link between “Demand” and “Production”.

We can go on as long as we want to create identical links.

If we want to stop, just click in-between the notions (in a corridor). (13)

Note that the Feature “Multiple links” also copies the contents of the original link. If all your links so created have the same content, consider giving this content to the original link to avoid having to copy the contents one by one in the links. If the links have different content, do not give content to the original link, otherwise you’ll have to delete the contents in the links created.

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Modifying a link and giving it a content

In order to “enter” a link (so that you can edit it), you have two options:

  1. You can move the cursor to the line representing the link (until it grows) and you double-click it.
  2. You can move the cursor to a notion until it changes into a hand, then you right-click or double-click it. A window opens and gives you three options:
    1. Modify: Ignore this option; it is used to change the notion, not the link.
    2. Incoming links (2): Under “Incoming  links” are links with notions from which depart link the notion clicked. Double-Click the link you want to edit. In this case we have: Prices “negative” Demand. Read: Prices have influence in the opposite direction on demand. So: if prices rise, demand falls and vice versa.
    3. Outgoing links (3): Under “Outgoing links” are links with notions to which leave a link from the notion clicked. Double-Click the link you want to change; in our case: the link with imports. Imports “positive” demand. Read: Demand has a positive influence on imports. So: if demand increases, imports also increase, and vice versa.

row 25.1

In the “Link Properties” window

It gives you information and allows you to change the content of the link.


You are in the link: The notion “Demand” influences the notion “Imports”: “Demand” “positive” the notion “Imports”

The variable nr

is e.g. “D7 / C9”. This means that the notion “Demand” is in box D7 and the notion “Imports” in box C9 (The variable nr. depends on whether one of the two notions is moved).

The fixed nr

or “identification”: it is, e.g. id1 / id380. This is the identification code of the link. It never changes, even if the notions it connects are moved.

Inverting a Link

If you were mistaken in the direction when creating the link, you can reverse the direction of the link by clicking on this button.

row 25.2

Show this link with straight line

By activating this function, this link will be shown by a straight line instead of a line running along the corridors.

This serves to highlight the link.

As in this case you don’t see the direction of the link, you’ll have to add an arrow at the end. Do this by clicking “Link Types” and edit the Link Type.

In “Settings”, you can ask that all links are shown in a straight line. This is interesting for smaller diagrams.

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Link Types or Influence types

This denotes the type of influence, i.e. the sense (meaning) of the link.

Choose an existing link type

Two types are displayed: “Positive” and “Negative”.

In our case, the link is positive

Positive: This means “Demand” and “Imports” move in the same direction.

So, if “Demand” increases, then “Imports” also increase.


If “Demand” decreases, then “Imports” also decrease.

Negative: this means that the notions “A” and “B” vary in the opposite direction.

Thus, if “A” increases, “B” decreases.


If “A” decreases, “B” increases.

Warning: the words “positive” and “negative” are not used in a sense of value or valuation; they only denote the direction of the link.

If you want to create or modify (text and color) a Link type, please click “Link types” in the tool bar.

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Creating a new link type

But you can define your own link types and give them another color, such as in a domain that talks about relationships (sociogram or criminology) you can have link types like “is married to”, “is friend of”, “is working with”, “injured”, etc. .

If we stay in the field of the economy, one could imagine a link type like “replaces”.

As we have seen in row 11, a new link type is defined by clicking “Link Types” in the tool bar and clicking “Add…”. Now you can give a name (in several languages) and a color to the new link type.

Lets create that link. It starts from “Imports” and arrives to “Production”, saying that “Imports” replace (national) “Production”.

As we learned above, we have to clic the bottom dot of “Imports” and then click (anywhere) the notion box “Production”.

Note: We would get the same result in clicking the top dot of “Production” and then clic the notion box “Imports”

row 28

In the “Link Properties” window, click on the box right to “Influence Type” and choose”replaces” in the field “Custom type name”.

Now you read the link: “Imports” “replaces” “Production”.

row 29


row 30

Writing information in different languages

Let’s return to our link “Demand” and “Import”.

Here is some other information that you can change:

Select Language: The default language is the language that you chose when you created your diagram. Choose the language in which you want to write now. You can write your text in several languages. So, if you show your world to different people, they may choose one of the languages.

Description (Summary): Here you can write an explanation of the link. You can write, for example: “If demand increases, more people want to buy an existing asset which is in limited supply.That’s why …”

Description (Details): Here you can write more explanation of the link.

row 31

The intensity of a link

Here you can set the intensity of the link. In our case, we could give a multiplier of 0.5 for example. This would mean that if demand increases by 10%, prices rise by 5%. Note: These values ​​are not important yet. They will become later when the software is able to run simulations.

The speed of a link

Define the timespan of the intensity described above. If you choose, for example, two months, this means that if demand increases by 10 %, prices rise by 5% within those two months. Note: As with intensity, this value is not important yet. It will only become so when the software is able to run simulations.

The author of a link

Indicate the name of the author(s) (the person who had the idea to include this link in this world: it is usually you, but it may also be the people who helped to write the explanations of the link).

Attach files

Click “+ Add file” to add a file (Word, Excel, PDF, JPEG, etc.).

Note: All file types can be added. The playback options depend on the browser and plugins installed on your computer.

Delete: Delete the whole link including its contents

Cancel: To exit without saving

Save: To exit and save your changes

row 32

Copy one or more notion boxes

Sometimes a notion or set of notions can be useful in different locations of a diagram. Instead of reproducing them, just copy them (with their content, but without their links and belonging to a subject group).

Here’s how:

Select the notion(s) with the Selection tool. To do this, click the Selection tool (1): it darkens. Then click one or more notions (or click and move the mouse over the notions) to select (2).

Copy selected notions: Click the Copy tool (3) and then click one of the selected notions (4) and (keeping the mouse clicked) pull it or them in a place with empty boxes (5) and release the mouse (6).

row 32.1

Move a notion box by drag and drop

Place the mouse cursor (arrow) over a notion box until the arrow becomes hand. Click and hold the mouse clicked, and pull the notion box onto an empty box.

Note: as soon as the empty box on which you want to move the notion box gets a blue color, you can release the click. A box gets the blue color when the cursor is over the box.

row 32.2

Move multiple notion boxes by drag and drop

If you want to move several notion boxes together, proceed as follows:

  1. Enable the “Select multiple notions” button in the tool bar.
  2. Select the notions with the mouse. You can do this by clicking notions one by one or by clicking and dragging the mouse over an area. You can repeat this in several places.
  3. Activate the button to the right of the button “Select multiple notions”.
  4. Now you can move the notions entered by drag and drop.

row 32.3

Delete multiple notion boxes 

If you want to delete several notions together, proceed as follows:

  1. Enable the “Select multiple notions” button in the tool bar.
  2. Select the notions with the mouse mouse. You can do this by clicking on notions or by clicking and dragging the mouse over an area. You can repeat in several places.
  3. Click the button with the trash icon (in the tool bar).

row 33.1

Now continue to add notions and links. Sooner or later, you will like to have an additional column or a row of boxes in a certain place.

Adding / deleting one or more row(s)

To add one or more row(s) between row C and D, place the cursor on the “C” check box for the name of the row C (left of space). Double-click or right-click the mouse. A window offers 3 choices:

  • Insert above​​: insert a row above this row
  • Insert below: insert a row below this row
  • Insert multiple above: insert several rows above this row
  • Insert multiple below: insert several rows below this row
  • Delete: delete this row; deleting is only possible if there is no notion box inside the row. Let’s choose “Insert below” the letter “C”
  • Delete multiple: delete several rows; deleting is only possible if there is no notion box inside the row. Let’s choose “Insert below” the letter “C”.

In our case we choose “Insert multiple below” of the letter “C” and we choose to add two rows.

row 33.2

Adding / Deleting one or more column(s)

To add one or more columns, place the cursor for instance on box “6” which gives the name of the column: 1, 2 , 3 … (top space). Double-click or right-click the mouse and choose:

  • Insert Left: insert a column to the left of this column
  • Insert Right: insert a column to the right of this column
  • Insert Multiple Left: insert several columns to the left of this column
  • Insert Multiple Right: insert several columns to the right of this column
  • Delete: delete this column; deleting is only possible if there is no notion box in the column. Let’s choose “Insert right”
  • Delete Multiple: delete several columns; deleting is only possible if there is no notion box in the column. Let’s choose “Insert right”.

row 34.1

The tabs: Definition

The notions and links have content. This content is organized in tabs as the layout of the pages in a browser. The tabs are sub-structured with fields.

In a new diagram: one predefined tab.

If you create a new diagram with notions and links, they will be automatically assigned a tab which we called “General”. This tab includes two fields of “formatted text” type.

To check this, we opened a new diagram and created a notion. Double-clicking the notion, and clicking “Modify” (1) we can (in edit mode) enter into the notion to edit its contents.

We see that there is the “General” tab (2).

In the first field “Description (Summary)” (3), we are writing a text in brown (4).

In the second field “Description (Details)” (5), we write a turquoise text (6).

Close the window by clicking “Save” (top right).

Click on the square of the notion to activate it. In the Info-window we see the text in brown (7).

Let’s click now on the magnifying glass of the Info-window (8). Instead of the diagram, we see a window with the content of the notion clicked. The notion includes a tab (9) which contains two fields. The first field “Description (Summary)” (10) contains a brown text and the second field “Description (Details)” (11) contains a turquoise text.

Close the window by clicking “Close” (12).

row 34.2

An elaborate example: the tabs of the family tree of LinkNotions

Consider the diagram of the family tree of LinkNotions.

Note that in each diagram, we find tabs at three different locations:

1) Within the notions and links. Here we can change the content of tabs and fields.

2) In the “Edit Tabs” button. Here we create tabs and fields.

3) In the “Info” window by clicking on the magnifying glass. Here we see the end result. Thus we see the content of a notion or link in view mode.

Double-click the notion “Me” (E8) and then click on “Modify” (1).

The window “Notion Properties” (4) opens. We see that the notion “Me” contains 11 tabs (5). Each tab has its own structure. On the image on the left, the “General” tab has been activated (by clicking it).

The “General” tab contains a variety of fields:

Description (Summary) = field type “formatted text”
Description (Details) = field type “formatted text”
First Name = field type “plain text”
Name = field type “plain text”
Second First Name = field type “plain text”
Nickname = field type “plain text”
Male = field type “checkbox”
Female = field type “checkbox”
We can see that there are three types of fields, and each tab can have an infinite number of fields of these 3 types.

Up to you to define the structure of your notions and links in each of your diagrams.

Let’s click on the “Edit Tabs” button (2).

Here we see the structure of tabs and fields. It is also here that we can change them.

In the left column we see the list of tabs in this diagram (6).

If we click the “key” icon (6a) of the “General” tab, the fields (7) of this tab are visible.
Let’s click now the magnifying glass of the Info-window  (3) to see the final presentation (8).

We see 11 tabs (9), the first (General) (10) is open. It is composed of fields of the type “Formatted Text” (11), “plain text” (12) and “checkbox” (13).

row 34.3

Adding tabs

To add tabs, you must first define them and then add them to the notions and/or links.

The definition is made in the “Tab Definitions” window. You access it by clicking the “Edit Tabs” button (1) located at the top right of the screen.

In the “Tab Definitions” window (2) use the left column (3) to create and define tabs and the right column (4) to create and define fields for a selected tab in the left column.

To create a tab, simply click the + (5) in the left column. Let’s click the + three times to create three tabs (6) and assign them the names “Occupation”, “Personal data” and “Tab 2” (7).

row 34.4

Add fields to the tabs 

Each tab can be subdivided into several fields.

Open the tab “personal data” by clicking the key (8) behind the title. We find in the right column that this tab does not yet contain fields. To create a field, simply click on the + (9). Let us click 5 times to create 5 fields. Let’s give them the names “Name”,  “Biography”, “Married”, “Number of Children” and “First Name” (10).

row 34.5

The 3 types of fields:

Behind each title of a field there is a drop down window where you can choose the type of field.

There are three field types:

  • Plain text: It is used to write short texts or numbers: names, addresses, dates, …
  • Formatted text: It is suitable for writing long texts. Here you can format the text (change the font, color, size, …), you can add tables, images, URLs, …).
  • The checkbox: Allows to indicate visually if a feature is realized.

Thus, in our example, the first field “Name” can be satisfied with a Plain Text field (11). It does not need to be translated, because the name is the same in all languages. So we are not going to check “Multilingual” (12).

The second field “Biography” is a Formatted Text type. In fact, here it is a continuous text with explanations, images and tables. So choose from the dropdown this type of field by first clicking on the window (13) to open and then “Formatted Text” to choose this type of field (13b). In this case we have to enable “Multilingual” (14) because the text will change with the language. So we will modify it for each language we want to use.

The third field “Married” is a Check box (15). Here you can quickly indicate if the person is married or not. No need to enable “Multilingual”.

The next two fields (16) are Plain Text types and not multilingual.

The images on the left show the result with the notion “Demand” (17).

Left in the “Notion Properties” window that allows us to change the content. Right in the Info window that shows the final result.

Below, you have the same windows with the content.

In both cases we opened the tab “Personal Data” (18)

We see the appearance of the different fields: Plain Text (19); Formatted Text (20) and Checkbox (21).

Note that the Formatted Text has only one column and the other two field types are arranged in 2 columns.

row 34.6

Deleting tabs or fields

To delete a tab or a field, click on the x behind their name.

After clicking, a window appears asking if you really want to delete. Click “OK” to confirm.

In our case, we delete tab “Tab 2” and the field “Number of children”.

Note that if you delete a tab or a field in the definition window, you erase it in all the notions and links (with their contents).

To delete a tab or a field in a notion/link, please use the “Notion/Link Properties” window.

row 34.7

Change the order of tabs and fields

To change the order  of tabs or fields, just move them with the double arrow icon. Click the icon and hold the mouse clicked. Drag the icon up or down to the desired location.
Note that in this case the fields “Name” and “First Name” will appear in the same row.

If you want them listed one below the other, you only have to insert a Plain Text field type (empty) between the two (22).

row 34.8

So far we have learned how to create tabs and fields.

We now have to see how to put the tabs into the notions respectively the links.

There are three possibilities:

  1. Automatically include some (or all) tabs in the notions and/or links when they are created.
  2. Insert tabs manually.
  3. Insert (later) some tabs in all the existing notions and/or links.

1. Automatically insert tabs in new notions and links

You can decide if some (or all) tabs will be introduced in all newly created tabs. This is convenient and fast. We will use this function if some tabs are included in all notions and/or links or those that will be created now (you can disable the feature later).

Simply activate “Default on” for the notions and/or for links and all the notions and/or links created later will contain the tab. As for the “General” tab “Default on” is activated, it will be introduced to all the notions and all the links created.

It is obvious that we can turn this feature off. The tabs will continue to exist in the notions and links already created, but the tab will not appear automatically in newly created notions and links.

row 34.9

2) Manually insert tabs in the notions and links

The manual insertion is not done in the “Tab Definitions” window but in the “Notion Properties” respectively “Link Properties” window.

So let’s leave the “Tab Definitions” window by clicking “Close” and open the “Link Properties” from the “Demand / Price” link. For this we double click the link between the notion “Demand” and the notion “Price”. The “Link Properties” window is opened.

We see that the “General” tab is already there. This is normal because this tab is automatically inserted in each link while the creation of the link.

If we want to add a tab previously defined, simply click on the drop-down window (1) and choose one of the tabs available (we will choose “Occupation”), then click on the blue “+” at the right (2). The tab is added (3). You can also add a tab several times.

row 34.10

3) Insert later (in two clicks) tabs in all the notions and/or links

Imagine that you have already created a number of notions and links. You define a tab that you would like to insert in all these notions/links.

Of course you can insert them manually one by one. This will take time.

But you can also do it in two simple clicks:

1. Activate “Default on” from one or more tabs you want to insert into all the notions and/or links (1).

2. Click the “All notions” button (2) if you want to add the tab(s) on all currently existing notions.

3. Click the “All links” button (3) if you want to add the tab(s) in all currently existing links.

row 34.11

Translate the titles of the tabs and fields

All elements of a diagram can be translated into all the languages offered. The process is the same as for the notions, links, domains, …

Click the drop-down window (1) and select the desired language, here English (2). All the names (titles) of tabs and fields are empty (3). Up to you to translate them into the chosen language. We did it in English (4).

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Click “Settings”

at the top right of the screen to get in the window

Workspace settings

You can add or change the following:

The language

Select a language and enter the name of the diagram (world) and labels in that language. You have the option to indicate that data in any language.

The name (title) of the diagram

The name of your world can be changed here.

Create a link to a web page

Here you can add a URL to a web page where you put explanations of your world. As soon as you enter a URL here, a little blue “i” appears behind the title of the world. Just click on it to access the page.

Each world has unique features such as colors types of links, the particular interest of the world. It is important to explain all this if you want to share your world with others by sending your world by mail or by posting them on an internet site.

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Creating labels for notion values

When we studied the content of a notion, we explained that you can replace the letters A , B, C and D with the characteristics of the notion under “Settings”. It is here that you can do it.

You can assign each notion a number of information. One way is to present information in a table with 4 columns. You can define the labels for each world individually. In our case, we chose country, date, value and reference. But you might as well choose others such event, age, male or female, etc.

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The other elements are easily to be understood by their title.

Try playing with the different sizes of boxes and lanes (the space between the boxes).

The size of notions and corridors

Note, however, that the size of the boxes has an influence on the number of characters (letters or digits that can be displayed on a notion box) and the size of signs in relation to the size of the notion box.

By default we chose a size of 100 for notions (cell size) and 50 corridors (lane width and height) (picture left), but you may prefer other sizes. Try.

Recommendation: if you are in the particular case where you have few notions that contain lots of text to display, choose larger notions. In the right image, we chose 250 as the size of the notions.

If you prefer horizontal or vertical rectangles to squares, simply choose a different width and height.

row 37.1

Text and picture over the square

1) Text separated from the picture

In this case, the text is separated from the picture. You can decide:

If the picture should be left (a) or above (b) Text
The size of the picture (c)
Warning: the larger the picture, the less there is room for text.

2) Overlap label and picture

In this case, the picture size is maximum. You can adjust the transparency (d) of the background of the text.

If you choose 0%, the background is fully transparent and you can see very well the image. If it has the same color as the text, it will be difficult to read.

If you choose 100%, the text background is not transparent. The image is cut off and the text is legible.

The default setting is 75%. It is a good compromise in most cases.

row 37.2

Hide empty boxes (cells) (1)

This is an aesthetic function. Empty squares are no longer visible, but they still exist. If for example you move the cursor to a location of an invisible empty square, it turns blue (2) and you can double-click it. The window “Create notion” will open and you can create a notionsquare.

Up to you to decide how you want to see the diagram.

row 37.3

Show all links as straight lines

This is a matter of readability according to the size of a diagram.

In smaller diagrams, presentation of links with straight lines is probably more readable.

In large diagrams, presentation with the lines in the corridors is preferable. Indeed, many straight lines through the notions would make the diagram illegible, as shown in the two diagrams below.

Note that we combined straight lines with arrows as straight lines give no indication regarding the direction of the links.

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Searching for a word or a number

The search function is well known from other software.

Just write a word or part of a word or number and the software offers results with locations in the diagram. It researches in the contents of the notions and links. You can also search position numbers of a notion (eg .: C5).

Click a result of the proposals and the software highlights the notion or link concerned. In large diagrams, it is best to do a zoom in on the scheme before the search.

Continue adding notions and links in your first world.

You will come to a world like this. This is the world of economics created and published by LinkNotions. It includes over 400 notions and over a thousand links.

The notions have been grouped in domains according to the various economic agents: finances, households, rest of the world, firms and state. Currently these areas are not highlighted. Let’s do that now.

row 39

Creating a Domain

At the right of the screen click “+” near the “Domains” button.

Your cursor is now accompanied by a text telling you what you need to do: Click one corner of the area you want to create (e.g. the notion A1). Then click the opposite corner of the domain (e.g. the notion G24).

row 40

A window opens. Enter the name of your domain (e.g. Economic agent: Finance). Click “Create”. The area in question is now defined by a color.

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Editing a domain

Choose the pencil symbol at the right of “Domains”.

row 42

A window opens. In its middle you see the colors space.

You can individually choose the color of the empty boxes, the background and the notion cells. But it is easier to choose a scheme.

Select “Scheme”: If you choose a color here, the software assigns the same color with different brightness to the empty boxes, the background and notion cells.

Background: Click “choose” and select a color to give color to the background. We suggest you choose a very light color (e.g. the first on the left in each row of colors).

Empty Cells: Click “choose” and select a color for the empty box. We suggest you choose a darker shade of the same color as you used for “Background”.

Notion cells: Click “choose” and select a color for the notion boxes. We suggest you choose a darker shade of the same color as you used for “Background”.

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At the bottom of the window you see “Description”:

In the field next to it, you can write as much text as you like to explain the domain.

Click “save” to save and exit the window.

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Here is the result.

Proceed in the same way for other areas.

We get a world consisting of 5 domains and their respective colors:

  • blue for the economic agent finance,
  • orange for the economic agent households,
  • gray for the the economic agent rest of the world,
  • yellow for the economic agent firms,
  • purple for the the economic agent State.

row 44 a

Subject groups


If a domain includes notions in a specific location (a rectangle of a certain color), the subject group consists of notions sharing certain characteristics, but scattered over different areas. Using the example of the economy: the notions are grouped into five domains depending on whether they belong to one of five economic agents. Subject groups are all economic subjects (or issues) .

  • Domains: households, firms, State, rest of the world, finance.
  • Subject groups: unemployment, the exchange rate of a currency, competitiveness, price formation, etc.
  • The notions in each of these suject groups are the causes and / or consequences (direct or indirect) of these phenomena.
  • The notions in the subject group “unemployment”: salaries, national employment, labor supply, labor demand, exports, competitiveness, etc.
  • The notions in the subject group “Exchange rate of national currency”: exports, foreign investment, speculation, etc.

The creater of the world can freely decide what concepts are contained in a subject-group.

row 45

Creating a subject group:

Click on the text “Subject Groups” and you see all the subject groups created in this world: competitiveness, exchange rate of national currency, purchasing power and unemployment.

For each economic subject, the author of this world has created four different subject groups. We will explain the various types thereafter.

For now we will create an additional subject group. We take the issue of general health. First click on the “+” next to “Subject Groups”.  A window opens . It is called “Create Subject Group”.

row 46

Enter the name you want to give your subject group. In our case “General Health”

Click “Create”.

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The subject group “General Health” is added to the list. This subject group exists, but it is still empty, i.e. it does not yet contain notions.

Adding notions in a subject group with the Selection tool

If you have lots of notions to add to a subject group, the above process is quite laborious. In this case, the use of the selection tool is useful.

Here’s how:

Click the Selection tool (1). It becomes darker.

Select the notions to integrate into subject group. You can do this by clicking one by one on the notions or by clicking a notion with the cursor and dragging it over other notions (2). The selected notions are darker (3).

Click the “+” behind the subject group (general health) in which you want to add the selected notions (4).

Activate the subject group (5). The selected notions are contained in the activated Subject group.

row 49

Activating a subject group in order to highlight its notions

Click the “activate” button (last button) near the subject group you want to activate. You see that the notions of the subject group start flashing in gray. You can change the color as well as the effect.

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Modifying a subject group

Selecting the type of highlighting (blinking or corner squares)

To change the color and the effect, click on the pencil at the right of the name of the subject group you want to edit.

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You now see the window: “Subject Group Properties”.

Here you can change the subject group.

Let’s focus for now on color of notions and on effects.

In the middle, you see the “Select color” button. Click the button and choose a color. The default effect is “Blink”: This means that if the space is active, all the notions that are part of this subject group flash in that color.

row 52

There is a second “effect”. It is called “Corner Squares”.

Click the “Blink” button and choose “Corner Squares”.

If this effect is selected, all notions of an activated subject group have a rectangle in the selected color in a corner of the square of the notion.

Choose “Corner Squares”. Then choose the color orange. In the rectangle next to “Label” you can type six letters and / or numbers to characterize the active subject group. Let’s use three letters “hth” (for health) and the number “0”. Since each box has four corners, you can activate up to 5 subject groups at the same time without one subject group interfering with another (the 4 corners and 1 effect blinking), and distinguish them, as long as you appropriately choose effects and colors. Let’s have a look at our subject group in the world of economics.

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In the subject group “General Health”, we can see an orange square containing three letters (“hth” for Health) and a number (“0”).

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Go back to the “Subject Group Properties” window. To do so, click on the pencil next to the name of the subject group.

In the window you can change the following:

Selecting different languages

Under “language” choose a language from the dropdown window.

Change the name

Under “Name” you can change the name of the subject group. Change the name by writing into the field.

Add notions

To the left of the title “Add Notions”, you can write the variable nr of a notion (e.g. B4) and then click “Add Notions”. The notion is added to the list of notions below.

Delete notions

In the list of notions that are part of the subject group, you find an X behind each notion. Click it and the notion is removed from the subject group.

Change the effect and color: See instructions above.

Description of the subject group

Enter text into the field provided for this purpose. This text will appear in the “Info” window when the name of the subject group is clicked.

All these functions are easy and self-explanatory. Try it!

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Creating a derivative of a subject group

This requires an explanation :

By creating a derivate, you create a new subject group containing all notions of the current suject group


all notions that are influenced by these concepts

or plus

all notions that influence these notions.

In fact, this is the current expanded subject group with the “close” notions.

Lets create such a derivative: Give it a name: “General Health +1”. Click on “Create with influenced”.

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Back in our world we can activate the subject group “General Health +1”. (Click the activation button: this is the last one in the row). Here you can see the world of economics with the subject group “General Heath +1” activated. We see that the default effect is “blink”. The default color is gray. Click the pencil to go to the “Subject Group Properties” window.

row 57

We see that many notions have been added to the list of notions in this subject group. Scroll down and choose

  • the “Corner Square” effect  and
  • a blue color
  • a Label: “hth +1”. We use the + sign to indicate that in this subject group there are the notion “General health” plus the notions which are influenced by “General health”.

In fact, it is the direct consequences of an improvement or deterioration in the general health of the population.

Click “Save”.

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Here is the result.

Let’s now create the derivative of the derivative. This will lead to a subject group with all the notions that directly or indirectly are influenced by “General Health”.

Click the pencil near “General Health +1”. In the “Subject Group Properties” window, enter the name “General Health +2” to the new derivative and click on “Create with influenced”. Clicking “save” to return to the world of economics.

Click the pencil near subject group “General Health +2”. Back in the “Subject Group Properties” window, select the effect “Corner Squares”, a darker shade of blue, “Label” “hth +2”.

Click “Save”.

row 58 a

Lets activate the subject group “General Health +2”.

It shows the notions directly and indirectly influenced by the notion “General Health”.

They are the direct and indirect consequences of an improvement or a deterioration of general health.

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We can also create the subject groups

“General Health -1” : it contains all the notions that directly influence health

“General Health -2” : it contains all the concepts that directly and indirectly influence the general health.

The process is the same, but using “Create with influencing” under “Create derivative”.

The picture left shows the result by activating the subject groups in the following order : General Health -1 ; General Health -2 ; General Health 1 ; General Health +2.

We can see that

  • The first subject group activated is placed in the left upper corner
  • The second subject group activated is placed in the right upper corner
  • The third subject group activated is placed in the right lower corner
  • The forth subject group activated is placed in the left lower corner

row 59 a

Every economic subject can be detected by labeling with an effect all notions concerning the subject. Whether by the method of derivative or by manually adding the concepts as needed.

Note that you can also create a world from a subject group (see below). This will isolate in a smaller world the notions and links that concern an economic issue.

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Combining subject groups

We now have two interesting subject groups:

Health +2 which contains all the notions that are directly or indirectly influenced by health. So these are all direct or indirect consequences of an improvement or a deterioration of public health.

Health -2 which contains all the notions that directly or indirectly influence health. These are therefore all direct or indirect causes an improvement or a deterioration in public health.

It would be useful to bring together in a single subject group. To do this, we have the “combine subject groups” tool.

Click the button. The “Combine subject groups” window opens. In the drop down list, check the two subject groups that interest us. Then give the new subject group a name. We will give it the name “Health + – 2”.

Finally click on “Create combination” and subject group “Health + – 2” exists.

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Creating a new diagram from a subject group

This will isolate in a smaller world the notions and links that involve an economic subject.

For this you simply go to the “Properties of subject group” window (Click the pencil behind space-topic from the list).

Click Export. A new window opens. Name the new world. In our case we choose “Health: subworld of the world of economics”.

You can even remove the links you do not want in the new world. To do this, deselect these links in the list.

(Note: To add or remove notions, use the previous window)

Click “Export” and you arrive in the new world. The notions are included in a relative position with respect to each other as in the original world, but the rows and blank columns have been deleted. Up to you to rearrange the world as you like.

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Copying a LinkNotions diagram for free

If you want to take as a base a diagram made available by LinkNotions for free and change it, simply copy it in your account and open it in edit mode.

In the explanation below, we assume that you have a license and that you have done your login for this session.

Here’s how to proceed:

  • Choose a diagram.
  • Open the diagram.
  • Click on the blue icon behind the title of the diagram (which represents two files).
  • In the new window, click “Create”.

You are now in the diagram in edit mode.

The diagram is in your account. To see it, enter in your account by clicking the LinkNotions logo (top left).

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In “My LinkNotions”

Place the cursor over the world we have created, “My first world.”

Once the cursor is over the text, it is highlighted and four notions appear: Edit, Share, Copy, Delete. We can make 5 actions:

Click the text: The world is opened in the “View” mode. In this mode, we can look at it, but we cannot change it (add, delete, move items).
Click “Edit“: The world is opened in the “Edit” mode. In this mode, we can look at it and we can change it (add, delete, move items).
Click “Share“: You surely want to send your diagram to others. If you click here you will find two different URL of your world in a window.

Activate the text by clicking it. Copy the text. Paste it into an email. Send the email.

The URL on top allows the receiver to view the diagram with his browser. He cannot change it.

The URL at the bottom allows the receiver to view and to modify the diagram.

With both URLs the receiver has always the latest version of the document, even if changes are added after sending the email. Indeed, the document is on the server and the person received an address to the server. If you modify your document, the address will lead to the modified document.
Click “Copy“: To make a copy of your diagram by another name.
Click “Delete“: Deletes the world if you no longer need.


You now know how to create a world. Your turn!

First try with a very simple world containing only a few notions and links and then with worlds increasingly complex. You’ll see: it’s easy!

To learn how to read the world, and thus to complement your skills, we offer:

Film: How to read the world of economics


We do not recommend you to do several registrations in the same browser (this can be the case if you have multiple accounts with LinkNotions). If you switch from one account to another, first make an unsubscribe before you subscribe for the other account. If you need to be registered simultaneously in multiple accounts, we propose to use different browsers.