User manual for View Mode

In view mode, you can view the worlds (yours and others’) but you cannot change them.

Therefore the number of functions are fewer compared to those in the edit mode.

In this section, we will explain how to use the many features that reveal and analyze information in a complex world, a world with a lot of notions with multiple links between them.

Simply understand

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Choose a diagram / world

  • published on the website of LinkNotions
  • created by you in your “My LinkNotions”
  • someone sent you by email.

We choose the world of economics offered by LinkNotions. You find it under Menu : Diagrams: Economy: Interrelations in economics.

You arrive at the homepage of economics. Click the image to access to the diagram with the economic circuit.

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You are now in the world of economics.

This world currently has 1,008 boxes arranged on a giant chessboard of 48 columns and 21 rows labeled from A to U.

A number of these boxes are empty, we call them the

Empty boxes,

but the more interesting for us are the

Notion boxes.

Each of them contains a notion (concept). There are approximately 400 notion boxes and there are more than one thousand

Links (influences)

between them. These links are represented by


connecting two notions.

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About languages.

1) Choose 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.

2) Choose the language of the diagrams

The languages ​​in which the diagram was written can be selected in the small window in the tool bar. These languages ​​are not necessarily the same as those of the software.

It may be possible for example that your preferred language is French, but that the world that you are interested in is only available in Arabic and English. In that case you will choose the French flag and one of the two Arabic and English languages ​​that suits you best.

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Domains: explanation

A domain is a colored area in the diagram which includes notions having one or more common characteristics.

In the world of economics, the notions are grouped into five domains of different colors.

  • Blue stands for economic agent finance
  • Orange for economic agent households
  • Gray for economic agent rest of the world
  • Yellow for economic agent firms and
  • Purple for economic agent State.

To the right of the diagram you’ll find the list of domains if you click on the title “Domains”.

Click on the text of one of the domains and you’ll see the explanation of the domain in the “Info” window below.

Click again on the title “Domains” and the list disappears to leave more room for other information.

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In the global view, the notions are too small for their names to be read.

But by placing the cursor on the notions, names of notions appear near the cursor and in

The “Info” window

which is located at the bottom right of the screen.

Click in an empty area in a corridor (space between the boxes) to inactivate all notions. If you move the cursor, the names of notions and links, above which it is located, are displayed in the info window. Once you click a notion (or link = line), the content of this notion (link) is displayed in the info window until until you inactivate the notion (link) by clicking in an empty area in a corridor .

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The small magnifying glass in the “Info” window  

for additional information.

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Information in “Info” window:

The name of the notion: in our case, the key interest rate.

The current position of the notion: F17

The author of the notion: it is the one who introduced the notion in this diagram and those who contributed to the explanation and documentation of the notion.

The identifier : This is a unique and invariable identification. In this diagram, the identifier of the notion will never and can never be changed.

A brief description of the notion. In our case it is complemented by a link to a website.

A more detailed description.

Eventually: One or more documents that you can consult.

The content obviously depends on the person who created the diagram.

Note that you can contribute to the content of LinkNotions worlds by sending us your suggestions (by mail or form: Menu: Your suggestions).

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The different magnifiers

help us to get closer to the notions.

They will be explained below, note that they work the same way as in other programs.

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The magnifier in % : Enter a percentage of 50 % and you’ll be able to read the notions.

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The magnifier + : Click it, once or more times: It allows you to get closer by steps: zoom in.

The magnifier – : Click it, once or more times: It allows you to distance yourself by steps: zoom out.

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Zoom to cursor : Place the cursor on the area you want to enlarge and click once or more times. Disable the zoom by clicking the button again.

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Zoom to area : Click the button; move the cursor to the area you want to enlarge. Click, hold the mouse clicked and drag the mouse over the area you want to enlarge. Release the click.

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“Global view” magnifying glass : Click it and you see all the notions that make up this world.

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Back zoom : By clicking this button, you end up exactly where you were before your last zoom.

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Let’s use one of the magnifier to get closer.

We can now read the text in the notion boxes.

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The software has

The navigation tools

you know from other applications:

The bars (at the bottom and to the right of the space) allow you to move the diagram.

The hand tool (in the toolbar): Click on the hand (or click “m” of the keyboard), then click anywhere in space and move it with the mouse. Click again the hand tool to leave the tool.

The Map (at the top right of the space) allows you to see where you are in relation to the entire diagram. If you click on the rectangle in the map while moving the mouse, you move the diagram.

Let us move to the domain of finance (in blue) located on the top left.

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Each notion is divided into two parts:

one at the top and another at the bottom.

Click the lower part of a notion,

the software will show all notions influenced by the notion clicked (see picture to the left).

Click on the top of a notion,

the software highlights all the notions that influence the notion clicked.

Consider the notion “Key inrest rate” positioned at F17. Let’s click it on its lower part. All notions influenced by the notion are highlighted in different colors corresponding to the type of link between the clicked notion and the notions highlighted.

The colors of highlighting:

Each highlight color corresponds to a type of link defined in each diagram.

Only two types of links are predefined in LinkNotions:

1. The positive link (green): “has an influence in the same direction : A link is said to be positive if the two notions are evolving in the same direction. So:

If the notion A increases, then the notion B also increases


If the notions A decreases, then the notion B also decreases.

2. The negative link (red): has an influencce in the opposite direction: A link is called negative if the two notions evolve inversely (in the opposite direction). So:

If the notion A increases, then notion B decreases


If the notion A decreases, then notion B increases.


1. The notion “Key interest rate” has a positive link with the notion of “Interest rate”. Indeed, if the “Key interest rate” rises, the “Interest rate” also rises (and vice versa).

2. The notion “Key interest rate” has a negative link with the notion “Loan by banks.” Indeed, if the “Key interest rate” rises, then “Loans by banks” decrease (and vice versa).

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In the domain of finance we find notions such as “bankruptcy of banks”, “banking crisis”, etc.

The lines you see represent links between two notions.

Convention: all links leave from the bottom and enter to the top of a box 

(see below).

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Examples of the convention:

Take the notion “bankruptcy of banks”. As all notions it is contained in a box that is divided into two parts.

If you click on the lower part of a notion  the software highlights the three notions that are influenced by the notion. In fact, these are the consequences of the clicked notion (or rather the consequences of the change in the phenomenon of this notion).

The consequences of the phenomenon ” bankruptcy of banks ”  are

  • “Panic “
  • a modification of the “Household heritage” and
  • a modification of the “Corporate assets”.

“Panic” is highlighted with the green color and the line connecting the two notions is green too. In LinkNotions, the green color is for positive influences (that is to say the links in the same direction).

Here, the notion “Panic” is positively influenced ( that is to say in the same direction ) by the notion “bankruptcy of banks”.

So we can read the link:

If bank failures rise, panic increases

or :

If bank failures fall, panic decreases.

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We can

Make lines invisible 

They are representing the links between the notions.

Click the button in the tool bar.

Only the lines of the links from the notion currently clicked remain visible.

You see now that there are three links that come out of the notion “Bankruptcy of banks”. The other two notions influenced are outside the current view. We will return later.

(If you click again the same button, all links reappear).

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By placing the cursor on the line linking two notions, the “Info” window gives you some

Information about the link.

You have two options to get more information about the link (influence) between “Bankruptcy of banks” and “Panic”:

1) Double-click the line that connects the two notions. Place the cursor on the line. It grows. Double-click it.

2) Place the cursor on the notion “Bankruptcy of banks” so that the cursor changes to a hand. Double-click or right-click the mouse: a window opens. Move the cursor to “outgoing links” and choose the notion “Panic” in the list of notions influenced.

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You are now in the “Additional Information” window. It gives you information about the content of the link.

In fact, it contains information similar to the information window of a notion.

What is specific to a link (also called influence) is that two notions are involved and that the explanations do not apply to the notions, but the link. We are in the link: The notion of “Bankruptcy of banks” influences the notion of “Panic”.

Positive influence : In our case, the link is positive, i.e. that the two notions vary in the same direction.

The types of links

There are actually three types of links in the world of economics :

  1. Positive: it means that the two notions vary in the same direction : if the concept “A” increases , while “B” also increases
  2. Negative: it means that the two notions vary in the opposite direction : if “A” increases , while “B” decreases
  3. Correspond à / Is corresponding to: it means that a notion has the same meaning as another.

Warning: the words “positive” and “negative” are not to be understood in a sense (meaning) of moral value; it is just the direction of the link.

In other diagrams , you can have link types like “is married to“; “is a brother of“; “Is in love with” or “needs“; “Is bigger than“, “predates“, “is later than” etc. You can find the types of links of a world under “Show all” and clicking on the “i” behind the title of the diagram.

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The button “Link Types”:

BY clicking “Link Types”, a combo box lists all the types of links existing in this diagram. You can activate or deactivate each type of link individually. This means that the visually representing lines will be displayed or not in the diagram.

The button “Show All” activates in one click all link types (normal situation).

The button “Hide All” disables in one click all link types.

The button “i” to the right of the title:

By clicking on the little blue i behind the title of the diagram, you get to a page explaining this diagram and its main characteristics. Any lack of the little “i” means that the author of the diagram has not yet given an explanation of this diagram. In our case, “i” takes us to the page “About the world of economics” of LinkNotions’ website.

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Here the page “About the world of economics”.

It provides information on the author or authors, domains, types of links and possibly the usefulness of the diagram.

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The other two notions influenced by “Bankruptcy of banks” are outside the currently visible area.

There are four different ways to see which these notions are and where they are.

1) Outgoing links

Place the cursor on the notion “Bankruptcy of banks” so that the cursor changes to a hand. Double-click or right-click the mouse: a window opens. You can see at the bottom the “outgoing links” and all the notions that are influenced are listed.

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2) The ramification tool (in the toolbar).

Click on it and  you get a  table where you can see

  • on the left side the notion that influences (from which the link leaves) and the domain to which it belongs
  • in the center the type of influence
  • on the right all the notions being influenced, including their positions (N19, L37) as well as the domains to which they belong.

Click anywhere in the table to return to the workspace.

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3) The map

On the map you can see that the notions which are being influenced are colored.

We agree that this method is approximate as the concepts are very small in the map.

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4 ) Zoom out

Using one of the magnifying glasses to zoom out.

“Property / Households” and “Assets / Companies” are highlighted in the same red color and the lines connecting the notions are red, too. This means that the notions are being influenced negatively, i.e. in the opposite direction.

Thus we can read the link between “Bankruptcy of banks” and “Property / Households”:

If bank failures rise, the property of households decreases.


If the number of bank failures drops, the property of households increases. (Note: this is an example where vice-versa does not really work. Thus we had better read: If the number of bank failures drops, the property of household does not decrease)

The same holds true for the assets of companies. In other words, if you click the bottom of a notion (as shown here), the software highlights the consequences of this notion (of the variation of this phenomenon).

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If you click on the top of a notion, the software highlights the notions that influence the clicked notion. These are the causes of the notion clicked (or rather the causes of variation of the phenomenon of this notion).

Click the top of “Bankruptcy of banks”.

The causes of bank failures are many and one can loose the overview. We have already pointed out that the ramification function is useful in this case. Click the “Ramification” button.

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In the table of the


tool, we clearly see (on the left) the notions that influence bank failures. These are the causes of bankruptcy of the banks.

After consulting the table, we can leave it by clicking anywhere in the table.

Now we click in a corridor of the space, i.e. to an empty place between the notions. All notions and links are deactivated.

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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.

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The search window opens.
1. The starting notion. In our example: J43 (Competitiveness in relation to foreign countries)
2. The ending notion. In our example: A29 (Exchange rate of notional currency)
3. The number of results you wish to be displayed. According to the diagram in which you are and the two notions that you choose, this number can be very high. A large number of these paths may no longer have real meaning. We will choose 500 for our example.
4. The maximum number of notions per path. This criterion should be used with caution. A big increase may overdrive possible number of paths making keeping up difficult. We’ll keep the number at 10 in our example.
5. The type of research. Here you can choose between:
• Path with the least possible notions. Our choice for the example.
• The minimum total distance between the notions. The distance between the two notions is the number of boxes you need to move horizontally and vertically to get from one notion to another. This type of research is useful and relevant only if the notions were ranked in an order that makes sense in the diagram in question.

6. Types of links. This topic lists all the types of links that exist in this diagram. If you want to exclude a link type in your search, disable it.

Important Notes:
1. The function X to Y can quickly show the web browsers’ memory limits and also those of the operating system. Take the example of the world of economics: A notion has an average of three outgoing links. A notion and path require 16 bytes of calculation. To calculate the paths up to 13 notions, that means 3 to the power of 13 = ~ 2,000,000 roads must be checked: ~ 208 bytes by connection => ~ 416 MB memory + 20% for the research methodology and the announcing of the results. We will thus need 0.5 GB. With 14 paths we would need 1.5 GB, which exceeds any browsers capability. This should make it give up.

2. According to the diagram you are in, a certain number of paths do not really make sense and must be rejected.

3. This feature also shows the relevance of links and the relevance of their relations. This is a powerful and highly revealing tool. It will allow you to improve your diagram (in edit mode).

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Click “Search” and a table with the paths will appear.
In this case, 421 paths have been found with the choice of maximum 10 notions. (With 11 concepts, the software would have found 1264 paths).
In the table, you will find a wealth of information and analysis tools.
Column 1: Show button:
Click view. You will go back to the “world” view.  As the “show / hide links” button is automatically activated you will see only the chosen path: the involved notions are highlighted in order.
. Now you can easily follow the notions and the influences.
The color of the notions is that which corresponds to the influence from the starting concept (and not necessarily the color of influence before the notion). In fact, the indicated color is the result of the influence from the initial notion.

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If, for example:

The notion A negatively influences the notion B and
the notion B positively influences the notion C,
The result is that the notion A negatively influences (indirectly) the notion C.
In this case we have the first proposed link:
If competitiveness increases, imports decrease (negative link).
If imports are declining, the national money supply decreases (positive link).
So: If competitiveness increases, the national money supply decreases.

To return to the table, first click the “X to Y” function in the tool bar and then the button “Show search results” at the bottom of the search window.

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You can now follow the path and ask the software explanations of notions and links thereof. Let’s click eg on the J43 / G37 link. All other links become invisible and in the “Info” window you see the explanation of the relaton. Click the magnifying glass + above and right of the “Info” window, to better read the information. If you have finished reading, click anywhere to close the “Additional Infoormation” and then click in an empty corridor to bring back the links of the path J43 / A29.

To return to the table, first click the “X to Y” function in the tool bar and then the button “Show last results” at the bottom in the “Find Paths” window.

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The explanation of the link J43/G37.

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Column 2: The number of the path.
Column 3: The length of the path. i.e. the number of notions to arrive at the final notion. If the number is 3, this means that there are three notions to final notion, so two intermediate notions.
Column 4: The end result. If the result is positive, it means that the starting notion has an influence in the same direction on the final notion. So in our example, if competitiveness increases, the exchange rate increases (or, alternatively, if competitiveness declines, the exchange rate decreases).
In the next column, you find the initial concept in the whole row. This is followed by the possible influences that indicate different paths.
In the paths of the table, we find the same coloration system of notions as in the world: The color of the notions is that which corresponds to the influence from the initial notion (and not necessarily the color of the influence before the notion). In fact, color is the result of the influence from the initial notion.

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The button “Export table” to export the information to an Excel file.

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In Excel, you can change the table as you like and you can print it.
Note that there is also an export limit. Over a certain number of paths, the table is not exportable. In this case, we propose to limit the number of paths.

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To close the table and return to the world, you can either click the “Close” button or the button on the “X to Y” button again.
Finally, we still have to explain about color concepts within the paths. The explanations we have given are for the two links predefined by LinkNotions, namely positive and negative links. In the case where one link in the path is different, whereas corresponding to a positive or negative result does not really make sense, the color of notions is the following:
• In the diagram: The color of notions matches the color of the link before the notion.
• In the table: The color of the notions is the color of the domain in which the notions are.

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Another useful feature is

The search tool:

Let’s go to the overview and search. Take the exampleof the notion of unemployment. As soon as we have entered a few letters, the software shows us the notions which include these letters. If we click on one of these notions, the software shows where the notion is.

Lets click on unemployment. The software shows where the notion is.

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Finally, there is one other important concept in LinkNotions. This is the concept of

Subject group


In the world of economics in LinkNotions, notions are arranged in a certain order, particularly in the domains of different economic agents. The notions related to various economic subjects (unemployment, public debt, domestic production, the exchange rate of national currency, etc) are obviously scattered throughout these domains.

The subject group shows where the notions related to a subject or problem of the concerned diagram are located.

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Click on “Subject Groups”. You see a drop-down list that contains all subject groups presently offered by the world of economics. Let’s take the example of the exchange rate of national currency.

We see in the list four subject groups “exchange rate of the national currency” followed by the numbers -1, -2, +1 and +2. Clicking e.g. space -1 and scrolling down, we can read the explanation of this subject group: “Contains all the notions that influence directly the notion of exchange rate of national currency. Thus they are all the direct causes of exchange rate of national currency”. Specifically, these are the elements that influence changes in exchange rate.

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Activate one or more subject groups

“exchange rate +1″ by clicking the button “on / off”. You find it after each name of a subject group. We see in the workspace that all the notions on which the notion “exchange rate” has an influence are highlighted by a small light blue square in the upper left square in the notion box.These are the possible consequences of a change (increase or decrease) in the exchange rate.

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Looking closer (zoom in), we see that the

Small squares

contain texts “Cha +1” . This is an abbreviation that identifies the subject group so that you can distinguish each subject group when more subject groups are activated.

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These notions of +1 subject group obviously also influence other notions. LinkNotions has put all these notions in subject group “exchange rate +2”, which is obviously much larger than the preceding one. Activate it by clicking the button “on / off”, which is behind the subject group.

So, if you activate the subject group “exchange rate +1” and “exchange rate +2”, you see what are the direct and indirect consequences of an increase or decrease of the exchange rate of national currency.

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Let us now consider the causes of the variation of the exchange rate. Activate the subject group “exchange rate -1”. It brings together all the notions that directly influence the exchange rate.

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And as before, all the notions of this group are also influenced by other notions that are arranged in subject group “exchange rate -2”.

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The software shows the subject groups according to a logic :

  • The first subject group activated will show the squares at the top left corner.
  • The second subject group activated will show the squares at the top right corner.
  • The third subject group activated will show the squares at the bottom right corner.
  • The fourth subject group activated will show the squares at the lower left corner.

So if you have activated the subject group in the following order:

  • “Exchange rate -1”: squares appear at the top left corner
  • “Exchange rate -2”: squares appear at the top right corner
  • “Exchange rate  +1”: squares appear at the bottom right corner
  • “Exchange rate +2”: squares appear at the bottom left corner.

As a result, you’ll see highlighted all notions which directly or indirectly are related to the formation of the exchange rate.

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Here we see more closely the notions around the notion of “Exchange rate of national currency”. We see that LinkNotions has attributed

light orange to the subject group “exchange rate -1″

dark orange to the subject group ” exchange rate -2″

light blue to “exchange rate  +1”

dark blue to “exchange rate  +2”

Let’s take, for example, the notion “Demand for national currency”. It has the location A28. It is inside three subject groups:

1) subject group “exchange rate -1”. Indeed, the demand for national currency influences the exchange rate of the national currency directly. If the demand for domestic currency increases, the exchange rate also increases.

2) subject group “exchange rate -2”. This is evident, for subject group -2 contains all the notions of subject group -1. It is also possible that the notion is indirectly influencing the exchange rate (that it influences a notion of subject group -1)

3) Subject group “exchange rate +2”. This means that the “Demand for national currency” is indirectly influenced by changes of the “Exchange rate of national currency”. It is influenced by one or more notions of subject group “exchange rate +1”.

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The usefulness of subject groups

This feature, which is able to group the notions of an economic phenomenon, is very useful. Imagine you want to illustrate the ideas in an article or book. Whenever you come across an economic concept (notion), you can insert it into the same subject group and after reading you will have all these notions of the text in this subject group. You can then compare this subject group with the ones you created during your previous readings on the same subject. And you can compare the author’s ideas (notions and links) to those in the world of economics in LinkNotions.

We have not reached that stage yet because in order to create a subject group, you have to modify the world of economics. And this will be the subject of another tutorial on the “edit mode”. In that mode you can:

1) Create your own diagrams.

2) Edit the diagrams offered by LinkNotions.

Indeed, you are likely to see certain links in a different way or you may want to explain some links differently without wanting to start from scratch. In both cases, you only need to buy a license and give free rein to your imagination.

How to create a world in LinkNotions

How to read a world of Economics