Canvas - Make Arrows & Labels Have Nodes

Use case or problem

When making my maps, I realized that I wanted the ability to connect arrows to other arrows and to labels, like in mind maps.

Proposed solution

So instead of having to connect the arrow to the node of a card that already has an arrow coming from it, I would be able to create a small node on the arrow itself to connect to any other node. This would make the arrows much more precise, which is necessary when the actual canvas gets very crowded.

Summary: Please add the ability for the arrows themselves and possibly even the labels to have nodes!

Current workaround (optional)

Currently, if I want to have a node somewhere I cannot, I have to create a small blank card and place it on top of the arrow or around the label, and/or have multiple arrows coming from the same node on a card. It makes my canvas look overcrowded.

5 Likes

Interesting! It sounds like this is a reasonable request, but I am unsure I totally understand why it would be better to have these connection line attached nodes in comparison to simply adding another separate node as a pass through between your two nodes. One thought I had for your preference was that the arrows on the connection lines only occur at destinations and perhaps they serve a specific function in your visual system. At some point connection lines may be more customizable, which will be helpful in this regard.

My other thought is that, based on not wanting to have to rearrange to provide space for the connection line attachment node, you simply wanted the ease of tacking it on without disruption. In this case, I agree with where you are coming from but still think using actual nodes seems like a reasonable alternative. In terms of saving time inserting nodes as go-between, you may like this request: Drag Canvas element/elements onto connection line to insert links in chain.

Regardless, I think your idea is a good one and would appreciate if it were possible. I would however find it important that these connection line attachment nodes be capable of conversion to normal nodes. That is, if they weren’t already capable of everything a normal node can do from the outset, an additional function to do this might be necessary.

Good idea! Thanks!

1 Like

My use case for this is concept mapping. My go-to app, Cmaptools, is too old now. It had a great feature in that every line label was also a connectable node. That made it possible to have a relationship term (such as, ‘has’) link out to multiple child concepts. For example:

Notice how the link arrow downstream of ‘species’ splits from the label. This is more efficient visually and cognitively.

This functionality would get a step closer to making Canvas a suitable concept mapping tool. (Note that concept mapping has different functional requirements from mind mapping.)