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Easy ways to create a concept map online and free for students

Learning a new concept or complex information can often be confusing if you are unfamiliar with the subject. Therefore, large amounts of complex information should be broken down into smaller packages. A concept map is perfect for this. Using a concept map as a visual organizer is one of the best ways to create important connections between concepts, identify mistakes, and improve learning. Concept maps are also ideal for learning about subjects such as care and technology. That's why we have a guide here on how to use a few handy tools to create a Create a concept map can.

4 methods to create a concept map

With Microsoft Word

Creating a concept map doesn't have to be complicated. It's just basic shapes, and you can even create one in Microsoft Word. The best thing about Microsoft Word is that it has a pre-installed SmartArt graphics option that allows you to create various diagrams. You can also use this option to create a concept map. If you want to know how to draw illustrations with Word, check out our guide below.

  • Open a new document and go to the “Insert” tab. Then open the “Shapes” tab. Now choose shapes like squares, triangles, circles and lines. Arrange them in a hierarchy so that the main topic is at the top and the subtopics below.
  • You can of course also create a concept map with the SmartArt graphic. In the “Insert” tab, look for SmartArt graphic. Then select the Hierarchy category in the panel.
  • Once the structure is in place, you can still adjust the map by editing the text, meshing everything and adding other elements until you are satisfied with the result. When you are done, click on "File" and then on "Save" to save your map

With Microsoft PowerPoint

Another Microsoft Office program that can be used to create a concept map is PowerPoint. It is usually used to create visual aids for presentations. So it offers tons of shapes and figures for illustration. Likewise, you can use its presentation function to create a unique and amazing slideshow or business presentation. Check out the steps below on how to use PowerPoint to create a concept map.

  • Open MS PowerPoint on your desktop and start with a blank page. In the “Home” tab you will find the shapes directly on the right in the interface. Drag the shapes you want into place and adjust the size as desired.
  • Let's say you want to represent your ideas with circles. Duplicate them depending on how many branches you need to make a concept map. Just remember. To position the main circle above and the sub-circles below to form a hierarchy structure. After you have adjusted the alignment, you can still connect the ideas with each other with lines and arrows.
  • Now fill the forms with information or a picture that represents an idea. You can also create a concept map in Freestyle mode, where the main idea is in the middle and the subtopics around it. Just make sure that each idea is linked to the associated ideas. When you are satisfied, you can save the presentation and edit it again at any time if necessary.

With Google Docs

Google Docs is also a great alternative if you want to create a concept map online. To be able to use the program fully, you only need a Gmail account. It is mainly used to edit documents that have “drawings” in it, which allows you to create illustrations using basic shapes. Just read on below to learn how to use this tool to create a concept map.

  • Open a new, blank page in Google Docs and click “Insert” in the menu. Select “Drawing” and then “New” to open the drawing panel.
  • To create a concept map, you can choose either a square or a circle for the idea. Adjust the shape and arrangement. Identify the main topic and sub-topics of the concept map. Then click on the “Line” function to connect them and move the mouse over one of the shapes. Several points will appear around the shape.
  • Pick a point, click and hold the mouse there. Then drag the mouse to another shape to connect the two together. Repeat this step until all the ideas are connected. This is how you create a concept map. You can then adjust the design to make the map more attractive. When you're done, click "Save & Close" to save your file. If you want to edit it again, simply double-click the illustration in the document.

Create a concept map with GitMind

The last tool on our list to create a concept map online is GitMind. With it you can create different diagrams for free and without installing any software. You can use it to create creative, visual illustrations such as concept maps, mind maps, work plans and much more. In addition, this tool has a variety of great templates and themes that you can edit to create a professional and unique concept map. Check out the tutorial below on how to use GitMind to create a concept map.

  • Go to the GitMind website, then go to the "Templates" gallery. Then look for a concept map template that fits your topic. Then double-click on each node to edit its content.
  • You can also create a completely new concept map. In the “Templates” area, click on “New Mind Map” and you will see the “Main Subject” area. Select the main node and press the "Tab" key to automatically create sub-nodes. Another way to add a node to a concept map is by selecting the "Floating node" option in the menu. Select this option and click where you want the node to be.
  • Edit the content of the nodes with the information from your concept map. Now you can adjust your concept map using the “Style” option or you can select one of the themes. Now you can export your project as an image, document or gitmind file or share it with friends via a link.


If you've read all the ways to create a concept map, you can now effectively brainstorm ideas, understand important connections, and better understand and analyze concepts. If you want to see even more visual illustrations; GitMind offers many templates to help you organize information and ideas.

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Posted by: Nicko Green on March 24, 2020 to Tips and Resources. Last updated on 24-03-2021
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