When comparing Visual Understanding Environment (VUE) vs XMind, the Slant community recommends XMind for most people. In the question“What are the best mind mapping tools?” XMind is ranked 1st while Visual Understanding Environment (VUE) is ranked 24th. The most important reason people chose XMind is:
XMind, except for Plus and Pro features, is open source with code available on [GitHub](https://github.com/xmindltd).
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Presentation Mode
Parts of a map can be used for a presentation by drawing a rectangle selection around the nodes to be presented. Different presentation nodes can be used to build a presentation for, e.g. a quick discussion. Just don't expect highly polished presentations as from specialized presentation software.
Pro Maps can be nested
Pro Maps can have layers
You can use different layers for different aspects of a concept (map).
Pro Concept Mapping Tool
VUE is not only a hierarchical mindmap but a concept mapping tool, thus giving more freedom when exploring ideas and concepts.
Pro Free and open source
XMind, except for Plus and Pro features, is open source with code available on GitHub.
Pro Clean, easy to use UI
XMind's interface is uncluttered and easy to overview. It allows for quick, intuitive navigation and use. For example, Enter adds more items to a node, Tab adds a child node, all commonly used shortcuts works as expected, etc.
Pro Extremely flexible
XMind is capable of displaying information in a multitude of ways (classic mindmaps, charts, timelines, decision trees, etc), it can add labels, clip-art, notes, files, audio recordings, it can then take the project and export it in a variety of ways including an synced gantt chart.
Works on Windows, OS X and Linux.
Pro A wide variety of templates available
XMind has preset templates available that allow getting started quickly. There are templates for project planning, status reports, dashboards, organizational charts, swot analysis, timelines, decision trees, weekly plans, among others.
Pro Built-in Gantt view
XMind has a build-in Gantt chart view and with the pro version, XMind allows synchronizing it.
Pro Can copy entire hierarchy to/from Word with a simple copy/paste action
XMind allows quickly copying over structure of the mindmap as a tab-indented list starting at the node selected. It can also take a tab-indented list and create a mindmap from it.
Pro Local Network Sharing
Pro XMind Plus & Pro adds more export options
XMind Plus & Pro can export to Word, PowerPoint, PDF, SVG & MindManager.
Pro Task management (pro)
Pro Audio recording (pro)
Pro Very good performance
The app is incredible complete, flexible, and fast.
Con UI is not the most fancy one
The UI seems a little bit dated needs a bit of an adaptation phase.
Con No offline capability
If the Internet goes down, you cannot use this XMind. This is painful on the iOS phone where data link must be online before you can use it.
Con Newer versions become heavyweight and bloated
Even though there are more features, starting with version 8 application is very unstable. A lot of users still prefer version 7.5 or 6.5.
Con Used to offer their NOT-free products
Con FreeMind files sometimes don't work
XMind claims it can read FreeMind files, but certain .mm file saves from Freeplane or MindMup generate an error on open.