When comparing Freemind vs Visual Understanding Environment (VUE), the Slant community recommends Freemind for most people. In the question“What are the best mind mapping tools?” Freemind is ranked 9th while Visual Understanding Environment (VUE) is ranked 21st.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Free and open source
Pro Intuitive UI with drag and drop support
For the most part, navigating the editor is pretty intuitive - moving around is done by clicking and dragging the background, clicking on nodes will expand/collapse them, dragging and dropping in files will add them, etc. It also offers shortcuts for power users. For example, ctrl + up/down will rearrange ideas up/down, alt +up/down will zoom in/out, etc.
Pro Lots of export options, including html with folding
Freemind offers many choices when exporting. It allows exporting the project as Java Applet, Flash file, Open Office Writer document, picture (png, jpg), PDF, SVG, multiple variants of (x)html, among other options.
Pro Good documentation
Pro Cross-platform desktop and mobile
Works on Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS and Android.
Pro Fullscreen mode available with a patch
A user-contributed patch is available that adds fullscreen mode to FreeMind.
Pro Can copy entire hierarchy to/from Word with a simple copy/paste action
Freemind allows quickly copying over structure of the mindmap as a bulleted, tab-indented list starting at the node selected. It can also take a bulleted, tab-indented list and create a mindmap from it.
Pro Multi-user support
Pro Supports media files, recognizes URLs and commands
Freemind accepts drag-and-drop for any kind of file, URL or command as part of the mindmap. Files it recognizes, like images, will be displayed. Other files will open in a separate, appropriate application. URLs, links to folders, and executable commands pasted in will be recognized and turned in to clickable links.
Pro Supports node and map encryption
Pro Revision control
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.
Con Boring visual appearance
Con UI is not the most fancy one
The UI seems a little bit dated needs a bit of an adaptation phase.