Go to file
Nader K. Rad 494c289674
Merge pull request #73 from wschroeder/main
feat(editor): added some meta support
2024-05-02 08:56:03 +02:00
.editorconfig adding editorconfig 2022-09-18 13:57:11 +02:00
Dockerfile Update Dockerfile 2024-03-27 10:55:12 +08:00
h-m-m feat(editor): added some meta support 2024-04-08 09:05:52 -05:00
install.sh added pbcopy to acceptable clipboard applications 2023-07-23 11:31:08 +02:00
LICENSE Hello world! 2022-08-30 17:54:49 +02:00
readme.md Fixing a small typo in readme.md 2023-12-29 12:38:04 +01:00
screenshot.png screenshot 2022-09-04 09:47:57 +02:00

h-m-m (hackers mind map)

h-m-m (pronounced like the interjection "hmm") is a simple, fast, keyboard-centric terminal-based tool for working with mind maps.


Default key bindings

Adding, removing, and editing nodes:

  • o or Enter - create a new sibling to the active node
  • O or Tab - create a new child for the active node
  • y - yanks (copies) the active node and its descendants
  • Y - yanks (copies) the descendants of the active node
  • d - deletes (cuts) the active node and its descendants
  • D - deletes (cuts) the descendants of the active node
  • Delete - deletes the active node and its descendants without putting them in the clipboard
  • p - pastes as descendants of the active node
  • P - pastes as siblings of the active node
  • Ctrl+p - appends the clipboard text at the end of the active node's title
  • e, i, or a - edits the active node
  • E, I, or A - edits the active node, ignoring the existing text
  • u - undo


  • t - toggles '✓ ', '✗ ', and '' (or your custom symbols) at the beginning of the title
  • # - adds or removes sequential numbers at the beginning of the titles of a node and its siblings
  • = - increases the positive ranking
  • + - decreases the positive ranking
  • - - increases the negative ranking
  • _ - decreases the negative ranking
  • H - toggles the hidden flag

Relative navigating and moving:

  • h or - activates the parent of the previously active node
  • l or - activates the middle child of the previously active node
  • j or - activates the lower sibling (or the nearest lower node if there's no lower sibling)
  • k or - activates the higher sibling (or the nearest higher node if there's no higher sibling)
  • J - moves the current node down among its siblings
  • K - moves the current node up among its siblings
  • T - sorts the siblings of the active node

Adjusting the view:

  • c - centers the active node on the screen
  • C - locks/unlocks active nodes on the center
  • ~ or m - activate the root element
  • g - goes to the highest element
  • G - goes to the lowest element
  • w - increases the maximum node width
  • W - decreases the maximum node width
  • z - decreases line spacing
  • Z - increases line spacing
  • | - enables/disables aligned levels
  • ctrl+h - hides/views hidden nodes

Collapsing and expanding:

  • Space - toggles the active node
  • v - collapses everything other than the first-level nodes
  • V - collapses all the children of the active node
  • b - expands all nodes
  • 1 to 9 - collapse the nth level and expand those before
  • f - focuses by collapsing all, but the ancestors and descendants of the active node
  • F - locks focus as the active node changes (try it with the center lock)
  • r - collapses all the first level items except for the one that contains the active node
  • R - collapses the children of the active node


  • / or Ctrl+f - searches for a phrase
  • n - goes to the next search result
  • N - goes to the previous search result

Save, export, quit, etc.:

  • s - saves with the previous file name (or asks for one if there's none)
  • S - saves with a new file name
  • x - export as an HTML file
  • X - export as a text map into clipboard
  • q - quits (if the changes were already saved)
  • Q - quits, ignoring the changes
  • Ctrl+o - open the active node as a file or URL using xdg-open


  • ? - show the key bindings

In the text editor:

  • - moves the cursor to the end of the line
  • - moves the cursor to the beginning of the line
  • or Home - moves the cursor to the left
  • or End - moves the cursor to the right
  • Ctrl+Left or Shift+Left - moves cursor to the previous word
  • Ctrl+Right or Shift+right - moves cursor to the next word
  • Delete - deletes character
  • Ctrl+Delete - deletes word
  • Backspace - deletes previous character
  • ctrl+Backspace - deletes previous word
  • Ctrl+v or Ctrl+Shift+v - paste
  • Esc - cancels editing
  • Enter - wanna guess? ;)

Other than the text editor key bindings, you can change all in your config file.


The following are the settings in h-m-m:

max_parent_node_width = 25
max_leaf_node_width = 55
line_spacing = 1
align_levels = 0
initial_depth = 1
center_lock = false
focus_lock = false
max_undo_steps = 24
active_node_color = \033[38;5;0m\033[48;5;172m\033[1m
message_color = \033[38;5;0m\033[48;5;141m\033[1m
clipboard = os
clipboard_file = /tmp/h-m-m
clipboard_in_command = ""
clipboard_out_command = ""
post_export_command = ""
symbol1 = ✓
symbol2 = ✗
auto_save = false

The colors are ASCII escape codes.

You can also change key bindings with a bind x = command syntax. The following are the commands:


Keys can be x, X (shift+x), ctrl_x, alt_x, or special keys: arr_down, arr_left, arr_right, arr_up, back_space, ctrl_arr_left, ctrl_arr_right, ctrl_back_space, ctrl_del, del, end, enter, equal, esc, home, shift_arr_left, shift_arr_right, space, tab

Note: Not every possible key is defined because I'm going to replace this whole system with one that supports key sequences.

Key bindings can only be set in a config file. There are 3 ways of changing settings:

  1. Pass them as arguments when running the program; e.g., h-m-m --focus-lock=true --line-spacing=0 filename
  2. Set them as environment variables with hmm_ as prefix; e.g., hmm_line_spacing=0
  3. Store them in a config file. You can pass the location of the config file when running the application like h-m-m --config=/path/file, or use the default location:
    • Linux: ~/.config/h-m-m/h-m-m.conf
    • Mac: ~/Library/Preferences/h-m-m/h-m-m.conf
    • Windows: an h-m-m.conf file in the same directory as the script

Both underscores and dashes are accepted for the setting keys.

When multiple values exist, the highest priority goes to the command line arguments and the lowest to the config file.


The normal os clipboard works fine for most users, but some users may need other options:

  • --clipboard=os uses the global clipboard via xclip and similar tools.
  • --clipboard=internal uses an internal variable as the clipboard (won't exchange text with external applications).
  • --clipboard=file uses /tmp/h-m-m by default, or another file set by the --clipboard_file=/path/filename setting as the clipboard.
  • --clipboard=command uses --clipboard_in_command="command %text%" to send content to a shell command and --clipboard_out_command="command" to read content.


You can export an HTML version of the map using the x key binding. This is useful for sending the file to someone who may not have h-m-m or a similar mind mapping application. To make the process easier, you can set a sell command to run after exporting the map; e.g., upload it to a server and copy the link to clipboard: --post-export-command="upload.sh %filename% &>/dev/null".

Data format

Mind maps are stored in plain text files (with hmm file extension by default) without metadata. The tree structure is represented by tab indentations; e.g.,

root (level 0)
   item A (level 1)
   item B (level 1)
      item Ba (level 2)
      item Bb (level 2)
      item Bc (level 2)
         item BaX (level 3)
         item BaY (level 3)
      item Bd (level 2)
   item C (level 1)

When you yank (copy) or delete (cut) a subtree, the data will be put into your clipboard with a similar structure, and when pasting, the data will be interpreted as such.

Most mind mapping applications use a similar format for copying and pasting. As a result, if you want to import a map from another application, you can probably select everything in that application, copy it, come to h-m-m, and paste it. The same usually works well when copying from HTML/PDF/Doc lists, spreadsheets (e.g., Calc and Excel), etc.


Note: A few issues should be solved before h-m-m can be run in Windows. Until then, Windows users can probably use Windows Subsystem for Linux to run it. There's an open issue for Windows, waiting for contributors!

1. Manual installation

h-m-m is a single php file. You can download it from here, or clone it on your computer using git and add a scheduled job to update it once a day or week.

You also need to have the following installed for h-m-m to work:

  • php
    • either php 8, or
    • older versions of php along with the mbstring package (e.g., php7.2-mbstring)
  • xclip, xsel, wl-clipboard, or klipper in Linux. (Windows and Mac don't need it)

After downloading or cloning, you can run php h-m-m in your terminal to run the program with a blank map or php h-m-m filename to open an existing file. If you don't already have a php interpreter installed, you would need to install it as well. Note: You don't need to set up a "web server" to run it because it's not a web application, but rather a terminal application that works like those written in Python, Bash, etc.

Optionally, you can make the file executable by running the chmod +x h-m-m in your terminal, and afterward, you can run it as h-m-m filename (assuming that h-m-m is in your path).

2. Installation for Arch Linux

In Arch Linux, you can use the h-m-m-git AUR package to install it.

3. Installation script for Linux (and Mac?)

You can run the following command to install h-m-m:

wget -q -O - 'https://raw.githubusercontent.com/nadrad/h-m-m/main/install.sh' | sh

This command downloads and runs the install.sh script, which in turn downloads h-m-m, copies it to /usr/local/bin, checks the dependencies, and makes it executable.

After installing, you can run h-m-m from anywhere in your terminal to run the application with an empty map, or h-m-m filename to open an existing file.

Note: It probably works in a Mac, but I'm not completely sure; so, let me know.

4. Installation with Docker

It's also possible to execute h-m-m through docker (or podman):

# Build the image
docker build -t hmm .

# Run it
docker run --rm -it -v $(pwd):/app/ hmm


Programming is not my career, but rather a hobby, and I developed h-m-m because I wanted to have something like this application and couldn't find one. Therefore, what I've done here may have a lot of room for improvement. If you see an embarrassing problem in the program or have an idea for improvement, feel free to contact me; I'd be happy to receive your feedback.

Why php? It's simple: I only have a rusty knowledge of Pascal and a little familiarity with php. I thought about learning another language for this project (Nim is my top choice at this moment), but I didn't have time to do it. I'll probably do it later and convert it into a language I can compile :)