Arrange the brainstorm diagram

You can arrange a brainstorm diagram by adding or moving shapes or changing the layout of the diagram.

Add affinities, siblings, and children

Depending on the diagram, a shape can represent an affinity, a cause, an idea, or an input. When you add a shape, you must determine how it relates to other shapes on the diagram.


To quickly add affinities to a diagram, click a shape, then press the Insert key. To add siblings, press the Enter key.

  1. Select a shape on the diagram.
  2. On the Brainstorm menu, choose one of the following:
    Option Description


    Adds a shape to the main branch of the diagram.


    To quickly add a shape to the main branch, double-click anywhere on the diagram.


    Adds a shape to the same level as the selected shape.


    Adds a shape to the level below the selected shape. The selected shape becomes the parent of the new shape.

  3. (Optional) To prioritize an affinity, a cause, an idea, or an input, select it, and then choose Brainstorm > Priority.

To add a symbol, such as the sigma or a registered trademark to a diagram, copy the symbol from the Windows Character Map, and then paste it in the diagram.

Move affinities, siblings, and children

When you move affinities, siblings, and children to different shapes, the target shape becomes the parent.

  • To move an affinity, sibling, or a child, select it, and then drag it to a different shape. When you move a shape that has sublevels, the sublevels move with it.
    Moving a shape on a brainstorm diagram

    The new parent shape is highlighted.

  • To move a shape to the other side of the diagram, choose Brainstorm > Switch Sides.

Change the layout of the diagram

You can change the layout of a brainstom diagram by changing its type. For example, you can change a fishbone diagram to a mind map, or you can change a mind map to a CT tree. When you change the layout of any brainstorm diagram, Engage keeps the relationships between the levels.

  1. Choose Brainstorm > Type.
  2. From Type, choose a layout. Choosing Right Tree or Left Tree converts any layout to a right-facing or left-facing idea map.

Display levels vertically on a CT tree

On a CT tree only, you can choose the level at which shapes begin to display vertically.

  1. On a CT tree, choose Brainstorm > Outline Levels.
  2. From Outline Levels, choose a level. In this CT tree example, the shapes start to display vertically at the fourth level.

Move shapes on a mind map

Use Clockwise and Counterclockwise buttons to improve the layout of a mind map.

On a mind map only, select the shape to move, then do either of the following:
  • Choose Brainstorm > Clockwise to move the selected shape clockwise around the parent shape.
  • Choose Brainstorm > Counterclockwise to move the selected shape counterclockwise around the parent shape.
You can also click the Clockwise or Counterclockwise icons that appear on the shape.
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