Map editor

The map editor is where you'll build the basic structure of your map.

map editor

Top toolbar

In the upper left of your map editor, you can find the top toolbar. First, you'll see a menu icon , which you can use to access project settings. Next to that icon, you'll see the project name, followed by two dropdown menus.

The first dropdown menu allows you to create new maps and navigate to different maps within your project. The second dropdown menu allows you to create new views and apply different views to the current map.

Bottom toolbar

In the bottom right corner of your map editor, you'll see a toolbar with several icons that let you take useful actions within your project.

  • The magic wand brings up a quick actions menu that allows you to search for tools, actions, and how-to videos
  • The flask gives you access to social network analysis metrics and community detection
  • The chat bubble opens up issues, where you can chat with your team and attach comments to the map
  • The table brings up Kumu's Table tool
  • The download icon exposes several export options
  • The share icon will help you share or embed your project
  • The ellipsis brings up miscellaneous actions, like entering fullscreen or preview mode

Side panel

Under the top toolbar, you'll see the side panel. When you first open your map, or when you click on the background of your map, this side panel will show the Map Overview, where you can add general information about your map to help your readers understand it.

Tip: use Markdown to help you style text in the side panel, and add images and videos.

When you select an individual element, connection, or loop on the map, the side panel will show that item's profile.


Inside the profile, you can add and edit information about the selected item. You can also use the icons in the bottom right of the profile to:

Multiple selections

If you select multiple elements, connections, or loops, the side panel will show the Multiple selections tool, which allows you to add information or change information across all the selected items in just one step. It's a big time-saver!

multiple selections

Finally, the side panel is also home to Kumu's Metrics tool. To learn more, check out the full guide on metrics.

You can show and hide the side panel by pressing Tab on your keyboard or by clicking the three gray dots to the right of the panel:

close side panel


The star of the show, of course, is the map's canvas, where all of your elements, connections, and loops are displayed. To add new items to the map, click the green button at the bottom of the canvas. For more guidance on building your map, check out our First Steps guide.

By default, your canvas will have a search bar in the upper left, a zoom toolbar in the upper right, and a settings icon under the zoom toolbar. If you have added a legend to your map, it will appear in the lower left of your map's canvas by default.

Click on the search bar to search across the current map or across all maps. After you click on the search bar, you can also click on the rocket icon to bring up the selector builder, which is useful when you want to select multiple items based on the information in their profiles. Use the zoom toolbar (or scroll up and down with your mouse/touchpad) to change your zoom level, and click the settings icon to access Kumu's view editors.

If you ever want to remove or reposition the search bar, zoom toolbar, settings icon, or legend, check out our guide on controls.

Happy mapping!

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