The rainbow feature in iThoughts will automatically color topics based on their 'clock face' position on a color wheel. The rainbow settings can be found within the Style settings for the map.


See below for the rainbow map color scheme and corresponding color wheel.

Rainbow map coloring

Color Wheel

The colors round the color wheel represent increasing values of 'hue' (i.e. the frequency of light). The distance from the centre of the wheel represents 'saturation' (i.e. how much color compared to white)


iThoughts rainbow colors can be tweaked. There are 4 settings as follows:

  • Start color
  • Range
  • Clockwise
  • Clock face

When colouring a map, we need to know what color the 12 o'clock topic should be - this is the 'Start Color'. We then need to know how much of the color wheel should be used when colouring the map - this is the 'Range'. 

The map below has a start color of orange and a range of 25% (meaning that one quarter or 90 degrees of the color wheel, from orange onwards, has been applied to the entire map clock face.)

The next setting is 'clockwise' and this dictates whether we apply the color wheel clockwise or anti-clockwise on the map. See below for the anti-clockwise version of the map above.


The 'start colors' above have all been 'saturated' (i.e. on the edge of the color wheel) but we can also use a non-saturated color as below - same settings just reduced saturation. This is referred to as 'light pastel' in the color picker.


The final setting (OFF by default) is 'clock face'. If this is set to ON then it is the angle (the position on a clock face) that dictates the color of the topic. This is great in examples like the above (where topics are evenly distributed around the center) - but in the 'real world' it doesn't work so well when there are only a few topics close together. In that case, sibling topics have a similar color (because their position on the clock face is similar) - see below on the left. To fix this, we disable 'clock face' and then the range of colors is distributed between topics regardless of their clock face position - see below right. 

Clock face

NO Clock face