vector diagram editing tools compared
Posted by contentgrrl on December 11, 2007
Oh, do I love diagrams.
Especially cross-functional diagrams, where you know exactly who does what at what stage in a process, what decisions are made in order to hand it off to another department. I like a vector diagram editor that makes it easy to drag-and-drop decision diamonds with smart arrow connections. And style the shapes with Web 2.0 goodness. (I know. What a geek!)
When I was at Creative Education Institute, I’d use Visio (now owned by Microsoft) to illustrate the stages of learning, practice, and testing with Mathematical Learning Systems. When I was doing network training at SBC (now AT&T), I’d import network diagrams into PowerPoint to layer and animate the pieces. At ECI², I’ve done a host of cross-functional diagrams to communicate standard operating procedures among departments.
Oh, sure, you can get Visio Professional for about $200 now, and Visio Technical for about $300. And you can get SmartDraw for about $200 too. Rather than reinvent the wheel, here’s a biased comparison.
A diagram is often worth a thousand words. Gliffy.com is a free web-based diagram editor with some of the same functionality as Visio. You drag-and-drop shapes to create clean yet modern-looking flowcharts, network diagrams, floorplans, user interface designs and other drawings online.You can even upload your own images (logos, icons, specialized shapes etc.) but use the intuitive connection, resizing & rotation tools. You can collaborate via email, or export to:
- SVG for use in Visio, Illustrator, and Freehand
- PNG for use with Fireworks or Photoshop
- JPG for publishing on a Web page or HTML email.
In addition to flow charts and entity-relationship diagrams, Gliffy even does Unified Modeling Language (UML) diagrams (object, class, node, aggregation, message, dependency, actor, use case). If you want watermark-free, ad-free, private, unlimited diagrams beyond the basic 2MB limit with tech support, it’s available with a Premium account for about $30 a year.
This entry was posted on December 11, 2007 at 10:13 pm and is filed under illustrating, tools, writeroll. Tagged: collaborate, cross-functional, database, decision diamond, design, diagram, drawing, editor, Fireworks, floorplan, flowchart, Freehand, Gliffy, Illustrator, JPG, network, Photoshop, PNG, shapes, SmartDraw, Smashing Magazine, SVG, tools, UML, Unified Modeling Language, user interface, vector, Visio. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.