Flowchart Software Review

Why Use Flowchart Software?

Flowcharts are an easy way to show complex ideas such as data analysis, performance forecasts and many other business processes. While many word processing, spreadsheet and drawing programs have capabilities to create simple diagrams, flowchart software has additional tool that make creating charts easier and more in depth. This is especially important if your company needs to create something more than just simple seating charts or organizational hierarchies.

While diagram software is still available as a download or physical CD-ROM, more and more solutions are being offered as online flowchart software. Either option works well, though online solutions allow you to create and save projects in the cloud, freeing up valuable storage space on your PC or laptop. It also means you can access the program while on the go from your smartphone, tablet or other mobile device.

Our lineup of the best flowchart software has both cloud-based and on-premise solutions. Look closely at our top picks, Visio, SmartDraw and Flowcharter. Also, check out our articles on flowchart software.

Flowchart Software: What to Look For

When buying diagram software, it is important to understand the type of projects your company will use the program for. Some applications are very basic with just enough tools to create a basic flowchart. Others include templates, graphics and symbols for creating a variety of unique and custom diagrams, including maps, floor plans, process charts and infographics. Here are some other important points to consider while comparing flowchart software.

Diagram Features
With flowchart makers, diagram features are the most important tools. All programs allow you to include basic shapes with text fields and connect them manually with straight, curved or angled connectors. The best diagram solutions offer automatic connection points, drag-and-drop features and a large selection of premade chart templates. These features are designed to make creating flowcharts as simple as possible. Snap-to tools, automatic spacing and alignments, and grid lines help to make sure your diagram is not only functional, but aesthetically pleasing.

The best flowchart software allows you to create flowcharts on multiple pages, collapse or expand sections of a diagram group and add hyperlinks that automatically jump to another section or page within the flowchart. A few solutions can even connect to another data source, such as an Excel spreadsheet, and automatically create diagrams after importing information from that file or program.

Text & Graphic Tools
While color and graphics are not necessary for creating a nice organizational chart or process diagram, being able to adjust text, insert graphics and choose color schemes helps personalize and highlight the importance of certain points within the presentation. Some programs have design themes that have clipart, symbols, chart templates and color schemes that match with the specific project or industry that you are presenting. It is helpful when a shape has multiple text fields and reshaping handles so you can include as much information as needed for your chart. Some flowchart makers let you change the color of each individual shape, add backgrounds and insert titles.

Few flowchart programs include a clipart gallery, though all will allow you to upload and use your own graphics and pictures. The top flowchart solutions allow you to insert pictures into each diagram shape, so you can include employee photos in organizational charts, or sample products for sales forecast diagrams. Several programs have symbol galleries that can be used instead of text shapes. For example, an airplane symbol can be used to represent a future business trip or travel expenses that need to be reimbursed rather than creating a shape and text to convey that process. These symbols are different than traditional clipart since they are used for a specific function within the flowchart or infographic, and can be connected just like diagram shapes.

Help & Support
The best flowchart programs are easy to use without too much help from support personnel. Most have in-program prompts that help you navigate throughout the process of creating your diagram. However, if you need additional help, most manufacturers have email and phone support available. Not many have live chat, user forums or FAQs available, but these can be helpful for quick references. While most CD-ROMs come with a user guide, downloads generally have a manual available online. These should be easy to locate on the website without too much digging and searching.

Flowchart software is an important tool for creating professional-looking diagrams quickly and efficiently. While some basic tools are available within other programs, such as Open Office and Excel, flowchart software is specifically designed to create diagrams and flowcharts with fewer steps and more ease than these other programs.

 
 
Software » Business » Flowchart Software Review
LIKE OUR REVIEWS? SUPPORT OUR SITE BY LIKING US ON FACEBOOK OR GOOGLE PLUS
Rank #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10
10-9  Excellent
8-6    Good
5-4    Average
3-2    Poor
1-0    Bad
Visio SmartDraw Flowcharter Edraw Gliffy Creately Cacoo RFFlow Lucidchart Edge Diagrammer
Visio SmartDraw Flowcharter Edraw Gliffy Creately Cacoo RFFlow Lucidchart Edge Diagrammer
Reviewer Comments Read Review
Read Review
Read Review
Read Review
Read Review
Read Review
Read Review
Read Review
Read Review
Read Review
Lowest Price
Visit Visio Professional 2013
$299.99
Visit SmartDraw
$297.00
Visit Flowcharter 2013
$216.00
Visit Edraw Max
$49.95
Visit Gliffy
$59.40
Visit Creately
$75.00
Visit Cacoo
$49.00
Visit RFFlow
$49.00
Visit Lucidchart
$39.99
Visit Edge Diagrammer 6.32 Standard
$149.00
Ratings
9.78
9.03
8.95
8.75
8.65
8.63
8.53
8.32
8.03
7.85
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
10.00
9.38
10.00
9.38
8.75
8.75
9.38
8.13
9.38
8.75
8.75
8.75
8.75
8.13
9.38
8.75
8.75
8.13
8.75
8.13
8.75
7.50
8.75
9.38
8.13
7.50
8.75
7.50
8.13
8.13
 
Deployment Options
Cloud-based
   
 
 
Download
 
 
 
Software  
   
 
 
Diagram Features
Overall Quality 100% 100% 85% 90% 90% 85% 85% 80% 80% 75%
Chart Templates
 
 
Symbol Gallery
  
Containers
 
   
Drag and Drop
Drop Shadow
 
 
Layers
  
 
Grids & Guides
    
 
Snap-to
Automatic Spacing & Alignment
Change Existing Diagram Shapes
  
Multiple Connector Points
  
Change Connector Path
Connector Labels
Add Connector Points to Symbols
 
     
Junction Jogs
 
 
Multiple Pages
   
 
Add Hyperlinks
 
Expand & Collapse Groups
 
 
  
Expandable Canvas
 
 
    
Memos/Notes/Comments
  
  
Create Charts from Data Source
   
 
   
Real-time Collaboration
    
 
 
Text & Graphic Tools
Character Formatting
Paragraph Formatting
 
Color Schemes
 
Import Image & Graphics
Link/Embed Objects
 
 
Reshape Handles
 
Object Effects
 
Backgrounds
   
  
Transparency
 
 
 
Automatic Symbol Resize
  
 
Multiple Text Areas
 
 
Design Themes
  
 
 
 
Clipart Gallery    
 
 
3D Symbols   
  
 
 
Help & Support
Email
Phone Support
     
  
FAQs
 
 
User Manual
  
 
Tutorials
 
 
User Forum/Message Boards
 
  
 
 
Live Chat
     
 
 
Operating Systems
Windows 8
Windows 7
Windows Vista
Mac OSX