Flowchart Software Review

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Why Flowchart Software?

From decision processes to troubleshooting guides, flowcharts are great ways to organize and display data. Whether you remain technical – detailing process steps and decisions as in the original flow process chart model – or get creative with unique symbols and layouts, you’re sure to find a useful way to convey your information.

Sure, you could create a flowchart in any drawing program, but why go through the extra steps of drawing boxes and arrows when a quality flowchart software application will do that automatically? Good flowchart diagram software has a number of other features that streamline the process, making it easier than ever to build a flowchart with just a few clicks on your computer.

The best flowcharting software offers advanced visual and text styling, giving you the same creative result you would get with a drawing application, often at a lower cost and with greater functionality. Here you'll find the best flowchart software comparisons and reviews, like Visio, SmartDraw and Flowcharter; you'll also find articles on flowchart software and tips on how to best utilize your new application. At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don't Have To.™

Flowchart Software: What to Look For

Flowchart software often has unique functionality that can’t be found in drawing applications or other software programs. Knowing what to look for will help you find the application with enough features to meet your needs, while helping you rule out the software that offers more than necessary.

Diagramming Tools
Of course, no flowchart maker would be complete without a wide array of tools used to create workflow diagrams. Make sure you can add text and labels to the flowchart figures as well as the connector lines. And the figures should have multiple choices for attaching connector lines. If you are able to add connection points as well, that’s an extra bonus. You should be able to rotate figures and text boxes, and you should have the option to change figure shapes, connector line shapes and connection paths for optimum visual impact. And finding a product in which the figures automatically grow to fit your text is also helpful. Features like multiple text areas and junction dots or jogs aren’t vital, but they certainly are convenient.

Chart Organizational Tools
No flowchart software worth its salt will be without a number of organizational tools to help you create a more visually pleasing flowchart. Object placement options should include layer functionality and the ability to arrange objects in relation to each other within a layer. Grids, guides, smart guides and snap-to alignment help with object placement, but an automatic alignment, spacing or sizing tool makes the process even easier. For larger projects, software should accommodate an expandable canvas or multiple pages. And there should be a memo, note or comment tool for collaborative works, as well as options to save the diagram in image, PDF or HTML formats.

Text & Graphic Tools
Of course, no one wants to look at a visual presentation that lacks pizzazz. Look for applications that let you format your text with common word processing tools like font, color, size, spacing, alignment and more. Design themes, color schemes and graphic styles are all pre-designed combinations of effects that save you time while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing display. Object effects, including drop shadow and 3D effects, give you added control. And make sure you can reshape figures with reshape handles, and that smaller details like background colors or images, gradients, varied line styles and transparency options are available.

Ease of Use
Spending money on flowchart software is a waste if you have too much trouble using it. Look for an application that has an intuitive and familiar interface with a simple workflow. Make sure all the features function as advertised, and that all the tools are easy to access via toolbars or keyboard shortcuts.

Help & Support
When working with a new application, questions are bound to arise. The software developer should make a wide range of support options available, but the most important ones to look for are a comprehensive and well-organized user manual, a FAQs section, an email address or online contact form and a user forum where other users can ask and answer questions. Bonus options include a live chat feature, a support phone number, video or written tutorials and step-by-step troubleshooting guides.

If you can find an application that meets your needs in all these categories, you’ll know it’s a keeper. Be sure to check out our side-by-side comparison of flowchart software to see which products offer these features – and which ones fall behind.

 
 
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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 VP Flowcharter Edraw Flowchart EDGE Diagrammer WizFlow Flowcharter RFFlow Creately Desktop Schematic Lovely Charts
Visio SmartDraw VP Flowcharter Edraw Flowchart EDGE Diagrammer WizFlow Flowcharter RFFlow Creately Desktop Schematic Lovely Charts
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Lowest Price
Visit Visio 14.0.6
$249.99
Visit SmartDraw VP 19.1.3.2
$197.00
Visit Flowcharter 14.1.2
$549.00
Visit Edraw Flowchart 6
$49.95
Visit EDGE Diagrammer 6.24
$149.00
Visit WizFlow Flowcharter 6.24
$89.00
Visit RFFlow 5.06
$49.00
Visit Creately Desktop 1.0.9
$75.00
Visit Schematic 4.3
$49.00
Visit Lovely Charts 2.1.6
$80.58
Ratings
9.38
8.20
7.88
7.75
7.50
7.25
6.83
6.15
5.38
5.02
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
10.00
10.00
8.75
8.75
8.75
8.13
8.13
9.38
8.75
6.25
10.00
8.13
6.88
6.88
6.25
9.38
7.50
8.75
6.88
5.00
8.13
8.13
6.88
8.13
5.63
8.13
7.50
6.88
8.13
5.00
7.50
5.63
6.88
8.13
6.25
6.88
5.63
6.25
8.13
3.75
6.25
4.38
3.75
8.13
5.00
6.25
3.75
5.63
6.88
2.50
 
Diagramming Tools
Add Hyperlinks
  
Automatic Figure Resize
 
 
Figure Labels
Connector Labels
 
Rotatable Figures
  
 
 
Change Existing Figure Shape
  
  
Symbol Gallery
Change Connector Path
Multiple Connection Points on Figures
 
Varied Connector Shapes
 
Add Connection Points to Figures
 
 
  
Multiple Text Areas
 
Junction Jogs
 
    
Chart Organizational Tools
Arrange Objects
Layers
 
   
Group Objects
  
Containers
 
 
    
Automatic Spacing/Alignment
Expandable Canvas
 
   
Multiple Pages
 
 
Preview Formatting Changes
  
      
Drag and Drop
Grids/Guides
Snap-To
Snap Options
  
  
 
Memos/Notes/Comments
 
 
  
Scale Diagram
 
  
 
Save as HTML
   
Save as Image File
Save as PDF
   
  
Text & Graphic Tools
Character Formatting
Paragraph Formatting
 
Design Themes
  
      
Color Schemes
  
   
Graphic Styles  
 
   
  
Link/Embed Objects
    
Import Images/Graphics
Clipart Gallery    
3D Symbols   
 
  
Reshape Handles
Drop Shadow
 
Object Effects
 
     
Backgrounds
   
Gradients
 
  
Transparency
    
 
Line Styles
Help & Support
Live Chat
         
Email
Phone Support
    
 
 
FAQs
   
User Manual
 
Tutorials
  
 
User Forum/Message Boards
 
    
 
Troubleshooting Guides     
    
Operating Systems
Windows 8
 
  
Windows 7
Windows Vista
Windows XP
Mac OSX