01 September 2011

Software: yEd (free flowchart and diagramming tool)

yEd (pronounced "why Ed") is a free and powerful diagram editor that can be used to really easily generate high-quality drawings of diagrams. I've used it primarily for designing automated flowcharts for visualisation notices but it offers a lot more under the hood. It's got a great deal of automation and import and export options and is quite simply the best tool for the job that I've used, and best of all, it's absolutely free! The license agreement allows yEd to be used for free even in a commercial environment!

Why struggle with Visio or any other tool when yEd can do it all for you and takes no more than around five minutes to figure out?

Key features include:

  • Import data for analysis from Excel spreadsheets or XML
  • Create diagrams with ease using an intuitive user interface
  • Auto-magically arrange your diagram elements
  • Export your diagram to bitmap or vector graphics: PNG, JPG, SVG, PDF, SWF, ...
I've only used it for a brief while but the automatic layout wizard was enough to sell me on the product.

I strongly recommend it - try it out online here http://www.yworks.com/products/yed/demo/yed.jnlp or download it and try at home. Supports Windows, Unix/Linux, Mac OS.

Check out the promo video in 90 seconds here for a better advertisement than I can offer :)

PS: I did check out similar alternatives but didn't bother to download them when I came across yEd but you can also try out http://live.gnome.org/Dia and http://www.graphviz.org/.


Shalin Siriwaradhana said...

Hi, creately is also a diagramming and collaboration tool to create diagrams online. There are 1000's diagram templates to get started fast.

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