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View Full Version : Good Free Flowchart software, or very cheap Good ones?



prometheus
11-08-2018, 05:47 AM
Any of you guys using any flowchart software, (better than word, powerpoint options for that)
Preferably free, or at very low cost.

And from this list, anyone recognize something good there?
https://merabheja.com/best-free-tools-for-creating-flowcharts/

Rayek
11-08-2018, 11:42 AM
LibreOffice has a pretty good flowchart designer. I open a new Draw document, and start the diagram. It's free. Comes with a gallery if pre-built items, and the connector tool supports not only regular connecting lines, but also arrows, and both straight and curved lines. Any object can be connected from and to.

https://www.libreoffice.org/

If I need more visual polishing I export as a PDF and prettify things in PhotoLine.

prometheus
11-08-2018, 01:55 PM
LibreOffice has a pretty good flowchart designer. I open a new Draw document, and start the diagram. It's free. Comes with a gallery if pre-built items, and the connector tool supports not only regular connecting lines, but also arrows, and both straight and curved lines. Any object can be connected from and to.

https://www.libreoffice.org/

If I need more visual polishing I export as a PDF and prettify things in PhotoLine.

Great, thanks Rayek.

Just skimmed it briefly...and I checked import and export, it exports svg and imports svg..in fact it has a Huge range of imports, even mov?

will have to go through some of that, it imports wps as well and I use wps writer from time to time at home.

As for Svg shapes, I also use inkscape for that, and you can simply copy the shape you make in inkscape, and switch to LibreOffice and just paste it in..works, though you do not may not have full editing options for editing path etc, but scaling rotating and other stuff works.

Inkscape is a great tool as well, especially with blender to export shapes, or editing downloaded pdf formats from openstreetmap.

Thanks again.

prometheus
11-08-2018, 02:14 PM
if using svg shapes from inkscape, In libreoffice ..make sure to show connection functions (sorry ..canīt say for sure what the english translation in the menu are, it installed in swedish) once show attachment points is checked, you got and option to insert connection points, this is useful if you have shapes that arenīt boxes or circles..normally the connection bands are snapping to the bounding box..and with complex shapes that wonīt do...so that is how you could make connections attach to a desired connection point.

Rayek
11-08-2018, 02:17 PM
THanks Prometheus, I didn't know about that last bit in InkScape and connection spots. Very cool, actually.

prometheus
11-08-2018, 03:06 PM
THanks Prometheus, I didn't know about that last bit in InkScape and connection spots. Very cool, actually.

Was testing animated gifs, you can drag animated gifs directly to LibreOffice, and it is still animated, but saving it out to pdf that can show animated gifs, no luck so far.
I do not have acrobat pro, and no quicktime pro..otherwise there is a suggestion of opening animated gifīs in quicktime and then save it as mov, insert it in some pdf editor and save pdf...how that would show a true gif anim, or just the mov I do not know..I suspect it will show mov format, that I have managed before to do with acrobat pro at work some time ago.

At work I could use indesign, but I donīt have that at home now..so I am trying to find free options for embedding gifs/ movs into a pdf.

To note, In wps writer, you can also connect shapes with lines, arrows and rubberband connectors, in fact I feel that one is better than libreoffice when it comes to connectors..and the fact that I can change the shape added to another shape..which I can not do in libre office.

It may be that wps may be better in some areas there..but wps can not import svg files or copy and paste any shape from inkscape and keep it vector, it imports it as a bitmap.
Wps writer doesnīt import gifīs as animated either as Libreoffice does.

calilifestyle
11-08-2018, 04:12 PM
ThinkComposer http://www.thinkcomposer.com/index.html

Rayek
11-08-2018, 05:50 PM
Since the demise of Flash Player, on which Acrobat relied to display video files in PDFs, interactive media support in PDF is just plain... bad.

Animated GIFs do not work in InDesign generated PDFs either, and I confirmed this a couple of minutes ago. It just doesn't work. The GIFs display as inanimate objects.

Out of curiosity, I placed a larger animated gif in PhotoLine as an external object, and exported it as a PDF. Surprisingly enough, the animation did play in the PDF Exchange Editor/Viewer (I do not have Acrobat Reader, since I think it is complete junk, sorry!) - in a way. The framerate is WAY too fast, and the timing completely off. With smaller animate gifs it won't even show the animation.

PDF is the wrong format for anything interactive nowadays (excepting esignature forms). It's dead for interactive content, in my opinion. I would just use html for this. Export the layout as SVG, create a couple of container DIVs, and place the animations in those containers. Done.

Or export too FXL epub, but that requires InDesign, and on Windows and Linux no good FXL epub reader exists at this point.

- - - Updated - - -


ThinkComposer http://www.thinkcomposer.com/index.html

That's mindmapping sofware, not really suitable for flowcharts, I think.

prometheus
11-09-2018, 04:12 AM
Since the demise of Flash Player, on which Acrobat relied to display video files in PDFs, interactive media support in PDF is just plain... bad.

Animated GIFs do not work in InDesign generated PDFs either, and I confirmed this a couple of minutes ago. It just doesn't work. The GIFs display as inanimate objects.

Out of curiosity, I placed a larger animated gif in PhotoLine as an external object, and exported it as a PDF. Surprisingly enough, the animation did play in the PDF Exchange Editor/Viewer (I do not have Acrobat Reader, since I think it is complete junk, sorry!) - in a way. The framerate is WAY too fast, and the timing completely off. With smaller animate gifs it won't even show the animation.

PDF is the wrong format for anything interactive nowadays (excepting esignature forms). It's dead for interactive content, in my opinion. I would just use html for this. Export the layout as SVG, create a couple of container DIVs, and place the animations in those containers. Done.

Or export too FXL epub, but that requires InDesign, and on Windows and Linux no good FXL epub reader exists at this point.

- - - Updated - - -



That's mindmapping sofware, not really suitable for flowcharts, I think.

3d content in pdf could be useful, previously at another workplace I was at, I could use deep exploration and insert nice pdf with 3d objects and good customed views.
At home and here on my workplace now, I can use free Designspark mechanical and import obj and then go to export options/3d pdf, viewing with free standard acrobat reader..works as it should.

prometheus
11-11-2018, 01:36 PM
ThinkComposer http://www.thinkcomposer.com/index.html

While interesting, I canīt seem to get the hang of making simple curved connectors, or even a stepped line connector when organizing, almost every other simple software for flow charts have that, but I can
not find anything in this one.

Wps writer for instance, it can use elbow, straight or curved connections to draw, right click on already drawn curve or other type of connector..and you get the option to change to whatever type of connector you want.
distribute tools are there too.
Think composer has a lot of other interesting stuff though..but a shame it is missing crucial connector stuff.

erikals
11-12-2018, 03:24 PM
http://forums.newtek.com/images/misc/quote_icon.pngcalilifestyle
ThinkComposer http://www.thinkcomposer.com/index.html

http://forums.newtek.com/images/misc/quote_icon.pngRayek
That's mindmapping sofware, not really suitable for flowcharts, I think.
should work, as it says >

- ThinkComposer. Flowcharts, Concept Maps, Mind Maps, Diagrams and Models.

erikals
11-12-2018, 03:29 PM
While interesting, I canīt seem to get the hang of making simple curved connectors, or even a stepped line connector when organizing,
almost every other simple software for flow charts have that, but I can not find anything in this one.
an alternative perhaps is XMind

not sure if this is a tutorial or if it is a bedtime instruction >


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oFWgL3_8HU

prometheus
11-13-2018, 10:55 AM
an alternative perhaps is XMind

not sure if this is a tutorial or if it is a bedtime instruction >


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oFWgL3_8HU

A beginner instruction, it works pretty much the same as wps writer almost, and reminds me of concept draw office...a mind map and project management software, I do not have acess to it nowadays though, was
great to organize stuff and expand or collaps subtopics, re-arrange etc, and you could drag any subtopic to another place in the order, and it would automaticly be given a new order number.

https://images.sftcdn.net/images/t_app-cover-l,f_auto/p/2b4a056a-9a66-11e6-bdb6-00163ed833e7/3092828887/conceptdraw-mindmap-screenshot.png

RPSchmidt
11-13-2018, 01:49 PM
It's not free, but if you subscribe to Office 365, it now comes with Visio.

So while it's not free, it is relatively low cost and you can always cancel your sub when you don't want it any more.

erikals
11-13-2018, 02:13 PM
a mind map and project management software
strange, ConceptDraw looks almost identical to XMind (or vice versa)
note, there is a free version of XMind >
https://www.xmind.net/faq


not free, but if you subscribe to Office 365, it now comes with Visio.
yup, not riding that wagon, but sounds like a good option.
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Visio+Online

prometheus
11-13-2018, 03:23 PM
It's not free, but if you subscribe to Office 365, it now comes with Visio.

So while it's not free, it is relatively low cost and you can always cancel your sub when you don't want it any more.

Really not an option for me privately, personally...unless it is at a very low cost.
Though I am not sure about office 365 at work, have to check again...not sure if we can update that at work.
Itīs really not that crucial to have it at all..not for me personally ..nor at work, ergo free options is way more priorited than Any commercial version.

calilifestyle
11-14-2018, 11:36 AM
Thinking about MS have you checkout Microsoft Whiteboard. free seems like it could work.

prometheus
11-14-2018, 12:15 PM
Thinking about MS have you checkout Microsoft Whiteboard. free seems like it could work.

Took a look at it, but I donīt think that is what I wanted or want, itīs more like advanced digital freeform whiteboard and sharing options, I do not see any similar flow chart tools, that can be changed and structured nicely..that is
what I want.

Wps writer, and the other tools mentioned ..they are all very similar, some tools is missing some options that others have and vice versa.
I may get the time to check all these and get back with feedback during christmas, but Microsoft whiteboard I think I will skip testing.

calilifestyle
11-14-2018, 12:29 PM
Took a look at it, but I donīt think that is what I wanted or want, itīs more like advanced digital freeform whiteboard and sharing options, I do not see any similar flow chart tools, that can be changed and structured nicely..that is
what I want.

Wps writer, and the other tools mentioned ..they are all very similar, some tools is missing some options that others have and vice versa.
I may get the time to check all these and get back with feedback during christmas, but Microsoft whiteboard I think I will skip testing.

I know what you mean, there's tools that almost do what you need but missing few things that you need or want in it. I really hate that so much.

Rayek
11-14-2018, 04:30 PM
I know what you mean, there's tools that almost do what you need but missing few things that you need or want in it. I really hate that so much.

Yes, very much agreed. Just today I was testing a new visual git tool (gitsmart) to replace GitKraken, and it's just about perfect, excepting the fact that it cannot compare changes to images. Sigh. Well, with a preference setting it will open an external graphics viewer and display both versions, but it's not QUITE the same.

It's always like that, isn't it.

raymondtrace
11-14-2018, 06:57 PM
Can any git tool support image file versioning? I thought git was limited to text files. Svn may be better suited.

Rayek
11-14-2018, 11:47 PM
Git will keep track of changes in binary files such as images and source files (psd, pld, etc). Viewing those changes is a different matter, and some visual clients support side-by-side image diff viewing. GitSmart does not, but it is possible to tell it to open image files and other binary files with an editor of your choice.

For example, I have source PhotoLine files which GitSmart will send the two versions of to PhotoLine for comparison. It actually works quite well.

inkpen3d
11-15-2018, 07:07 AM
Try Visual Understanding Environment (VUE) - it's free - I've used it in the past for flow-charting and mind-maps and its pretty good.

Here's the link: http://vue.tufts.edu/

Summary:
"The Visual Understanding Environment (VUE) is an Open Source project based at Tufts University. The VUE project is focused on creating flexible tools for managing and integrating digital resources in support of teaching, learning and research. VUE provides a flexible visual environment for structuring, presenting, and sharing digital information."

prometheus
11-15-2018, 12:51 PM
Try Visual Understanding Environment (VUE) - it's free - I've used it in the past for flow-charting and mind-maps and its pretty good.

Here's the link: http://vue.tufts.edu/

Summary:
"The Visual Understanding Environment (VUE) is an Open Source project based at Tufts University. The VUE project is focused on creating flexible tools for managing and integrating digital resources in support of teaching, learning and research. VUE provides a flexible visual environment for structuring, presenting, and sharing digital information."


Will take a look at that tomorrow I think, meanwhile I found this...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEXubfaUBco

https://www.draw.io

Getting started..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfY5BN-Saho

Two things I donīt like though
- need to onlilne and maybe even logged in to a microsoft account,
Edited-offline version....
https://about.draw.io/integrations/#integrations_offline

And..I canīt seem to find a way to edit manipulate the shapes except for standard scale, rotat transforms...almost any other of these
kind of flow chart tools can do that, so once again, always something misssing.

Otherwise it looks great..
+ so easy to drag connectors, change them, you can even drag a shape between two other shapes where ther is a connector ..and hold ctrl while doing so and it will place the new shape inbetween the other shapes.
+ It seem to have quite many shapes available ..on contrary to many others that just comes with basic shapes.

nsillk
04-11-2019, 12:17 AM
You can try our flowchart maker (https://creately.com/diagram-type/flowchart). We are a diagramming tool that supports many diagram types including flowcharts. We offer a free version that supports up to 5 public diagrams. Even if you chose a paid plan its $5/month.

Rayek
04-11-2019, 12:23 AM
You can try our flowchart maker (https://creately.com/diagram-type/flowchart). We are a diagramming tool that supports many diagram types including flowcharts. We offer a free version that supports up to 5 public diagrams. Even if you chose a paid plan its $5/month.

You mean that $5/month online version that requires Flash to run in a browser? Flash? Really?

There goes your online business model, I suppose. Perhaps it is time to get with the times?

50one
04-11-2019, 06:56 AM
Are you arguing with a autonated reply/bot? :)

erikals
04-11-2019, 11:39 AM
hm, makes me think of my Russian online girlfriend, she's been acting kinda 'static' lately...


also considering going back to my previous flowchart application...

https://i.imgur.com/Yx1IJmL.png