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Thread: Good Free Flowchart software, or very cheap Good ones?

  1. #1
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Good Free Flowchart software, or very cheap Good ones?

    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-tool...ng-flowcharts/

  2. #2
    Registered User Rayek's Avatar
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    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.
    Win10 64 - i7 920@3.6Ghz, p6t Deluxe v1, 48gb, Nvidia GTX 1080 8GB, Revodrive X2 240gb, e-mu 1820. Screens: 2 x Samsung s27a850ds 2560x1440, HP 1920x1200 in portrait mode

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    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rayek View Post
    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.

  4. #4
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    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.

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    Registered User Rayek's Avatar
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    THanks Prometheus, I didn't know about that last bit in InkScape and connection spots. Very cool, actually.
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    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rayek View Post
    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.

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    Registered User calilifestyle's Avatar
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    Registered User Rayek's Avatar
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    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 - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by calilifestyle View Post
    That's mindmapping sofware, not really suitable for flowcharts, I think.
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  9. #9
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rayek View Post
    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.

  10. #10
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by calilifestyle View Post
    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.

  11. #11

    calilifestyle
    ThinkComposer http://www.thinkcomposer.com/index.html
    Rayek
    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.
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  12. #12

    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 >

    Last edited by erikals; 11-12-2018 at 04:33 PM.
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  13. #13
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erikals View Post

    an alternative perhaps is XMind

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

    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.


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    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.

  15. #15

    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?sear...y=Visio+Online
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