smartdraw“SmartDraw 2010” is very similar to Microsoft’s Visio diagramming and charting program but costs less: $197 versus Microsoft’s $259 for Visio. Both these programs have been around for about 25 years and are highly appreciated by those who use them.  They both have huge libraries of clip art which can be used to make floor plans, office and factory layouts, landscaping layouts and even crime scene diagrams. Automatic features are the key to its ease of use. When you delete a shape on your flow chart, for example, your whole chart realigns itself automatically.  When you create a mind map, with all your projects on it, you can turn it into a time line in a couple of clicks.

You can create engineering, business and scientific charts and diagrams, web site maps, marketing presentations, legal documents, family trees and so on, with clip art to go with each. If you’re making a landscaping plan, for instance, there are different images for different kinds of trees and shrubs. If you’re making a medical presentation, you can use clip art with anatomical details. You can bring the results into Word, Excel or PowerPoint, or turn it into a PDF. You can also import drawings from Visio.

There is a free trial version available at This leaves a watermark on your drawings but is otherwise complete.

3 Responses to “SMARTDRAW 2010”

  1. What a wonderful suggestion. Visio is pricey and complicated!

  2. I recommend a program called Graphs Made Easy. It’s versatile, very easy to use, the results look great – and it’s free.
    Of course, I would say it’s great – I work for them!

  3. Another great alternative to SmartDraw is Lucidchart. Similar to Visio but with the collaboration feature of a Google Draw