Online Diagramming

By on Jan 13, 2011

A picture really can be helpful when you are trying to explain a concept or process. But diagramming software can be hard to learn and use, and expensive. As you might guess there are now Web alternatives. One we have tested is LucidChart.

Diagrams have multiple uses. They can be used in a procedure guide to show visually how an agency process should be completed. Diagrams can also be used for organization charts, mind maps, network diagrams, website maps, marketing system flow, and who knows what else.

LucidChart is an HTML5-based visual tool that makes drawing diagrams fast and easy. The site also allows you to work in collaboration with other users to create and edit diagrams in real time, with changes merged and synced instantaneously — great for collaboration between an outside producer and internal staff, or with others in a different location. Depending on what version of the service you use, you can have an unlimited number of simultaneous collaborators. Version control helps you keep track of who made what changes.

As I tested the site it felt quite fast, especially in Chrome, and I was able to set up and export a test chart quickly.

The site includes hundreds of templates and examples. It also includes hundreds of shapes you can drag and drop on your chart, autoprompt for quickly adding and connecting these objects, ability to drag new lines out of any object, drag and drop to add your own images, and the ability to export to a (vector) PDF, PNG, and JPG file so you can use the charts in other programs.
As you might expect, the free version limits the number of collaborators to 5 and a total of 60 objects per document. Paid versions are $40, $100 and $250 per year. Each level increases the number of users/collaborators and add some premium features. Sign up for a free account today.


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