Creately’s flowchart software works on your desktop and online, offering good sharing tools and real-time collaboration. This online flowchart software provides simple design while being fully capable of creating your professional-looking workflow diagrams efficiently. The desktop version of the program is available for both PC and Mac. It is one of the most affordable programs on our lineup and offers a free plan as well.
The interface feels a little dated compared to some of the other diagram software we reviewed. It allows you to enter text directly in the shapes, which automatically resize to fit your text, but it doesn’t allow you to replace shapes without first deleting the existing object. The canvas expands automatically as you create your diagrams, but it doesn’t have the ability to add layers or multiple pages to your diagrams. It also doesn’t save you time by allowing you to import CSV files to automatically generate diagrams such as organizational charts.
The symbol gallery offers various libraries organized by project type, such as flow diagrams and infographics, or symbol type, such as business and education. You can also create your own custom libraries with imported clipart and graphics. You can automatically align or space objects by selecting them and choosing alignment or distribute options. Scaling your diagram is done in much the same way.
Creately includes shapes and templates for a many business applications. In addition to organizational charts and process flow charts, you can create business process modeling diagrams, mind maps, SWOT analysis and Venn diagrams. You can also use it to create network diagrams, UML diagrams and wireframes. However, it lacks shapes and templates for technical drawings and also doesn’t include premade design themes and color schemes.
One advantage Creately has that only half of the best flowchart programs we reviewed offer is the ability to collaborate in real-time. Because it’s an online program, you can work with others on the chart even if you’re not in the same room or building or even on the same network. While it lacks password protection for diagrams, you can assign authorized users and decide who can only view the diagram and who can edit it. While it does not have a presentation mode as a software feature, you can export your files as PDF or HTML so you can include it in other programs.
Like many flowchart software services, Creately does not have phone support except for sales. It offers several tutorials, including one that shows when you first create your account, plus it has user forums for questions and suggestions and a blog with articles about marketing and business issues.
If you have projects that require collaboration, Creately is a good flowchart program, especially if not all of your team members are in the same office. Available on the cloud and offering real-time and authorized-user collaboration capabilities, it lets you create a large number of organizational and process-flow diagrams to use for in-house or client presentation.
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