February 27, 2017

Vector graphics editor for Desktop and Tablet devices

Although Grapholite is designed to create various types of business graphics, it also can be considered as a more general tool — vector graphics editor. It means: users are not limited to those diagrams which are presented in the application menu, it's possible to create anything as far as your imagination will suffice. And then you can export it to SVG or PDF and scale your image without quality loss.

Let's look at the following example created with Grapholite (you can click to enlarge):

Educational Diagram — Nitrogen Cycle in Nature. Created with Grapholite

Tools used to create this image:
  • Cloud Dialog Box from "Text" containers
  • Rounded Arrows from our "Cycles" stencils set, customized by size, color, stroke width, opacity, etc.
  • Lightning ArrowRectangle and Trapezium are from "Common" stencils set, but could be drawn manually
  • Shape tool (and gradient customizations) to create landscape

The next nice picture is a classical Ishikawa (Cause and Effect) Diagram:

Fishbone Diagram example created with Grapholite using just arrows and text blocks

You may think: What's a big deal... But look! Grapholite has no built-in Fishbone Diagram support. Oops...

So, this example has been drawn to give you insight how things can still be done easily. And the first one shows that you are not limited to lines, arrows and blocks, it's possible to draw sophisticated images. Vector graphics is the key. It's the basis of the Grapholite's "turbocharged" engine.

And this power is available on Tablets too. The tablet version of the application is full-featured and allows you to continue your work on the go and stay productive. You can create and edit vector images using Windows Tablet, iPad and Android devices. Try it!

And feel free to share your results with us — we are curious, how complex can be the graphics our app users draw.

February 15, 2017

Grapholite as alternative to Visio

What is the most useful flowchart software?

The answer is not obvious, because the question is ambiguous: what is meant by "the most useful"?

If we have in mind the best-known and probably the most-used diagram software, it's definitely Visio. It is all good, we all know Visio's pros, but… There are two noticable Visio's cons.

As a full-featured diagram editor Visio is available only for a desktop computer (running Windows, of course). So, if you want to edit your diagrams on the go, even correct them slighty, you shoud use your desktop, or at least a laptop, but not a tablet.

Even bypassing the issue of being not cross-platform (both additional versions of Visio — online and for iPad are just viewers, not editors), the lack of editing functionality on tablet is a significant limitation.

In fact, it is possible to run the desktop version of Visio on Windows tablet, and you can even try to edit diagrams, but it is very inconvenient — the application controls are small and not suitable for fingers. Sure, you can attach then a mouse and keyboard… but will it be the tablet after that?

If you have some prior experience and feel productive using a tablet, you'd try to choose something else. This is the case when Visio is not "the most useful".

Visio alternative for Windows Tablet, iPad and Android

We develop an alternative to Visio — the Grapholite flow charting tool, which in addition to desktop version has a handy user interface allowing you to be really productive on tablet devices running Windows, iOS or Android. Moreover, we belive that Grapholite is the most convenient among the competitors in editing diagrams and flow charts on tablets. Try it yourself and you will see the difference! And it may become the most useful flowchart and diagram software for you.

How to save money without losing opportunities

The second Visio's "drawback" — is a quite high price. At the time of this writing there are the following options:
  • Visio Professional costs $589.99
  • Standard: $299.99
  • Alternatively you can buy Pro version subscription: $15.50 per month or $13.00 per month (annual). In total, the minimal cost per year is $156.
So, if you are happy to work on the desktop PC only and you need Visio's functionality and features missing in competing products, you have no other choice but to pay this price.

But this raises the question: Are you sure those features are missing? Most likely you're going to use a small set of the following business graphics types:
  • Flowcharts: Basic flow chart, Workflow diagram, Swimlane process map, etc.
  • Business diagrams: ER, EPC, Fault Tree, SDL, TQM diagrams
  • Floor plans: for office layouts and home plans (a rich set of stencis)
  • UML: Use case, Class, Sequence diagrams, State, Activity, Deployment/component diagrams, etc.
  • BPMN diagrams
  • Computer networks, Cisco network diagrams
  • Circuits: electrical (fundamental), electronics (radio, logic gates)
  • Mind maps, Brainstorming diagrams
  • Wireframes, Mockups
  • Organization charts
  • Site maps
  • Tools to draw anything (shapes, various arrows, chevrons, etc): Sets and Venn charts, Swot analysis pictures, Planograms (POG), Circular diagrams, Cycles, and more.
All these diagrams are supported by Grapholite, and you may want to consider this tool as an alternative solution, to save money without losing opportunities.

The Grapholite price is affordable. It costs $39.99 in Microsoft Store and App Store.
Business and Team licenses also have reasonable and quite low prices comparing with Visio's. To see the most up-to-date information on Grapholite plans and prices click here.

It is necessary to emphasize: Grapholite's convenience and ease of use is roughly at the same level as Visio has, that's why it make sense to compare these products. And we're going to demonstrate it in detail later in our articles labeled as Visio alternative. Looking ahead, we say that some features are unique to these two programs. These little things make your work comfortable and diagrams professional-looking.

Of course, being the developers of Grapholite, we find it difficult to remain completely objective — we love our product. So, we invite everyone to join an open discussion: feel free to leave comments and ask questions.