Pros / With more than 12,000 images, Edraw has one of the best shape libraries in our review.
Cons / This flowchart software lacks commenting and editing capabilities for clients viewing your diagrams.
Verdict / Edraw is an excellent flowchart generator with comprehensive creation tools and applications.
Edraw provides excellent flowchart software that can be used not only for flowchart generation but also to create a multitude of business diagrams and technical drawings. With a great variety of diagramming, text and graphic tools, a solid set of organizational features and one of the simplest interfaces to learn, Edraw earns our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award. It works on Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems.
Edraw tops the charts with its interface features and ease of use. The layout closely mimics that of Microsoft's Office suite, and this familiar layout, combined with clearly labeled buttons, makes the software simple to figure out. You can replace shapes without first deleting the existing object, add extra connection points as needed, and have automatically resized shapes to fit your text. In addition to standard character formatting options, like color, font style, size and style, all the standard paragraph formatting options are available as well. This software offers the uncommon feature of previewing formatting changes; you just hover your mouse over the effect you’re considering, and it will appear on your flowchart, disappearing when you move your mouse if you don’t first click to apply the effect. This flowchart software features a spell-checker.
The canvas automatically expands as your diagrams grow, and you can split it into multiple pages or add additional pages to your project. You can also create diagrams with multiple layers, as might be useful for technical drawings. If you are unsure what kind of chart you need, you can view examples and use premade templates.
Sharing & Presentation
While this flowchart software offers real-time collaboration capabilities with its Team Cloud, its viewing and commentary capabilities for clients don’t compare as favorably against some of the other diagram software we reviewed. We considered the viewing experience from a third-party perspective, such as a client rather than from a fellow collaborator. Your client can download the free Edraw Viewer to see and print your diagrams; however, it doesn’t allow viewers to add comments or edit the chart. These tools make it convenient when a particular diagram needs a client’s evaluation and approval. In order for your client to have these capabilities, you need to save your file in the EDDX format and your client needs to download the Edraw Max trial version, which doesn’t expire but has a watermark limitation. The program also lacks a revision history that allows you to see who updated the document and what changes were made. It doesn’t allow you to password protect your diagrams.
In its favor, however, is the ability to manage your collaborators and export to a variety of formats, including PDF and HTML. It has a presentation mode, and it enables you to direct the attention of your viewers by expanding or collapsing groups and linking sections. These allow you to minimize extraneous sections from view in order to concentrate on a select portion of the diagram. You can add hyperlinks, connection points and labels to figures. You can add multiple text areas to a figure via the “insert text box” command in the dropdown menu.
With thousands of vector symbols, templates and examples, you can use Edraw to create just about any diagram or flowchart you need, including business process modeling, SWOT analysis and network diagrams. It can also handle complex technical diagrams, such as those used by electricians or engineers, as well as mind maps for when you want to visualize a thought process or for brainstorming. These last two applications set Edraw apart from most of the other flowchart software we reviewed because it’s one of the four that offers both these capabilities.
Help & Support
This flowchart program offers fewer help and support tools than some of the other applications. Like all of the programs we reviewed, you can contact customer service and technical support via email. The help menu offers links to the online knowledgebase, video tutorials and blog. Instead of a traditional user’s forum for asking questions, it has a searchable database of diagrams that you can download to use as templates or upload to share with other users.
Edraw offers terrific excellent flowchart software with a large and useful array of tools. If you’re less familiar with diagram software, you may find its premade templates and array of design tools especially helpful in creating professional-looking diagrams. It has one of the best collections of shapes, can be used for a large range of applications and facilitates real-time collaboration through Team Cloud. Although it may not be as easy for clients to comment and edit your diagrams as some programs, it’s an excellent choice for diagramming software.