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Realtime Landscaping Plus
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Pros / This program has a user-friendly design and all the tools and features you need to create any landscape.

Cons / It doesn’t have an online forum for additional customer support.

 Verdict / Realtime Landscaping Plus requires no training or expertise, and with a little work, you can create any landscape that you imagine. It is by far the best landscaping software program available on the market.

Landscaping software should be easy and functional. Install a program and you're good to go. Unfortunately, almost all programs tend to be difficult to use. They're often unintuitive and complicated, requiring extensive training to learn. There is one exception, though – Realtime Landscaping Plus. It's the most user-friendly and powerful program we tested for our review and our best overall pick for this category.

Using Realtime Landscaping Plus was a piece of cake. In our testing, we had no problems creating and customizing a landscape with it. Everything about it seemed to make sense. It's a program you can install and start designing in without any prior training.

This program's ease of use is due to its intuitive interface. The software's user interface has a sleek design, easy-to-navigate tabs and large icons. Even with all the objects in this application's library, it's easy to keep track of everything because it is so well organized. You can find objects by scrolling through the images by category, or you can type the name of an item into the search feature and locate it quickly. You can also use keyboard strokes to find specific objects and execute commands which saves you even more time.

The procedure for inserting objects is straightforward; you simply select the object you want, place it in your design and size it. Once you have the object in the right place, you can determine the layer on which you want to place it. Another nice feature of this landscape software is that you can press undo and redo as many times as you'd like until you get your landscape to look exactly the way you want it. Realtime Landscaping Plus was clearly built to make landscaping design as intuitive and enjoyable as possible.

This program was not only the easiest to use in our tests, it was also the most functional. Often there are tradeoffs, such as a program that’s inexpensive but short on quality, or software that has many features but is difficult to use. However, there are no trade-offs here. In addition to being exceptionally user-friendly, Realtime Landscaping Plus enables you to effectively create your dream landscape.

You can customize pretty much everything with this program’s tools. With its topography builder, you can adjust the layout and elevation of your digital property. If you want a 10-foot mound in the middle of your backyard, it's yours to create. You can adjust the size and color of objects, or even dictate how they are displayed. With its robust customization settings, anything you imagine is possible with this program.

This landscape design software has advanced preview options. In the bird's-eye view, you can see a traditional grid layout. The perspective view provides a 3D display. With this landscape planner, you can zoom in or out, pan the camera in all directions and see your project from any angle. In the walkthrough mode, you can experience your design as if you were there in person. You can additionally view your design in various conditions, including nighttime and through different seasons. The program renders everything to be highly realistic, making your design come to life.

Realtime Landscaping Plus also allows you to import photos and Google Maps addresses and combine them with the computer-generated materials. It also lets you generate videos of the landscapes you create and share them with your friends and family. You can even add realistic 3D characters that move around and interact with your design. This program is powerful enough to make even the most complicated landscape dream a reality.

Realtime Landscaping Plus has a huge database at your disposal. This version alone has over 1,100 plant and non-plant objects, such as tables and light fixtures. Everything is realistically designed with exquisite detail. You can even see the individual leaves on trees. On top of the size and quality of the database, the ability to customize these objects makes it even better. Since you can tailor each object in various ways, you have practically an infinite number of options.

This program offers other useful content. You can create your own house and deck, or you can use the many samples and templates that are already designed for you. Just select a predesigned element, and it'll be added to your design. Another feature you can play with is the option to add walls and fences to your design. There are also additional styling options available to make your design completely yours. Should you find yourself wanting to design your yard like the Romans, there's even a feature to add custom pillars.

The objects available in the database are not abstract representations. They are brand-name products that you can actually buy. They include brands such as Jerith, Belgard, Philoips Hadco and Unilock. Real-life brand names make it easy to locate specific products when you're ready to purchase materials. A shopping list feature keeps track of everything your design requires, including the quantity and cost, all in one spot. Once you're ready to implement your design in the real world, this program makes it convenient and pain free.

Idea Spectrum, the developers of Realtime Landscaping Plus, has standard support options and documentation. You can phone or email the manufacturer for tech support, search the context-sensitive digital manual or work through tutorials that teach you how to most effectively utilize the tools. Should you need it, there is also a 30-day, money-back guarantee.

Online support forums are the only feature in the best landscaping software we look for that is absent in Realtime Landscaping Plus. However, only two applications we reviewed have it – Home Designer Suite and TurboFloorPlan 3D Home & Landscape.


Realtime Landscaping Plus is a superior program, and Idea Spectrum continues to push forward, improving its product's aesthetic appeal, increasing the number of objects it offers and simplifying the design processes. Whether you're a pro landscaper or a novice looking to increase your home's value through landscaping, you'll find Realtime Landscaping Plus has useful and rewarding features.

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Specifications and Benchmarks

Specialty Assets

House Builder
Topography Builder
Deck Builder

Ease of Use

Overall Ease of Use
Learning Curve
Undo/Redo Buttons
Maximum Undo Steps
Keyboard Shortcuts
Shopping List

Preview Options

2D/3D Design View
3D Preview
Seasonal Change Preview
Virtual Reality Preview

Help & Support

Support Options
Video Tutorials
Online Forums
Online Manual
Free Trial
Money Back Guarantee


Overall Content
Object Library
Plant Library
Plant Guide


Overall Functionality
Topography Designer
3D Object Editing
Drag and Drop
Photo Import
Cost Estimator