Reviewed: Geetesh Bajaj
Date Created: May 17th 2005
Last Updated: February 25th 2009
Although PowerPoint has a plethora of options as far as creating info graphics is concerned, there are umpteen ways of making better info graphics outside PowerPoint. Microsoft offers Visio as an interesting option – but then Visio is an enterprise level product more geared towards large organizations rather than everyday PowerPoint users. If you identify with this situation and want a product with a reasonable amount of choices and possibilities, you might want to look at ConceptDraw. In addition, ConceptDraw is more integrated with PowerPoint than you thought.
ConceptDraw comes from Computer Systems Odessa, a company that’s based out of Odessa, Ukraine. Apart from ConceptDraw, the company also makes other products like Aha!Game and Alchemist. For more information on their products, take a look at their site…
ConceptDraw itself is more of a range of products rather than a single product. The range includes ConceptDraw Professional, the flagship product and several offerings for vertical markets like ConceptDraw MINDMAP, ConceptDraw Project, ConceptDraw Reporter and ConceptDraw MEDICAL. They also create the ConceptDraw Presenter and ConceptDraw Server products.
In addition, you can download some freeware like the ConceptDraw Viewer and the ConceptDraw – Visio converter.
My contact at Computer Systems Odessa was Zubaryeva Elena - I wish to thank Zubaryeva for the coordination and support.
You can download the thirty day trial version of ConceptDraw from their web site that functions similar to their full product.
Installation is a quick affair that creates a new group in your Windows Start Menu. Click the ConceptDraw icon to fire up the program. The program has a clean and intuitive interface – and plenty of sample drawings and templates that you can adapt to suit your requirements.
ConceptDraw follows a predictable usage workflow. You drag out a few symbols from a library and then use connectors to build relationships. There is so much you can do in terms of formatting – the fills are gorgeous and there are umpteen line options too.
However, that’s the predictable part. From a PowerPoint user’s perspective, the best feature has to be the amazing PowerPoint export feature that lets you create a new presentation from your ConceptDraw document. Just choose the File | Export | Microsoft PowerPoint option to export your drawing to a new PowerPoint presentation. Each component of the drawing in ConceptDraw like a rectangle or connector translates to an individual shape in PowerPoint. This is an amazing feature that’s very well implemented.
Apart from PowerPoint, ConceptDraw also allows you to export the drawings to several other file formats including Flash, EPS, PDF and several graphic file formats.
ConceptDraw Professional is priced at US$299 for either the Windows or Mac versions – these are the electronic download rates. Box packs cost an additional US$50. Volume discounts and academic pricing is also available.
Support options include online FAQs and tutorials. You can also contact the support team through a feedback form on the site.
At its price point, ConceptDraw provides amazing value. Its cross platform existence will provide more justification to end users who need to work often on both the Windows and Mac platforms.
I love the PowerPoint export feature – this option is something that no other similar product offers.