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ConceptDraw 7 Professional

Reviewed:

Date Created: May 31st 2007
Last Updated: February 25th 2009






Introduction
About ConceptDraw 7 Professional
Download and Installation
Using ConceptDraw 7 Professional
Pricing and Support
Conclusion

Introduction

Although PowerPoint does offer a plethora of diagramming components including the new SmartDraw feature in PowerPoint 2007, there's so much more that a dedicated diagramming application can do.

ConceptDraw 7 is the newest version of a drawing and diagramming product that we have also reviewed in the past...

This program allows you to communicate information and process flows using a range of diagram types such as flowcharts, network diagrams, database diagrams, floor plans, etc. These diagrams then can be sent to PowerPoint with a single menu command. You can also export to Flash SWF, PDF, and HTML in the same way.

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About ConceptDraw 7 Professional

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 ConceptDraw MindMap, Project, and Alchemist. You can learn more about the products and download a trial version from their site...

The new features in ConceptDraw 7 Professional include:

  • Customizable toolbars and floating windows.
  • New print mode.
  • Up to 75% faster for drawing of objects and operations with objects.
  • Newer clip art.
  • Newer elements added to floor plan and business diagrams libraries.

My contact at Computer Systems Odessa was Olga Danilina -- thank you, Olga.

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Download and Installation

You can download the installer from the ConceptDraw site. Once you buy the product, you are sent a serial code -- unless you provide the serial, ConceptDraw 7 works as a fully featured trial product for 30 days.

Run the setup routine and follow the instructions. When installed, you'll end up with an ConceptDraw 7 Professional program group in your Windows Start menu (see Figure 1 below).

ConceptDraw 7 Start menu Group
Figure 1: ConceptDraw 7 Start menu Group

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Using ConceptDraw 7 Professional

Follow these to use ConceptDraw 7:

  1. Go to your Windows Start menu and choose All Programs | ConceptDraw 7 Professional | ConceptDraw 7 Professional (see Figure 1 above).

  2. When you launch ConceptDraw 7, you see the Template Gallery window as shown in Figure 2.

    Template Gallery
    Figure 2: Template Gallery

    This window provides different templates -- these templates are divided into categories depending upon the type of diagrams you need. You can also opt to create a blank document without using any template.

    For this walkthrough, I selected the Basic FlowChart template.

  3. This opens ConceptDraw 7 interface with the template loaded, as shown in Figure3.

    ConceptDraw 7 interface
    Figure 3: ConceptDraw 7 interface

    ConceptDraw 7 interface is explained below:

    1. Toolbars: Contains the main tools for drawing and editing shapes and their text.

    2. Libraries: This pane on the left of the interface comprises libraries of diagram elements, borders, backgrounds, etc. The libraries visible depend upon the template you choose.

    3. Document: This is where you can draw or place the shapes. By default the grid is displayed for more convenient and precise drawing.

    4. Other Options: Here you can find other panels for pages where more pages can be added, fill color, line, layers, geometry, etc.
  1. Select the shapes from the library and place it on the document. Edit, resize, and reposition it as required. Add fills, captions, links, etc. and save your diagram.

  2. Go to File | Export and choose Microsoft PowerPoint. This exports the ConceptDraw file to a PowerPoint slide, as shown in Figure 4.

    Exported Slide
    Figure 4: Exported Slide

    The diagram within PowerPoint has no link to the original ConceptDraw diagram since it is a native PowerPoint object. You can ungroup the diagram in PowerPoint and change the fonts, the fills of individual shapes, and even animate them like any other PowerPoint slide object.

Note: Remember that if your page in ConceptDraw is set to portrait mode (as is the default), your PowerPoint slide(s) will also set to portrait mode. So if you want conventional looking PowerPoint slides, do change the page to landscape mode in ConceptDraw. This can be easily done using the File | Document Properties option. In the resultant multi-tabbed dialog box, select the Size tab and set the Orientation to Landscape. You may also want to resize and reposition your diagram after you change the page orientation.

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Pricing and Support

ConceptDraw 7 Professional is priced at US$299 for single user for either the Windows or Mac versions -– multiple user licence is available, these are the electronic download rates. Box packs cost an additional US $50.

Support options include online FAQs and tutorials. You can also contact the support team through a feedback form and phone support.

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Conclusion

ConceptDraw is a great, multi-platform diagramming application that comes with an amazing array of templates that you can customize. The pricing is good, and the export options are capable.

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