Drawing and visualizing diagrams is quickly becoming a requirement for more and more businesses and activities worldwide. Thus the need for a high quality, yet affordable diagram software arises. Many people are aware of Microsoft Visio, the industry leading diagramming solution by Microsoft. It is undoubtedly a high quality and feature-rich diagram software, but it’s very expensive and is not available for the Mac. In this article I’m going to review MyDraw – a much more affordable, but still professional grade diagram software that works fine on both Mac and Windows.
MyDraw lets you quickly create professional diagrams by using one of the many preinstalled templates. You can then drag and drop shapes, reposition them, connect and layout them and so on. The diagram software comes with 700+ shapes organized in 25+ categories called libraries that you can use to create different kinds of diagrams like flowchart diagrams, organizational chart diagrams, floor plan diagrams, network diagrams, business process diagrams, family tree diagrams and so on. Some of the shapes are formula-based smart shapes like in Microsoft Visio and can replace a whole army of ordinary shapes because of their smart behavior and resizing. The diagram software also supports multi-page documents and printing.
MyDraw comes with support for its own diagram format, as well as the ability to export diagrams to PDF, vector images (SVG) and a wide range of raster image formats (PNG, JPEG, BMP, GIF).
The unique features of MyDraw that make it excel over the competition are:
- Support for automatic layouts that can be used to automatically arrange your diagram in order to produce more compact and visually appealing drawings.
- Support for creating a large variety of linear (1D) and matrix (2D) barcodes in your diagrams including Code-39, Code-93, Code-128, EAN-8, EAN-13, ISBN, UPC, QR Code, PDF417, Data Matrix, etc.
- Import of map data from ESRI shapefiles with support for different map projections and map coloring rules.
- Powerful support for rich text formatting of the text of any shape, which basically allows to to create a Word-like document in any shape
The user interface of MyDraw resembles that of Microsoft Office 2016 applications (see the screenshot), so you’ll be able to start working quickly. The main window of the diagram software contains a ribbon, a quick search box for ribbon commands, a library browser that lets you quickly drag and drop shapes to your diagrams, pan and zoom control, drawing view with page navigator and a status bar with a zoom slider. If you click File and then Options, the settings dialog of the diagram software will open. It lets you quickly switch from ribbon to command bars interface, to change the UI language and the active UI theme.
MyDraw comes with support for different UI themes, which completely change the look and feel of the diagram software. You can choose between Windows 8 (the default theme), Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows Classic, Mac OS Lion, Mac OS El Capitan and Nevron Light and themes.
My also comes with translation of the user interface to multiple languages, including: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Bulgarian, and Russian. You can switch to any of those languages from the settings of the diagram software.
- Good looking, polished UI, customizable with themes.
- The Mac version of MyDraw is exactly the same as the Windows one, so Mac users can enjoy the full functionality of the diagram software.
- 1000+ shapes, including formula-based smart shapes like in Microsoft Visio.
- 200+ diagram templates, which let you quickly create professional diagrams of almost any kind.
- Import and export to Visio Drawings in the popular VSDX format as well as the older VSD and VDX formats. As Microsoft Visio is not available for Mac, if you want to open and save Visio Drawings on Mac, MyDraw is one of the few high quality options currently available.
- Import and export of Genealogical Data Communication data in GEDCOM format. This allows you easily create and publish family tree diagrams – just start with one of the included family tree templates, modify it and save it to GEDCOM format.
- Export of diagrams to wide range of file formats including PDF, vector images (SVG, EMF) and raster images (PNG, JPEG, BMP, GIF).
- The user interface is translated to multiple languages – English, Bulgarian, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
- Unique Feature: Support for creating more than 30 types of linear (1D) and matrix (2D) barcodes.
- Unique Feature: A lot of automatic layouts that automatically arrange the shapes in your diagram in order to make it more compact and good looking.
- Unique Feature: Import of map data from ESRI shapefiles.
- Unique Feature: Full support for rich text formatting of texts, including tables, bullet lists, font style, fill, stroke and shadow, subscript and superscript and so on.
- All of this comes at an unbeatable price, multiple times lower than that of Visio.
- Shapes and templates for some kinds of diagrams like UML diagrams are not available, yet.
Until recently, creating professional diagrams required investing a lot of money in expensive diagram software. Fortunately, this is no longer the case. If you need to create professional diagrams, but you are on a budget or you simply don’t want to spend a ton of money for diagram software, MyDraw got you covered. For a fraction of the price of other diagramming solutions, you get 700+ shapes, 100+ diagram templates, 30+ barcode types, Visio Drawings import and export, automatic layouts, localization in multiple languages and much more. And best of all, if you are a Mac user, you no longer have to deal with crippled software versions ported to the Mac, the Mac version of MyDraw looks, feels and works exactly the same as the Windows one.
To see for yourself what MyDraw has to offer, you can download a fully functional 30-day trial version from its official website (after registration):