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What's your favorite flow charting software?

I do a lot of writing about technical topics. Charts are a powerful way to communicate concepts that are challenging to put into text, but sadly I don't know of a great tool for quickly hacking out a pretty flow chart.

There has to be something awesome out there. Is there a tool that does for charting what Mockingbird did for UI mocks or Skitch did for screen shots?
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Angel Leon's profile photoRichard Ashwell's profile photoAmber Yust's profile photoFred Gandt's profile photo
33 comments
 
There's no flow charting software that can handle the complexity of my mind.
 
I'm also interested in the replies to this post. I'm dabbling more with charts these days to convey processes.
 
sorry for the trolling, just being silly :)
 
+Angel Leon This is what charting and reporting is supposed to do... Allow the normal person to understand something so complex :]
 
I've used omnigraffle inthe past, but it's not really The Right Tool -- it has no idea what you're doing, it just allows a simple point-and-click for shapes & arrows.
 
Have any of you extensively used any of the tools available in the Chrome Web Store?
 
+Jenny Murphy So you are looking to chart the decision making engine / process? Do you have data you want to plug in or you just want to model it?
 
+Claudio Cherubino, thanks for the Lucidchart tip. I just watched one of the vids and I think I'll try it. Truth be told, I have never successfully created a presentation worthy flowchart without resorting to pen and paper!
 
https://cacoo.com is cool, you can collaborate with others on flow charts etc. There is a chrome app for it too i think.
 
Graphviz (http://www.graphviz.org/) is really nice for this. It's not point-and-click like most programs, but this actually is a benefit since it lets you focus on the flow and relationships versus messing around with the positioning of boxes. You basically just type everything with some minimal formatting markup and it finds the best layout for you. You can work on it in any text editor, so there's the option to refine your workflow diagram on pretty much any device.
 
+Chris Lang sorry, I'm not sure. I've only used it on Linux. You write the layout as a text file using whatever you want, then generate the graph as a simple commandline tool. Two steps, which people may not like, although perhaps the Windows version is more integrated. I'll also second +Margaret Leber's suggestion of yED.
 
Full time Ubuntu user here. But I was a .NET guy back when. Can't wait to see what platform proves out...
 
Thanks for the great suggestions everyone :) I looked at all of them and ended up with a short list of Gliffy, Cacoo and Lucidchart.

I'm still trying them out, but so far Gliffy is my favorite. The interface is smooth and it the default charts are pretty. If only it supported copy and paste correctly on my mac ;)
 
I'm honestly surprised Google don't have a tool you could use. Don't they?
 
only two things come to mind that I have enjoyed working with. Microsoft Visio and Omnigroup's Omnigraffle.
 
same here : working with Omnigraffle Pro for Mac
When evaluation is done:
Please tell me if it is too old school ;)
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