Thu, 08 May 2008 ConceptDraw Pro 7 Review
2D technical drawing program ConceptDraw Pro is a master of all trades, with tools for every map and chart task you can think of
- Manufacturer: Computer Systems Odessa
- Pros: Extensive library of ready-to-use tools, built-in scripting language and XML support
- Cons: ConceptDraw Pro is pretty much complete
- Price: $299 (£147.34)
- Star rating:
ConceptDraw is a tricky pitch to newcomers. We’re used to a paradigm of design tools that neatly divides them into vector packages, bitmap editors, CAD and 3D modellers. ConceptDraw is probably best described as a plan-creation package – a tool for creating charts and diagrams.
So, while it shares some tools with vector drawing apps, it’s no Adobe Illustrator. It can export plans in popular CAD formats, but it does more than just architectural and orthographic views.
You can use ConceptDraw to create flow charts, organisation diagrams, circuit boards, 2D plans and much more – using a sophisticated tool set that makes those tasks easy to accomplish.
This is made even easier by a built-in database of templates covering all these jobs and more. While there’s a standard palette full of drag-and-drop drawing shapes from launch, the templates give you access to ready-made maps, vector objects and forced 3D clipart that can be added to any of your plans.
Once you get used to the drag and drop, as opposed to ‘select and draw’ workflow, the interface is fairly self-explanatory. Placed objects can be resized and positioned manually or numerically, objects can be coloured, aligned and connected automatically.
For users of older versions, new features include full Leopard support, a new Presentation Mode that enables you to use the application like PowerPoint, and expanded libraries that include more clipart.
Even casual home users could find many uses for ConceptDraw – from planning a garden upgrade to mapping out the family finances.