While there is no shortage of awesome concept mapping or mindmapping software, I'm left rather cold by the offerings of flowchart related software or apps available.

I'm looking for something that makes standard flowcharts in an attractive manner and autoformats them. Ideally I'd like to be able to easily add the start, end points and boxes without having to drag & drop or try and line things up extra carefully pixel for pixel manually- mind mapping software already does this (by letting you press 'enter' and 'insert' to insert child & sibling nodes), so I would think there should be a reasonable equivalent for flowcharts?

Using Windows 7 here, if that helps any?

Appreciate your time & assistance!

closed as off topic by ChrisF, Sathyajith Bhat Dec 18 '12 at 9:58

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The GraphViz (Graph Visualization Software is able to do this. Take a look at the example gallery and give it a try. The Flowchart is not defined by a GUI, but in the DOT Language, e.g.:

graph G {
  run -- intr;
  intr -- runbl;
  runbl -- run;
  run -- kernel;
  kernel -- zombie;
  kernel -- sleep;
  kernel -- runmem;
  sleep -- swap;
  swap -- runswap;
  runswap -- new;
  runswap -- runmem;
  new -- runmem;
  sleep -- runmem;

This feels not comfortable for some users, but the main advantage is that you are independent from the layout!

  • GUI would be preferable. This may turn out to be the only cheap or free solution that is even vaguely close though unfortunately... – Tomcat May 20 '12 at 9:00

Try this, maybe can help you;

SmartDraw; http://www.smartdraw.com/specials/flowchart.asp

Top reasons SmartDraw is the ideal flowchart software: Automatic Formatting Click simple commands and SmartDraw builds your flowchart for you, automatically. Add or remove a box, and SmartDraw realigns and arranges all the elements so that everything looks great. Quick-Start Templates Over 60 professionally-designed flowchart examples make you instantly productive. Simply choose the flowchart template that is most similar to your project, and customize it to suit your needs. Free Support Got a question? Call or email us. SmartDraw experts are standing by ready to help, for free!

Gliffy, http://www.gliffy.com/uses/flowchart-software/

Gliffy is a flow chart tool that makes it easy to create online flow charts. Just drag and drop shapes and lines from the flow chart shape libraries and you can turn your ideas into professional-looking flow charts. It's free, and there's nothing to install.

  • Re: SmartDraw- kind of expensive :/ Re: Gliffy- Would prefer something that doesn't force you to drag & drop and then meticulously arrange things... Thanks anyway though! – Tomcat May 20 '12 at 8:58
  • 1
    Don't copy and paste advertising copy into your answer. It makes your answer read like an ad for the product rather than a genuine evaluation. If the copy contains useful info, then paraphrase it without the marketing hype. – Lèse majesté May 20 '12 at 9:40

I just recently found yWorks. It doesn't add a flow chart node when you hit enter, but it has some really awesome layout tools that manage the layout for you.


I have had experience of using Lovely Charts (paid) and also Cacoo for accomplishing this.



For Apple Macs I have only used Omnigraffle:


This article by Vikitech entitled "25+ Free Online Tools for Creating Diagrams, Processes and Charts" may provide better insight.


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