Thursday, June 29

Gliffy: the Writely for Visio users

If you're getting into web-based Web 2.0 tools that replicate the features of Microsoft's evil product suite (such as Writely, Google Spreadsheets, BaseCamp, etc) then you should check out Gliffy.

Gliffy provides many of the flowcharting, UI design and floorplan primitives of Microsoft Visio, but adds the Web 2.0 hosting, sharing and collaboration features you expect in 2006. And for the time-being, it's free to use.

If I'm designing something for an external presentation and polish really counts, then Omnigraffle is still my fave tool by far. Gliffy's graphics are all web-safe only, it has only a few basic fonts, there's no anti-aliasing, and fills and shadows are quite basic. I thought maybe I could use the .PNG export to jazz my diagram up a little in my image editor, but unfortunately the whole diagram is exported as one uneditable object - a disappointment.

But for internal purposes and quick collaboration with workmates, Gliffy will do, especially while it remains free to use.

Getting a JPG of your diagram to post on a blog or webpage is so simple, even a project manager could do it ;-)

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