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Summary:

Recently, I went to check on an open-source drawing program called Draw, which used to be from Cumulate Labs, and was a pretty good tool for creating diagrams; effectively an online equivalent of Microsoft Visio. When I went to the site, I found that it’s been […]

Recently, I went to check on an open-source drawing program called Draw, which used to be from Cumulate Labs, and was a pretty good tool for creating diagrams; effectively an online equivalent of Microsoft Visio. When I went to the site, I found that it’s been transitioned to a project from Autodesk Labs and is now called Project Draw. It’s still a great online diagramming tool, and you can use it for free, and watch an introductory video, here. While it’s not quite as full-featured as Visio, it’s more than enough for my drawing needs and has a slick interface.


I tried Project Draw in Firefox, Internet Explorer and Opera, and it worked well in all of them, even though Opera isn’t listed as a supported browser. As seen in the screenshot below, the basic shapes you can use for diagrams are on the left. You just drag and drop them to place them in your drawing, and then resize and rotate as necessary. Text tools, fill tools, font tools and more are along the top of the screen.

With Project Draw, you can save your diagrams in a variety of formats, and export them in many formats including DWF, DWFx, PDF, JPG, PNG and SVG. If you happen to use Autodesk’s AutoCAD software, you can also include your CAD designs. Project Draw lets you share diagrams via email, directly from within the program. Under the “Try it” button on this page, you’ll also find a series of helpful YouTube videos about using Project Draw.

Project Draw even has offline support, via Google Gears. The app is good enough that I’ll be using it alongside one of my favorite free drawing tools, a great Firefox extension called Pencil.  If you’re interested in doing flowcharts, spatial diagrams, software design charts,  organizational charts or other types of drawings, it’s worth looking into both of these free tools.

What tools do you use for drawing flowcharts?

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By Samuel Dean
  1. Thanks for the write up! We are flattered. I’ve been reading this blog for years – honored to be mentioned.

    All the best.

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  2. I have been using DIA? how does it fair compare to dia?

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  3. Thanks for the write-up. Am always coming back to OmniGraffle (Mac) for my diagramming needs, due to the great design possibilities. How do those online-services compare?

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  4. I just saw example that shows how to script diagram generation using VBA and Visio 2007 http://www.isrcomputing.com/knowledge-base/40-code-example/178-how-to-draw-network-diagrams-using-visio-2007-and-vba

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