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March 04, 2008

Comments

Joshua Platt

I am sorry you had a hard time working with SmartDraw 2008. It does have a category for "simple diagrams" which are effectively blank diagrams, and from what you described they would have worked well for you. Also, at the top of the library panel you will see a drop down menu. If you click on "more" in that menu you will get the traditional symbol library dialog where you can select any symbol library you want.

Disclaimer : I am the product manager for SmartDraw. I agree with your request for a "open blank" in the SmartDraw button at the top of the ribbon. If you have any questions (or other suggestions) feel free to contact me.

Stéphane Bergeron

I found this post very interesting because I've been having a similar experience with SmartDraw recently and, I decided to return it within 30 days of purchasing it for many of the same reasons you cite as well as additional ones (I was not a long time user like you).

I found SmartDraw's workflow to be way too inflexible and had a hard time figuring out the type of base diagram I should use. I needed to create Web site Information Architecture diagrams and the obvious Web category wasn't helping me much. The Org Chart one yielded better results but it seemed I had to fight with the app every step of the way.

The kicker for me was when I realised that SmartDraw didn't support multiple pages in the traditional sense at least because, the multiple pages implementation it has is to "spread" large diagrams over a larger area. That is not what I needed. The other thing is that I really didn't have time to figure most of this out during the ridiculously short 7 days trial so I bought it on faith after dicussing various issues with SmartDraw people but realized after a while that it wouldn't suit my needs.

The one other thing that really bothered me with it is that, eventhough it exports to a variety of formats, it does so by embedding a bitmap image of your diagram into the various file formats it exports to. I needed at least links to work in PDFs and would have expected export to Office files to translate SmartDraw shapes to Office editable drawing shapes but it didn't.

To be fair though, I really think that professional designers like me are not SmartDraw's intended audience. Some of the things I found to be irritants are probably things a regular office worker would appreciate. I also have to say that the customer service SMartDraw provided was excellent. It's just the 7 days trial I don't get... ;-)

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