Easy Diagramming with SimpleDiagrams

Dmitri Popov

Productivity Sauce

Jan 26, 2010 GMT
Dmitri Popov

Dia is probably the most popular diagramming tool on Linux, but it produces diagrams that lack style and look somewhat boring. Enter SimpleDiagrams, a slick and easy-to-use diagramming tool that lets you create stylish diagrams with a minimum of fuss. SimpleDiagrams is based on the Adobe AIR platform, so you have to install Adobe AIR runtime before you can install and use the tool.

What makes SimpleDiagrams different is its distinctive diagramming style: the canvas is presented as a chalkboard (the application offers two other canvas styles, too) , and the supplied library contains a collection of hand-drawn items. Creating diagrams in SimpleDiagrams is as easy as dragging the desired items from the library pane onto the canvas. You can then arrange and resize them using the mouse. The Pencil tool lets you draw on the canvas, and you can use the Line tool to add connectors and arrows. Besides the library elements, you can also add notes and images to the diagram. You can save the finished diagram as a graphics file in the PNG format or export it to the Basecamp, a popular project management and collaboration service.

SimpleDiagrams is neither an open source software, nor is it free of charge (albeit the full version costs only 19 USD). There is a free version available for you to try, but it does have a few limitations and regularly displays a nagging message asking you to upgrade to the paid version. Still, if you don't mind using a close-sourced non-free software on your Linux machine, SimpleDiagrams can prove to be a useful weapon in your productivity arsenal.

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