Talking Tech Friday – Lovely Charts

Jennie sent me this site and suggested I review it – I love taking requests, so today we’re talking about Lovely Charts!  Additionally, the site design fits in well for Valentine’s Day tomorrow (or Arizona Statehood Day, if you prefer).

What is it?

Lovely Charts is an online diagramming program whose motto is “You think, we draw.”  They aim to present a free and easy way to create flowcharts, organizational diagrams and more without the standard gnashing of teeth and tearing out of hair that normally accompanies these activities.

How does it work?

Register by just entering a name, email address and password.  Wait for the confirmation email, and then you are ready to begin.

Lovely Charts gives you some templates to begin your diagram.  They have flowcharts, organizational charts, site maps, and network diagrams, among others.  Once you choose a template, you are given a blank sheet  with a starting figure to begin working.  You can just click, drag, and drop to add to your diagram, and Lovely Charts will automatically change an image to the standard for that template, for example, if you are creating a flowchart, a symbol that has more than one item coming off of it will change to a diamond to represent a decision.

You can easily select multiple items on your chart to rearrange and edit them.  The toolset at the left has the standard options for rotating, flipping, and aligning shapes, and the arrows automatically adjust to different corners or the center of a shape to make it more aesthetically pleasing.  You can also cut, copy, and paste any of your diagram pieces.

There are a variety of different images to use – I particularly like the little people you can use in an org chart – as well as options for different connectors and the ability change the color of any of your diagram pieces.

Lovely Charts will save up to 20 past iterations of your chart, so you can always go back to a previous version if you don’t like how something’s turned out.  Once you’ve finished your chart, you can print it, save it to your computer, or export it as a .png or .jpg image for use in another document.  The free version only allows you to have one editable chart at a time, the Premium version (3 Euros/month) removes that restriction, and also allows you to work collaboratively on a chart with others.

They have a nice screencast which gives a quick overview of the different types of charts.  Here’s a quick flowchart I drew up (obviously, I didn’t spend a lot of time on it).  It took me a little brief tinkering to figure it out, but it is very simple and fun to use.  I’m sure I’ll try it for my next diagramming project!

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Possible Library Uses

Obviously, this would be very nice for many internal uses: document workflows, redesigning organizational charts, etc.  I can see recommending it as a resource to patrons for diagramming family trees or for classroom use.  What do you think?

Reviews

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~ by Anali on February 13, 2009.

One Response to “Talking Tech Friday – Lovely Charts”

  1. I’ve been trying to talk to the administration here at ASU about using something like this for org charts. It would be so much more dynamic than a Microsoft Word document.

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