Creative/Graphics Apps

Web Apps for PC From Chrome Web Store For Graphics: 

(all free if not indicated differently)

o means a point that is neutral or just information
+ is a plus point
– is a negative point
* is a rating; 5* is best (very good)

  • Google Draw – different opinions/reviews; no UML, SVG-support just for export (“dumb”)
  • Murally – zoomable “walls” for notes, links, text etc.; for online collaboration. Very good ratings.
  • Whiteboard – similar to Murally; very good ratings
  • Conceptboard – also similar to Murally; very good ratings
  • Moqups  – free version has functional limitations; SVG support
  • NinjaMock – excellent reviews; for mockups
  • Cacoo – not very good; de-installed it. There is nothing other apps can’t do and better here. Can do diagrams, mockups and collaboration.
  • Lucidchart – online as well as offline! Free and offers excellent functionality for creating all sorts of diagrams (i. e. activity, UML, mockups, …); Visio import, PDF, PNG, JPG. Unfortunately no SVG.
  • Complementary there is LucidPress, the online online publishing app (for layout and design) that I know: for brochures, flyers etc.;
    it is surprisingly well implemented, quite powerful, with many good templates.
  • Gliffy Diagrams – very popular app, on- and offline. All kinds of diagrams: Org, flow chart, UML etc.
  • pro – incredibly many, consistently 5 star ratings; all kinds of diagrams
  • Cacoo: only 2 – 3 ***
    + lots of symbols etc., all the usual kinds of diagrams and mockups
    + can export several formats, including svg
    – no unique feature, and an eye-wrenchingly colorful user interface
    – only 25 drawings free
  • Pictochart – create interesting Infographics; very good ratings;
    free version said to be a bit limited
  • Prezi – the “classic” alternative to PPT with rotating and zooming links from part to part; Mixture between slides and mind map
  • Emaze – animated presentations
  • FlipSnack – Online flipping books; from PDFs, JPGs or others; awesome ratings
  • Autodesk 123Catch – creates a 3D modell from regular pictures; it needs pictures from all sides of the object.
  • PowToon: ***+
    * Chrome web app
    * free version has limited styles and a logo
    * you can get the premium version for $57/month (or $228/year)
    * premium has 10 Styles, 20 music tracks, no logo, HD download/upload
    + it seems very good for making small infographics and animated videos
    + has a good, broad set of elements and animations for that
    * you might be able to do something similar with i. E. PPT, but without all the built-in elements…
  • Haiku Deck: ***+
    * Chrome web app
    + it is free (beta), doing what it does very well, clean and easy interface
    * exports to PPT (but only as images, so you can’t change the presentation), PDF and Slideshare
    * the idea is: it offers several layouts for the presentations’s slides and diagrams;
    when you type in text, it offers background images from a very large library that fit these words.
    + this actually works very well.
    * there are only some styles available, so there is not much room to influence the style
    + the result is very good-looking though!
  • Photoshop: there is an official free Photoshop version available, CS2 (2005) – PC program, not web app
  • Gimp: very professional open source, free, graphics program (PC, Linux, … not web app); no vector graphics (see Inkscape for that); takes some getting used to
  • SVG-Edit (online Tool): 1*
    Zeichenprogramm. Funktionalität ist doch etwas eingeschränkt; Arbeit mit Text ist fast unmöglich, weil SVG-edit nicht mal Zeilenumbruch beherrscht.

Notes on SVG format:

  • SVG is an interesting format, because it is a very good open source vector graphics format
  • There are many graphics programs that cannot handle svg though.
  • See above, there are some apps that can export (and import) svg
  • Google Drive (Drawing and Presentation) can export SVG; this feature is not much use though, since according to my short test,
    a) Google can re-import its’ own SVG images only as bitmaps,
    and b) even Inkscape cannot correctly handle them. So Google Drive is no good option.

Desktop programs for SVG: 

  • Inkscape is the best option when it comes to a professional, open source vector graphic program; getting used to Inkscape takes some work though
  • Open Office/Libre Office
    can export svg – BUT it cannot edit svg pictures again, just import them as a graphic where you can’t edit the content (just change size);
  • the exported svg graphics can be edited by Inkscape though.
  • Microsoft Office cannot handle svg images at all – neither PPT nor Word.
  • I haven’t tried out the free versions of the office software packets Kingsoft Office (for PC and android) and Softmaker Office, which both get good ratings – with some smaller reservations on the free versions.

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