As a freelance technology writer, I find myself often having
to create various types of charts. In doing so, I have discovered that there
are a number of different tools available to help you to create flowcharts.
Here are five such tools.

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Five Apps

1. 1888 Quick Flow Chart Creator

Quick Flow Chart Creator
is a free flow chart application. This particular
application doesn’t really measure up to the paid applications, but it will get
the job done.

The program provides a series of flow chart symbols that you
can place on the screen and connect to one another. You also have the ability
to change the color of the symbols or add text to them.

The program is fine for creating a basic flow chart, but it
isn’t really conducive to high precision work. There don’t seem to be any tools
to help you line up the objects that you place on the screen, so producing a
clean looking flow chart can take a bit of practice. The software could also
benefit from some better documentation, as it took me a few minutes to figure
out how to use some of the features.

2. WizFlow Flowcharter

is a very basic flow charting application that seems to work
really well. This program starts off by asking you to choose a color pallet,
font, etc. After doing so, you are presented with a screen containing a series
of objects that you can drag and drop to create your flowchart.

I found the interface to be very intuitive, but admittedly,
it took me a few tries to get the hang of object placement. The process wasn’t
difficult, it was just a little bit different from what I was used to. All
things considered, this application is probably a good choice for those who
need basic flow charting capabilities.

WizFlow Flowcharter sells for $69.95, but a free 30-day
trial is available.

3. RFFlow

is everything that a flow charting application should be. The utility is fast,
efficient, and intuitive. It makes light work of object placement and a popup
takes all of the guess work out of adding text to an object. The program also
makes it simple to resize, move, or delete objects that you have already
created. The software even includes templates that you can use to create
various other types of charts.

RFFlow sells for $49.00, but a free trial version is
available for download.

4. Novagraph Chartist

is a relatively powerful tool for creating flow charts and other
types of charts (such as organizational charts). Although there is a bit of a
learning curve associated with using this tool, it is at least somewhat
intuitive. More importantly, the tool is jam packed with features and should be
able to accommodate even the most demanding flow charting requirements.

Novagraph Chartist sells for $49.00, but a free trial
version is available for download.

5. Microsoft Visio Professional 2013

Visio Professional 2013
is the flow chart application that I personally use
for my day to day work. The main reason why I use Visio is because it’s built
in network diagramming tools are extremely helpful for some of the books and
articles that I write.

When it comes to creating flow charts (as opposed to network
diagrams or other types of diagrams), Visio is easy to use. It behaves much
like other Microsoft Office applications, such as Word or Publisher. Visio
allows you to drag and drop objects to build your flow chart.

In all honesty, Visio performs almost identically to RFFlow,
which costs a small fraction of what Visio costs. If you only need to create
flow charts, you are probably better off getting RFFlow than Visio. However, if
you need to be able to create a wide variety of chart types then Visio is an
excellent application choice.

Microsoft Visio Professional 2013 sells for $589.99.