SmartDraw 2008: The Right Tool for the Job?

The makers of a new business graphics app claim that it's the <b>Right Tool for the Job</b>. But is it really possible for the average user to create top-notch professional business graphics in minutes? Graphic designer <b>Kirk Starr</b> puts SmartDraw 2008 to the test.

The Job

Professional graphic designers like Kirk Starr charge a lot of money to make business presentation materials look great. But what if there's no room in your budget to contract a designer? The makers of SmartDraw 2008 claim this app grants anyone the ability to create top-notch business graphics in minutes.

The Tool

SmartDraw 2008 is a business graphics creation tool. It's basically a drawing program that feels like an office program and integrates well with Word, Excel and PowerPoint. What's more, it does all of the hard work for you and updates data in real time. From charts and diagrams to maps and certificates, SmartDraw can help you ace the presentation and save you time in the bargain.


We asked Kirk to put SmartDraw 2008 through its paces and tell us if it's the Right Tool for the Job. Here's a summary of what he found. SmartDraw's strengths include:
  • Familiar Microsoft Office-like interface
  • Expansive library of templates
  • Very easy to use
  • Live Maps
  • Exports as PDF
SmartDraw's weaknesses include:
  • Full install is 3GB
  • Live Maps limited to US only
  • PDFs exported are not editable
The Right Tool for the Job?

According to Kirk, he began his assessment of SmartDraw with "a good deal of skepticism, but came to find that in nearly every case, this little drawing program delivered on its promises. Charts, diagrams, timelines, maps, layouts - even flyers, calendars and certificates - were all a done in a snap. SmartDraw 2008 is The Right Tool for the Job."

Read Kirk's comprehensive screenshot review of SmartDraw 2008.