ConceptDraw's Pro 9 diagram and presentation software promises to help you create diagrams, charts, and more even if you have the artistic abilities of a toddler.
By James E. Gaskin
September 17, 2013
A technical genius unable to communicate clearly is just another nerd confusing the civilians. Visual communications cut through acronyms, technical terms, and convoluted syntax. While a blank page may scare people who claim they have no artistic ability and can barely draw a stick figure, ConceptDraw’s Pro 9 diagram and presentation software can help you create illuminating diagrams, charts, maps, computer networks, flow charts, organization charts, and SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) analysis displays faster and better than you could draw them by hand, even if you had talent.
Installation and Setup
We downloaded the 21-day free trail software bundle that included Pro 9, as well as MindMap 7 and Project 6 from the ConceptDraw.com website. Installation into Windows 8 was straightforward, although there were a fair amount of updates to apply, as if the downloaded file was the exact same as the boxed version that ships on disc rather than an up-to-date compilation.
Our software included dozens of templates in the library, each of which included a handful to hundreds of objects to place in our drawing. ConceptDraw also uses the Solution Park portion of their website, accessed through the Solution Park tab in the program, to update libraries and add new ones. For instance, if your business is more outside than in, you might want to download the Nature pack that includes samples, templates, and libraries of vector graphics clipart of geography and weather.
Using Pro 9
The opening screen of Pro 9 looks a bit like a diagram. You can uncheck the box to skip this diagram intro in the future you want (see the checkbox by the cursor).
We first checked out the Samples and Templates option and opened the program to see a long list of templates on the left, contextual help and descriptions on the right, and thumbnails of the sample objects in the middle. The Computers & Networking template is highlighted in this screenshot. The highlighted template on the top left of the center section, Active Directory Diagram, includes a handful of samples in the bottom portion of the center area.
Since tracking Active Directory information often gets skipped because it’s tough to keep current, we selected the Active Directory Diagram sample and moved it to the center work area. We edited the text of the headline to “Active Directory – Acme, Inc.” as an example of preparing a customer document.