Lucidchart vs Cacoo
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Cacoo is a web based real-time collaborative drawing application. Illustrations created in Cacoo can be linked to from web based documents, Wiki’s, ... Learn More
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Objects per document: limited
Storage space: 5GB
Extensive shape library
Email / web support
Wireframing / mockups
Visio import / export
Shared templates & images
Confluence / JIRA / Google Apps
Plan For One User
Export Format: PNG only
Sheets Allowed: 25 sheets
Shared Folders: 1 Folders
Shared Editors: Up to 15 users per diagram
Up to 3 users per shared folder
Payment System Free
Free Trial Availability
Cloudswave Editorial Review
Lucidchart Review by Cloudswave
Organization is certainly one of the most important factors when it comes to running a successful business of any type. Whether someone is a solo entrepreneur or heading up a large company, having proper organization at every level is vital. Creating flowcharts for projects, mind maps, and using other types of diagrams and charts can help. Lucidchart is a popular piece of software that currently has more than four million users. Some of the companies that utilize the system include Fidelity Investments, Staples, Mozilla, and Disney to name a few. Large companies are not the only ones who are using the software though.
What Is Lucidchart?
The company behind Lucidchart, Lucid Software, is a Salt Lake City, Utah startup that initially released a public beta of the software in 2008. Over the years, they’ve made a number of changes to the software to help stabilize it and make it even more useful to their customers. It became available on the Google Apps Marketplace in 2010. In 2013, they released their Chrome Packaged App to the Chrome Web Store, which allowed users to work offline and to synchronize their documents.
Who Uses Lucidchart?
Lucidchart has been a beneficial piece of software for people who are in many different sectors simply because it is not specifically geared toward any single field. It is diagramming software, so anyone who needs to create diagrams and charts will find it useful. Some of the ways the software has been used include creating Venn diagrams, business process modeling, floor plans, iPhone mockups, rack diagram software, and circuit diagram examples. It’s useful for creating literally any type of diagram you may need. Large enterprises and small businesses alike have adopted the software, as have non-profits and public administrations.
Many freelancers also like Lucidchart because it allows them to organize their ideas easily and quickly. Creative people will find that this can be a great alternative to outlining project ideas. For example, novelists and screenwriters will likely find the program to be very helpful when it comes to getting their basic ideas onto the computer.
How Does It Work?
There’s no question that a number of businesses are getting plenty of use out of Lucidchart. However, to understand whether the software might be right for your use, it’s a good idea to have at least a basic understanding of how it works. The following should give you an idea of what you can expect when you first start using the software.
You will find a number of different signup options when you are first getting started with Lucidchart. They have different tiers available, as well as a free version for single users. The pricing varies, and it can change, so we will not be touching on the current pricing system of the software. After you’ve signed up, you will be greeted by a page of Standard Flowchart Templates. Some of the templates on the page include value stream mapping, support process, sales process, and a blank flowchart.
After you choose a template, a series of short introduction tips appears on the screen, which will show you the basics you need to get started with the software. Dragging and dropping elements (various shaped boxes) onto the page is fast and easy, as is drawing lines and creating other boxes. You are also able to write text in each of these boxes. While you might only need to have a simple black and white chart, you are able to add different colors and styles. This can help to make the chart more attractive, and to help the various elements stand out from one another.
Another way to make your chart unique is by changing up the shape of the boxes. You don’t have to stick with the standard rectangular boxes. They have all manner of different styles. Again, this can be very helpful for providing more visual interest, and to make elements actually look different from one another so viewers can more easily read and understand the diagram. Once you’ve placed one of the flowchart boxes onto the design space, you can then alter the size by dragging on the corners of the box.
What happens when you create a box, arrow, or other element that is out of place or that you don’t like? It is actually very easy to move the elements around the page simply by dragging them. If you need to delete an element, you can use the ctrl-z command, or you can click on the element and then press backspace or delete.
If you want to create a chart using some of your own images and elements, you can import them and use them in your project. Under “User Images” on the left of the screen, you’ll see a “+” sign for adding an image. Once you add the image, it will be available for you to use. This could be helpful for those who many need to use proprietary images, and those who want to be able to brand their diagrams and charts. Naturally, this is useful for those who will be using them within the company or publicly.
While understanding the basics of the system is actually very simple, there are quite a few different options and features available. The different features are not always necessary for all projects, naturally. However, learning about the different options can make the software infinitely more useful.
Once you’ve finished a project, or even before you’ve finished, you can save it in a variety of formats including .jpg, .png, and PDF. Since you can export .jpg and .png, you can take the projects into image editing programs, such as Illustrator and Photoshop, to add other information or branding. You can also export to Visio if you use that tool as well. The system integrates with Google, Confluence, JIRA, and Jive. Users can embed diagrams in wikis, blogs, and websites too.
Benefits of Using Lucidchart
In today’s world, online collaboration is one of the keys to making a business work. With Lucidchart, people can work together in real time, which can help improve the efficiency of their business. Since it is web-based, it also means that people will be able to work together no matter where they might be. They might be in different parts of the building or on different sides of the earth. As a web-based app, it also means there is nothing to download.
Additionally, it is possible to collaborate with an unlimited number of users at the same time. Granted, the saying that too many cooks spoil the soup may be in order here. It’s a good idea to keep the number of contributors to a reasonable level to ensure quality. Users can connect with one another through comments, as well as a group chat.
When it comes to ease of use, there are differing opinions. Many find that the system utilizes a very simple and intuitive interface. Others have found that there is a bit of a learning curve simply because the software offers so many options and features. Both are actually correct. The basics are very easy to understand. It’s only when you dig deeper into the software that the learning curve expands. Spending a little time with the software should allow most users to acclimate to the interface and environment so they are creating quality charts relatively quickly.
Another one of the benefits of using Lucidchart is the fact that it works with a wide range of different types of devices. It is a web-based platform, and users are able to use Windows, Mac, and Linux. It also offers a mobile web app, and will work with the iPhone and the iPad. This variety makes it possible for users to switch between platforms and still work on their same charts and projects. It makes working much easier, and this has been a big boon to those who have already adopted the platform.
Many have compared this software to Microsoft Visio, and there are certainly quite a few similarities. In fact, Lucidchart is actually compatible with Visio files, and it is possible to import .vdx, .vsd, and .vsdx files. After the user uploads the file, they can view it and make edits right in Lucidchart. It is also possible to export docs from the software to Visio. The company also offers a Visio viewer Chrome extension. A number of Mac users choose to use Lucidchart, since they do not have access to Microsoft Visio. This provides them with many of the same types of features, and it’s a wonderful alternative.
Lucidchart also features enterprise-level security and admin controls, giving you more control over what happens with the users in your organization. The data is transferred using SSL with AES-256-bit encryption, and there are hourly backups at multiple data centers. It also features admin-specified password strength and requirements for the reset frequency. You can upgrade users to admin status to help manage the rest of the users on the system, and it’s possible to set whether users will require an invitation to join the team or if they can join automatically.
The system is easily scalable as well, making it useful for those who are working solo, as well as those who have thousands of employees. As your company grows, Lucidchart can scale along with it.
In addition to working with others in your organization on a project in real time, you can also work with clients in the same manner, provided they also have Lucidchart. This opens up brand new ways to communicate with clients and to ensure that the project is correct the first time through. This has the potential to help you save a substantial amount of time and reduces wasted effort.
Variety of Support Options
Users of Lucidchart may find that they have questions and concerns over how to use the software. Even though it is relatively easy to use, many have found that it involves something of a learning curve, like many pieces of software. Those who have questions are able to utilize a number of different resources to help them get a better handle on the system. Support options include a knowledge base, video tutorials, online support, a forum, and FAQs, as well as email. The forum is a great place to connect with other users who may have had the same types of questions and who can provide answers.
Current Supported Countries
Right now, Lucidchart is available in a number of locations around the world. The supported areas include parts of Asia and Europe, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Japan, Latin America, Mexico, Middle-East and Africa, United Kingdom, and the United States. It also supports the following languages: Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Taiwanese, Thai, Turkish, and Ukrainian.
Is It Right for You?
Should you or your company be using Lucidchart? If you have any need for creating charts or diagrams – once or on a daily basis – the short answer is yes. However, it’s always a good idea to take advantage of a free trial. This will give you the opportunity to check out the various features and tools and to see how they will correlate to your specific needs. Overall, the system has a substantial amount to offer for many different types of individuals and organizations. It’s a quality piece of software that most people will be able to pick up and use quickly. It also seems to be getting even better over time.
No Cloudswave Editorial Review available yet.
Most Favorable User Review
Most Favorable Critic Review
LucidChart is the most impressive diagramming application I’ve seen in some time. I love the way it speeds the development of new diagrams, through features like the pop-up that appears at the end of a line so you can quickly add another shape when creating flowcharts, as well as the ability to set the app’s default formatting for shapes and lines. With other diagramming programs, I can’t even begin to tell you how many hours I have spent selecting and adjusting the formatting of multiple objects. LucidChart does away with all of that, and lets you get down to business.
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Cacoo's user interface is easy to understand and users should have no problem finding their way around this application. A great selection of images and symbols are available and additional objects can be installed from the main website. Diagrams can easily be shared in a variety of ways including comments made on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. Cacoo is one of the few that has a PayPal option for payment. The application is stable, well designed, and provides a great deal of possibilities to those who need a diagram solution.
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Lucidchart Demo Video