If you’re looking for a way to jazz up your organization’s reports,
newsletters, web pages and other publications, what about a chart? Not
just the usual boxes and arrows with plain-Jane text labels, but something more
of an eye-catching illustration —
You may have noticed the whimsical flowchart I used the other day to illustrate the PDF newsletter production process of the small nonprofit looking for good free PDF tools. It was made with Lovely Charts,
a drag-and-drop online drawing tool that lets you create some pretty
spiffy-looking organizational maps, flowcharts, sitemaps, and almost
anything else you might want to communicate as a diagram.
- Drag and drop
elements in your chart and double-click on labels to customize the
- A toolbar up top lets you change fill and outline colors, arrow
styles, and a few basic text style options.
- There’s no way to group elements together to prevent accidental
movement when you’re tweaking your layout, but clicking on the padlock
icon with an object selected will toggle a position lock on and off,
which is almost as useful.
- Other buttons let you easily adjust layers so elements can be sent
to the back or brought to the front, allowing them to be displayed
overlapping as, for example, I did with the little figures representing
various people at the nonprofit and the icons representing the PDF
files each person was responsible for submitting for the newsletter.
The free version of Lovely Charts has a fairly discreet credit line
added automatically to the lower right corner when you export your
finished chart — you can see it on the sample I made — and that’s a
condition of use. To remove it, you’ll need to upgrade to the premium
version for 29 euros/year. With the free version, your export options
are JPG and PNG formats, which you can then use on your blog or
website, in your newsletter, or anywhere else you might want to use a
graphic. The paid option lets you import your own images to use in
charts, export your work directly to a PDF, save an unlimited number of
diagrams on the Lovely Charts site, add comments, and share and
collaborate with others.
To learn more or give it a try, free, visit LovelyCharts.com.