Grafio – Create visual diagrams and instructive flowcharts

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Grafio – Create visual diagrams and instructive flowcharts

Download Grafio ($7.99)

Today’s app is Grafio from Bulgarian-based developer TenTouch.

Grafio is a universal app for both the iPhone and iPad available for $7.99 and requires iOS 8.0 and higher. There is a free, limited “Lite” version if you want to try it out before committing to the full-featured app.

I’ve been recommending Grafio for years as one of the most enjoyable ways to create visual diagrams on the iPad for such things as flowcharts, decision trees for a client, family trees to map relationships, corporate organizational charts, etc.

Like most iOS apps, Grafio is straightforward to use, BUT it does require a small investment of time to make sure you’re comfortable with the specific gestures and tools in the app.

Grafio does an excellent job of introducing these tools in the “on-boarding” process the first time you launch the app. The one-page “Detailed Help” section is also handy and the pop-up “tool tips” can be toggled on and off.

If you DON’T take the time to get familiar with the gestures and tools, you WILL get frustrated while using the app. Thank goodness there is an UNDO button that I tapped frequently when I first started using Grafio.

You can start a new diagram from scratch or there are a number of examples you can download for free to get you started. Whichever way you start, just start somewhere – you can always perfect it later.

I like ensuring “Shape Recognition” is turned on in Preferences so that when you roughly sketch a shape, Grafio will clean it up and make it pretty.

If you don’t like drawing, you can pull a shape, arrow, pictogram, etc. from the included Library. The free library contains most shapes that a legal professional will ever need, but for another $5.99 in-app purchase, you can get all of the additional libraries (or each library is also sold separately).

To modify a shape, tap the “select” button and then change the color, outline, opacity and shadow of a shape. Once you have two shapes, you can “connect” them by simply drawing a line between them. It can be a simple line, or you can add an arrow and change the thickness, color, etc.

Every shape can also hold text. Simply double-tap inside a shape and start typing. Grafio comes with a variety of fonts, and you can pick the color and alignment. You can even add text on arrows.

One feature I don’t use often is the “audio note” – just tap the microphone and talk away. This can certainly be useful if you’re showing this as a presentation.

The “Duplicate” tool is useful for making additional, identical boxes. The “Eyedropper” tool is great for copying the “format” or “style” of one box or arrow to another.

If you need to zoom or pan around your canvas, tap the “hand icon” to DE-activate the drawing tools and move around.

Lastly, Grafio offers excellent options for exporting your masterpiece. You can e-mail the diagram as an image or PDF, save to your camera roll, or upload to Dropbox.

There is a “Video Presentation” option which sounds great, but it’s only effective if you build the diagram in a perfect order. When I present from Grafio I usually just mirror my iPad’s screen and zoom in on the sections that I want my audience to see.

Grafio will certainly give you an edge when presenting information that fits into a flowchart to diagram.

Download Grafio ($7.99)

5 comments

  1. Alex - July 12, 2016 10:52 am

    Gotta love the graph and diagram templates, they are so helpful! shapes are also super useful. didnt know about the mic icon for talking that seems like a great addition. thx for the advice! I use this with my friends when presenting simple algorithms because its a great way to show them how the program works. However, we have a problem because we cant edit those files and make personal input. Do you know about an app that can convert the PDF when you receive it in an email to some other format so the guys getting it can add ideas and stuff of their own?

    Reply
    • Brett Burney - July 12, 2016 11:23 am

      Hello Alex and thanks for the kind words on the review. Glad to hear you’re using Grafio.

      I don’t there is an easy way for a group of you to edit the diagram unless you all use Grafio. The diagram is in a proprietary file format (.iddz) that can only be edited in Grafio. If you send the diagram in that format to other folks, they could open the diagram on their own iPad in Grafio and edit it.

      If you send a PDF, you won’t be able to edit the original boxes and lines, but they could “annotate” the PDF with notes. They would have to send that annotated PDF back to you to edit the original diagram in Grafio.

      Reply
      • Alex - July 18, 2016 10:34 am

        Brett,

        Thanks for the advice! We tried that but we keep having issues when sending files back and forth in .iddz format, often times things we edited get lost once we start augmenting them further. I guess converting it from PDF to some other format could be a solution or maybe its just a bug with Grafio? Anyway, I hope they will patch it soon.

        Reply
    • Sandra Rodgers - July 14, 2016 5:23 am

      Hi Alex!

      It seems like you do a lot of presentations and in case you need a quick conversion to PowerPoint, you can always convert your files on your phone or tablet with PDF to PowerPoint! Check out our app here:

      https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pdf-to-powerpoint/id908959422?mt=8

      However, I do not know of any tool that can convert back to .iddz or whatever format Grafio is currently using.

      Looking forward to reading more of your articles Brett! Keep up the good work!

      Reply
  2. David Bjornson - August 31, 2016 3:42 pm

    Thanks for the advice! This is very helpful.

    Reply

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