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)