Flowcharts are a useful way of communication to describe workflows, processes, etc. Aren't they? But time is limited and sometimes we need to create them quickly. But wait a minute, we also need to show them to our audience and a quick and dirty solution may not look elegant. So we need to create them both quickly and elegantly. As with every other task we need to pick the right tools. Graphesent Anim software is one of the tools that are specifically designed for fast and beautiful creation of diagrams such as flow charts, mind maps, etc. One of the most interesting features of Graphesent Anim is that although the user decides the position of the elements, the software completely removes the task of routing connections from the user's responsibilities and therefor saves a lot of time and mental energy from the user. The routing of connections is done automatically by the software but when the user moves an element, the software automatically reroutes the connections so it is hybrid approach.
The first step is to install Graphesent Anim. Graphesent Anim comes with free 7-day trial and you can download it from here. You need a Windows PC or laptop with Windows 7 or higher for that. The installation is pretty straight forward. Once you finished installing the software start Graphesent Anim and click on "Use evaluation mode" button.
One of the good things about Graphesent Anim is that it comes with a sample which helps you get started with the software very quickly. When you run the software for the first time, it asks you whether you want to open the sample. Choose yes and continue. If you have already chosen no, you can open the sample from the "File menu -> Open Sample Graphesent book". Play with the sample for 10 minutes and I'm sure you will find most of the basic settings. In particular try moving elements, changing the color of elements, adding new element by dragging from the arrow at the side of an existing element, or dragging an element from the multi-panel at the bottom of Graphesent Anim. Also try switching to different pages. Please note the symbols used in the following screenshot does not necessarily follow the formal notation of flowcharts.
Now that you have been used to the software a little bit, let's create a new document (Graphesent Anim documents are call Graphesent books). From the "File menu" choose "New Graphesent book".
Depending on your audience you might choose the formal notation for flowcharts or not. At the end of the day you want to choose a notation that your audience understands the best. In this tutorial we do not restrict our selfs to the formal notation for flowcharts but if you want to find out more about formal notation for flowcharts visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flowchart or the ISO 5870 standard.
Flowcharts usually start with a start symbol (Flowchart symbols are called elements in Graphesent Anim). At the bottom of Graphesent Anim there is the multi-panel (highlighted in the image below). The multi-panel consists of 6 panels that only one of them is active at a particular moment. You can change the active panels by the 3 buttons at the bottom left corner of Graphesent Anim and the 3 buttons at the bottom right corner of Graphesent Anim. The second panel is called the elements panel and is he active panel when you start Graphesent Anim. Drag an element from the element panel to the drawing area for the start symbol (Please note that in the formal notation of flowcharts you need to use a specific symbol for the start symbol). Once you drop the element on the drawing area you can immediately change the text of it by typing on the keyboard. If you want to change the text later, in the general panel (the first panel), there is a text box that allows you to change the text of the selected element. You can resize the element by dragging on the sides of the rectangle around it.
When an element is selected some arrows are shown around the free sides of the element which you can use to drag from them to create a new element and have the previous element connected to it. You can immediately type the text for the new element. This way you expand you flowchart very quickly. Please note that the routing of connections are done automatically in Graphesent Anim.
In Graphesent Anim you can apply different colors and gradient styles to the elements using the color panel (the last panel).
Graphesent Anim comes with a lot of advanced features which you can learn more about them in the user's manual for Graphesent Anim .
Thank you for reading this how to tutorial.
If you didn't like Graphesent Anim, you might try Microsoft Visio or Lucidchart. While Microsoft Visio has been around for more than 20 years, Lucidchart takes a web-based approach to the problem which you might or might not like.
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