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Using OpenOffice.org Draw to draw Diagram

Filed Under (How-to Guide, Software Guide) by kimloon on 25-07-2009

Is there any free software out there can be used to create professional looking diagram?

Recently, I need to draw block diagrams for some presentations and reports. I began to explore using the free vector-based diagramming program OpenOffice.org Draw to create such diagrams.

I have used other expensive vector-based diagramming program before. Comparing to these programs, OpenOffice.org Draw produces professional looking diagrams to be pasted in the documents or presentations without the money cost involved.

In general, I find that OpenOffice.org Draw is quite easy to use. It took me some time to get myself familiar to the new interface. This software calls its functions differently. For example, instead of “order”, it is called “arrange” for deciding which item to be in front or at the back.

Other the naming difference, there are very few difference as compared to other vector-based diagramming software.

OpenOffice.org Draw, being part of the suite, provides easy export to Adobe PDF files. This allows us to easily put these files in the public domain without the worry that other would modify it.

There are also some areas which I think the OpenOffice.org Draw can improve on.

One area is the lack of “single click to rotate 90 degree” function. OpenOffice.org Draw does provide the free hand rotate function. But sometime, we do need to rotate the object at 90 degree for alignment. It would be some issue for people like me who has poor sense of alignment.

Overall, OpenOffice.org Draw is a very useful and easy to use vector-based diagramming program without the money cost. It has helped me to produce professional looking diagrams.

OpenOffice.org suite is available for free downloading at http://www.openoffice.org/

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