Introducing the Completely Redesigned SmartDraw 2012
Powerful. Easier. Faster.
Completely Redesigned Project Management: Sleeker, Faster, and More Powerful
With SmartDraw 2012 we've completely redesigned how project management works. Now project charts can always fit on a single page and are more manageable thanks to brand new zoom and scrolling controls.
Faster and More Manageable Charts
Managing projects is hard enough without having to fight a complicated software interface or waiting for technology to catch up with you.
SmartDraw works at the speed you think! Because we rebuilt how project charts work from the ground up, even project charts with thousands of tasks or ones that span years are now a breeze to work with.
All project charts can automatically fit on a single page with an intuitive floating toolbar to control zoom, scrolling, and the timeframe displayed. You control the level of detail you want to see!
Better Controls and an Updated Look Make Project Management a Breeze for Anyone
Not only did we make project charts faster to work with than ever, but our improved interface is so easy you won't need a specialized degree to make sure projects get done on time.
With SmartDraw 2012, anyone can become a project management superstar! To help manage even the largest of project charts,a brand new floating toolbar lets you control the level of detail you see and scroll through large charts.
Save Time Assigning Tasks
Once you enter a person's name into a project chart, SmartDraw will add it to your virtual list of team members and offer it to you every time you build a new project chart.
Just start typing and a list of names to select from will pop up. Choose a name or keep typing to enter a new name to your list.
Save Time by Creating Custom Task Libraries
If your team performs the same tasks repeatedly, sometimes within a single project or even across multiple projects, you can save time by taking that group of tasks and saving it to your own custom library. Your library will not only save the hierarchy of the tasks you add, but also the person assigned to each task and the duration of the tasks added. Then, when you want to add that group to a new project, you can simply drag-and-drop it to your chart instead of typing in the same sequence repeatedly.
Announcing Information Hubs: A Powerful New Organization Tool
Hubs provide a quick and easy way to organize and communicate complex information with anyone in your organization, whether it's a new hire or upper management. Instead of giving someone a thick binder full of information or a long laundry list of links, hubs allow you to communicate a wealth of information organized into logical, easily-digestible groupings.
All New Automated Timelines
Create stunning timelines using completely overhauled automatic controls. Events and tasks now line up automatically and never overlap. You can move events and tasks around without ever losing them and control the amount of detail you want displayed with just a few clicks.
Using the brand new floating toolbar, you can control the amount of detail you want to show. You can now zoom in or scroll through a long timeline in just a few, intuitive clicks.
New timeline formatting controls. If you're using the timeline to show milestones for a project, you have the option to turn the visibility of subtasks on or off from the SmartPanel.
No matter how complex your timeline, your events and tasks now line up automatically and never overlap. As you move events and tasks around, they'll automatically snap to the timeline and you never have to worry about them getting orphaned or lost.
Make Better Looking Org Charts Even Faster
Make stunning org charts more easily and quickly than ever by adding photos with a single click. Simply click the Add Picture button in the SmartPanel, and select the photo you wish to add. That's it!
Save Time with One-Click Layout Controls
With SmartDraw 2012, you can change the format of a single box or your entire organization chart with simple, quick-style controls located on the SmartPanel. Split a box into two lines for name and title, add or remove photos, and more.
After having such a wonderful experience with the previous version of SmartDraw I wasn't expecting much from the new version. Mayb e a few new templates, some tweaking of the GUI, a few optimisations... but really, it seemed to be as far advanced as one could hope without simply adding another radically different set of functions in. However, I did find myself very pleased with what I found, but also a little disappointed with what I found still lacking.
Some of the biggest new highlights that impressed me were basically 'upgrades' to already great features, such as the ability to add photos into certain chart types. Charts are, by definition, designed to enable visually-cued learners make easy sense of complex relationships between people, organisations and data... but the ability to add a photo now makes it that much easier to link a face, a location or a product to the data behind it.
The automatic positioning and formatting features make designing clean, easy to grasp charts a snap, but they also allow you to open up those older projects and quickly bring them up to scratch in moment - no need to reinvent the wheel, just upgrade it!
The ability to create custom task libraries, and it's ability to remember people assigned to tasks and offer them to you via an auto-complete popup is, frankly, an amazing time-saver for those who use the charts to organise large groups of people and/or complex tasks in an organisation. Though this feature is one I daresay I will hardly use, if ever, it was very impressive to play with. Key new features that ties in with this style of use very well are the new Zoom and Scroll controls, that allow you to scale your view and the project itself to ensure you see as much detail as you need without missing any key information or cluttering the view up with surplus data. On top of this, I have to say the new library artwork is brilliant, adding a lot more style and 'cleanliness' to the old charts I reloaded.
Overall, this programme is progressing in a way that will keep it at the forefront of it's industry for a long time to come. No other product I have come across gives this much power and flexibility in such a compact format. The new interface is remarkably simple and easy to use, and if you don't know where a command is, a moment of thought and a wandering mouse will lead you to it fairly quickly. If not, the help system is almost as powerful and well-organised as the application itself - a rare thing even with the large big-budget firms out there. My only, and sadly recurring, gripe is the utter lack of integration into other major-name suites, such as Adobe's Creative Suite. Sure, you can do it the hard way, but a simple 1- or 2-click integration - as they have done for the Microsoft apps - would be a huge marketing kudo. Maybe in the NEXT version...
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