13+ Chart and Diagram Creation Tools for Freelancers and Others

chartsDo you ever need to share statistics and data? Have you ever tried to explain a complex process or describe a relationship between two things?

Charts and diagrams can help.

Of course, you could just type out your information in a long paragraph and be done with it. But that’s not really the most effective way to share facts and figures if you actually want people to pay attention to them.

Charts and diagrams can make facts and figures more interesting.

You can use charts and diagrams to add visual interest to your speaking presentations, SlideShare presentations, and even in your freelancing blog posts.

To create effective charts and diagrams you need a good tool. In this post, I list over 13 options for chart and diagram software.

Chart and Diagram Creation Tools

The most effective way to share what would normally be boring facts and figures is through a chart or diagram. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools available to help you create attractive charts and diagrams to share your information.

Here are over 13 tools to help you create charts and diagrams (listed in alphabetical order):

  1. ChartGizmo. This tool offers a wide variety of common formats for sharing information. There are a total of ten different graph types to be created. Data can be imported from Microsoft Excel. You can also create flash charts. At the time of publication, ChartGizmo was free.
  2. ChartGo. ChartGo is a free (at the time of publication) online tool that lets you type your information directly into the online interface and create a chart. Choose from four chart types. The finished graph can be saved, shared on social media, or embedded into your blog.
  3. Creately. This diagram creation tool was designed for real-time collaboration, making it perfect for a freelancing team. You can create 40 different types of diagrams and it also has many templates. A limited free version was available to the public at the time of publication.
  4. Diagram Designer. Diagram Designer is a good tool for creating flowcharts. When you have completed your diagram, you can export in several formats including BMP, JPEG, GIF, and more. At the time of publication, this tool was freeware, although the site does accept donations.
  5. DIY Chart. Use this web-based tool from your browser to create charts and graphs. At the time of publication, there was a free account available with limited features.
  6. Edraw. This tool has an impressive number of built-in symbols to give you a head start. You can create over 100 different types of charts and graphs. It also comes with a large number of templates. Various pricing levels are available with varying levels of features.
  7. Flowchart.com. Flowchart.com is a brand new diagramming tool designed for real-time online collaboration. The tool includes chat for collaboration and a clipart library. It’s currently in beta, but you can request an email invitation to use it.
  8. Gliffy. This web-based tool helps you create a huge variety of charts and diagrams. It features an easy-to-use drag and drop interface. Other helpful features include the templates and a library of shapes and symbols. A free version was available at the time of publication.
  9. LucidChart. The drag and drop interface makes this easy to use. It’s designed for real-time collaboration. There’s also a sizeable shape library. Diagrams and charts can be exported to popular tools such as Visio or Google Apps. At the time of publication, a trial version was available.
  10. Microsoft Excel. If you have Microsoft Office suite tools on your machine, you may already have access to some chart and diagram creation tools. Microsoft Excel, for example, can create charts and diagrams from spreadsheets. This tool is a part of the Microsoft Office family.
  11. OmniGraffle. This diagramming tool is available for the Mac or iPad. You can choose from a variety of templates. This has many features of a drawing tool as well, like the ability to create multiple layers. Choose between a standard and professional version.
  12. Rich Chart Live. Choose from many templates to base your chart when creating a new chart. Results can be exported to PowerPoint or flash. At the time of publication, this tool had a free version available.
  13. SmartDraw. This tool can create over 70 types of diagrams. It also includes thousands of templates. SmartDraw exports to many popular tools, which can be convenient. The website also includes number training videos and helpful articles.
  14. Visio. This is the first diagramming tool I learned to use, years ago. It’s still the standard that many other tools are compared to. The newest version includes a co-authoring feature as well as a huge library of templates and many other features.

As you can see, there are many resources for presenting facts and statistics in an interesting and compelling way.

Your Turn

Do you create diagrams and charts for your freelancing projects? What tools do you use?

Share your favorite tools for creating charts and diagrams in the comments.