SmartDraw Cleans Up on Network Diagrams

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SmartDraw Cleans Up on Network Diagrams

by Cameron Sturdevant

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SmartDraw 2010 makes it easy to build and then export complex, visually oriented slide content to Microsoft PowerPoint.

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More Office Integration

SmartDraw diagrams can be exported in a wide variety of formats including PDF, Word and Excel. This made it easy to embed my diagrams in other types of files to help illustrate the content that I was discussing.

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SmartDraw comes with a multitude of templates that can be used as a basis of a presentation. Here you see a small sample of the presentation templates that I used in my tests.

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I used the bulk import feature to bring network diagrams that I've created over the years in rival Microsoft Visio into SmartDraw. As you'll see in a moment, there were mixed results.

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Here is an equipment diagram I created in Visio. I was clearly enamored of bracketed captions and element labeling in the story about green IT. You see technical and building elements labeled throughout the diagram. See the next slide for a look at the import result.

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SmartDrawAll of the important drawing elements—with one exception, the storage in both racks—were imported in the correct location. However, many of the captions got mixed up in the translation from Visio to SmartDraw.

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Cause of Death

Here you see a multisegment bar chart that illustrates the leading cause of death in the United States from 1950-2000. Notice in the inset (lower right) that I'm able to select a segment by clicking on it and then use the drag bars to change the value. Probably better to do this in a forecasting—not statistical—reporting chart.

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