Create and Share Flow Charts with LucidChart

Last Updated Dec 18, 2008 9:28 AM EST

lucidchart.jpgI've long been a fan of Gliffy, a fantastic online diagram tool that's like Microsoft Visio in your browser, only free. Now it has a bit of competition in the form of LucidChart, a similar browser-based tool that lets you whip up flow charts in a flash.

LucidChart works in just about any browser and requires not so much as a Flash plug-in. In fact, you can start using the service without even registering. Its interface is pretty self-explanatory to anyone familiar with Visio: Just drag and drop objects from the various shape collections to your workspace, then arrange them to your liking. You can also upload your own images to include in your chart.

Unlike Visio, LucidChart lets you collaborate in real-time with other users, complete with group chat for live interaction. When you're done, you can turn your chart into a public or private Web page, e-mail it to others, turn it into a JPEG or PDF, or embed it in your site.

A free LucidChart account nets you 5MB of storage space and nearly all the features of a Premium account, which costs $50 per user per year. The company has a couple videos showing LucidChart in action, but you'll have to click through to see them. [via MakeUseOf]
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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.

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