SmartDraw 2010 has Microsoft Visio Filter and Sharepoint collaboration

Upgraded SmartDraw 2010 has large project management and integrates better with Microsoft tools, which will substantially reduce the Microsoft Visio monopoly, says.

September 16, 2009

SDR 2010 includes a long-awaited Microsoft Visio filter. launched the 2010 edition of its SmartDraw software, with new and significantly-improved, feature-rich functionality that empowers any businessperson to easily turn complex processes into visuals that anyone can understand, the company said in a Sept. 8 announcement.

SmartDraw 2010 functionality "promises to substantially diminish the monopoly that Microsoft Office add-ons Visio and Project hold over U.S. businesses," says The upgrade has large-scale project management capabilities and a new MS Visio filter for importing MS Visio files into SmartDraw for manipulation as a new SmartDraw file.

SmartDraw 2010 versus Microsoft Visio, at a glance

Although Microsoft Visio is dominant with IT departments because of perceived lack of options (especially if users have many legacy Visio graphics), says SmartDraw 2010 is better because:
– For 15 years, the SmartDraw features have been compared to Microsoft Visio-even though SmartDraw has always been more powerful, versatile, easy, and less expensive than MS Visio.
– SDR 2010 has a long-awaited MS Visio filter, allowing import of MS Visio files into SmartDraw. Legacy Visio graphics saved as SmartDraw files easily can be changed, enhanced, added to, so users can "make them what they want them to be."
– Files are easier to work with, faster (5 minutes to create and edit a flowchart in SmartDraw instead of 20 minutes MS Visio), and less expensive.
– SmartDraw requires little or no training, saving IT time for more business-critical IT jobs.
– New features include: Large scale project management; Microsoft SharePoint collaboration; better flowcharting, mindmapping and organizational charting capabilities; Microsoft PowerPoint slideshow animation; healthcare and legal templates.

"Remember WordPerfect? It was the de facto‘word processing’ choice of its day," recalls Paul Stannard, CEO and founder of "Most people were content with it, even if it was cumbersome. Then along came MS Word with its WYSIWYG interface. This allowed everyone to create documents, not just those who knewhow to use WordPerfect. In no time, WordPerfect was history."

Stannard says SmartDraw 2010 "allows anyone to easily manage large projects or to create compelling business visuals while also enjoying increased functionality for a smaller price tag. For 95% of businesses, having SmartDraw 2010 means they no longer need these expensive Microsoft software add-ons that only a handful of their employees know how to use." says SmartDraw 2010 (SDR 2010) has:
– MS Visio Filter: Microsoft Visio users can automatically batch and convert hundreds or thousands of Microsoft Visio files into SmartDraw files within minutes. .
– Intuitive large scale project management: Gantt charts can encompass thousands of tasks. See a percentage of tasks complete. Turn task columns on and off at will, and add more columns as needed. Expand and collapse columns to see the overall project or just a portion. Turn a mindmap into a Gantt chart and then into a timeline with a click-with dates populated automatically. Imports and exports between MS Project files and SmartDraw Gantt charts enables managers whose responsibility encompasses only certain portions of a large project chart to easily communicate progress.
– Microsoft SharePoint collaboration: SDR 2010 users from anywhere in the world can open a SmartDraw file on Microsoft SharePoint, mark it up and share it with others in the cloud.
– Improved flowcharting, mindmapping and org charting capabilities: Now flowcharting keyboarding behavior is improved, organizational chart box spacing is uniform and increases or decreases with perfect alignment. Mindmaps, flowcharts, and org charts now include numerous ways to add boxes.
– Complete Microsoft PowerPoint Slideshow Animation: SDR 2010 allows users to plan, design, and build a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation in a faster, easier, and more intelligent way. Users create the presentation in SmartDraw’s storyboard, with thousands of smart templates, theme slides, images, and special effects. See the presentation at-a-glance before exporting it into Microsoft PowerPoint. When finished, simply click on the Microsoft PowerPoint icon to produce the slideshow, where all images, animation, and text are exported as native Microsoft PowerPoint objects, allowing further changes if needed. says this is a faster way to create a "cohesive, compelling, and stunning presentation."

The company says, "for 15 years, SmartDraw has been the easiest, fastest, and most cost effective way for businesses to communicate visually. SmartDraw 2010 builds on the functionality that 20 million users rely upon, and breaks down barriers that may have previously kept some enterprises from joining the SmartDraw revolution." provides a video of Microsoft Visio-to-SmartDraw 2010 import process and other SmartDraw advantages .

A no-cost trial version of SmartDraw 2010 is available .

Also read an MBT blog entry: One-to-One: Microsoft – Helping the World Innovate?

– Edited by Mark T. Hoske, electronic products editor, MBT