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SmartDraw VP Reviewer's Guide


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SmartDraw VP is the world’s first visual processor. Just as a people use a word processor every day to create …

SmartDraw VP is the world’s first visual processor. Just as a people use a word processor every day to create
professionally-formatted written documents of any kind, people use a visual processor every day to create
professionally-formatted visuals of any kind, including flowcharts, organization charts, mind maps, and
project charts.

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  • 1. SmartDraw VP Reviewer’s GuideThe World’s First Visual ProcessorTM
  • 2. SmartDraw VP Reviewer’s GuideWhat is SmartDraw VP and how is it different?Thank you for taking your time to review SmartDraw VP. We appreciate the chance to show you softwarethat is the culmination of many years of our hard work, and that we believe will change the waybusinesspeople communicate in the future.SmartDraw VP is the world’s first visual processor. Just as a people use a word processor every day to createprofessionally-formatted written documents of any kind, people use a visual processor every day to createprofessionally-formatted visuals of any kind, including flowcharts, organization charts, mind maps, andproject charts.A visual processor is just as easy to use as a word processor. Anyone can use it. Drawing skill and graphicdesign experience are not required. You can even create a visual using just the keyboard!SmartDraw is likely different than any software you have seen before, especially if you are used totraditional graphics software (like Microsoft Visio®, for example). In fact, those who are expert in technicaldrawing software or have been using diagramming software for some time, are sometimes frustrated at firstwith SmartDraw. They want to see a blank page and palette of shapes and tools when they begin, since theyare so used to that old paradigm.However, SmartDraw is a product for an entirely different audience—the 95% (or higher) of business peoplewho have never created a visual using any program. The overwhelming majority of Microsoft Office users fallinto this category.Most people know that visuals are a powerful communications tool. Studies support this—it’s been foundthat using a visual is up to 6 times more effective than using words alone. So why don’t more Office userscreate and use visuals?Why is nearly every PowerPoint presentation slide void of visuals, and filled with text bullets that fail toengage, and subsequently bore audiences instead of communicating key ideas and information?Because the existing products on the market, the traditional “graphics software” tools, are simply toodifficult to use and require both drawing and formatting skills, as well as the knowledge of how best toconceptualize, design, and implement visuals to communicate more effectively.SmartDraw VP is the result of years of customer research and usability studies, which consistently showedthat most business computer users are unable to create a visual using the existing tools and “blank page”paradigm. The huge time investment, countless revisions, and unsatisfactory end result made the wholeeffort just not worth it.Given that communicating visually is far more effective than using words alone, we set a lofty goal forourselves: to make visual communication as common as written.To make this possible, we needed to give business users something completely different. Traditional drawingand graphics software were going to have to be replaced by something that did not start with a blank page,that had knowledge of the type of visual being created, and that had automatic formatting and built-indesign to make it easy enough for anyone to use, for the results always to be professional, and for them todo it quickly enough to make it worth their time. 2 1-858-225-3300 ©2011 Copyright SmartDraw, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • 3. SmartDraw VP Reviewer’s GuideThis is why we invented a whole new type of software, which is so different than traditional graphics anddrawing alternatives, that it deserved a new name: the visual processor.SmartDraw VP is $297 for a single license. Registered owners of previous versions of SmartDraw can upgradefor $99.How SmartDraw Makes It Possible For Anyone To Create VisualsAs a first-time SmartDraw user, you can create a professional-quality visual in minutes because SmartDrawdraws and formats the visual for you.Creating your visual is as easy as 1, 2, 3.1. Start by selecting the type of visual you want to create. Do this from the template browser. Because SmartDraw knows what you want to create, it formats the visual for you. You don’t need to know the formatting rules like you do when using manual drawing software.2. Enter your information by clicking customized task buttons in the SmartPanel, or by typing text into a pre-constructed visual. Each type of visual that SmartDraw supports (more than 70 of them) has a SmartPanel on the left-hand side of the screen that provides you with commands specific to the type of graphic you are creating. Many of these commands have keyboard shortcuts. You can often create your visual without taking your hands off the keyboard! 3 1-858-225-3300 ©2011 Copyright SmartDraw, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • 4. SmartDraw VP Reviewer’s Guide3. SmartDraw does the rest, building the visual automatically using built-in rules and professional design themes.SmartDraw support more than 70 different kinds of business visual—each with its own rules built-in.An example of creating a flowchart makes this clear.1. Select a flowchart from the template browser The first step when SmartDraw starts is to pick the visual that you want to create. We pick a flowchart from the template browser. 4 1-858-225-3300 ©2011 Copyright SmartDraw, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • 5. SmartDraw VP Reviewer’s Guide 2. Enter your Information. We enter our information (the steps in the process we want to document) using the SmartPanel. We add the steps in the process by selecting a symbol and clicking an add button. You can add below, above, left and right. For each step we enter text by simply typing. There are also keyboard shortcuts to make creating the flowchart even faster. Use ctrl-arrow keys to enter new steps in the direction of the arrow.3. SmartDraw Does the Rest. As we add each shape, SmartDraw places it in exactly the right location on the page and automatically draws a line connecting it to the previous step. Shapes line up and are spaced perfectly. The colors, line weights and typefaces from a professionally-designed color theme are applied automatically. We can select a different theme from a gallery and the whole graphic changes instantly. 5 1-858-225-3300 ©2011 Copyright SmartDraw, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • 6. SmartDraw VP Reviewer’s Guide This takes just a few minutes. Once we have created the flowchart, we can print it, or copy it into an Office® document (or directly to PDF) with one click on the copy buttons at the top of the SmartDraw window. This is repeated for more than 70 different types of visual – each with their own specialized SmartPanel.Visual Project Management with SmartDrawSmartDraw also makes it possible to plan and manage projects visually, so that they come in on time and onbudget. To estimate how much time a project will take to complete, you must break it into tasks andestimate the amount of time each task will take. A broad task should be broken down into smaller sub tasksthat are easier to estimate. The first step in planning a project is to identify all of the tasks that need to bedone and how much time they are going to take. To do this easily, use a mind map. 6 1-858-225-3300 ©2011 Copyright SmartDraw, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • 7. SmartDraw VP Reviewer’s GuideUsing a mind map to break down tasks also makes it easier to identify them all upfront, instead of half waythrough the project which adds delays. The mind map is also an excellent format to communicate the taskplanning to others.Using SmartDraw anyone can plan a project using a mind map as easily as typing in a word processor. Thenwith one click SmartDraw will convert it into a project chart, so that each task can be assigned and timeestimates added. This is a unique feature of SmartDraw.Use SmartDraw not only to communicate the results of the planning process but actually to carry it out.SmartDraw’s project charts offer real project management, handling hundreds of tasks, dependency,percent completion and other sophisticated features. By providing a view into the status of each task and itsprogress, the entire team has a complete view of the project and their co-workers’ efforts.Use SmartDraw to actively manage the project as well as communicate its status to the team. 7 1-858-225-3300 ©2011 Copyright SmartDraw, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • 8. SmartDraw VP Reviewer’s GuideSmartDraw for PresentationsWhether it’s to win new business or communicate effectively with co-workers, the best presentationsengage an audience with visuals, not bore them with slide after slide of bullets.SmartDraw VP integrates with PowerPoint® to help create career-making presentations in twounprecedented ways. 1. Add any visual to a PowerPoint® slide with one click, including built-in sequencing. Sequencing uses PowerPoint® animation to reveal the visual in steps so that it is easier for audiences to follow. It’s the technique recommended by presentation experts and SmartDraw does it automatically. 8 1-858-225-3300 ©2011 Copyright SmartDraw, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • 9. SmartDraw VP Reviewer’s Guide 2. SmartDraw can be used to create an entire PowerPoint® presentation using its PowerPoint® Builder feature. It is easier to compose slides and move them around using SmartDraw’s PowerPoint Builder than it is with PowerPoint®. Sequenced SmartDraw visuals can be added to each slide. Slides can be added and removed from the presentation by simply dragging them on and off the time line. One click builds an entire PowerPoint® deck. All of the visuals used are stored in the SmartDraw file making it easy to share and update. Users can even make libraries of their frequently used slides to re-use in multiple presentations.SmartDraw and Microsoft Office®Microsoft Office® is the standard tool used by hundreds of millions of businesspeople for word processing,presentations, spreadsheets and email. Almost all of these activities are text-only. Even PowerPoint® is usedprimarily in text-only mode with slide after slide of bullets. 9 1-858-225-3300 ©2011 Copyright SmartDraw, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • 10. SmartDraw VP Reviewer’s GuideWhile Office® includes some primitive drawing tools, they are not extensively used, because they aresimplistic and require manual drawing, which most people find time-consuming and tedious.SmartDraw, with its comprehensive automatic drawing features, adds key functionality to every desktop-functionality that Office® lacks.In addition to the ability to easily incorporate visuals into Word®, PowerPoint® and Excel®, SmartDraw addsthe Six P’s to Office®: 1. Project Management 2. Process Management 3. Presentation authoring 4. People Management 5. Planning and Strategy 6. Specifications Office Functionality Project Process Management Management Word Processing Presentation Word Authoring People Management SmartDraw Planning & Strategy MS Office Spreadsheet Excel Specification Email Presenting Outlook PowerPointSmartDraw Trial and LicensingSmartDraw TrialSmartDraw offers a free, 7-day trial, allowing users to try SmartDraw with no obligation. Once the 7-day trialis over, users can purchase and activate or download a licensed copy from andimmediately continue using the software. Customers can purchase CD copies as well. 10 1-858-225-3300 ©2011 Copyright SmartDraw, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • 11. SmartDraw VP Reviewer’s GuideSmartDraw Single User LicensingInstall and use one copy of SmartDraw on a single computer. Single User Licenses are perpetual and include,free of charge, all maintenance releases for the version originally purchased. Upgrades releases are availablefor a fee.SmartDraw Volume LicensingSmartDraw Software also offers volume licensing to enterprises.Obtaining a Review CopyTo obtain a review copy of SmartDraw VP via download, please send an email request to:reviews@smartdraw.comPlease state the name of the publication in which the review will appear, and include your name, address,telephone number, and email address. We can also provide a CD package upon request. 11 1-858-225-3300 ©2011 Copyright SmartDraw, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • 12. SmartDraw VP Reviewer’s GuideAbout SmartDrawSmartDraw helps companies solve their communication problems. Each year more than three million peopleinstall and use SmartDraw.Information on the WebFor more information on SmartDraw, please visit See the links below for specific areasof interest.Download—Free trial copy of SmartDraw SmartDraw—Buy online or through other methods Licensing—SmartDraw for work groups—See examples of SmartDraw visuals Features—Learn about all of SmartDraw’s major features in minutes Videos—See SmartDraw in action Support—Get your support questions answered by our US-based support team—Read customer testimonials, press releases, and newsletters 12 1-858-225-3300 ©2011 Copyright SmartDraw, LLC. All rights reserved.