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MyDraw Review: Desktop Diagramming On A Budget
If you're looking for an Microsoft Office styled diagram tool for your Mac desktop, MyDraw fits the bill. It's a far cry from the power and features of Visio but has many other nice touches.
Pros:
  • Mac desktop client
  • Familiar MS Office style interface
  • Lots of templates and objects
Cons:
  • No Cloud version to use anywhere
  • Visio export doesn't always work well
75%Overall Score

MyDraw (formerly known as Nevron Draw) positions itself as a budget desktop diagram tool for Mac and PC.

MyDraw is suitable for everything from flowcharts and organizational maps to floor plans and UML diagrams.

It can be used as a more basic replacement for MS Visio on Mac although it’s nowhere near on the same level.

In this review, we take a look at what MyDraw can do and put it to the test.

Features & Functionality

MyDraw is a vector drawing tool aimed at users of all abilities especially those with little diagramming experience.

The first thing you notice about MyDraw is that the interface looks very familiar. The reason for this is because it’s based on the Microsoft Office ribbon UI. MyDraw therefore looks and feels a lot like a Microsoft products complete with MS Office style menus.

mydraw review ribbon interface

You can even choose the theme you want including skins for Windows 8, XP and El Capitan on Mac (there’s no newer themes such as Windows 10, High Sierra or Mojave though).

MyDraw works on both Mac and PC and both products are identical in functionality – the Mac version isn’t just a pale imitation of the Windows version.

mydraw for mac

MyDraw has a large, varied choice of templates including standard diagrams such as flowcharts and org charts but also desktop publishing templates such as flyers, certificates and business cards.

MyDraw also has a decent choice of shapes and objects which you simply drag and drop into drawings. You can also create your own custom shapes with the MyDraw “Nurbs” tool which allows you to draw freehand.

Like MS Visio (see more on MyDraw Visio compatibility below), MyDraw also supports “smart shapes” which are dynamic diagram shapes based on formulas.

MyDraw helps you format diagrams quickly with Automatic Layouts. This simply involves selecting the type of layout you want such as Tip Over Layout, Family Graph Layout, Orthogonal Graph layout etc.

mydraw automatic layout

One nice touch is that if you want to build a family tree in MyDraw, it can import GEDCOM files which contain genealogical information about individuals and links them all together.

Although there are better family tree applications for Mac that do a better job than MyDraw, it’s fine for just putting together a simple family tree.

You can export from MyDraw to PNG, JPEG, BMP, TIFF, PDF, SVG and EMF vector files. These are also suitable for professional printing (even on billboards) as you can export in high-resolution.

Finally, MyDraw also has a useful Presentation mode which enables you to project presentations of your diagrams direct from the app.

Visio Compatiblity

Since there is no version of Visio on Mac, MyDraw claims to be a viable alternative to Microsoft’s tool for Mac users.

MyDraw certainly suffices as a cheaper alternative to Visio if all you need is to create flowcharts, org charts and other straightforward diagrams.

It’s also pretty flexible with formats allowing you to import VSD files plus Visio stencils in VSX, VSS and VSSX format.

MyDraw can also both import and export VDX and Visio 2016 VSDX files.

mydraw visio import

However, we found that VSDX export in particular is very hit and miss with layers, objects and formatting often messed up.

MyDraw is nowhere near as powerful as Microsoft’s tool and there are in fact far better replacements for Visio on Mac that can do more.

In particular, SmartDraw is a far better option to replace Visio and the only tool on Mac that allows you to export accurately to Visio VSDX format.

Drawbacks

MyDraw is a very decent attempt at creating an Microsoft Office style desktop diagramming tool for Mac but at a fraction of the cost.

However, it can’t genuinely compare to the power and functionality of Microsoft Visio. Although MyDraw offers some of the widest support for importing and exporting of Visio files, the results (especially when exporting to Visio VSDX) are often full of formatting issues.

The interface of MyDraw, while it will be familiar to MS Office users, is also slightly different so it’s easy to get confused between the original Office layout and MyDraw’s way of doing things.

MyDraw is also limited to the desktop version. Nowadays, most diagramming tools are Cloud based which means you can use them in a browser, anywhere. For people who want a strictly desktop diagramming solution for their Mac, MyDraw is great but for those looking for more flexibility, this will be a problem.

MyDraw Pricing

MyDraw for Mac costs $69 which is pretty good value for what you get. The licenses are perpetual and there are charges for major updates according to the developer.

There are volume discounts for licenses of up to 40% for purchasing 20 licenses or more. Students, educators and NGOs can also get a 30% discount on MyDraw products.

There’s a 30 day money back guarantee on all purchases.

You can also try a fully functional trial of MyDraw free for 30 days but it does insert a watermark on drawings.

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