Humans are visual creatures and it doesn’t take much for us to realize the value in graphing, diagramming, flowcharting, and mind mapping. In other words, there is a time honored and visual way to think.
Mac users can choose from a dozen such graphing and diagramming tools which range from almost free to remarkably expensive and complex. In essence, most of these tools simply rearrange and connect shapes on the Mac’s screen. Shapes does it for less than most.
Drag And Connect Shapes
The very heart of any graph, chart, or diagram app is the shapes library and how the shapes can be connected to create diagrams, wireframes, step-by-step procedures and processes, flowcharts, or layouts.
Shapes is about as basic as a tool can be and doesn’t require much of a learning curve. Shapes helps you to think about problems, procedures, methods, organizations, and almost anything that can be visualized. Drag a shape onto the grid. Assign a name to the shape. Connect the shape to other shapes and order accordingly.
Shapes gives each shape granular controls which include opacity, geometry, fill and stroke, and even custom text. Images can even be dropped into shapes (good for photo flow charts, organizational charts).
Shapes interface is straightforward enough that you won’t need a manual. Each page you create is listed in thumbnail on the left Sidebar. Between the Sidebar and the grid are Text, Shapes, and Images. For example, click the Square to create a box on the grid.
Each shape can be dragged anyone on the grid and connected by lines. That makes Shapes perfect for simple flowcharts, wireframe layouts, diagrams, graphs, and other visual tools.
Shapes lets you open multiple windows of grids and shapes and copy and paste elements between pages.
Fullscreen mode lets you increase the grid page to match the size of your Mac’s screen. But Shapes also has automatic versioning, and stores files in iCloud or anywhere on your Mac. Shapes value is simple. Price and tools. This isn’t OmniGraffle or a professional diagramming app. It’s merely basic tools combined with a very low price in a very usable interface.
There’s no built-in library of thousands of diagramming shapes. Granular controls over each shape are nominal but competent. In short, with Shapes you get what you pay for. If you’ve never used a diagramming app before, this is a good option to start and may last longer than you think.