True understanding may be just an org chart away with Dia

screenshot of Dia

It's been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Sometimes we can explain something in words until we're blue in the face–or blue in the fingers, if we're typing it–and still you see that blank stare coming back from your audience, meaning that they just didn't get it. Sometimes a simple diagram is all it takes to show the relationships between entities, or the flow of a process. You can try to draw that diagram on a paper napkin, or maybe you can take advantage of slightly more robust technology.

Dia is a free diagramming tool released under the GPL license. Reminiscent of Microsoft's Visio, Dia is aimed toward slightly less formal uses. Using the included objects, it's fairly straightforward to create flowcharts, network diagrams, and relationship maps. Users can add their own shapes as well. Dragging objects around the screen, adding connecting lines and arrows, aligning shapes, and formatting text will help you wipe that blank look off everyone's faces. You have taken them from confusion to comprehension in short order.

While documents are saved natively to a custom XML file, they can be exported to EPS, WMF, and PNG formats, as well as others, allowing for compatibility with other productivity tools.

Dia is available for Windows and Linux platforms.

Download Dia

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