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Free Infographic Software
July 2, 2011 1:58 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for the best free software to make interesting and compelling infographics. Venn diagrams, word clouds, bar charts- hopefully a couple of options in order to make good looking infographics. Any recommendations or advice is welcome.
posted by cascando to Technology (11 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
Openoffice at openoffice.org is free and includes a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation creating software. It is just like a Microsoft Office in its capabilities.
posted by Renoroc at 2:10 PM on July 2, 2011


IBM's Many Eyes is free and has a lot of options.
posted by sub-culture at 2:34 PM on July 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


You probably want a vector drawing program, so Inkscape.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:44 PM on July 2, 2011


I have yet to see an infographic that couldn't be done well in Inkscape. I have, however, found lots of problems and annoyances with OpenOffice's graphic export capabilities (even to straight PNG) as well as its automated features like connectors, editable shapes, etc.

The real secrets to infographics are all in your head anyway: Personal experience with data visualization (and perhaps a library of sources to draw on), knowledge of design principles, and the ability to throw a basic story arc together.
posted by circular at 2:46 PM on July 2, 2011


I personally use Visio (open office) a lot, but I haven't compared it to any other graphing software. However its silly expensive. I believe Gliffy has a similar feature set, and its free.
posted by Joh at 3:38 PM on July 2, 2011


Um, when I said open office, obviously I meant microsoft office.
/facepalm
posted by Joh at 3:39 PM on July 2, 2011


I like yEd Graph Editor because it's free and fairly easy to use. I'm not sure how customizable it is if you want to get creative with your infographics though.
posted by kaudio at 3:42 PM on July 2, 2011


Wordle makes nice looking word clouds.
posted by flabdablet at 8:07 PM on July 2, 2011


Just tried IBM Many Eyes - wonderful for word clouds and relationships between concepts. You can take a piece of legislation, for example, and graph all occurrences of "X shall Y" to tease out the main obligations.
I have also been using Tableau Public, at www.tableausoftware.com/public. Also very effective - more data centric and less word-cloud capable than IBM Many Eyes.
posted by blue_wardrobe at 8:46 PM on July 2, 2011


Consider going cloud for quick and dirty graphs:
http://code.google.com/apis/chart/
posted by bystander at 6:10 AM on July 3, 2011


OmniGraffle and OmniGraphSketcher. Mac only.
posted by mohrr at 10:17 AM on July 3, 2011


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