Word bubbles

October 17, 2014

Two more free libraries are now available: Word Bubbles #2 and Word Bubbles #3, both by designer Diana Stanciulescu.

Diana has a great, informal style I think you'll like, so give these a shot and let me know how they look in your own work. In fact, you're probably already using some of her work since she did a custom set of word bubbles that gets packaged directly into the app.

Note that the word bubbles come with their text areas pre-configured to fit within the bounds of the bubble, even if the bubble is oddly shaped. This is ability to configure where a shape's text appears is a new feature in v3.

If you want to change a shape's text position, just right-click the shape in the library and select "Edit Shape Properties" and then click the "Text" tab in the popup that appears. That tab gives you a simple way to control where the text appears in your shape.

Once you've done that, when you start entering text into your shape, it will position accordingly...

Word bubble text positioning example

And of course, if you need to do something crazier, you could always just position text boxes above your shape wherever you need them. In that case, it helps to lock your shape (control - L) so it doesn't get selected while you're moving text boxes above it.

Keep watching the library as I'll be filling in more libraries in the next few week, both free and premium.

Enter the Shape Libraries!

October 15, 2014

I was finally able to get a few of the libraries posted today! Peter Vlk is the first artist to have his shapes packaged for SimpleDiagrams v3. Petr, who did a great set of libraries for version 2 of SimpleDiagrams, is working to update all of his "Vector Doodlekit" shapes for use in SimpleDiagrams v3. Today I posted his entertainment and communication libraries.

I also posted a quick free inventory library, for those of you with warehouses to manage.

What's cool about making libraries of SVG shapes for SimpleDiagrams is that, with just a bit of effort in a tool like Adobe Illustrator, you can set up your SVG shapes to respond to the color selector chips in SimpleDiagrams. Petr has done that with his shapes, so when you use them you'll be able to change the stroke and fill colors and textures to your liking.

The process of doing this is pretty straightforward, and is documented in the help docs.

You can also hook up the stroke weight to the strokes in your SVG, but sometimes shapes look better with "strokes" that are really fills. That's the case in Petr's libraries, so those shapes won't respond to the stroke weight control. Other libraries, like the "Inventory" one I just posted, will.

There are a bunch more libraries in the pipeline which I'm hoping to get out in the next week. Please contact me if you have suggestions on what kinds of topics you'd like to see shapes for, or if you're interested offering your libraries (for free or for a price) to the SimpleDiagrams community.

V3 is finally here!

October 01, 2014

OH YEAH! SimpleDiagrams v3 is finally here. I've just finished getting the new installers built and the new site up and running. Now it's finally ready for you to use.

There are a bunch of new features in v3, including a favorites panel, search panel, shape data, svg shape support, a new UI and lots of other stuff. I hope you find the app even easier and more useful than before.

On the website you'll notice there's a new Shape Libraries section that will host both free and premium library plugins. I'm working on getting that populated and there should be a bunch of new libraries available shortly. (Designers send me a note if you want to offer your own SimpleDiagrams libraries in the Shape Library.)

A special thanks to Aleksey S. and Andriy P., two awesome developers who helped me implement some of the new features in both the application and on this website. Thanks guys!

Meanwhile, you can download a 7-day trial on the download page. I'd very much like to hear what you think.

- Daniel

P.S. Documention. Yes. Yes. Must do it. Must finish the docs. Working on it...