User Diagram: Microservices Architecture

February 17, 2016

Stephen Cresswell of GuideSmiths sent an email today saying hello and including an example of how he uses SimpleD. Nice work, Stephen!

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February 11, 2016

Ok, just pushed up v3.3.7. Have at it. Existing users: you should see an update message next time you launch SimpleD.

This version is a minor update...just a couple bugs fixes. Those of you who saw strange error messages with cryptic notes like "collectMissing()" should get some relief from that nonsense.

Ping me if you update and have any issues. Happy diagramming!

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8 Tips for Presentations.

January 20, 2016

Awesome presentation tips by  on Business Insider today. Check them out:

Those tips are applicable to many types of visual communication. 
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Good stuff coming...

January 06, 2016

Ok, enough dawdling. Time for me to get back to work and finish up a pretty cool feature I think you'll like. V3 users will soon have the option to directly access a paid service that provides a massive amount of shapes. I'm talking crazy numbers. You're not going to know what to do with all these shapes. 

Send me a note if you want to be a beta tester. 
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Using SimpleDiagrams in a YouTube video

November 23, 2015

Adam Fowler of MarkLogic uses SimpleDiagrams to great effect in his recent YouTube video:

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Creating SVG's for SimpleD

October 27, 2015

A quick note for those of you using Adobe Illustrator to create SVGs for SimpleDiagrams. When you're saving your illo as "SVG" remember to set the "CSS Properties" pulldown to "Presentation Attributes."

If you pick something like "Style Attributes," the style information will be placed in <style/> tags and SimpleD doesn't know how to handle that yet (should do soon).

Thanks to Allan Zieser for brining up the issue.
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Now featuring grids and snap-to-grid

October 06, 2015

Ok, I admit it. The new features in the latest release (v3.2.33) win the "late to the party" award. Many of you have been asking for a grid and a snap feature for awhile. Well, wait no longer. Download the new version today, get your grids and snapages, and spend the rest of the day being nice to your open plan colleagues.

Note that you can control the grid color, whether it shows on top or behind your diagram, and whether that grid is exported.

To control the properties, just select View > Grid Properties from the menu.

As always, let me know if this feature helps your work or doesn't do exactly what you want.
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New Free Library : Value Stream Mapping

July 23, 2015

Yes, it's time to get your Value Stream kanban-ed, clean-dried and ready-to-go. The new, free Value Stream SimpleDiagrams Library Plugin is just what you needed.

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Version 3.2.14 Released

July 22, 2015

This was a quick update to address some more small bugs, plus a couple small new features. Here's a quick rundown:

Library Background Colors

A number of you wrote in asking "Where's the shape I just dragged into my custom library?" Often the issue was that the shape was black and it couldn't be seen against the library's dark background. This will trouble you no more. Either right-click the library or use the dropdown menu at the top of the libraries panel and select "Library Properties." 

The Library Properties dialog will allow you to set the background color on any library. This is helpful when you have, for example, lots of black shapes and therefore want a lighter background.

So this image below doesn't make much sense, since the white shapes look best on a dark background, but you get the idea. And maybe you like rust colors.

Alt or Alt-Shift to Draw Connectors

Sometimes you just want to draw a connector. You say "dang, just let me draw a connector." Well now, no matter what tool you have selected, just hold down the alt key. Immediately shapes near your cursor will show their connector points and you can start dragging a line from any one of those points.

As an added bonus, hold down shift after you start your line if you want to do a multi-segment line.

Why did it take me so long to get that feature into SimpleDiagrams? 

Helpful Font Up/Down Buttons

Some great user feedback led to some nice font size up/down buttons being added on the properties panel. I hope they make working with your text easier.

Complex Shape Colorizing Rules
If you create a complex shape, sometimes you want the child shapes it contains to change to whatever colors are selected when you drag the shape out. Sometimes you don't. So you can now configure this via the "Colors" tab on your Shape Properties window. You can also set these when you first create a complex shape.

I'll post a video on complex shapes soon, because they're really quite cool. 

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Version 3.2.12 Released (and "Feedback is awesome").

July 08, 2015

Just posted version 3.2.12. For a list of features and fixes, please check out the Product History page.

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Version 3.2 Alpha

June 23, 2015

Horay! I've posted an alpha version for the upcoming 3.2 release. It's only .air right now but I'll probably release the .exe and .dmg installers by the end of the week.

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Some basic shapes for sailing.

May 22, 2015

Well I'm based in Melbourne now and sailing is a big deal here, so I thought I'd put together a quick, free shape library for racing.

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PKI-IO Uses SimpleDiagrams for Architecture Docs

May 17, 2015

Fraser Scott sent me a note recently to mention that he used SimpleDiagrams to post some architecture docs for his open source X.509 certificate management software.

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V3.1 is out....and we're already working on new features for V3.2

May 07, 2015

Writers get to say stuff like "the ink hasn't even dried and I'm already blah blah" after finishing something and move on to some other major project. What do we software geeks get to say when we're on a streak? How about "the friggin' bits for version 3.1 haven't even been sharded on S3, man, and we're already working on new v3.2 features, what's up?!!" That sounds terrible doesn't it. 

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Cooking shapes

April 08, 2015

I was messing around with some cooking shapes in preparation for a tutorial I was working on (the tut is live now in the tutorials section). I figured I'd package these up into a library in case somebody found them useful. 

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Whaddya think

April 01, 2015

I always like to hear what users think about SimpleD. Getting your feedback means I know what features to prioritize, what bugs I've missed, and where to go next with the app. So please don't hesistate to send me a note with your thoughts, complaints and wish lists. Drop me a line at

Also, I've started trying to collect reviews on my Capterra site, so if you have a moment, please add a review:

SimpleDiagrams on Capterra

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It's All About Confidence

March 31, 2015

Helen McCarthy over at Blog With Confidence just released a free guide to creating visual content for your blog.

She included SimpleDiagrams in her list of tools. Thanks Helen!

Get your free copy here:

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Guest Diagram : Predicting Gas Usage

February 15, 2015

This week I received an email from e-Learning expert Matt Grist of Junifer Systems. Matt had a few comments on the software (thanks Matt) and shared a SimpleDiagram he created for one of his online training courses.

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New free library

February 04, 2015

Here's a new library from Diana S. Just some basic shapes with a bit of a hatching on the side. We had to do arrows in each direction since the perspective would be off if you flipped them. 

Do you like this style? Let me know and I'll ask Diana if she can create some more.

Download the library here:

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Version 3.1 aka Roscoe

January 23, 2015

Christmas is past, New Year's is a faint echo, and now three weeks in January I'm here to tell you: Roscoe is coming.

Yes, Version 3.1 of SimpleD is coming and its codename is Roscoe. What does Roscoe mean to you? What could Roscoe possible promise to make your Friday better and more sweeter yet still so tragic after those three donuts you shouldn't have eaten, if only the iPhone wasn't eroding your self will...

Behold. Here's a shortlist of the stuff I'm almost promising. Almost promise. Isn't that obnoxious?

  1. Master tab (finally a way to have one element show up in the same place on all tabs)
  2. More marker styles
  3. Distribute buttons 
  4. Paste in place
  5. Export part of diagram
  6. Better SVG export 
  7. Preview shape on hover
  8. Middle button click to pan
  9. Better font preview
  10. Copy from clipboard
  11. Lotsa bug fixes....

And more. Stay tuned.

And of course more libraries.

And of course more documentation.

But I doubt I'll get to those tutorial videos. Somebody want to help?
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Modern teenager management.

November 15, 2014

An SD user (who wants to remain anonymous, although this could be her ticket to a speaking tour) sent me this example of modern teenager management. The diagram was distributed to all parties involved. Who can argue now that the rules weren't clear?

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Flipping shapes

November 13, 2014

Recently SD user Jon Cavanaugh asked why he couldn't flip a shape in order to get a word bubble to face the other direction.

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Upcoming feature in 3.1 : Marker Pen

November 10, 2014

Andriy and I are working on a simple marker pen tool for version 3.1. Here's the current implementation. I think it looks too much like a dry brush or crayon.

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Using Adobe Shape to Create Sketch Shapes, Part II

November 07, 2014

I'm having fun creating shapes with Adobe Shape, so I thought I'd capture in a bit more detail the steps I'm taking to draw a shape, capture it, and then bring it into SimpleDiagrams.

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Using Adobe Shape to create a shape for SimpleDiagrams

October 28, 2014

I was messing around with Adobe Shape today (only available for iOS right now), which basically allows you to sketch something, take a photo of it and have it instantly converted to a vector image.

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New Feature Sneak Peak: Font Preview

October 27, 2014

Recently a couple of SD users asked for a font preview on the font selector. You all asked kindly, but you could have shouted because, really, what good is a font selector without a preview?! Good news. The feature's been implemented and will be released in v3.1, due out sometime before the new year...

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Word bubbles

October 17, 2014

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

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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.

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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.

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