New Software Generates Flow Charts From Spreadsheets

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BreezeTree software launches FlowBreeze 2.0, an Excel add-in that creates flow charts from text.

BreezeTree Software announced today that it has released FlowBreeze 2.0, a flowcharting tool for Microsoft Excel. With FlowBreeze 2.0, users of Microsoft Office will now be able to layout the flowchart content in plain text then create the flowchart with an easy to use automation tool.

The new Text-To-Flowchart Wizard allows users to enter the text into Excel worksheet cells in the approximate layout the final flowchart will take. At the click of a button the text is loaded into a form that allows the user to set symbol types, formatting styles and connector routings. The Wizard then creates a flowchart with all the proper symbols, text and arrows. Minor layout adjustments are often necessary, but the amount of time to create a flowchart is cut dramatically.

In addition to the Text-To-Flowchart Wizard, users can make flowcharts by interactively typing text into a worksheet. FlowBreeze will grab the text and replace it with an appropriate flowchart symbol, apply preset styles and add a connector from the previous symbol.

The core of FlowBreeze is its text-to-symbol engine. It works by allowing users to associate keywords with symbol types. Users can also preset numerous rules to set styles, choose connect types and formatting and autosize symbols.

"Many of our customers own licenses for other, more expensive flowcharting products. They choose FlowBreeze because of the time savings," said Nicholas Hebb, founder of BreezeTree Software. "We get feedback customers all the time that FlowBreeze pays for itself it in the first day. That sends an incredibly strong message to us that we've tapped a new frontier in flowcharting -- productivity."

Most flow chart software works via the drag and drop paradigm. The users drags the shape, types the process step, then manually adds the arrow. Applying any custom formatting can be a time consuming, wrist-aching exercise in mouse clicks. With FlowBreeze, all that functionality is automated.

FlowBreeze leverages the Drawing Tools in Microsoft Excel, with 124 symbol types and multiple connector types. It emulates the attractive styles offered in Excel 2007, allowing those styles to be used in Excel 2003, Excel XP (2002) and to some extent Excel 2000. Global styles can be changed and applied at the click of a button.

By leveraging the power of Microsoft Excel, FlowBreeze lets users combine data and diagrams in a single package. With the Extract Text feature, users can output the process steps to the worksheet and tabulate process metrics on the same sheet. Files are saved as standard Excel files, and anyone with Microsoft Office can edit, share or maintain the flowcharts created with FlowBreeze.

To further enhance productivity, FlowBreeze ships includes 120 flowchart templates quicker flowchart creation of cross-functional swim lanes, title blocks, and block diagrams. With the new picture export feature, users can save flowcharts, and Excel spreadsheet contents, in multiple picture formats for use in process documentation, training manuals, help files or web sites.

About BreezeTree Software, LLC
BreezeTree Software, LLC (http://www.breezetree.com) was founded in 2005 with the mission of providing productivity tools for quality management. BreezeTree Software, headquartered in Sherwood, Oregon, is also working toward the release of process mapping and value stream mapping edition of FlowBreeze in the near future.

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NICHOLAS HEBB
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