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Designing your garden with Edraw Max

by Martin de Boer

I watch a lot of BBC Gardeners World, which gives me a lot of inspiration for making changes to my own garden. I tried looking for a free and open source program for designing gardens in the openSUSE package search. The only application that I found was Rosegarden, a MIDI and Audio Sequencer and Notation Editor. Using google, I found Edraw Max, an all-in-one diagram software. This included a Floor planner, including templates for garden design. And there are download options for various Linux distributions, including openSUSE.

Installation

You can download a 14-day free trial from the Edraw Max website.

The next thing to do, is use Dolphin and browse to your Downloads folder. Find the zipped package and double click it. Ark will automatically load it. Then click on the Extract button.

Now you can press F4 in Dolphin to open the integrated terminal. If you type in the commands as listed on the Edraw website, the application will install without an issue.

Experience

From the application launcher (start menu), you can now type Edraw Max and launch the application. Go to New and then Floor Plan and click on Garden Design.

On the left side, there is a side pane with a lot of elements that you can use for drawing (see picture below). Start with measuring your garden and with the walls, you can ‘draw’ the borders of your garden. On the right side, there is a side pane where you can adjust the properties of these elements. For instance you can edit the fill (color) of the element, the border (color) of the element and adjust the properties. I didn’t need the other parts of this right side pane (which included shadow, insert picture, layer, hyperlink, attachment and comments).

Now you can make various different garden designs! This is one of the 6 designs that I created for my own garden.

The last feature that I like to mention is the export possibilities. There is a lot of export options here, including Jpeg, Tiff, PDF, PS, EPS, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, HTML, SVG and Visio. In the unlicensed version, all exports work except for the Visio export. In the PDF you will see a watermark “Created by Unlicensed Version”.

Conclusion

As this is proprietary software, you will have to pay for it after 14 days. Unfortunately, the price is quite high. As a Linux user, you can only select the Lifetime license, which currently costs $ 245. It is a very complete package (280 different types of diagrams), but I find the pricing too high for my purposes. And there is no option to pay less. For professional users I can imagine that this price would not be a big issue, as the software will pay itself back when you get payed for making designs. For me personally, it was a very nice experience to use this limited trial and it helped me to think of different ways in which I can redesign my garden.

Published on: 16 august 2018

A FOSS alternative found!

Thanks to reddit user compairelapin, I have found an open source alternative. It is called Sweet Home 3D and its available in the openSUSE package search. In a future post, I will take a look at this software and compare it to Edraw Max.

Updated on: 17 august 2018