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Pencil Project

Single-user mockup / wireframing / diagramming tool

  • Mac
  • Windows
  • Linux
  • PortableApps.com
Avg rating of 2.7 (3)| 7 comments

What is Pencil Project?

Pencil is a standalone app that lets you create diagrams or UI mockups. It doesn't have collaboration/multi-user features.

The Pencil Projects unique mission is to build a free and opensource tool for making diagrams and GUI prototyping that everyone can use.

Top features: Built-in stencils for diagraming and prototyping Multi-page document with background page Inter-page linkings! On-screen text editing with rich-text supports Exporting to HTML, PNG, Openoffice.org document, Word document and PDF. Undo/redo supports Installing user-defined stencils and templates Standard drawing operations: aligning, z-ordering, scaling, rotating... Cross-platforms Adding external objects Personal Collection Clipart Browser And much more...

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Pencil Project Screenshots

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Pencil Project information

  • Developed byEvolus
  • LicensingOpen Source (GPL-2.0) and Free product.
  • Written in
  • RatingAverage rating of 2.7
  • Alternatives79 alternatives listed

Supported Languages

  • English

GitHub repository

  •  8,529 Stars
  •  725 Forks
  •  494 Open Issues
  •   Updated
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Our users have written 7 comments and reviews about Pencil Project, and it has gotten 391 likes

Pencil Project was added to AlternativeTo by holch on and this page was last updated . Pencil Project is sometimes referred to as Pencil.

Comments and Reviews  Post a comment/review

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LexDWeb
  
Top negative comment ago
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Tried to install on Mavericks, it wouldn't open and just crashed. Sad

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-4
MasterZosh
Comment ago
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Big new update v3.1 was just published on New Year's day, first one since 2019! https://github.com/evolus/pencil/blob/master/RELEASE/RELEASE-NOTE-311.md

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0
theedev
  
Review ago
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Positives:

  • It is capable of most things that other software like XD or Figma can do
  • It is open source
  • It can be extended with collections and such
  • It lets you edit things like images on the fly using whatever program you want, and it works well

Negatives:

  • The difference in polish between it and other solutions are beyond astronomical
    • you can't measure distances
    • snap lines (midpoints and such) only show when dragging and dropping, not when using the keyboard
    • things like shadows or round corners are only available through either plugins or code
    • almost everything else needs either a plugin (or part of a collection) or to be coded
  • At the time of writing this, the project's last commit was in october, it's been almost 6 months since their last commit
  • Adding to the commits issue, the software itself needs a ton of love and and even more work to make it abstract enough for people who want to do something other than program their designs.

TLDR; the program is nice if you like spending hours coding shadows and round corners onto your rectangles.

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1
ianmiller
Comment ago
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Free and open source, save any group of objects as a template, link together objects and screens to create quick wireframe prototypes, and it has an open source model for icon sets/UI elements. What's not to love.

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5
nikolakovaevi
Comment ago
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First of all, "official website" link is wrong. I wanted to update it but there are already pending changes.

Correct link is: http://pencil.evolus.vn/

Order of events:

  1. Evolus creates and updates a great tool up to version 2.0.5.
  2. Development seems to stall.
  3. Another chap forks and continues development using the same name and continuing version numbers: https://github.com/prikhi/pencil
  4. This chap (as of this writing) hasn't updated it in 4 months.
  5. Evolus introduces new version 3.0 still in beta and puts their code in github as well (link on their site)

Chap that forked should have changed the name and restarted version numbers not to confuse anyone.

I've tested 3.0 beta 2 and it works well in portable mode (installs in user local data) and doesn't need admin access. Save, open, export functionality works well even with multiple pages. You can't copy/paste out of it as it uses own XML data format. To integrate to other tools you must export (to PNG). I use it for quick sketches. When necessity calls for quality and precise drawings, I use LibreOffice Draw and GIMP.

Few bad things about 3.0 beta 2 is that install is super silent and quick because it doesn't meed permissions, so there is no uninstaller. In local user folder program/data is stored in ".pencil", "AppData\Local\Pencil" and "AppData\Roaming\Pencil". Shortcuts to be manually deleted as well.

[Edited by nikolakovaevi, July 15]

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9
yaziderman
Comment ago
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Does pencil evolus support right to left languages?! Can we change the direction of the shapes, tables to be from right to left?!

1 reply
nikolakovaevi

This is not a support site for products. I've personally tried RTL functionality in Pencil and seems fine to me. If you want to provide developer feedback I suggest you go to their site.

Reply written ago

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-8
thesavo
  
Review ago
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apt-get install iceweasel first. Then install the deb with dpkg -i package.deb

[Edited by thesavo, January 16]

1 reply
Seth

This seems more like a comment that an actual review, maybe a mod can move it over.

Reply written ago

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-6

Tags

  • Diagram Editor
  • electron

Lists containing Pencil Project

Best of MAC Software •  Favorites •  Prototyping & Design •  myList

Pencil Project platform details

Linux

Available as Debian (.deb) and Fedora (.rpm) packages, as well as a generic tarball.

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