The 9 Best Free Online Tools for Creating Graphs for Marketing Materials [links]

 
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We did the research on this, so you won’t have to.

I set out on a quest to find the best tools out there for creating beautiful and informative graphs for marketing materials. Turns out, there are tons of different tools out there that let you make graphs from your own data. I wanted a way to quantify which ones are the best, so I broke each of them down to five key features:

Usability – How easy and pleasant is it to use?

Customizability – How well can graphs be customized?

Data Input – How well can you input your own data (ease of use, ability to import csv- or excel-files etc.)

Exportability – In which formats can you export the final product?

Style – Do the graphs look good?

Here are short reviews of the X best free tools for creating graphs for marketing materials online, with links! These are in no particular order, if you just want to see the winner, scroll down to the bottom.

 

Meta-Chart

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This very easy graph-making tool takes you through creating a graph in four easy steps, lets you upload csv-files and copy-and-paste data as well as customize the colors, fonts and formatting comfortably. You can download the finished product in several different formats including PNG, SVG and PDF. It’s not entirely without its faults, however. The top of the page is covered with garbage clickbait links to “articles” and the user interface is quite ugly indeed. Additionally, while it’s possible to make stylish graphs with this tool, the default settings are all pretty awful, so it’s up to the user to use quite a bit of time and effort to make it look decent.

Usability: 2/5
Customizability: 3/5
Data Input: 3/5
Exportability: 3/5
Style: 1/5

Final verdict: 2/5 Feels like the year 2005. But it’s free.

 

Piktochart

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This is a very stylish and easy-to-use tool with tons of features and beautiful templates for all sorts of presentations. A large variety of different graphs and the ability to even import dynamic data from Google Spreadsheets makes it a powerful tool for material creation. It does, however require logging in, which probably means that your data is being sold to third parties, if you care about such a thing. Also, lots of features are behind a paywall. The actually useful features of high-quality and PDF exports, watermark removal and custom color schemes require the Pro version, which will set you back a whopping 29 USD a month. That’s basically the same price as a corporate license of an Adobe software like Illustrator or InDesign. For fairness sake, I’ll review this only by what’s available for free.

Usability: 5/5
Customizability: 3/5
Data Input: 5/5
Exportability: 2/5
Style: 4/5

Final verdict: 3/5 The paid version would get a perfect score, but the free version is crippled by restrictions.

 

Infogram

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This, again, is not really a free tool. It’s very easy to use, stylish, powerful and customizable with animations and a variety of ways to input data, including JSON-files and Google Sheets. However, if you don’t want to pay anything, you can only share links to your presentations on their website. To download the charts in any format, you need to upgrade to the paid version which will cost you 25 USD a month. Even then, you’ll have the Infogram logo slapped on your presentations. If you want to remove it or replace it with your own, you’ll have to pay 79 USD a month. That’s more than Adobe’s entire Creative Cloud!

Usability: 5/5
Customizability: 4/5
Data Input: 5/5
Exportability: 1/5
Style: 4/5

Final verdict: 2/5 The fact that you can’t download without paying makes the free version almost entirely useless.

 

Google Charts

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Look, it’s Google. It’s a 100% free and endlessly customizable with a dizzying array of features and options. But it’s Google for Developers. So, it’s not very pretty (unless you’re a CSS wizard) and all its fantastic features and options make for a very steep learning curve. This is an amazing tool for creating dynamic graphs on the web, but you need a developer and a designer to use it and it’s not even meant to be used for marketing materials and sales presentation materials.

Usability: 2/5
Customizability: 5/5
Data Input: 4/5
Exportability: 1/5
Style: 2/5

Final verdict: 2/5 It’s very powerful, but not for your sales pitch.

 

Visme

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Visme is another tool that’s easy to use, looks good, offers a wide variety of templates, features, options and data inputs, but to access everything, you need to pay. It’s not as pretty or as easy to use as Piktochart or Infogram, but it offers pretty much all the same features and you can still make great charts with it, if with a little less style as its competitors. The free version has JPG and PNG download options, but not at a very high resolution. However, if you’re going to pay for it, this one is a lot cheaper than the competition. The most important features, like PDF download, Visme brand removal and all chart options, are available for 19 USD a month, with the full package for just 30 USD.

Usability: 4/5
Customizability: 3/5
Data Input: 5/5
Exportability: 2/5
Style: 3/5

Final verdict: 3/5 Not the best at anything, not the worst at anything.

 

ChartGo

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This one feels like web tools in the early 2000s. It’s easy to use, I’ll give you that, and you can upload your own Excel or CSV-files. It’s completely free, even if there are some ads on the page, and it lets you download your charts in a variety of formats without signing up or paying for anything. In fact, I don’t think it’s even possible to sign up for anything on this site. But, like I said, it feels dated. That means it’s a collection of inputs, in what feels like not a very carefully considered order. It looks like it was designed in 2003 and the graphs it creates look like they were designed in 1999. Just not good enough for sales and marketing materials in the late twenty-teens.

Usability: 4/5
Customizability: 2/5
Data Input: 4/5
Exportability: 4/5
Style: 2/5

Final verdict: 3/5 It’s free and it looks like it’s free.

 

Plotly

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Plotly (or Plot.ly) is an extremely customizable graph maker. It has tons of options and it’s possible to create almost any graph imaginable with it. You can import or input data in a wide variety of ways. However, it’s a little more difficult to use than some of its competitors, so there’s a bit more of a learning curve. It also has a paid option, which will give you access to better download options, among other things. How Plotly really differs from the competition is that it generates your graph as code in several different languages, including JSON, Python, Matlab and node.js. That makes Plotly a very handy tool for creating graphs for apps and websites with a graphical interface. That’s something you get for free. The paid option (which gives you PDF download) can only be purchased annually for 420 USD, which comes to 35 USD a month. That’s pretty steep for an app that only makes graphs, even if it’s really good at it. However good this is for front-end developers, it’s not made with sales and marketing materials in mind.

Usability: 3/5
Customizability: 5/5
Data Input: 5/5
Exportability: 2/5
Style: 3/5

Final verdict: 3/5 It’s very useful, but only if you’re a developer or a research scientist.

 

Online Chart Tool

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This one is free, but not very good. You can only import CSV-files, the manual data input is annoying and the options for visual customization are, well, not very good. It’s easy to use and completely passable for something like a high school presentation, but not a professional tool by any means. It does give you a variety of exporting options without having to pay anything. It has a Donate-button and a couple of banner ads, but nothing too distracting. I guess if you don’t have a ton of data and don’t care about making your graphs look good, it’s an okay tool.

Usability: 3/5
Customizability: 2/5
Data Input: 3/5
Exportability: 4/5
Style: 2/5

Final verdict: 2/5 It’s not bad per se, just not good.

 

Canva

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Wow. Canva isn’t exactly a graph maker, but a versatile tool for creating nice designs for ads, social media posts, presentations, Facebook covers and much, much more. It’s free, ad-free, easy to use, and beautiful. The paid version only gives you some added features like saving your brand settings and more assets, but all the necessary features like PDF download are completely free. The paid version is also the cheapest one out there at a measly 13 USD a month. Canva is flush with beautiful templates to work with and makes editing them very easy. The only real drawback here is the data input. There’s no importing CSV-files or integrating Google Sheets here. You can either add data manually in input fields or copy-and-paste the data in a text field. No idea how well that works. For creating marketing materials for sales presentations, Canva is excellent. Even for free.

Usability: 4/5
Customizability: 5/5
Data Input: 2/5
Exportability: 5/5
Style: 5/5

Final verdict: 4/5 I’m very impressed.

 

Winner: Canva

Hands down. The purpose of this article was to find a tool for easily creating graphs for sales and marketing materials for free. Canva is a fantastic tool for that specific purpose. It’s one of the easiest ones to use, it’s one of the prettiest, and actually gives you everything you need for free. Even the paid option is cheap, if you use it a lot and want to save your brand styles and whatnot. The fact that all the other workable ones are either made for developers or crippled by hiding necessary features behind a pay wall, makes this a non-competition. Canva is the best free online tool for creating graphs (and other graphics for that matter) for marketing materials.

Thanks for reading! If you’d like to learn more about presenting materials, check out our Ultimate Guide to Great Marketing Material for Sales Presentations, my article on Making Better Graphs or these 10 Rules for Better Presentation Slides.

If you have any questions or would like to talk more about sales presentations, feel free to Book a Call with one of our Sales Enablement specialists or shoot us an email!

Mikko Oittinen, Creative
+358 44 271 5515
mikko.oittinen@salesframe.com