Landscape Design Programs for Mac
The top performers in our review are Punch Home Design Studio for Mac, the Gold Award winner; Punch Landscape Design for Mac, the Silver Award winner; and TurboFloorPlan Home & Landscape Pro, the Bronze Award winner. Here's more on choosing a program to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of landscaping software programs.
Your property's landscape is a blank canvas with infinite possibilities. You can add exotic flowers or remove that overgrown tree. You can put in a deck or even a swimming pool. The sky is the limit. However, whatever you do, it's best to do it right the first time. Any mistake could cost thousands of dollars. How do you avoid expensive mistakes?
Landscaping software for Mac can help. These design programs allow you to plan each detail of your yard. You can customize your digital landscape to match your property, which lets you preview any changes you’re considering. With this software, you'll know how your updated landscape will look before you spend a dollar on supplies or tools.
Since updating your property is a major investment, it makes sense to plan. A lack of planning can lead to expensive mistakes that lower your property value. With the best landscaping design software for Mac, you can avoid problems by designing your landscape on the computer in advance.
Landscaping Software: What to Expect
Mastering this software is usually more difficult than most users imagine. Like any new skill, you'll need to learn how to use the program to make the most of it. Once you've learned the program thoroughly, you have nearly unlimited possibilities. You can create practically anything that you dream to be possible.
The programs vary in difficulty. Some are relatively easy while others are overwhelmingly complex; it depends on the design of the software. Among the eight products we reviewed, a few were functional and user-friendly. These were Punch Home Design Studio for Mac, Punch Landscape Design for Mac and TurboFloorPlan Home & Landscape Pro.
Landscaping Software: What We Tested, What We Found
Finding the best Mac landscape design software meant testing the programs ourselves. We purchased all eight programs and spent many hours using them. We created and customized a new landscape design with each program, getting hands-on experience. Through our research and testing we determined that four factors are critical for landscaping software – Ease of Use, Functionality, Content and Help & Support.
Ease of Use
In evaluating the products, we found ease of use to be most important. If a program is confusing due to a poor design, its tools and features are basically useless. Most people don’t have hours to spend on watching training videos. Landscaping software should be easy to use, not headache-inducing.
Most programs were user-friendly. Two in particular, Garden Planner and Garden Puzzle, were by far the easiest to use. These two programs had a simple and organized interface that we could easily use without any prior training. However, this simplicity came at a cost. These programs only have a 2D design layout that limits you from creating a realistic landscape. Even though we highly value ease of use, the best programs also need to be functional.
The best landscaping programs for Mac provide the features and tools you need. They give you the ability to redesign your property specifically tailored to your tastes. A few helpful features include drag and drop, 3D design and a topography builder. Having multiple view modes is also helpful, giving you the option of creating and inspecting your design from multiple angles. With them you can effectively create a realistic design of your ideal property.
The most capable program we tested was Punch Home Design Studio for Mac. It has a wide variety of useful features and tools. We could create any design that we wanted with it.
A large database of objects is important. It gives you more options in creating your design. If you're limited in objects, you can't create a design tailored to your unique property.
The best programs have a database that is not only large, but of high quality. Their objects are developed with realistic graphics, providing the realism that brings your design to life. These programs also have specialty assets, such as a deck or pool, that gave us more options in customizing our design.
Help & Support
Professional landscape design software for Mac should have accessible and effective support. This includes online resources such as FAQs or community forums, as well as telephone and email support. The best products have video tutorials, which are useful in explaining complex functions because they show you exactly what to do.