Mac Landscaping Software Review

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Why Do I Need Mac Landscaping Software?

Drive down any street in practically any neighborhood and you can tell which homeowners spent time planning their home’s landscape and which ones simply strolled through the local nursery and chose plants and trees because they were cheap or they were the right color. Taking the time to plan the layout of your yard ensures that it will be a place you’ll want to spend time in and will be proud to claim. If you don’t plan, you’ll end up with, at best a poorly-organized landscape and at worst, costly repairs when that tree you purchased on a whim ends up sending roots into your basement or damaging the house’s roof because it was planted too close to the building.

Mac landscaping software is an inexpensive and labor- and back-saving device that provides the designer with tools such as:

  • Import photos of your home to design new landscape features around your house.
  • View completed projects by day, night or season.
  • Mac landscaping design software can help you choose the correct plants for your climate.
  • Change your mind as often as you like while planning your landscape—without breaking a sweat.
  • Watch your landscape design grow and mature using landscape software—see how the trees look five, ten, even twenty years from now.
  • Most software packages incorporate sprinkler placement planning to address the irrigation needs of your landscape.
  • Many offer design ideas for decks, fencing, pools, gazebos and even basketball courts.

On this site, you'll find landscaping articles, and comprehensive reviews to help you choose the Mac landscaping software package that best fits your needs. At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don't Have To.™

Mac Landscaping Software: What to Look For

Exceptional Mac Landscaping Design Software offers the tools and support you need to learn how to quickly and easily use the program. These are the specifications TopTenREVIEWS used to compare the different software packages:

Feature Set
The feature set is the designer’s toolbox although, a larger set of tools isn’t necessarily better. Look for Mac landscaping software that has the selection of features you need to create the landscape you envision.

Ease of Use
The software should be easy to use and the controls simple to find and understand. Intuitive controls will be the difference between successful Mac landscaping design software and a product you'll quickly relegate to the shelf out of sheer frustration.

Ease of Installation
Look for Mac landscaping software that is simple to install and allows for easy image imports and exports. Also keep in mind that a landscape design programs should feature a large catalog of plants and materials along with a hardiness zone map so you can pinpoint what you want and be assured that it will flourish in your area.

Help Documentation
Landscape software should have good online help consisting of a help index, tutorials, FAQs and support forums along with help menus or other help options. Video tutorials are very useful in explaining complex functions because they simply show you exactly what to do.

Be sure to read our review of the #1 Mac Landscaping software, Punch! Home & Landscape Design Studio. If you’re working on a PC, be sure to check out our other Landscaping Software reviews site.

 
 
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Rank #1#2
10-9  Excellent
8-6    Good
5-4    Average
3-2    Poor
1-0    Bad
Punch! Home & Landscape Design Studio SketchUp
Punch! Home & Landscape Design Studio SketchUp
Reviewer Comments Read Review
Read Review
Lowest Price
Visit Punch! Home & Landscape Design Studio
$59.99
Visit SketchUp Pro 7
$495.00
Ratings
9.38
9.13
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
9.38
9.38
9.38
9.38
9.38
8.75
9.38
8.75
 
Architectural-Grade Product
Available
 
Version Punch! Home Design Studio Pro  
Price $249.99  
Features
Video Tutorials
2D Design
 
2D Photo Import
Print 2D
3D Design
3D Object Editing
3D Object Import
3D Walkthrough
3D Flyaround (aerial views)
3D Plants
Print 3D
Set Camera View Angles
Wireframe Views/Glass House Views
 
Lighting Simulation
 
Shadow Simulation
Plant Encyclopedia
 
Hardiness Zone Maps
 
Plant Object Library
Plant Editor
Plant Search
Plant Growth Simulation
 
Freeform Tool
Topography Designer
Deck Designer
 
Fence Designer
 
Pool, Pond Designer
 
Deck Templates
Pools
Ponds
Hot Tub/Jacuzzi
Sheds
Gazebos
Trellises
Driveways, Sidewalks
Ramps
Stairs
Railing
Sprinklers
Retaining Walls
Outdoor Furniture
Print Shopping Lists
 
Cost Estimation
 
Import Files
3D Files
DXF (AutoCAD)
DWG (AUTOCAD)
2D Files
BMP
JPEG
PNG
PDF   
TIFF  
Export Options
3D Files
DXF ( AUTOCAD)
DWG (AUTOCAD)
.WRL (VRML)  
.SKP (SketchUp)  
.KMZ (Google Earth)  
.OBJ  
.XSI (SoftImage)  
2D Files
 
JPEG
BMP
PNG
EPS
PSD
 
PDF
Support/Documentation
Video Tutorials
Paper Manual
 
Downloadable Manual
FAQ
Community Forums
Phone Support
 
Email Support
Recommended System Spec
OS Mac 10.4.11 or higher Mac 10.4.x or higher
Processor (CPU) G4 or higher G5 (2GHz or higher)
Memory (RAM) 256MB 2GB
Video Memory 32MB 512MB
Hard Drive Space 5.3GB 500MB
Display Resolution 1024x768 1024x768
Display Millions of colors Millions of colors
Optical Drive DVD-ROM  
QuickTime   5 or higher
Requires Internet to utilize some features  
 
Mac Landscaping Software: Head to Head

When it comes to Mac landscaping software, there are two main competitors: Punch! Home & Landscape Design Studio and SketchUp. Each one of these applications will give you the ability to completely plan your yard before you do any physical work – preempting problems and delays that could arise. Using Mac landscaping software is a great way to get your home looking the way you want in a reasonable amount of time.

When it comes to aesthetic appeal, both Punch! Home & Landscape Design Studio and SketchUp are very well designed. Punch! Home & Landscape Design Studio features an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface that allows almost anyone to create a plan and add features. SketchUp has relatively few buttons, but it still gives you plenty of control. You can also use Google's 3D warehouse to create 3D models of your yard and home. However, using SketchUp's 3D modeling tool does burn up a lot of memory on your computer, which may slow you down if you have an old video card or insufficient RAM.

Punch! Home & Landscape Design Studio has more features and tools than SketchUp. With Punch! you can view your home as a wireframe or as glass, to get a better look at the landscape surrounding your home. Punch! Home & Landscape Design Studio also offers lighting simulation to help you get a feel for what your landscaping will look like, day or night. There's also a plant encyclopedia so that you can choose plants that will work with your climate and sunlight strength, as well as a plant growth simulator, deck designer, fence designer and a pool designer. SketchUp has a wide variety of tools, but, unfortunately, it does not have any standout feature that Punch! does not also offer.

SketchUp is, however, more versatile in its import and export options. When using SketchUp, you can import a TIFF file, whereas with Punch! Home & Landscape Design Studio, you cannot. TIFF is a popular file format for storing images and it may be the preferred format of a graphic artist using this Mac landscaping software. SketchUp also exports to a number of file formats that aren't available with Punch! Home & Landscape Design Studio, such as WRL, KMZ, OBJ and XSI. This extra flexibility in the exported file formats that SketchUp supports is quite appealing, though not necessary.

As previously mentioned, both of these applications are easy to use. However, you may need some additional help to get started, which is why SketchUp offers a range of helpful video tutorials. And, since SketchUp is supported by Google, you will have the ability to search their database and FAQs page quickly and easily. The manual for Punch! Home & Landscape Design Studio is very thorough, but this also means that it is very thick. Fortunately, they have in-program tutorials to help you along, and you can get additional support by contacting their customer support team. Either way, you'll figure out how to work your Mac landscaping software in no time.

If you want a little more control over your landscape design, then Punch! Home & Landscape Design Studio will probably suit you better. Punch! offers more tools and more features in their Mac landscaping software package than SketchUp. However, if you want a slimmed-down application that is compatible with a wide range of file formats, then you should consider using SketchUp.

Overall, you'll be happy using either one of these software options. Both SketchUp and Punch! Home & Landscape Design Studio offer an intuitive interface and are backed by plenty of support. In the world of Mac landscaping software, these two reign supreme.