9 Best Landscape Design Software For Mac User

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Your home exterior deserves the same amount of care and effort as the interior.

If you firmly believe that, you’re most likely on the lookout for the perfect landscape design software. You may have used a program for indoor renovations, but the same one may not work for your outdoor projects. 

So, before you head off on an extensive search, you may want to look at our guide for all the information you need. That said, we know how hard it can be to find a software optimized for Apple devices. So, if you use a Mac desktop (or MacBook) for design assignments, check out our list of 8 best landscape design software for Mac users. 

Without further ado, let’s begin.

Top Landscape Software for Mac

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  1. Home Designer Suite

Home Designer Suite is one of the most practical choices for Mac users owing to its varied tools meant for creative projects. If you have had some designing experience and want to use a digital tool to build a customized landscape, this is a good place to start. 

Why Did We Like It? 

First and foremost, we’re very impressed with the intuitive layout of this platform, which keeps things simple and accessible. However, it’s unassuming appearance will not stop you from incorporating intricate details into your virtual landscape. 

You can create 3D models and even add decks and patios to your personalized landscape. However, if you don’t want to work from scratch, you may import images of your home exterior and add, edit, and build on it.  

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You can also choose the terrain type and decide on the elevation, contours, and other elements worth considering. Additionally, you get to pick from an extensive selection of plants, featuring 3600+ varieties with relevant information to determine suitability.  

The platform also allows users to take part in 3D walkthroughs for an unparalleled immersive experience. Honestly, it does not get as lifelike as this, and we’re nothing short of fascinated with the results. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

All’s good, except the high software license fee. If you’re just trying out your hand in landscape design, the Home Designer Suite may seem a little complicated and pricey. You may want to consider cheaper paid options or free ones that are compatible with Mac OS. That aside, it’s an exceptional 3D option that can bring alive the outdoor scene. 

Pros
  • Users can import images to the software
  • Includes a wide selection of 3600 plants
  • Customizes terrain, elevation, and contours
  • Enables 3D walkthroughs
Cons
  • Software is a tad pricey
  1. SmartDraw

Our next choice is SmartDraw, another incredible program for artists and design enthusiasts looking to experiment and sharpen their design skills. Some users are keen on taking up projects that challenge them and bring out their creative best. If you’re going down the same route, explore this one. 

Why Did We Like It? 

To begin with, we like how easy to use it is, thanks to the series of templates and a bunch of user-friendly tools. Unlike the previous option, SmartDraw is a 2D platform, but that won’t inhibit the artist in you. 

Start by picking a template that best resembles your garden, lawn, or porch area. You don’t necessarily need to stick to the tried-and-tested since you have thousands of options at your disposal. So, whether you’re looking to create a posh, urban exterior or want that natural countryside landscape, this can do it all. 

Smartdraw screenshot landscape 1

Furthermore, you can include brick patterns, sprinklers, and several other outdoor accessories to your landscape using the simple ‘drag-and-drop’ method. After you’re done with the layout, you may export the project as it more or less supports all popular file formats (PDF, PNG, JPEG).

Besides, it’s a cloud-based platform, which makes it an excellent choice for both personal and professional use as it enables sharing and collaboration. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

We’re very impressed with the flexibility and overall ease-of-use this software offers. However, the lack of import function may not work for some users. While you may have access to thousands of templates, it can be difficult to find the right one, especially if you have something very specific in mind.

Pros
  • Includes 1000+ quickstart templates
  • Works using the drag-and-drop technique
  • Project can be exported in multiple formats
  • Ideal for project sharing and collaboration
Cons
  • Does not have an import function
  1. Garden Puzzle

Next up, we have Garden Puzzle, a superb option to create gorgeous gardens, backyards, or other outdoor spaces. Not all of us have a CAD background or in-depth designing knowledge; however, that shouldn’t stop anyone from creating digital blueprints of landscapes. So, if you want a reliable software for your entry-level projects, give this one a shot. 

Why Did We Like It? 

A software packed with features is by no means suitable for amateur artists and designers. More often than not, they want to start with the basics, and thus, Garden Puzzle is their go-to digital aide. 

For starters, we like that it allows users to import images, which further streamlines the visualization process. However, you also have the option of working with samples from the image library. 

Other than that, it’s a simple 2D interface that works using the ‘drag-and-drop’ technique. So, whether you want to add plants, paths, structures, or garden ornaments, you have to follow the same steps.  3 garden puzzle app screenshot

The best part about it is that you can choose from about 800 plants and even see how they’ll look in different seasons. Therefore, you can create impressive mockups of your external green pad even without 3D rendering. Lastly, it’s quite affordable, so you don’t need to spend much if you’re still learning. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

This software is pretty much redundant once you upskill and try out other advanced platforms. However, we don’t hold that against it since it’s elementary from the get-go, and we don’t expect any higher features even in future versions. That said, we would have liked it more if it had topography functions to make things more realistic.

Pros
  • Comes with an import option
  • Fast and easy to use
  • Includes 800 plant varieties
  • Available at an affordable price
Cons
  • Does not include topography functions
  1. Live Home 3D

If you want to start your landscape designing stint with a bang, we suggest using the Live Home 3D. It comes with a range of unique features and functionalities, and frankly, it enables you to enjoy the creative process as you learn the ins and outs of the profession. Also, it comes in Standard and Pro versions, so you can get something within your budget.  

Why Did We Like It? 

First of all, as the name suggests, this platform supports 3D designing and rendering, thereby allowing you to achieve visually stunning results. Nevertheless, if you’d rather start with 2D models, you can switch to the 2D format. 

Apart from that, we are very pleased with the unlimited access to the Trimble SketchUp 3D Warehouse, featuring a vast selection of outdoor accessories. Besides, the software also includes the latest features in landscape designing, be it AI, VR, or HD walkthroughs.  

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However, the good things don’t end here. Live Home is Touch Bar-optimized, which is great news for MacBook users. Therefore, it’s truly practical and convenient, saving you a great deal of time and effort. 

What took us by surprise is its phenomenal export function, which supports not only the regular formats like PDF, PNG, JPG, etc., but also HEVC for HD video-making. And the icing on the cake? It supports the Dark Mode on the latest Mac OS versions (Big Sur and Catalina). 

What Could’ve Been Better?

If you enjoy innovating and experimenting, this software will give you the best bang for the buck. But if there were one thing that bugged us, it would be the lack of terrain options. For something that includes advanced stuff like AI, VR, etc., not providing customized terrain is a real bummer. 

Pros
  • Access to Trimble SketchUp 3D Warehouse
  • Exports to PDF, PNG, JPG, and HEVC formats
  • Includes AI, VR, and HD walkthrough functions
  • Touch Bar-optimized; supports Dark Mode
Cons
  • Does not include terrain options
  1. Punch Landscape Design For Mac

The Punch Landscape Design For Mac is an excellent option for users looking for something intuitive and user-friendly. At the same time, it can produce the most lifelike mockups of your dream home exterior, so you can effortlessly visualize how all of it will look. In short, it’ll get the job done and won’t leave you unsatisfied. 

Why Did We Like It? 

Straight off the bat, it’s a dual-mode software, which supports a 2D as well as a 3D interface. Meaning you can pick one and switch to the other during the course of the project. Also, you can get an aerial view of your plot and engage in virtual tours. 

Simply import pictures of your project or use one of the pre-loaded templates, and get started with the PhotoView tool. After that, drag and drop different items, furniture, garden ornaments, structures, etc., from the extensive object catalog. Also, it keeps a tab on the cost of items so you can generate a shopping list within your budget. 

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Plus, to ensure a more natural look and feel, use the QuickStart tool to input your GPS coordinates. When you do so, the software calibrates the data and renders the topography of your plot. 

Lastly, one of the most reasonably-priced options for Apple users, which is a win-win considering all the top-notch features you can play with. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

Punch Landscape Design strikes the right balance between price and versatility, which immediately makes it one of the viable options. That said, there’s a learning curve to it, and you may not find it easy to use if you’re yet to cover the basics. Therefore, it’s not the best choice for entry-level designers. 

Pros
  • Users can switch between 2D and 3D modes
  • QuickStart tool renders plot topography
  • Extensive object library consisting of 8000 items
  • Keeps tab on item prices and generates a shopping list
Cons
  • Steeper learning curve for entry-level designers
  1. TurboFloorPlan Home & Landscape Pro

The TurboFloorPlan Home & Landscape Pro is a result-driven software that caters to both professionals and design enthusiasts. It’s seamlessly navigable and perfectly optimized for your Mac desktop. So, if you want a preview of your beautiful garden, backyard, or lawn, we suggest purchasing this one for a desirable outcome. 

Why Did We Like It? 

First things first, this software does not have many templates, but that’s not much of a hassle since it allows you to upload photos. However, it does have a large library of objects and plants, which can appeal to your sense of outdoor aesthetics. 

Therefore, if you’re aiming to create a gorgeous home exterior that can hike curb appeal, this is a good place to start. Apart from that, the Topo Designer feature allows you to add topographic details to generate a more realistic blueprint.   

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Furthermore, you can include different structural elements like retaining walls, backgrounds, pavers, paths, etc., to simulate the actual plot. As for the interface, it supports both 2D and 3D designing, and hence it has a more inclusive user base. 

Lastly, it comes with a cost estimator, which provides you with a working budget for the whole do-over. After all, you’d want to turn your digital layout into a tangible project, so you might as well be wary of the expenses./span>

What Could’ve Been Better?

We are more or less satisfied with the features and functionalities of this software. However, it’s a Windows OS inspired platform, meaning it may not offer the best experience to Mac users. Therefore, it’s not unusual to feel a little out of sync while using this software on your Apple setup.

Pros
  • Vast object and plant library
  • Provides a 2D and 3D interface
  • Allows users to add topographic details
  • Includes a cost estimator function
Cons
  • Windows OS inspired software
  1. Garden Planner

The Garden Planner might be one of the most straightforward options you can find. It may not have any advanced features, but that wouldn’t stop you from building a beautiful garden or vegetation pad. Besides, it’s also an affordable choice if you’re planning to use the software long term. So, go ahead and check it out stat.    

Why Did We Like It? 

For starters, it’s a 2D software with an intuitive interface that sets you off in the right direction from the get-go. It works on the ‘drag and drop’ technique, so you can basically start by adding paths, paving, walls, fences, or water bodies to your plot. 

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Thereafter, you can browse from the selection of 1200 plants and find the ones most suitable for your green space. You can even customize the size, color, and style of the individual elements to make things as realistic as possible. 

However, what we liked the most is the Vegetable Patch Builder function, which enables users to incorporate vegetable and herb beds to their property. The simple grid layout may appear unassuming at first, but it comes in handy for square-footage gardening. 

Apart from that, we like that it’s a one-time pay software. Therefore, you don’t have to spend a penny more on in-app purchases or other upgrades. While that may sound old-fashioned, it works for most amateurs in the field.  

What Could’ve Been Better?

While the software lets you participate in 3D walkthroughs, it does not support 3D designing or rendering. This might be a deal-breaker for some users as you can find products in the same price range, including those features. So, if you can do without 3D functions, this might work out fine. 

Pros
  • Well-laid, easy to use 2D interface
  • Includes a selection of 1200 plants
  • Features a Vegetable Patch Builder function
  • Affordable, one-time pay software for beginners
Cons
  • Does not support 3D designs or rendering
  1. SketchUp

Now that we’ve reached the end of our list, we would like to finish off with SketchUp. This is another software that can offer incredibly realistic results with minimal effort. If you have had some designing experience and know your way around these digital tools, we recommend trying out this one. 

Why Did We Like It? 

First of all, we’re very impressed with the well-laid interface of the software with the control panels intuitively placed on the left and right. The drawing and navigation tools are the unique elements on this platform.

The primary technique used to build here is the patented ‘push and pull’, where you can design and manipulate 3D models. While it does not include templates, you can borrow samples from the 3D warehouse.

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Other than that, you can drag and drop images, plants, and outdoor accessories to make a realistic layout of your plot. However, the best part about it is the predefined camera angles, enabling users to view their design from multiple angles. 

As for the export function, the standard account is compatible with STL and PNG formats. Meanwhile, SketchUp PRO works with DWG and DXF formats. Therefore, depending on your requirements, you can always upgrade to the paid version to unlock more advanced features. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

We do not have any complaints regarding any of its features or functions; still, we couldn’t help but notice the hefty price tag of the PRO version. If you’re still learning, we suggest using the free version to enhance your skills. However, as you progress and begin working on more complicated projects, you may have to upgrade to the paid version. 

Pros
  • Patented push and pull 3D modeling
  • Predefined camera angles for enhanced viewing
  • Export function compatible with multiple formats
  • 3D warehouse includes models, plants, accessories, etc.
Cons
  • Expensive paid version

Best landscape design software 03

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why Should I Use Landscape Design Software?

While it’s easier to consult with a professional, you can always save a lot more money by using a software. The primary reason several homeowners and design enthusiasts look for such programs is they want an authentic preview of their garden, yard, or other outdoor space.  

That said, you can use any of these 8 software mentioned on our list or find other options compatible with your Mac device. 

  1. Which Software Is Ideal For My Skill Set?

Now, there’s no straightforward answer to this, but finding the most suitable software depends on how tech-savvy you are and your knowledge related to the field. If you’re a rank fresher, we suggest using 2D platforms like SmartDraw, Garden Puzzle, or Garden Planner. 

On the other hand, if you have graduated from the basics, Home Designer Suite, Live Home 3D, Punch Landscape Design can perfectly meet your needs. 

  1. Do All Programs Come With A Free Trial Version?

Not necessarily, but many of them do. However, in some trial versions, you may not have access to the full range of features. Nevertheless, it’s wise to register for a trial period so you can get the hang of the software. 

That way, you can choose to discontinue using the software if you find it unsuitable for any reason. 

Best landscape design software 04

Final Words

Landscape designing is no longer a complicated affair in this era of modern technology and advanced digital platforms. All you have to do is find a software that produces realistic layouts, thereby streamlining the actual renovation project. 

However, you may also want to consider your budget before selecting any of these 8 options. Also, we don’t want you to blindly follow an expert recommendation, as what works for others may not work for you. 

After all, a lot depends on the type of results you want and how familiar you are with the designing process. On that note, we’d like to take your leave. 

Till next time!

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