Microsoft Visio is a powerful piece of software, IT professionals Allowing, business people, engineers, and others working in highly technical fields to map out and display complex information in the form of flowcharts, site plans, floor plans, diagrams and more.
Useful though all this is, the price point is well beyond what the average home user is willing to spend at $ 300 for the “Standard” version and $ 590 for the Pro version.
(If you’re dead-set on using Visio, there is a Potentially cheaper option Where you can get Visio Pro for Office 365 for $ 13 / month if you get an annual subscription or $ 15 / month for a monthly commitment.
) But why pay When there are at all perfectly free and feasible alternatives available to you Visio? Here are our top picks.
If you are looking for a web-based alternative to Microsoft Visio, LucidChart is the perfect choice.
It provides a drag-and-drop web interface to draw any kind of diagram.
LucidChart Gives you an option to build your diagrams in collaboration With Your team.
Multiple people will be able to work With the same diagram, making it the perfect choice for small teams.
One of the great features of LucidChart Is That it can export or import Microsoft Visio VDX files very easily.
One thing is missing in LucidChart That is the built-in categorization of different shapes for different areas like networking, engineering, etc.
You do not need to sign up for an account with LucidChart just open the site and start drawing.
Starting with the easy stuff, if you’re looking for a quick, easy and accessible diagramming tool Instantly With no bells and whistles attached, ASCIIFlow is a good option.
You can forget about Having a vast range of shapes at your disposal or to map out esta using a complex engineering project, but for Conveying Ideas Quickly in diagram form, this is about as efficient as you can get.
The ASCII format is clear, and you can use familiar Windows shortcuts (Ctrl + C, Ctrl + Z and so on) to chop and change your Quickly diagrams.
You can change the format of the boxes from ASCII to Lines to make things a little clearer, and sync it all with Google Drive, too (though Currently the level of access it requests to your Google Drive May put more security-conscious users off – hopefully that’s something They can fix).
Coming in Both free and paid flavors, Gliffy is a robust diagramming app fully embraces the cloud That.
It Integrates With services like Google Drive, Confluence and JIRA to allow you to collaborate on your UMLS, diagramming flowcharts and other projects seamlessly.
Gliffy is free for students, while others get access to the ‘Basic’ version of the software (after a 14-day trial With the paid version), Which has less templates, images and so on than the paid version.
With its simple drag-and-drop interface, large variety of exportable formats and a perfectly usable browser version is completely free Which, Gliffy is an excellent choice for Those Comfortable with diagramming and flowchart software.
More advanced users, however, may find the free version a little wanting in features and opt for one of the other, more feature-packed options in esta list.
Quite possibly The most user-friendly diagramming software out there, yed have you covered for everything from flowcharts, to family trees, to more technical diagrams like network infrastructures and process models.
You Can Set Your chart to Automatically lay out to suit itself whatever kind of data you’re entering.
It has a decent repository of images for various types of charts and Also Gives you the option to import images from elsewhere.
When you’re done, you can save your chart as a JPEG, XML or HTML, Among other formats, making it easy to upload to websites or send to clients.
For something a little alternative, you can try Graphviz, the near thirty-year-old in Which tool you create graphs, hierarchies and so on using a command line utility and the robust DOT language.
It takes some getting used to, but Once You get the hang of it, you’ll see That It could save you time in the long run.
It has a good amount of formats you can export your graph to a number of layouts and hierarchical Such radial multiscale and more as.
Particularly useful if it’s not too fussy you are about prep pretty colors but are more Concerned about huge Amounts of entering data That can get organized and generated Instantly.
(That Colossal graph at the top of this article was made using Graphviz.
) LibreOffice Draw is the closest and biggest open-source competitor of Microsoft Visio.
Draw is an all-purpose drawing, diagramming and charting tool.
The feature that I love in Draw is the grouping feature.
You can group different objects Easily together and then a do different actions on the group like moving the group, Connecting with other groups, etc.
In Addition to other formats (XML format is the default), you can export your diagrams Also as Flash SWF files.
As an extra treat, here’s a package of shapes for Draw are similar to Those That you find in Visio.
Dia is an open-source program very similar to Microsoft Visio, with the same feature Largely set.
You can create UML diagrams, flowcharts, network architectures and Processes, entity relationship diagrams, etc.
, Easily With Dia.
The default file format for any file created with Dia is .
dia, but there are plenty of file formats you can export your diagram to, Including Microsoft Visio’s .
io has a very responsive and accessible interface, with the tools in the column on the left and the drawing in the column on the right.
You do not need to sign up for an account to use Draw.
io, and from the moment you’re on the site you’re Given the option to save your work to cloud services like Google Drive and OneDrive or your hard drive.
If you connect to your Google account Draw.
io, it has very functional Real-Time Collaboration, letting you work on projects with others Simultaneously.
It’s not a complex tool, so while it’s accessible, it does not offer the depth of features of some other diagramming software.
Pencil Project is an open-source alternative to Microsoft Visio Which is Actively maintained by the development community.
Their goal for Pencil Project is to make diagramming as easy as possible and usable for everyone from a newbie to an expert.
It’s Regularly updated with new stencils, templates and other features, lets you export your work to multiple formats, and has Integration with OpenClipart.
org, letting you search the Web for Instantly images to make your projects pop.
Hopefully you will find free alternatives to Microsoft These Visio useful.
Or after testing These do you still believe That the paid tools do not offer something These? Let us know in the comments! I’m a big fan of LucidChart – made the switch from Visio easy.
I’ve tried most of it and let’s These others be honest, They are terrible.
By the way, does LucidChart Have more libraries of shapes.
Just click the ‘More Shapes’ button in the bottom left and They have categories like you described.
Yeah, that’s Until the Day When you go to save the deeply-nested, highly intricate chart that you ‘ve just worked on a day, only to discover – uh-oh! – It Seems That They charge for saving things now! – and if you do not like it, bubba, Read It and Weep! Also good luck trying to get Their customer service.
It’s Been over a week and still no response.
paid for the service, was locked out of the document i spent a few hours on and no support in sight .
Creately is another great option for Visio.
I like the fact That They have a desktop version and online version.
All the ones Mentioned above are web applications.
This is really helpful if you are drawing charts and diagrams on the road.
Diagrams drawn offline Automatically sync with your online account so you will never lose your diagrams.
Plus They put on some awesome blog posts, As a budding entrepreneur myself I really liked how there blog post About Their pricing model They DECIDED.
Seems very good yEd while Creately did not find as attractive due to the restrictive licensing.
LucidChart Certainly a better choice is and I’m using it for myself too.
I’d Say That LucidChart and yEd are the two alternative I’ve tried (downloading Pencil Project right now, the rest has-been tried and turned down) That even eat somewhat close to Visio.
Of Those two, yEd is my favorite.
Now, I mostly do flowcharts and illustrations of communication (inter-app and server roles Between) topologies and very rarely use org-charts and UML stuff.
You can checkout FreelyDraw.
It is a wonderful diagramming tool, light weight and easy to use.
It Comes With many features can speed up your That job, smart drag & drop, powerful symbol customization, handy tools presentation, etc.
You can draw beautiful & professional diagrams in minutes, worth a try.
I think LibreOffice Draw industry will do processes.
I used to produce process & instrumentation diagrams of oil refinery and chemical plant Processes, and a couple of the examples in Their gallery look very close to what I was doing.
All the software is free? I am a tacher and I want to Use this software for my students (child About 10 years ago).
What’s the best software, free money? I have tried all of These Graphviz but except Libra and so far, draw.
io is the best, especially in terms of visuals.
Thanks for this thorough review! I wonder: how did you determine That each of These Were the best free options? I recently drew up a review of top alternatives myself, but I used a series of heuristics to help me determine what was best.
I was looking for free Not Necessarily competitors (I wanted to find the overall best), but I did limit pricing to under $ 200 per license or under $ 15 per user per month.
Also I required That the alternative Had to sync with project management At least one tool, and HAD to get generally good reviews.
(You can see the whole article here: http://blog.
com/7-of-the-top-microsoft-visio-alternatives-for-project-managers/) – Creately – Draw.
io – Gliffy – Lucidchart (though Their paid version is really what it stand out Makes) That is The problem with all “best” lists.
The contents Tends to change Depending on what you use and how parameters you weight Those parameters.
No list is any more valid than any other.
Thanks for this lowdown.
I’ve tried Lucidchart and Draw.
io Both seem pretty good and it’s a shame, Although They Do not Have more project management features as well.
That problem is many of them offer free versions but You have to pay to unlock all the Things That Make them Compare with Visio.
Has anyone noticed That the latest Visio Incarnations, the end points do not quite line up or connect.
Pisses me off to no end.
So I’m looking for alternatives as I’ve used Visio extensively over the years.
Microsoft Visio is sickening product I have ever come across.
The connectors always go haywire.
So many versions released, yet Microsoft did not care about it Because of Its arrogance due to monopoly in the market.
It’s great for Flowcharts, Data Flows, UML and various other diagrams.
Real-time collaboration eat as standard.
But LucidChart is NOT free.
Let’s be clear on that.
You get a free trial, but it’s not free.
Pencil completely FREE is the best alternative.
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