Visio is a great software for flowcharts and diagrams and today we will talk about some good alternative tools. Microsoft has bought the software Visio for approximately 1.3 billion dollars at the beginning of the century. The standard edition is available for $300 and the professional edition costs $590.
You can guess by having a quick glance on the price that the application is primarily designed for professional users in larger companies. So Visio is not a worthy option for small businesses. There is a lot of other free software that you can use in an alternative of Microsoft Visio. We are listing the top 9 best Alternatives here for you.
Best Microsoft Visio Alternatives
You can choose between a free lite edition and three paid subscription options. Those subscription grant access to additional features like extended storage space, presentation mode, and also removes the limits on documents and chart scope that does not exist in the free version. Lucidchart has a huge user base which is around 20 Million. The 3 paid package starts from $8, $10 and $30.
Following our list now we will have a look on Creately. It is a flowchart making software developed by Cinergix. It is available for both desktop and webpage to make custom diagrams. You can use it solo or as a part of a team. More than half a million users in more than 100 countries use the software.
Creately offers a huge collection of more than 1000 professionally designed templates and projects. Your project will be available publicly on their website if you are using the free version. Also, you will only get two of the exporting format PNG and JPEG in the free version where Creatly offers SVG format in the premium one which costs $5 per month.
When it comes to designing diagrams, draw.io offers everything from basic geometric shapes to entity relation, UML, Business Process Model or Notation diagrams. This all can be directly use on to your project by just one click. The default file format of this software is .drawio. But you can also use other formats like PNG or JPEG.
Another web-based diagramming software, which is a part of the Google Docs Editors suite developed by Google is Google Drawings. It allows users to collaborate and work together in real-time to create flowcharts, organizational charts, mind maps, concept maps, website wireframe and other types of diagrams. Google drawing saves all its data to Google drive alike all the other Google services.
Google drawings offer a huge selection of shapes, curves, arrows and symbols to aid your project. There are also four ready-made diagram templates. These can be accessed with one single click and can also sync data from Google Spreadsheets. The drag and drop option makes it easier to change the shape outlines of the graphs.
5. Diagram Designer
Then we have Diagram Designer. It is another great alternative to Microsoft Visio. It was released in 2003 under the general public license. The company named ‘Meesoft’ is responsible for developing the software since the release. Though it is now available to use free of charge without any license. Diagram Designer has achieved over a million downloads till today.
You will get widely adaptable free templates to start your project on Diagram Designer. It offers several packages of finished projects that are available to download absolutely free on their official website. This program also allows you to build comprehensive flow charts, schematically represent production processes and project or even visualize your design ideas.
6. yEd Graph Editor
The yEd Graph Editor is undoubtedly one of the best free Microsoft Visio alternatives on the market. It is written in Java. This software is based on several open course components such as SVG toolkit, XML Beans and other libraries like dom4j and twelve monkeys. It is suitable for Windows, macOS, Linux and absolutely free of charge.
yED Graph Editor will have you covered for everything from flowcharts, family trees to more technical diagrams such as network structures and process models. You can set your chart to automatically lay itself out to whatever data you are entering. You can save your chart to JPEG, XML and HTML format in yEd.
Next on the list is Dia. It is an open-source program very similar to Microsoft Visio, with largely the same feature set. It is from the same developing company who brought us the GNOME Project. Dia is based on GIMP toolkit which is written on C programming language. It is subject to the General Public License (GNU) and it is available for free use.
Dia has a standard set of general polygon and line objects that can be used to make flowcharts and diagrams. It offers many options and shortcuts which allow you to select, unselect, copy, and delete individual shapes within a manageable surface. The default file format for any file created with Dia is .dia.
8. LibreOffice Draw
Then we have LibreOffice Draw which is one of the best competitors of Microsoft Visio. It is one of the applications included in the ‘LibreOffice’ office suite, developed by The Document Foundation. It is an all-purpose free to use drawing, diagramming and charting tool.
The feature that users love the most about LibreOffice Draw is the ‘Grouping Feature’. In this feature, you can group multiple objects together and take different actions to all of them like moving or connecting at the same time. The XML format is the default format for output. You can also export your file as an SWF flash file.
9. Pencil Project
Finally, we have a Pencil Project. It is a visualization software based on the Mozilla Firefox web browser. It is a great alternative to Microsoft Visio which you can use simply as a Firefox extension. You can also download it to your MAC, Windows or Linux Operating System from the official website to use it offline.
Pencil Project gives you access to various graphical elements. You can also search for high-quality clipart graphics from an integrated interface called ‘OpenClipart.org’ to add them into your project. This alternative to Microsoft Visio uses the .epgz format to store files on the local hard drive. In addition, you can also export in .png, .pfg, .html and .svg format.
These were all the software that we could suggest you as the best alternative for Microsoft Visio. Pick any of them and start your project of creating Flowcharts and Diagrams anytime.