Best Visio Alternatives

Top alternatives to Visio. Some are downloaded products and some are up in the cloud but they are all better and less expensive. Down with Microsoft!
The Top Ten
1 ConceptDraw

Tried the demo, as I did with many others, because I dislike Visio, its cost, and the new "look," which reminds me of a dead person with a marble complexion. Visio used to be good, but for the money and the aggravation of trying to mix it with MS Office 2010 (it causes all kinds of problems unless you update everything - trust me here), ConceptDraw Pro is the first and only one I really have faith in for the future in this business.

I would strongly suggest you all give it a try, test it thoroughly, and have fun. It is very solid and has the best ability to handle the new Visio VSDX format, which nobody else has right now except SmartDraw, which is equally overpriced for what it does.


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2 Lucidchart

Lucidchart is the obvious winner for three primary reasons:

1. Import and Export Visio Diagrams: Lucidchart allows you to open, edit, and save the most popular Visio file types within your favorite browser. This eliminates the need for overpriced software to install, update, or maintain. Don't worry about getting stuck - you can also export from Lucidchart to Visio, as well as to PNG, PDF, and JPEG formats.

2. Import Visio Stencils: Lucidchart is the only web application that gives you the flexibility to save all of your Visio stencils. They recently released a Visio stencil import feature and continue to expand their range of compatible formats.

3. Share Diagrams with Anyone: Skip restrictive Visio formats by sharing your document in more accessible ways. Collaborate in real-time, publish to a web page or embedded view, or export to a PDF or image. You, not the software, get to choose the perfect publishing option.

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3 Creately

Why do I love Creately? It's so simple and faster compared to Visio. It even has an inbuilt comments option, which is a cool feature when we work as a team. We can comment on certain changes and coordinate then and there.

Their graphics are far better than Visio's. I have been able to create more colorful diagrams and received some credit from my class. And I should not forget that they offer much more affordable college plans, which come with a 50% discount! That's totally cool!

Simple: No learning curve at all.

Speed: Really fast diagramming experience.

Convenient: When you activate the Diagram Anywhere feature on your desktop app, it really helps you work even when you are on vacation.

Collaboration: I really love this feature. Since my entire team is working at the same time, it feels more social when you comment on your work, like a social network.

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4 OmniGraffle

Best diagramming app I've ever used. Makes Visio look like a coloring book and a box of crayons in comparison.

OmniGraffle is like Visio on steroids.

5 Gliffy
6 Balsamiq
8 MockFlow
9 EdrawMax

I regret investing so much money in Visio. I wish I had tried EdrawMax sooner. Fortunately, I can still benefit a lot from it in the future. I save on upgrade and technical fees. It's an all-in-one app, so I don't have to buy another diagramming app anymore. I also don't have to worry about compatibility. It can export to many other formats.

Edraw offers full Visio compatibility and is a better alternative for students, teachers, and business professionals to reliably create and publish various kinds of flowcharts, mind maps, organizational charts, network diagrams, floor plans, electrical diagrams, software design diagrams, maps, and more.

10 SimpleDiagrams
The Contenders

How often are you really offline and need to put something together? Free is my favorite price.

A browser-based free alternative that does not require registration.

This is the best free app, in my opinion.

12 SmartDraw

Much easier to use than Visio. The automated flowcharts save a ton of time that would otherwise be spent formatting. There are so many symbols and templates available. I use the cloud version on my Mac at home, but they offer both a cloud and a Windows desktop version. Excellent product at a great price.

Really a good alternative to Visio with extended features (BPM, database, etc.).

13 MyDraw

Nice and easy to use, this Visio alternative comes with a lot of predefined shapes and powerful automatic graph and tree layouts. It has versions for Windows, Mac, and the web (Silverlight-based), so you get the same functionality and behavior no matter the platform you work on.

I liked the ability to apply gradients to all shapes. The shape editors modify the shape properties instantly, allowing me to immediately see the property effects.

Great value for the money. It's very much like Visio and works on both PCs and Macs. I use the Silverlight version, which is free, but my drawings can be opened by colleagues who use the PC and Mac versions. All versions are virtually the same.

14 Mockingbird
15 SmartArt
16 Google Drawings
17 LibreOffice Draw
18 Microsoft PowerPoint

The Drawing tool (via the Drawing Toolbar) offers flowcharting in Microsoft PowerPoint. Unlike in Microsoft Word, it has working connectors to link shapes with lines.


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20 yEd
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