Microsoft Visio is diagramming software that enables users to draw flowcharts, floor plans, org charts, data flow diagrams, 3D maps, etc. With dozens of starter diagrams and premade templates, anyone can learn to use Visio.
However, many users switch from Visio to other diagramming software due to its price. Visio’s desktop version costs $15 per user per month. Even if you have a Microsoft 365 subscription, you still have to pay for Visio separately.
Aside from its pricing, there are other reasons why Visio may not work for you. Take, for instance, MS Visio has a steep learning curve. Also, diagram errors can occur when using its auto-arrange feature on a Windows PC.
Nevertheless, there are other Visio alternatives that are compatible with Windows OS which you can use.
In this post, I’ll reveal the 10 best Visio alternatives for Windows.
Best Visio Alternatives For Windows
Lucidchart is a part of the Lucid suite which has other products like Lucidscale and Lucidspark. It’s an intelligent diagramming application that, like Visio, fosters collaboration and sharing.
This Visio alternative combines diagramming and data visualization. It’s easy to use, you can create both simple and complex diagrams from the many templates available. In addition, there are hundreds of drag and drop shapes to use.
Lucidchart makes your work easy with instant collaboration. You can edit and co-author diagrams in real-time just as in Visio. Furthermore, Lucidchart allows you to email and embed your diagrams seamlessly.
If you’re already using Visio, you can easily transfer your works to Lucidchart. The import feature lets you import VSD, VSDX, and VDX files. After editing, you can also export the file in any of the Visio formats. The platform also integrates with MS Office, 365, and Google Drive.
Lucidchart is exclusively an online Visio alternative for Windows. All of its features are accessible via the web app. There’s no desktop app to download; the software only has mobile apps for Android and iOS.
Lucidchart features three pricing plans for individuals, teams, and enterprises. These pricing plans include:
- Individual Plan: $9.95 per user per month ($7.95 per user per month with annual payment)
- Team Plan: $33 per month ($27 per month with annual payment). This plan supports a minimum of three users ($11 per user per month; $9 per user per month with annual payment)
- Enterprise Plan: custom pricing
Explore the best alternatives to Lucidchart here.
This diagramming software prioritizes privacy and security. Also, it’s free and open-source which is its major edge over Microsoft Visio. Diagrams.net is the most widely-used browser-based diagramming software.
Like Visio, you can use Diagrams.net online or by downloading the desktop app. Diagrams.net has a Mac and Linux desktop app too.
You’ll find all of Visio’s professional features on Diagrams.net. This includes vast shapes and shape libraries, scratchpad, different style options, and more.
Diagrams.net works together with Draw.io. With Draw.io, you can create flowcharts, network diagrams, UML, entity relation, and mockups among others. Furthermore, you can import diagram files from Visio, Lucidchart, and Gliffy.
After creating your diagram, you can export it as HTML, JPEG, PDF, SVG, PNG, or XML. You can also encode the diagram in a URL or save it directly to cloud storage.
If you need a Visio alternative that allows you to connect with many other platforms, Diagrams.net is an ideal option. You get more third-party integrations with Diagrams.net than Visio.
It integrates with Google Drive, Google Workspace, Office 365, OneDrive, SharePoint, Atlassian, Git, Dropbox, and Notion to name a few. Notably, the platform works with Confluence Cloud, Jira Cloud, and their data centers and servers.
As a free and open source Visio alternative, Diagrams.net can do more for you if you have coding knowledge. You can access the software’s base codes and add or improve its features. To make working easier, Diagrams.net supports over 100 keyboard shortcuts.
Also Read: Best Drawing Apps For Android
The yEd Graph Editor is another free and open-source Visio alternative. It’s available as desktop software and works for creating high-quality diagrams. There’s a Windows app and also macOS and Linux/Unix apps.
Like Visio, the yEd Graph Editor works with MS Office apps, you can either create diagrams from scratch or import data from Excel. The software supports XML, JPG, PNG, SVG, and Visio VSX files too.
This Visio alternative lets you draw BPMN diagrams, flowcharts, semantics networks, social networks, and UML class diagrams. You can check out the yEd Gallery for diagrams made by other yEd users.
Thanks to its intuitive interface, creating diagrams with the yEd Graph Editor is simple. It features ready-to-use and the app helps auto-arrange elements as you draw for better results. You either use the hierarchical, orthogonal, organic, circular, radial, or tree layout.
Furthermore, the yED Graph Editor supports clipboard operations, dockable panels, and keyboard shortcuts.
The platform saves your diagram in GraphML format and you can export it in different other file formats. This includes PDF, SWF, SVG, EMF, EPS, HTML, JPG, GIF, BMP, and PNG.
The yEd Graph Editor is a recommended Visio for individual users. If you’re a team or enterprise, it’s not the best to opt for as it has no collaboration features. However, for individual users, you can save on Visio subscriptions as yEd Graph Editor is free to use.
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Gliffy is a popular diagramming software among software engineers; the platform was built by engineers. It lets you create quality technical drawings, floor plans, flowcharts, and other diagrams.
Unlike Visio, Gliffy’s main target isn’t individuals but small to medium-sized businesses. Also, Gliffy doesn’t have desktop software; it’s a web-based Visio alternative.
Since Gliffy mainly targets businesses, it matches Visio in terms of collaboration. It features extensive management features to control who can view, edit, and comment on projects. The platform features a drag and drop editor, so diagramming is easy.
You don’t need to build from scratch as there are professional templates available. The revision history keeps track of your activities so it’s possible to revert to an earlier version of your diagram.
You can share your diagrams via URL and like most Visio alternatives, Gliffy’s main integrations are Jira and Confluence. Other integrations include G Suite, Teamwork, WordPress, Slack, and Trello.
For a platform that targets small to medium-sized businesses, Gliffy has some very affordable pricing plans; they include:
Gliffy Online Professional Plans:
- 1 to 9 users: $10 per user per month ($8 per user per month with annual payment)
- 10 to 50 users: $8 per user per month ($6 per user per month with annual payment)
Enterprise Plan: custom pricing
In addition to the above plans, Gifty has exclusive pricing options for Jira and Confluence apps. The plans include:
- 1 to 10 users: $10 per month (flat fee)
- 11 to 100 users: $3.80 per user per month (charged annually at $45.60)
- Enterprise Plan: custom pricing
Before subscribing to any of Gliffy’s plans, you can try the platform free for two weeks.
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LibreOffice is an office suite, just like MS Office, but it’s 100 percent free and open source. Also, LibreOffice suits contain seven programs one of which is Draw. With LibreOffice Draw, you can create simple and complex sketches.
The software has powerful diagramming and flowcharting features including smart connectors, glue points, and you can create network diagrams. Aside from diagramming and flowcharting, LibreOffice Draw works as an image manipulator.
Microsoft Visio is relatively better at creating flowcharts and diagrams than LibreOffice Draw but the latter is just as reliable. In addition, there are other things you can do with LibreOffice Draw which you can’t do with Visio.
LibreOffice Draw can open Visio documents including VSD and VSDX file formats. The software will run and maintain most of the advanced macros that Visio supports.
However, after creating with LibreOffice Draw, you cannot export as any Visio file formats. LibreOffice Draw lets you save in ODF, ODG, OTG, and FODG file formats.
To open your LibreOffice Draw works on other diagramming software, you need to export it in a universally supported format like SVG.
LibreOffice Draw is a free MS Visio alternative. You can install both Visio and LibreOffice Draw as a desktop app on your Windows PC. LibreOffice Draw further supports Mac and Linux while Visio supports just Mac. However, you can’t use LibreOffice Draw online, via a browser.
EdrawMax is one diagramming software that shares a lot of similarities with Microsoft Visio. You can use EdrawMax on your Windows PC online or by installing the desktop app. The software is available for Mac and Linux too.
Additionally, EdrawMax is popular among software engineers for creating UX/UI. You can do a lot more including floor plan designing, electrical engineering, system planning, org chart designs, P&ID drawing, and project planning.
Like Visio, EdrawMax features collaboration tools, a drag and drop diagram editor, flowcharts, mind maps, and pre-made templates. You’ll find more templates on EdrawMax than Visio as the library is steadily updated with user-generated diagrams.
Notably, EdrawMax makes sharing after creating easy. You can directly share your diagram to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and WhatsApp. Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Puma, Sony, and Nike are some top companies that use this Visio alternative.
EdrawMax is a premium diagramming software like Visio with Individual, Teams, and Education Plans. The advantage with EdrawMax, however, is you can purchase the software for a lifetime.
The plans include:
- Annual Plan: $99 per year
- Semi-Annual Plan: $69 per six months
- Lifetime Plan: $245 one time payment
Teams & Business Plans
- Annual Plan: $119 per year
- Perpetual Plan: $199 one time payment
- Enterprise Plan: custom pricing
- Annual Plan: $85 per year
- Semi-Annual Plan: $62 per six months
- Two-Year Plan: $139 one time payment
ProcessOn is software for visual communication launched in 2012. It’s a web-based software compared to Visio that is web-based with a desktop app. The main advantage is that you can use ProcessOn for free.
Additionally, ProcessOn handles all the basic tasks you need Visio for. This includes creating flow charts, mind maps, import and export, pre-made themes, and collaboration. The software has several interesting features.
It features diversified shapes for creating BPMN, UML, network topology, and simple wireframes. You can import diagrams from Visio into ProcessOn and export them as an image or PDF after editing.
This Visio alternative lets you collaborate in real-time via comments and chat. In addition, you can group multiple shapes and use them as a single object. With the Magic Wand, you can automatically beautify your diagrams with a single click.
ProcessOn lets you view your work in outline mode when creating mind maps so locating topics is easier. Also, the revision history helps restore previous document versions.
ProcessOn has a straightforward pricing plan and is also one of the most affordable. The pricing plans include:
- Free Plan: $0
- Premium Plan: $58.80 per year
- For Non-Profits: custom pricing
You can create nine diagrams per month and collaborate with a maximum of three people with the free plan.
SmartDraw is described as an easy and powerful diagram software. It’s a premium Visio alternative but affordable for individuals and teams. SmartDraw is notably popular for floor plans and org chart designing.
The SmartDraw library contains hundreds of templates so you don’t always have to create from scratch. In addition, the software features powerful automatic formatting to help produce perfect layouts.
This diagram software supports chart-based, graph-based, schematic, block, activity, component, class, sequence, and UML diagrams to name a few. There are over 70 different types of diagrams in total.
You can import Visio diagrams and stencils in VSD and VSDX file formats. Although SmartDraw is proprietary software, you can build custom functions using the Extensions via a VisualScript SDK.
SmartDraw is an ideal Visio alternative for third-party integrations. The software integrates with Microsoft Office, Google Workspace, Atlassian’s Confluence, and Jira. In addition, you can share your works to OneDrive, Google Drive, and Dropbox.
Like Visio, SmartDraw is available as a web-based and desktop app; you can deploy SmartDraw on-premise on Windows too.
SmartDraw features individual, teams, and site pricing plans:
- Individual Plan: $9.95 per month (billed annually)
- Teams Plan: $5.95 per month (billed annually)
- Site Plan: $2,995 per year
For the site plan, you can contact SmartDraw for a custom quote.
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Creately is a visual workspace and one of the best alternatives to Visio for collaboration. You can draw online or via the Creately desktop app.
This software features thousands of smart shapes, themes & styles, and easy drawing shortcuts. There are templates for different use cases including marketing, product, engineering, Education, and HR & operations.
With Creately, you can create flowcharts, org charts, wireframes and UI, UML, ER & DB Diagrams, UI Flows and Sitemaps, Mind Maps, DFD Diagrams, and more. Real-time collaboration is possible via actions, comments, and chat.
Creately supports social sharing which is a feature Visio lacks. You can share your diagrams directly from the Creately app to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Also, you can embed your works in web pages and URLs.
While Visio supports Atlassian Confluence, Creately’s extensions include FogBugz and Central Desktop. You can export your work as PNG, SVG, and JPEG.
Creately Pricing plans include:
- Free Plan: $0
- Personal Plan: $6.95 per month ($4 per month with annual payment)
- Team Plan: $8 per month per user ($4.75 per month with annual payment)
- Enterprise Plan: custom pricing
MyDraw is an advanced diagramming software you can install on your Windows PC; it’s not available via the web like Visio. With this app, you can create organizational charts, business model diagrams, network diagrams, and more.
Not to mention, MyDraw also works for creating regular graphics like flyers and certificates. You’ll find this Visio alternative easy to use thanks to the Friendly UI; the UI is based on MS Office which makes it a lot similar to Visio.
In fact, MyDraw natively integrates with MS Visio. It has many similar features with Visio and you can open Visio diagrams and stencils and save/export files in Visio compatible formats. However, it lacks collaboration tools.
MyDraw features hundreds of templates and thousands of shapes and clip arts. There are also advanced features like barcodes, automatic layouts, rich text formatting, and drawing tools among others.
You can join the MyDraw online community where you can learn and share your ideas with other users.
MyDraw doesn’t feature any free plan. However, you can purchase the software perpetually at just $69. With a MyDraw license, you can use the software on up to two computers. You’ll have to pay an extra $36 annual subscription to get technical support and new updates.
Microsoft Visio is a good diagramming software for individuals and teams. Many argue that it’s the best diagramming software available but it may still fall short of your requirements.
If you’re looking for a Visio alternative for Windows, you can go with any of the 10 diagramming software listed above that meets your requirements.
If you’re switching from MS Visio mainly because of its price, Diagrams.net is the best free alternative you can use. It is available online and as a desktop app.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.