9 best visio alternatives
The following are the best 8 visio alternatives which are available as stand alone desktop applications compatible for Windows, Mac, Linux and Unix platforms. The alternatives in the list also include web based tools and browser extensions which can better serve as visio alternatives.
Apache Open Office Draw
The open source application, Apache Open Office Draw is a powerful application for technical or general posters etc., and provides various tools with the help of which users can communicate with graphics and diagrams. You can draw anything from a quick sketch to a complex plan using the application. It provides the maximum page size of 300 cm x 300 cm
It helps the users in the process of creating diagrams by helping them with the ability to park most of the commonly used diagrams around the screen for single click access. You can quickly create spheres, rings, cubes etc. with the help of 3-D controller and manipulate the objects or rotate them in two or three dimensions. It provides many other features like Libre Office Draw which include glue points and allows grouping of objects and doing changes while the objects are grouped.You can create photorealistic images with your own texture, lighting effects, transparency, perspective and others using sophisticated rendering. For clipart, the application provides a picture gallery and you can also create a part of your own and add it to the gallery.
The graphics that you have created using Apache Open Office Draw can be saved in OpenDocument format which is the new international standard for office documents. The XML format means that you’re not tied to using draw and can access your creative graphics from any other software which is OpenDocument compliant.It allows the ability to import graphics from all common formats which include BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF and WMF. It also helps in creating .swf flash versions of your work.
Calligra Flow is formerly known as Kivio, a part of KOffice OpenSource office suite. Calligra Flow is the free and open source diagramming software and is a part of Calligra Suite. The flowcharting application is easy-to-use and has a tight integration with other Calligra applications. It helps users to create network diagrams, organizational charts, flowcharts and more. You can download and install the application for free on various operating systems like Windows, Mac, Linux, FreeBSD. The application also provides advanced features like scriptable stencils and support for Dia stencils. It also contains a plug-in framework to add more functionality.
Dia is a diagramming application which can be used for creating a large variety of diagrams like SADT diagrams, UML diagrams, ER diagrams, Cybernetics diagrams, flow charts, network diagrams, circuit diagrams, hydraulic or Pneumatic diagrams, etc., the application is available for Windows, Mac and Linux platforms. The application is designed to satisfy many needs that Visio can. It has a user interface and features which are very similar to Visio. Dia provides many features which include multiple page printing, the ability to export to many formats (EPS, SVG, CGM and PNG). It also provides the ability to use the custom shapes which are created by user as simple descriptions. This application helps users in drawing diagrams, network maps and flowcharts. Learning how to work with the application is easy with the help of manual provided and the application is flexible allowing power users to create highly customized diagrams. It can be used by many people who belong to a wide variety of industries.
The web-based application, Draw is powerful with a wide variety of options and is built for speed. If you have used Google docs, you can see that the interface looks pretty similar. It helps in creating diagrams for business processes, charts, engineering, flowcharts, mind maps, mockups, network diagrams, software diagrams, venn diagrams, wireframes and has a good number of default templates to get started. The web-based application is fully integrated with Google drive, Dropbox and lets you save the files to these online storage services. Besides that you can also save the created file to your device or save it within the browser. It supports many languages and is compatible with all the operating system’s which facilitate a browser to connect to the application. It also provides the facility to download the created files in various formats like PNG, GIF, JPG, PDF, SVG, HTML, etc.,
Graphviz is an open source graph visualization software which helps in representing the structural information in diagrams of abstract graphs and networks. It’s application can be found in various domains like networking, bioinformatics, software engineering, database and web design, machine learning and in visual interfaces for other technical domains. The diagrams can be made in various useful formats such as images and SVG for web, PDF or Postscript for inclusion in other documents etc. It has many useful features for concrete diagrams such as colors, fonts, tabular node layouts, line styles, hyperlinks and custom shapes
Libre Office Draw
Draw is an open source application which helps in transforming information in the form of a quick sketch or a complex plan and provides a way to communicate with the means of graphics and diagrams. It can be used for producing technical drawings, general posters etc. The application helps users to manipulate graphical objects by providing the ability to group them, crop them or use these objects in 3-D and provides many other features.Even if you’re not a talented artist, smart connectors will make it easy for creating flowcharts, organization charts, network diagrams etc. It also helps the users in defining glue points for connectors which help in repeatable positioning. When you draw using the application, the dimension lines are automatically calculated and displayed.
The application helps to manipulate images in many ways. With the help of the application, you can create an entire photo album and the powerful engine allows the conversion of images to a wide variety of image and document formats.
Lucidchart is an affordable alternative to Visio. This is an online application which runs in your browser and doesn’t require any installation. It provides drag-and-drop functionality which helps in creating diagrams. The best part when it comes to Lucidchart is that it has the features for collaboration. Hnce, you can work as a team which facilitates an increase in the productivity. You can embed the diagrams created in a wiki, website or a blog and the diagram will be automatically updated when you make certain changes to that particular diagram in Lucidchart. The web-based application provides integration with Google drive. It can also be integrated with Confluence, JIRA and JIVE. This is only web-based application which helps to import and export Visio files and has the support for it. There is a free plan where the features are limited for normal users. Advanced features can be accessed by subscribing to premium plans.
Pencil is an open source GUI prototyping tool built for the purpose of providing a free and open source GUI tool that can help users to create mockups in popular desktop platforms. The application has built-in shapes collection which includes general purpose shapes, flowchart elements, desktop or web UI shapes, Android and IOS GUI shapes. Besides these, there are many other collections created by the community which are distributed for free on the Internet. These can be installed into the tool with a simple drag-and-drop operation.The latest versions of the tool is shipped with preinstalled Android and IOS UI stencils making it much easier. To simplify the drawing operations, many popular drawing features have been implemented in Pencil.
The application supports connectors which can be used to “wire” shapes together in a diagram. It also includes a collection of flowchart shapes which are available for drawing diagrams. The application easily integrates with Openclipart.org to let users easily find cliparts by keywords and add them into the drawings by a simple drag-and-drop operation. It also helps to link the elements in a drawing to a specific page in the same document which helps the users to define the UI flow while creating applications or website mockups.
The drawing document can be exported into PNG, OpenOffice or LibreOffice text documents,Inkscape SVG and Adobe PDF. The application is available as a standalone application for various operating systems like Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. It is also available as a Firefox extension which enables to have the work done via a browser without the need of installing anything on your desktop.
yED Graph Editor
yEd is a freely available powerful Java Swing desktop application which can be used to create high-quality diagrams. With the help of this application, you can create diagrams either manually or import your external data which can be analyzed by the layout algorithms with the press of a button into diagrams. The application is compatible with all major platforms like Windows, UNIX, Linux, Mac OS X where a suitable Java Run Time environment is available. It makes diagram creation easy and provides powerful features and intuitive user interface for the same. It comes with an extensive number of ready to use elements to get started with diagrams which include a wide variety of shape notes and edge types, group nodes, UML elements, swimlanes and table nodes, Entity Relationship symbols, flowchart symbols, people and computer network symbols.
It also provides the facility to import your own bitmaps(JPG, PNG), vector graphics (SVG) or shape stencils from Visio VSX files. The application also helps users to annotate and position elements to achieve maximum clarity. It provides a powerful functionality for the layout of complex datasets. The application helps you with automatically arranging the diagram elements or support you when you are undertaking a manual layout. It provides the facility to import many formats like GraphML, Excel XLS spreadsheets, GEDCOM, GML. The diagrams created can be exported to various formats including PDF, SWF, SVG, EMF, JPG, GIF, BMP, PNG, EPS and HTML image maps. It provides HTML Flash Viewer export option which helps in saving diagrams to GraphML, package it with an Adobe Flash Player based viewer and a wrapper HTML page which can be uploaded to your website.