First introduced in 1992, Microsoft Visio is one of the most robust and powerful diagramming apps available in the market. This software allows you to convert raw data into information, which in turn, you can shape into visually informative graphic diagrams – including timelines, flowcharts, floor plans, etc.
However, Microsoft Visio comes with pricing plans which sometimes, might not fit in your budget. Luckily, there are several free options too, and we will cover 4 of the Best Free Microsoft Visio Alternatives here:
Draw.io is a browser-based tool with a very accessible and user-friendly interface. To the left, you can find all the tools to build your diagrams, and, to the right, you can find the drawing canvas. To use this app, you don’t need to create an account, and you can upload all your projects to the cloud or locally to your hard drive, as well.
On the downside, it’s a simple app, so it doesn’t provide a variety of features.
Link to Draw.io
LibreOffice Draw is, arguably, the largest Microsoft Visio open-source competitor. With Draw, you can even group different objects and apply collective actions to all elements of that group. There is also the possibility of exporting your projects using different extensions, and you can even download a Visio-like shaping package – for those already familiar with it. Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
There aren’t many cons when using this tool, although it might take some getting used to before you can unleash its full potential.
Link to LibreOffice Draw
LucidChart is another web-based Visio alternative that provides you with a friendly drag-and-drop interface, which allows you to save tons of time. Another helpful feature in this app is the possibility to work in small teams – the same project can be worked on by multiple people simultaneously. Lastly, it supports .vdx files, so you can import and export projects seamlessly from and to Microsoft Visio.
Something is missing, though. You won’t have a built-in categorization of shapes for different areas, such as engineering, networking, etc.
Link to LucidChart
Gliffy also has a paid version, but the free license still is quite powerful. It is fully integrated within the cloud. It also offers a drag-and-drop interface and is very simple to use, given its web-based design.
It comes completely free for students, a two-week trial for other customers, and a full set of features with the paid version, which are also available.
Link to Gliffy