5 Best Microsoft Visio Alternatives for Creating Flowcharts and Diagrams

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What do we mean by best? These are the top-rated Microsoft Visio alternatives in our diagram software directory.

Header illustration of a woman standing before an icon symbolizing project management

Microsoft Visio is a well-known flowchart and diagramming software that’s highly rated by users. With over 1,400 reviews on Capterra’s software directory, it’s actually the most-reviewed diagram software on our site and has earned a 4.5 out of 5 star overall rating.

As part of the Microsoft Office family, it has a familiar interface and is well integrated with their other products, making it a good option for dedicated Microsoft customers.

Of course, belonging to a well-known brand doesn’t make it the right fit for everyone. That’s why we’re highlighting five top-rated Microsoft Visio alternatives in Capterra’s diagram software directory.

What does “top-rated” mean? Each of the five tools included in this piece have an above-average overall user rating compared to other products in the category. You can read our full methodology here. Products are listed alphabetically.

top-rated microsoft visio alternatives for diagramming

5 top-rated Microsoft Visio alternatives

1. Cacoo

Cacoo Logo
Overall rating: 4.5/5.0
Reviews: 110+

Cacoo is cloud-based data visualization software used to create and share flowcharts, diagrams, wireframes, organization charts, and process models. Key features include collaboration, multi-user editing, dynamic charts, embeddable diagrams, pre-built templates, and an icon library.

Plans and pricing:

  • Free: Includes one user license, six sheets, access for up to three collaborators, and limited functionality (e.g., PNG export only, and accepts file uploads up to 500 KB).
  • Paid: $6 per user, per month (must be purchased on a tiered plan starting at three users and going up to 200), and includes 1,000 sheets, unlimited collaborators, and full functionality.

Pros

Cons

Reviewers praise Cacoo for being easy to use and easy to learn. They also positively note the product’s templates and icon library. Reviewers note some difficulty finding elements for specific environments, as well as some inconsistencies with icon styles.

Who rates Cacoo highly?

In the past year, 61% of Cacoo’s reviews came from users at small businesses, 8% from midsize, and 31% from large. It was highly rated by reviewers in the internet, consumer services, and computer hardware industries. Additionally, it was highly rated by reviewers with the following job titles: owner/CEO, software consultant, and student.

User dashboard in Cacoo, a Microsoft Visio alternative

User dashboard in Cacoo (Source)


2. D3M

D3M logo
Overall rating: 4.5/5.0
Reviews: 30+

D3M is a cloud-based network diagramming application designed to help project managers, engineers, technicians, and sales reps design network topology, rack diagrams, and floor plan diagrams. Key features include autogenerating project inventory, quotes, proposals, documentation, and live collaboration.

Plans and pricing:

  • Free: Includes five user licenses, one project, full functionality, live chat support, and video training.
  • Paid: Users can pay per project (starting at $9 per month for two projects) or subscribe to an unlimited project plan. Plans with unlimited projects start at $199 per month for up to five users and include everything from the free plan plus additional support and training options.

Pros

Cons

Reviewers praise D3M’s ease of use, the quality of their training and documentation, as well as their icon library. The biggest complaint from users is around the quoting function in D3M, e.g., not needing it, or wanting to have several quotes inside the same project, or not being able to discount different sections of a quote individually from the rest.

Who rates D3M highly?

In the past year, 81% of D3M’s reviews came from users at small businesses and 19% from large. It was highly rated by reviewers in the following industries: electrical/electronic manufacturing, wireless, and telecommunications. Additionally, it was highly rated by reviewers with the following job titles: owner, sales director/executive, and general manager.

Preparing a quote from a diagram in D3M, a Microsoft Visio alternative

Preparing a quote from a diagram in D3M (Source)


3. Draw.io

Draw.io logo
Overall rating: 4.5/5.0
Reviews: 330+

Draw.io is free, open source, and cloud-based diagram software for making flowcharts, diagrams, organizational charts, and process models. Key features include a template and icon library, drag-and-drop functionality, ability to track and restore changes, and collaboration.

Plans and pricing:

  • Free: Draw.io is a free tool that anyone can use simply by visiting their site in a web browser.
  • Paid features: There are some interactions with other tools that are not free, such as Confluence Server and Data Center and JIRA Server and Data Center.

Pros

Cons

Reviewers praise Draw.io for being free while still offering various templates and an extensive icon library. Additionally, several note that the tool is very intuitive and easy to use. Some reviewers take issue with the import/export options.

Who rates Draw.io highly?

In the past year, 60% of D3M’s reviews came from users at small businesses, 17% from midsize, and 23% from large. It was highly rated by reviewers in the following industries: telecommunications, internet, and computer software. Additionally, it was highly rated by reviewers with the following job titles: software engineer/developer, CTO, system engineer.

Creating a BPMN diagram in Draw.io, a free Microsoft Visio alternativeCreating a BPMN diagram in Draw.io (Source)

4. Edraw Max

Edraw Max logo
Overall rating: 4.5/5.0
Reviews: 50+

Edraw Max is a data visualization tool that helps users create and share flowcharts, diagrams, mind maps, organization charts, and floor plans. Key features include a template library with 280 pre-built templates, several export options including PDF, Word, PPT, JPEG, and HTML, as well as the option to save and collaborate with other users via Edraw cloud storage.

Plans and pricing:

  • Subscription license: Costs $99 per user license for a one-year subscription, includes 280 diagrams, supports two computers, and is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux OS
  • Lifetime license: Costs $245 per user license, includes everything in the subscription version plus 1000M cloud storage and unlimited email support. Also includes free lifetime upgrade guarantee.
  • Perpetual license: Costs $179 per user license, includes everything from the subscription version plus a three-year upgrade guarantee.

Pros

Cons

Reviewers praise Edraw’s extensive template library and data export options. Reviewers note that the free trial version limits some key functionality, which makes it difficult to get to know the software fully before purchasing.

Who rates Edraw highly?

In the past year, 58% of Edraw Max’s reviews came from users at small businesses, 19% from midsize, and 23% from large. It was highly rated by reviewers in the following industries: education management, financial services, and electrical/electronic manufacturing. Additionally, it was highly rated by reviewers with the following job titles: managing consultant, VP of marketing & production development, and student.

Creating a flowchart in Edraw Max, a Microsoft Visio alternative

Creating a flowchart in Edraw Max (Source)


5. MindManager

MindManager logo
Overall rating: 4.5/5.0
Reviews: 45+

MindManager is a data visualization tool that helps users create mind maps, flowcharts, diagrams, and process models. Key features include brainstorming, presentation tools, co-editing/collaboration, and a robust template library.

Plans and pricing:

  • MindManager 12 for Mac: $199 per user license; includes several templates and limited project planning and task management functionality.
  • MindManager 2020 for Windows: $350 per user license; includes everything in the Mindmanager for Mac version plus full project planning and task management functionality.
  • MindManager Enterprise: For teams of five or more (contact the vendor directly for pricing). Includes everything from the MindManager for Windows version plus integration with SharePoint.

Pros

Cons

Reviewers praise MindManager for being intuitive and providing a robust template library. Reviewers note that MindManager’s interface is a little dated and that the product is expensive which makes it a tool geared more for individuals than teams.

Who rates MindManager highly?

In the past year, 65% of Mindmanager’s reviews came from users at small businesses, 13% from midsize, and 22% from large. It was highly rated by reviewers in the following industries: accounting/financial services, marketing and advertising, and telecommunications. Additionally, it was highly rated by reviewers with the following job titles: business analyst, CEO, and finance management.

Creating a diagram in MindManager, a Microsoft Visio alternativeCreating a diagram in MindManager (Source)

Want to see other alternatives?

To be included in this update, products had to meet our 20-review minimum and have an above-average overall user rating compared to other products in the category (see our methodology section below).

The following products met our review minimum, but their overall rating was below the category average:

Additionally, you can visit our diagram software directory and filter the list to show only products that meet various criteria (such as key features needed or number of users).


Methodology

This article was updated October 17, 2019. Products considered for this article had to appear in our diagram software directory and meet the category feature requirements, i.e., one or more of the following: collaboration, drag and drop, mind map, templates, data import/export, flowchart, organizational charting.

Software that met this requirement also needed a minimum of 20 user-submitted reviews published between Sept. 28, 2018, and Sept. 28, 2019, and have an above-average overall user rating compared to other products in the category. “Top” tools were rated at least 4.5/5 stars overall by users.

Looking for Project Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Project Management software solutions.

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About the Author

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Eileen O'Loughlin

Eileen O’Loughlin is a Senior Project Management Analyst for Capterra. Her research helps small businesses leverage the latest technology and trends to solve key business challenges and achieve strategic goals. Her work has been cited in various publications, including CIO.com, ProjectManagement.com, ProjectsAtWork and DevOps Digest.

Comments

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As an online tool Lucidchart has proven to work excellent and for the cases with no internet connection ConceptDraw PRO app comes in handy as well.

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What about Xmind? I don’t know much about the project management side other than there is one, but for visual communication / mind mapping it works.

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Hi Rachel, please also consider Cacoo https://cacoo.com/ which support Visio import and has multi-user editing. The price is also competitive at $5 per user per month.

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ardoq is way too expensive. 999 a month / 10 is 100 dollars a month – 85 dollars more than 15 dollars a month.

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You can review the MyDraw application for drawing various types of diagrams: http://www.mydraw.com

MyDraw provides support for Visio drawing (VSDX) import and export. It also works on Windows and macOS.

Full disclosure: I work with the team behind MyDraw.

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Thanks for reaching out, Nishadha! I’m actually updating this article this month, so I’ll take your feedback on Creately as a Visio Alternative into consideration 🙂

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Hi Rachel, First of all, thanks for featuring Creately as a Visio alternative. Other than the things you mentioned we now have a mobile app to view your diagrams and a brand new embedded player to include even large diagrams in a web page.

As for support, we don’t expect our users to find answers using help or in a forum. This is reflected in your reviews as well, we’ve got 5/5 start for customer support 🙂 .

You can email support@creately.com and we usually answer within 24 hours. Usually sooner than. And you can reach us using many other ways like Facebook, Twitter etc. Whatever the method you choose we usually get back within 24 hours.

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Hi, for those who are looking for Microsoft Visio Standard 2016 in version for Mac, I can recommend this service: http://www.apponfly.com/en/microsoft-visio-standard-2016?EZE They provide a cloud version of Visio and there is a free trial available. Hope this will help! 🙂

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Great compliation, Rachel! For anyone looking for an affordable and super fast alternative to Visio, check out Textografo: https://textografo.com/

It makes diagramming a 40% faster than Visio – we know because we’ve measured it! 😉 If you try it, please let me know what you think.

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You can also try Nevron Draw:
https://www.nevronoffice.com/products-draw-about

It’s an affordable, feature-rich Visio alternative and comes with 700+ shapes and 100+ ready to use diagram templates and translation of the UI to multiple languages (English, Bulgarian, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish). The unique features of Nevron Draw that make it different than the competition are support for creating 1D and 2D barcodes, automatic layouts that arrange your shapes in order to make your diagrams more compact and better looking and import of map data from ESRI shapefiles.

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