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5 Best Free Flowchart Software

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Flowchart software helps communicate and visualize complex ideas or concepts using diagrams.

Are you a UX designer looking to build a wireframe or a project manager looking to create a process flowchart? If your job involves using diagrams to communicate and visualize complex ideas, then flowchart software could be of use to you.

Flowchart software allows you to create visual representations of complex processes to bring clarity to concepts that are otherwise difficult to understand. The software offers pre-built templates and an icons library to help you create and edit complicated diagrams. It also offers commenting and note-taking features so your team members can interact and collaborate on projects.

If you don’t have the budget or don’t want to invest in high-end flowchart software, use a free tool. With a free tool, you can assess software usability before deciding whether to purchase a paid version.


This article looks at the five best free flowchart software options (listed alphabetically) based on user reviews and ratings. (Read how we selected these products.)

See the full list of the best flowchart tools in Capterra’s software directory.
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Top 5 free flowchart software
1

Cacoo: Saves diagrams as templates

Cacoo is an online diagram and collaboration tool that helps create a variety of diagrams, including flowcharts, entity relationship (ER) diagrams, office layouts, and freehand wireframes. It offers a wide range of stencils and templates to help create custom flowcharts from scratch.

This diagramming tool lets you save files as diagrams, templates, and stencils that can be saved for future use. Besides diagramming, it facilitates real-time collaboration by allowing multiple team members to edit diagrams simultaneously.

Your team can add comments on the diagrams and discuss ideas using the in-app video and chat functionality. They can also showcase or explain a complex diagram by sharing screens during a live video call.

You can share individual diagrams and folders with team members via email. You can embed the diagrams in web pages. You can also use the dashboard to view recent edits and activities on your diagrams as well as manage task distribution.

*Analysis accurate as of April 2022
Most affordable
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Key Features:

  • Collaboration tools
  • Desktop interface
  • Diagramming
  • Drag-and-drop editor
  • Feedback management
  • Flowchart creation
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$5 per user, per month (billed annually)

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Creating mobile wireframe in </span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/145718/Cacoo/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cacoo</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/145718/Cacoo/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></i></p>
2

diagrams.net: Offers a drag-and-drop editor

Diagrams.net is an online diagramming tool that features a drag-and-drop editor, an extensive shape library, and built-in templates to help create flowchart diagrams.

With diagrams.net, you can create and publish a wide variety of diagrams, such as UML diagrams, process diagrams, organizational charts, mind maps, ER diagrams, network diagrams, and flow charts. You can also create freehand shapes on a drawing board and save the shapes as images on the canvas. You can resize, flip, and rotate your drawings and fill them with colors.

Diagrams.net features a connection point editor that allows you to drag connection points around a shape, edit the connection points, and add or delete them as required. You can number the shapes and connectors in a diagram, align text labels inside and outside the shapes, and add your own diagrams to the shape library.

The software lets you share diagram files with your teammates or other stakeholders and edit them collaboratively. It also allows you to track and restore changes made to a diagram and import/export files in multiple formats, including JPEG, PNG, and SVG.

*Analysis accurate as of April 2022
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Key Features:

  • Data import/export
  • Collaboration tools
  • Diagramming
  • Mind map diagrams
  • Process modeling and designing
  • Templates
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

Free for up to 10 users. $8.25 per month for 11 users; price increases by $0.75 per extra user.

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Shapes library in </span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/166985/draw-io/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">diagrams.net</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/166985/draw-io/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></i></p>
3

Lucidchart: Provides a conditional formatting editor

Lucidchart is a cloud-based diagramming application that lets you work and collaborate in real time. You can create flowcharts, UML diagrams, architecture diagrams, organization charts, and mockups for websites and mobile devices (UI mockups, iOS mockups, etc.).

The software lets you highlight important information or key areas in your diagrams and style your shapes using conditional formatting rules. Once you’ve created a diagram, you can share it with team members and invite them to leave feedback on specific shapes or the whole document.

You can use the chat feature to add comments and hold conversations on a document. You can create large diagrams by expanding the drawing canvas and adding live data from spreadsheets to your shapes and diagrams.

With Lucidchart, you can generate a URL for your diagrams and add the URL to presentations, embed it into external platforms, or even export it as shareable files.

*Analysis accurate as of April 2022
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Key Features:

  • Access controls/permissions
  • Data linking
  • Desktop interface
  • Diagramming
  • Document management
  • Graphical workflow editor
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$7.95 per user, per month

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Commenting feature in </span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/146136/Lucidchart/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Lucidchart</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/146136/Lucidchart/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></i></p>
4

Miro: Uses a countdown timer for whiteboard sessions

Miro is a collaborative whiteboard platform and flowchart maker that allows remote teams to brainstorm, plan, and manage Agile project workflows. It offers a digital whiteboard to help create mockups and schemes, note down ideas, and leave feedback.

The software provides flowchart templates and an icons library to build multiple diagram types, including swimlane diagrams, stakeholder maps, and data flow diagrams. It lets you export diagrams as images that can be used in presentations.

You can work with teammates by sending collaboration invites from the dashboard. Your colleagues can ask questions, leave responses, or make changes to the diagrams. You can share Miro boards via a public link.

Miro provides video chat and screen sharing facilities to facilitate remote collaboration. It also features a countdown timer that allows you to track time when conducting real-time whiteboarding sessions.

*Analysis accurate as of April 2022
Best functionality
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Key Features:

  • Action management
  • Agile methodologies
  • Asset library
  • Brainstorm
  • Collaboration tools
  • Commenting/notes
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$8 per user, per month (billed annually)

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Creating mind maps in </span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/128955/Miro/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Miro</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/128955/Miro/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></i></p>
5

Whimsical: Features Kanban boards for workflow management

Whimsical is a collaborative digital workspace tool that allows you to create flowcharts, mind maps, wireframes, and more to enhance ideation. It also lets you collaborate in real time via comments and discussions.

The software offers an extensive elements library that includes buttons, checkboxes, and searchable icons to customize your diagrams. You can create to-do lists and add text, photographs, and other related information to Whimsical cards, which are quite like virtual sticky notes. The feature is especially useful for marking specific tasks.

Whimsical provides a Kanban board to view projects and track their progress. The Kanban board organizes project tasks into a three-step workflow: to do, in progress, and complete. You can also add additional columns to customize the board per your needs.

With Whimsical, you can style flowcharts in different ways. For example, you can change the color and shape of an element, add transparency to shapes, or change their outlines. Besides flowcharts and mind maps, the software can be used for designing draft data schemas and navigational hierarchies.

*Analysis accurate as of April 2022
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Key Features:

  • Brainstorming
  • Drag-and-drop editor
  • Project management
  • Real-time editing
  • Wireframe creation
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$10 per user, per month (billed annually)

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Workspace overview in </span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/172789/Whimsical"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Whimsical</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/172789/Whimsical"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></i></p>

How to choose the right free flowchart software for your business?

Here are some important considerations to help you identify the best free flowchart software for your diagramming needs:

  • Ease of editing: Flowchart software should allow you to edit flowcharts without having to change the entire diagram. Select a product that allows you to insert and delete columns and rows to facilitate repositioning, toggle between shapes, and move flow chart symbols as required. The software should also allow you to view edits in real time.
  • Software features: Before selecting a free flowcharting tool, consider its features and functionality. A drag-and-drop editor, lots of graphical elements, and an extensive template library are some basic features you must look for. Also, the tool should allow you to design your own shapes and store them in the library for future usage.
  • Usability: A flowchart maker is designed to make the diagramming process quicker and more creative for you and your team. Consider a tool that offers an interactive dashboard to track edits, allocate work to team members, evaluate progress, and gain valuable process insights. Also, check if the vendor provides user support, training, and tutorials to help you get started.

Common questions to ask when selecting free flowchart software

Here are some questions to ask vendors before finalizing a free flowchart tool:

Does your software provide diagram export and sharing capabilities?

An effective flowchart software tool should allow you to export your diagrams in various file formats, including PDF and vector. Additionally, it should provide you an option to share the flow chart diagrams via an online link or embed them into external platforms.

Does your software have collaboration tools?

At its most basic, flowchart software should allow you to edit diagrams in real time, leave comments on flowcharts, and share them with team members to get suggestions and feedback.

Does your software offer integration options?

Your shortlisted flowchart tool should integrate well with your existing business apps and software tools, such as G Suite, Slack, Visio, Confluence, and Excel. Seamless integration will make the software easy to use and allow you to share and use flowcharts and diagrams across tools.

How did we choose these products? We didn’t—you did

To find your ideal software match, you need information you can trust so you can save time, stay on budget, and focus more energy on growing your business. It’s why we vet and verify all our user reviews and recommend only the tools endorsed by people like you.

In other words, our product recommendations are never bought or sold, or based on the opinion of a single individual—they’re chosen by your peers, reflecting the views and experiences of our independent base of software reviewers.

At Capterra, we objectively select and rank products based on a methodology developed by our research team. Some vendors pay us when they receive web traffic, but this has no influence on our methodology.

To be considered for this list, products had to:

  1. Have at least 20 unique product reviews published on Capterra within the past two years, with an average rating of 3.0 or higher (as of April 11, 2022). We selected the five products with the highest ratings to feature in this article.
  2. Offer a free, stand-alone version of the software (not a trial version of the software where you purchase a product after a limited amount of time).
  3. Meet our definition of flowchart software: “Flowchart software presents processes and hierarchies within an enterprise in graphical form.”

The “best functionality” tool is identified based on the highest user ratings for functionality that a vendor received based on publicly available reviews (as of April 11, 2022).

The “most affordable” tool is identified based on the lowest pricing a vendor offered on their website in terms of cost to upgrade as on April 11, 2022.

Product research for this article was contributed by Himanshi Arora.


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About the Author

Shephalii Kapoor

Shephalii Kapoor

Shephalii Kapoor is a writer at Capterra. She helps small businesses identify the right software for their needs by analyzing user reviews for top-rated software products. Prior to Gartner, she worked as an assistant content manager at InfoEdge India Ltd. She has also worked in company law, aviation, and real estate. She is a published author and has contributed to various magazines and websites. During her free time, she enjoys reading.

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