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10 Top Free Microsoft Visio Alternatives & Competitors in 2024

Diagramming tools like Microsoft Visio are indispensable for teams that need to visualize ideas and processes. You see diagrams in company wikis, strategy documents, engineering plans, and technical specs. 

But Visio can be expensive. And frankly, it’s not for everyone. 

Maybe you’re looking for visualization software that better draws out your creative juices. Maybe you want a smoother whiteboard integration or a tool you can plug into your project management platform. Or maybe you just need a free app for creating personal mind maps and managing your workflow.

Whatever your needs, we’ve got you covered with this list of 10 top Microsoft Visio free alternatives.

What Should You Look for in a Microsoft Visio Alternative? 

Before we dive into the list, let’s go over some of the features to consider when looking for an alternative to Microsoft Visio:

  • Intuitive user interface: Does this software have an interface that lets you recognize the functions you need and access them quickly? If you’re so used to working on Microsoft Visio (and love it), you may want to choose a diagramming software that gives you a similar user experience.
  • Flexible diagramming and mind mapping capabilities: Does this diagramming software offer the complexity you need for your specific use case? Does it give you the level of customization you require?
  • Data sources: Can it pull data from spreadsheets and business intelligence software with a few clicks? Can it import Visio files?
  • Real-time collaboration: Does it let you and your teammates edit and comment on the same project at the same time?
  • Price: Does it have a free version? Can you afford to pay for more features?

To help you choose, we’ve prepared a list of some of the most popular (and free!) software that can replace Microsoft Visio in your tech stack. Except for Google Drawings and Coggle, the software on this list can read and edit Visio files to make your transition easier.

The 10 Best Microsoft Visio Alternatives

1. ClickUp

ClickUp views
See the 15+ views in ClickUp to customize your workflow to your needs

ClickUp is a cloud-based, end-to-end productivity and collaboration platform. It comes with ClickUp Whiteboards, a visual collaboration tool. Because Whiteboards are integrated into the platform, you don’t need to switch between various tools when you create workflows, matrices, and mind maps. 

The notes, pics, documents, and tasks you need to refer to live on a single platform, and you can link to them or insert them into your diagram for a smooth workflow. (We’re not kidding when we say ClickUp is the one app to replace them all!)

If you do need to access files from other software like Airtable, Excel, Wrike, Trello, or Google Drive, simply integrate them with ClickUp.

ClickUp best features

  • ClickUp Mind Maps for brainstorming and visualizing ideas
  • Easily drag, drop, and link objects to draw connections and workflows
  • Add context to your diagram by inserting web links, trackable tasks, notes, and images
  • Create a template or choose from dozens on the ClickUp platform
  • Smooth interface for drawing freehand
  • Supports real-time collaboration

ClickUp limitations

  • Whiteboard tool isn’t available on ClickUp‘s mobile app (not yet, at least!)
  • Might be overwhelming for new users with little diagramming experience

ClickUp pricing

  • Free Forever
  • Unlimited: $7/month per user
  • Business: $12/month per user
  • Enterprise: Contact for pricing

ClickUp ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.7/5 (2,000+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.7/5 (2,000+ reviews)

2. Lucidchart

Lucidchart is a workspace for visualization, diagramming, and virtual whiteboarding. It’s great for projects of varying complexity—from UML diagrams and wireframes to business process maps and code visualizations

In fact, the company claims roughly 99% of Fortune 500 companies use Lucidchart, which means it’s an ideal Microsoft Visio alternative for companies with enterprise-level usage and security needs.

Lucidchart best features

  • Has automations for org charts, mind maps, UML sequence diagrams, data linking, and other routine diagramming tasks
  • Lets you create and edit diagrams offline
  • Integrates with Google Workspace, Salesforce, Bamboo HR, and other data sources
  • Export boards from the Lucidspark whiteboard to create quick diagrams on Lucidchart

Lucidchart limitations

  • Lags when you try to insert high-quality images in graphs
  • Can be confusing for first-time users
  • Custom icons don’t always behave the same way default elements do

Lucidchart pricing

  • Free
  • Individual: $7.95
  • Team: $9/month per user
  • Enterprise: Contact for pricing

Lucidchart ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.6/5 (1,000+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.5/5 (1,000+ reviews)

3. Creately

creately product diagram example
via Creately

Creately makes it easy to create visuals, such as mockups, organizational charts, and process maps. You can start with either a blank canvas for freeform diagramming or one of the thousands of templates available. 

If you’re new to diagramming software or find Microsoft Visio difficult to use, you’d probably enjoy using Creately, as its interface is easy to learn.

Creately best features

  • Link and sync data from data sources so any changes to data are automatically reflected in your visualizations
  • Add tasks and context, such as notes and metadata, to any visual object in your diagram
  • Gives you a view of tasks assigned to yourself across all workflows and diagrams
  • Has in-app conferencing

Creately limitations

  • The drag-and-drop UI is sometimes buggy, resulting in objects not reacting the way you intended them to
  • Occasional saving errors
  • Can be slow to load large complex diagrams with many objects

Creately pricing

  • Free
  • Starter: $5/month per user
  • Business: $89/month for unlimited users
  • Enterprise: Contact for pricing

Creately ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.3/5 (300+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.3/5 (100+ reviews)

4. Nulab

Cacoo by nuLab screen sharing example
Via Nulab

Nulab is a collaboration suite with integrated tools for managing team projects, holding online meetings, and creating diagrams. Its diagramming tool, Cacoo, lets multiple users edit the same project simultaneously and communicate through in-app video and chat. 

Cacoo’s free version is an ideal alternative to Microsoft Visio for virtual teams that occasionally collaborate on visualizations and don’t require huge storage space or multiple exporting options.

Cacoo (by Nulab) best features

  • Collaborate in real-time with multi-user editing, commenting, and revision tracking
  • Provides a complete version history so you can compare changes to your diagram over time
  • Lots of exporting and sharing options, as well as integrations that let you embed diagrams into content (e.g., company wikis)

Cacoo (by Nulab) limitations

  • No straightforward, simple, one-click process for grouping items
  • Lacks connector flexibility
  • The software lags occasionally

Cacoo (by Nulab) Pricing

  • Free
  • Pro: $6/month for 1 user
  • Team: $6/user per month

Cacoo (by Nulab) ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.4/5 (100+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.7/5 (100+ reviews)

5. Miro

Miro Diagramming Whiteboard Example
via Miro

More than 45 million users globally use Miro for brainstorming with colleagues and seeing the connections between different ideas. This whiteboarding tool is a popular Microsoft Visio alternative for marketing, UX, engineering, Agile, and product management teams

Miro is among the most popular apps on this list, along with Lucidchart. Check out this Miro vs. Lucidchart comparison to decide between the two (or see if you’d choose a different option instead).

Miro best features

  • Super easy to use with minimal learning curve
  • Great for running workshops with an infinite whiteboard, video calls, timer, and voting system
  • Supports text, post-it notes, docs, images, videos, and tagged comments
  • 100+ integrations with tools like Zoom, Google Workspace, Jira, and Notion

Miro limitations

  • Lots of lag when multiple users are using the same canvas
  • The wide range of features can overwhelm new users and make the UI feel cluttered
  • You have limited options for customizing templates

Miro pricing

  • Free
  • Starter: $8/month per user
  • Business: $16/month per user
  • Enterprise: Contact for pricing

Miro ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.8/5 (4,000+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.7/5 (1,000+ reviews)

6. Draw.io (now Diagrams.net)

Diagrams.net product example
via Diagrams.net

Highly technical users like Draw.io (now Diagrams.net) for its ability to support complex diagrams and flowcharts. As the software is open-source, you can tailor it to your needs and embed it into different platforms, either through direct integration, via a Chrome web extension, or as an add-on feature. 

Best of all, it’s a completely free Visio alternative.

Draw.io (Diagrams.net) best features

  • Lets you choose where to store your data: on your device, on GitHub or GitLab, or on a cloud storage platform
  • Edit diagrams where and when you want to—on the web app, in offline mode (Windows, Mac, or Linux), or on a third-party platform like Atlassian, Notion, or Google Workspace
  • Has plugins for a custom sidebar, voice assistant, animation, and more
  • Easy embedding and importing of various file types and elements, including iframe, HTML, SVG, Lucidchart files, Griffey, files, and PNG

Draw.io (Diagrams.net) limitations

  • Huge designs sometimes don’t load correctly, with a few elements overlapping
  • Alignment issues when exporting large diagrams as PDFs
  • Limited options for customizing line designs, such as their style and thickness

Draw.io (Diagrams.net) pricing

  • Free

Draw.io (Diagrams.net) ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.3/5 (300+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.6/5 (300+ reviews)

Check out these Draw.io alternatives!

7. EDrawMax

EDrawMax diagram tool
via EDrawMax

With EDrawMax, you can create diagrams, flowcharts, floor plans, and more in minutes. The software focuses on user experience so you can easily find the necessary functions and tools. 

You can get it either as a standalone tool or as part of a bundle with other EDraw apps, such as dedicated mind mapping and Gantt chart tools.

EDrawMax best features

  • Currently available for download and lifetime use with a one-time payment (though the company is switching to a pure subscription model sometime in 2023)
  • Minimal, uncluttered interface
  • Has templates for a wide variety of business, technical, and design use cases
  • The downloadable version works cross-platform (Windows, macOS, and Linux)

EDrawMax limitations

  • No monthly payment option
  • Some reviews say the customer service teams take time to respond to queries and complaints
  • Can be overwhelming for diagramming novices and non-technical users

EDrawMax pricing

For individuals

  • Free trial
  • Annual Plan: $8.25/month, billed annually
  • Lifetime Plan: $198 one-time payment

For businesses

  • Team Annual Plan: $8.43/user per month, billed annually
  • Business Plan: Contact for pricing

EDrawMax ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.3/5 (60+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.6/5 (100+ reviews)

8. Google Drawings

Google Drawing example
Via Google

Part of Google Workspace, Google Drawings is a web-based app that integrates with Docs, Slides, and Sheets. The software is rudimentary when compared to Microsoft Visio, though. 

If you create basic diagrams and charts and do much of your work on G Suite, Google Drawings can meet your needs.

Google Drawings best features

  • Lets you embed videos and graphical elements directly into Google suite, reducing the need to switch between apps
  • Drag and drop elements to quickly create diagrams
  • Comes with a library of royalty-free stock photos
  • Supports real-time collaboration

Google Drawings limitations

  • Not ideal for data-heavy projects due to the limited number and variety of elements
  • Limited ability to customize the style and appearance of your diagrams
  • No offline mode, so you need an internet connection

Google Drawings pricing

  • Free

Google Drawings ratings and reviews

  • No G2 or Capterra reviews at this time

9. Gliffy

Gliffy product example
via Gliffy

Gliffy is a native diagramming app for Confluence and Jira. If you’re an Atlassian app user, that means not switching to different software to create or edit network diagrams, user flows, wireframes, and other visuals. 

The result: a smoother and faster workflow.

Not using Confluence? Not to worry—Gliffy has also released an online diagramming app for single users, teams, and enterprises.

Gliffy best features

  • Lets you create interactive diagrams without leaving the Confluence interface
  • Links and syncs diagrams, so that any update on a diagram is automatically reflected on all its linked duplicates and embedded versions
  • All text in a diagram is fully searchable on Confluence/Jira
  • Advanced security and access management features

Gliffy limitations

  • Occasional lags and errors when you work with a large diagram
  • Lacks mobile apps
  • The software slows down when presenting large, very detailed graphs

Gliffy pricing

Gliffy for Confluence and Jira

  • Free trial
  • Teams of 1-10 users: $10/month flat fee
  • Tiered pricing for more users, starting at $3.80/month per user for 11-100 users
  • Teams of >100 users: Contact for pricing

Gliffy Online

  • Free trial
  • Professional (1-9 users): $10/month per user
  • Professional (10-50 users)l: $8/month per user
  • Enterprise: Contact for pricing

Gliffy ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.4/5 (100+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.3/5 (60+ reviews)

10. Coggle

Coggle mind map product example
via Coggle

Coggle is a mind-mapping tool that helps you visualize ideas, concepts, and tasks. If you use Microsoft Visio mainly for brainstorming with colleagues or visualizing ideas and strategies, you’ll find Coggle to be a worthy Visio alternative. 

It’s not ideal for complex and highly technical use cases, though.

Coggle best features

  • Ability to link multiple diagrams together so you can follow the flow from one concept to the next
  • Flexible annotation features, including floating text and images that aren’t part of your diagram tree
  • Saves and tracks every change you make and lets you quickly revert to a previous version of your diagram
  • Easier to learn compared to many Microsoft Visio alternatives

Coggle limitations

  • Only supports Sign in with Apple, Google Login, or Microsoft Account Login (though you could also see this as a pro, as those sign-in options offer security and give you one less password to remember)
  • Limited shape and line designs, as well as fonts and branch colors
  • For free plans, all diagrams are public and indexable by search engines

Coggle pricing

  • Free
  • Awesome: $5/month
  • Organization: $8/month per user
  • Enterprise: Contact for pricing

Coggle ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.8/5 (6 reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.5/5 (40+ reviews)

Unleash Your Ideas With Your Ideal Microsoft Visio Alternative

Regardless of your needs, there is an alternative to Microsoft Visio that can help you create diagrams and visuals quickly and easily. We hope this article has given you an idea of what’s out there and helps you choose the right brainstorming, mind mapping, and diagramming tool. 

If you’re still on the fence, you can sign up for ClickUp for free and test drive your own customizable workspace. Invite teammates, build from one of our detailed templates, or create your custom Mind Map in minutes.

Good luck!

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