How to Create a Sequence Diagram in Visio

Learn to create a sequence diagram in Visio and how to do it in a simpler alternative.


A Sequence diagram is a diagram-making technique that illustrates the objects that are together in a group and perform together. Some It professionals often wonder how to make a sequence diagram in Visio. With the help of sequence diagrams, these objects are depicted in the correct order of execution. Visio sequence diagrams are used by IT companies to understand new systems and to document the existing process.

In a single-use case, a sequence diagram models all interactions between objects, showcasing the different interconnected parts of a system that interact with each other. EdrawMax might be the right place for you if you are looking for UMP sequence diagram examples. Along with providing various sequence diagram examples, you can use them as needed or take them as a reference. EdrawMax is a simple yet effective tool that allows you to choose built-in templates and customize them per your preference.

In this article
  1. How to Create a Sequence Diagram in Visio
  2. Pros & Cons of Creating a Sequence Diagram in Visio
  3. How to Create a Sequence Diagram in EdrawMax
  4. How to choose the best UML diagram maker
  5. Conclusion

How to Create a Sequence Diagram in Visio

As mentioned, a sequence diagram is essential in system documentation submission and the details. To create a sequence diagram in Visio, here are some steps to follow:

Step 1. Create a plan or a Roadmap

Planning your sequence diagram before starting would give you ample time. After that, you can launch Visio on your system and opt for the UML sequence diagram to begin creating your sequence diagram.

Step 2. Start Creating the Diagram

The next step is to create the diagram. Click Create and choose shapes from the shapes window in the task panes. After selecting the shapes, click the expand the shapes button to develop them. Select the checkbox next to the connection points to connect two shapes. At last, you can rename the shapes by double-clicking on the labels.

Step 3. Use Lifelines and Messages

There are lifelines in the sequence diagrams that you can choose for the participants and elements. These are called actor lifelines and object lifelines. To enter the title, double-click on the lifeline. You can increase or decrease the timeline from the yellow control point. There is another feature for sending messages between the lifelines, which you can do by clicking on the endpoint of the lifeline.

actor lifeline and object lifeline

Step 4. Do the Interaction between the Lifelines

Various fragments indicate the interactions between the lifelines. You can also use an activation bar on the lifeline to show a participant's activity duration. It will have arrows to represent the flow of information. You can use the destruction option to show how many terms a participant has completed. Lastly, once you complete the sequence diagram, save it for future use.

fragments to indicate interactions

Pros & Cons of Creating a Sequence Diagram in Visio

Microsoft Visio is a valuable tool for creating sequence diagrams for software developers, system architects, and many more. Here's a brief overview of the pros and cons of using Visio for creating sequence diagrams:

  • Users find using Visio helpful in creating standardized documents and its integration with Microsoft software like PowerPoint.
  • Visio provides various tools to create diagrams the way the user wants. It can also map any process to find gaps and improvements for better results.
  • Visio provides a wide range of diagramming options and detailed customizations, making it an invaluable tool for creating detailed business or technical flow diagrams.
  • Visio finds it challenging to arrange the sequence diagrams in cases of significant processes.
  • If you are a novice, Visio may take a while to get comfortable as there is a significant learning curve to it.
  • Visio does not have a feature to create a personal theme for your business venture. Also, it could be more user-friendly and flexible in selecting and creating tasks/links; draft versions can only be shared with licensed users, and Visio maps are large files.

How to Create a Sequence Diagram in EdrawMax

EdrawMax is an innovative diagram-making tool that allows users to visualize and collaborate effectively. With EdrawMax, you can develop foundational solid systems and provide high software quality. You can also run productive meetings, capture and brainstorm ideas with fellow drawers, build organizational structures and sequence diagrams, and identify roles and responsibilities to improve team performance.

Features of EdrawMax

Various Templates and Symbols: You can choose from more than 2000 templates used across multiple businesses, education, the fashion industry, etc. EdrawMax has over 280 types of diagrams, three times the quantity of vision.

Easy Export of Files: EdrawMax allows easy export and sharing of files in any format. It supports various formats like Office, PDF, Visio, HTML, and Graphics. You can share your file via social media or e-mail to your colleagues.

Multiple application Versions: EdrawMax is available both in online and desktop versions. Moreover, you can access hundreds of templates, symbols, and features online and offline.

How to Create a Sequence Diagram Step-by-Step Using EdrawMax

A sequence diagram can illustrate interactions between system users and various parts of the systems. It also enables the display of the time order in which the event occurs. Here are the steps to create a sequence diagram on EdrawMax.

Step1. Log in to EdrawMax

Go to EdrawMax, download and install the application on your system, and, depending on your system software, download the sequence diagram maker. If you want to collaborate with your office colleagues, you can head to the EdrawMax Online version and log in through your registered e-mail.

Install and log in to edrawmax

Step2. Choose a Template

Next, if you can access the Visio sequence diagram, you can use the import feature to import the previously designed diagram. You can also search for a sequence diagram template from the template community.

edrawmax choose a template

Step3. Create a new diagram

Another option is to create a diagram from scratch. To do so, click on the plus sign in EdrawMax and start working using the sequence diagram symbols in the tool. You can place the objects in order and start connecting them.

edrawmax create a new file

Step4. Customize the diagram

You can customize a professional sequence diagram using symbols from the symbol library to create a professional sequence diagram. Ultimately, you can customize your diagram by changing the process steps and updating the color.

customize the sequence diagram

Step5. Save, Export, and Share

The easy export option allows you to share your completed sequence diagram with your friends and colleagues. You can export the diagram in Visio and other formats, such as HTML, PPTX, JPEG, etc.

edrawmax export and share your file

How to choose the best UML diagram maker

A unified modeling language (UML) diagram maker is a sturdy tool software developers and analysts use to visualize and represent various aspects. It helps to facilitate collaboration and communication among stakeholders. Although there are a plethora of UML diagram makers available for free, sometimes it may take time to choose the right UML diagram maker. Some crucial factors in selecting the best UML diagram maker are:

Easy-to-use Interface: A good UML should have a user-friendly interface and intuitive features to help beginners and professionals create diagrams. It should also enable intelligent formatting and auto-formatting to save time.

Compatible with Operating Systems: A decent UML diagram creator should be compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux. It should also support multiple file formats, such as PDF, PNG, SVG, etc., to enable export and sharing.

Features: All UML diagram types, such as class diagrams, sequence diagrams, etc., should be included in an ideal UML diagram creator. It should also provide advanced features such as cloud storage, version control, and documentation, which can be helpful for software development projects.


For business analysts and IT professionals, creating a sequence diagram is one of the crucial skills as they often need to document and analyze the system interactions. In a Microsoft-centric environment, one can handle how to make a sequence diagram in Visio, as it is a preferred choice due to its integration with the Microsoft suite. EdrawMax stands out with its ease-to-use interface and extensive template library, hugely beneficial for those new to sequence diagramming. The user must consider the project's pros, cons, complexity, and specific requirements to choose the preferred tool. The right tool should provide advanced features, additional components, and easy sharing to social media and team members.

Lydia Iris
Lydia Iris Jul 04, 24
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