Visio App Unleashed: Streamlining Processes through Visual Mapping.

Explore the art of process mapping with Microsoft Visio – your key to visualizing and optimizing workflows. Unlock the potential of the Visio application as we guide you through seamless process mapping.


Process mapping is an important step in business process management and analysis. It allows organizations to visualize their processes and workflows to understand them better and identify areas for improvement. Microsoft Visio is a popular tool used by many for process mapping.

In this article, we will discuss the Microsoft Visio application, understand Visio process mapping, go through the steps to use Visio for process mapping, steps for Visio download, and also explore EdrawMax as an alternative to Visio for process mapping.

In this article
  1. What is Microsoft Visio Application?
  2. Understanding Visio Process Mapping
  3. Steps for Visio Application Download
  4. Best Visio Alternative to Try: EdrawMax
  5. Creating a Process Map Flowchart Using EdrawMax
  6. Conclusion

Part 1. What is Microsoft Visio Application?

Microsoft Visio is a diagramming and vector graphics application software developed by Microsoft.

Visio uses customizable stencils and templates to create visual diagrams using drag-and-drop functionality. It integrates with other Microsoft applications such as Excel, SharePoint, Project, etc. which allows data to flow between programs.

Some key features and uses of Microsoft Visio include:

  • Creating flowcharts, workflows, process diagrams
  • Mapping out organizational charts and structure
  • Designing office layouts, floorplans, landscapes
  • Engineering diagrams - UML, database models, technical drawings
  • Network diagrams showing physical and logical topology

Visio provides advanced diagramming capabilities not found in other Microsoft Office apps, which makes it a popular choice for business process mapping and documentation.

Part 2. Understanding Visio Process Mapping

visio process mapping

Process mapping refers to visually documenting the steps, events, decision points, etc. involved in business processes. Mapping processes allows businesses to thoroughly understand them and identify areas of improvement.

Microsoft Visio offers several techniques and tools that facilitate process mapping effectively:

  • Cross-functional Flowcharts - capture process flows across departments.
  • Swimlane Diagrams - visualize roles, and responsibilities in processes.
  • Workflow Diagrams - map the sequential flow of work/information.
  • Value Stream Mapping - lean management tool to analyze the flow of materials and info.
  • Data Flow Diagrams - show how data flows through systems.
  • Organization Charts - understand an organization's structure.

Key steps involved in process mapping using Visio:

  1. Identify the process to be mapped.
  2. Determine scope and desired level of detail.
  3. Research process, and gather inputs from process owners.
  4. Create process diagrams in Visio based on inputs.
  5. Add other relevant details - time, and resources used.
  6. Validate the process maps with stakeholders.
  7. Identify improvement areas in the process flow.
  8. Update diagrams and documentation.

Benefits of process mapping in Visio:

  • Better understanding of processes.
  • Identify redundancies, delays, and inefficiencies.
  • Improve cross-functional collaboration when mapping end-to-end workflows.
  • Document processes to aid with training and knowledge transfer.
  • Basis for process reengineering, optimization, and automation.

Part 3. Steps for Visio Application Download

Microsoft Visio comes in different editions for individual and enterprise use. Here are the key steps to download the Visio application:

  1. Choose edition - Select between Standard or Professional edition depending on specific needs. Check the comparison between editions on the Microsoft site.
  2. Select licensing option - Choose the perpetual license for a one-time purchase or a subscription license for term-based pricing. Subscription includes online services.
  3. Buy Visio - Purchase online from Microsoft Store or authorized reseller based on selected edition and license type.
  4. Download Visio - For a box license, download the installer from the Microsoft Account portal after purchase. For a subscription license, can directly download it from the Office portal.
  5. Install Visio - Run the installer and follow the prompts to complete the Visio installation on your computer.
  6. Activate license - Use product key for perpetual license activation. Subscription edition auto activates on install.
  7. Launch Visio app - Find Visio in the Start Menu and launch the application. Optional step to pin the app to the taskbar for quick access.
  8. Sign in - For the subscription edition, sign in with a registered Microsoft account to access online services. Not required for a perpetual license.

Now Visio application is ready to use for creating process mapping diagrams and other drawings as needed!

Part 4. Best Visio Alternative to Try: EdrawMax

EdrawMax is a popular and versatile alternative to Microsoft Visio for process mapping diagrams. Key features:

  • Supports 40+ diagram types including workflows, flowcharts, org charts, etc.
  • 2000+ customizable shapes and templates.
  • Drag-and-drop interface with alignment and arrangement tools.
  • Create, edit, and share diagrams across devices using desktop, online, and mobile apps.
  • Export in multiple formats - PDF, JPG, PNG, SVG, HTML, etc.
  • Affordable licensing options.

Benefits of Visio:

  • Lower cost with lifetime license option.
  • Works across Windows, Mac, Linux, and browsers.
  • Mobile availability on iOS and Android.
  • More diagram types and styling options.
  • No recurring subscription fees.

EdrawMax is an easy-to-use and cost-effective Visio alternative for business professionals, process management teams, IT administrators, and many more use cases.

Part 5. Creating a Process Map Flowchart Using EdrawMax

Here is an overview of key steps to create a flowchart for process mapping in EdrawMax:

Step 1: Download and install EdrawMax on your PC. Launch EdrawMax on your computer. Select the Flowchart diagram type from a wide range of templates.

edrawmax template gallery

Step 2: Drag and drop flowchart shapes from the left panel onto the canvas—add start/end, process, decision, etc.

process map flowchart

Step 3: Use connecting lines to indicate the flow between shapes. Add text inside shapes to label process steps.

add connectors

Step 4: Apply styling like colors, fonts, and effects to enhance visual appeal.

customize colors

Step 5: Export the flowchart as an image or PDF and include it in the process documentation.

export and save


Microsoft Visio is clearly a very capable software for creating process maps and other business diagrams. However, the pricing and learning curve may deter some users especially small businesses.

EdrawMax offers a cheaper and easier alternative while providing all the core diagramming features needed for process mapping. With its multi-platform availability, editable object-oriented drawings, and cloud support, EdrawMax provides compelling value.

edrawmax logoEdrawMax Desktop
Simple alternative to Visio
210+ types of diagrams
10K+ free templates & 26k+ symbols
10+ AI diagram generators
10+ export formats
edrawmax logoEdrawMax Online
Edit diagrams anywhere, anytime
Personal cloud & Dropbox integration
Enterprise-level data security
Team management and collaboration

Edraw Team
Edraw Team Jul 04, 24
Share article: