Top 5 Open Source Visio Alternatives in 2024

The drawbacks of Microsoft Visio will make the app unsuitable for many people. That is why an open-source alternative for Visio can be the ideal solution for some. Learn the 5 best options to install today and start practicing your drawing skills!

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Microsoft Visio is one of the most popular diagramming platforms backed by a reliable company name. While Microsoft Visio is undeniably an innovative diagramming tool with robust features, it faces criticism for being less user-friendly and having high pricing plans. Additionally, it is not available on MacOS.

The good news is that there are alternatives to meet your diagramming needs. Many consider open-source replacements, as they are cost-free and can offer excellent service. In this article, we will provide five of the best open-source Visio alternatives for you to choose from.

Alongside these options, EdrawMax stands out as an ideal Visio alternative. While not open source, it does have a free version. Moreover, EdrawMax offers more affordable premium plans than Visio.

A large number of our users used to diagram on Visio but turned to us for various reasons. With an intuitive UI similar to MS Office, EdrawMax is far easier to use. Additionally, it is available on Mac, Windows, Linux, and online. Give it a shot today if you are interested.

In this article
  1. Best Open Source Visio Alternatives
  2. EdrawMax - Free Visio Alternative
  3. Conclusion

Best Open-Source Visio Alternatives

LibreOffice - Draw

Integrated with Office suite, feature-rich

libreoffice-draw-interface

LibreOffice is a complete package of different applications, ranging from document editors to diagramming tools. The Draw app in the suite is used to draw different types of flowcharts, org charts, network diagrams, etc. With a library of tools and sketching options, it is a robust open-source alternative to Visio.

Draw also has a simple drag-and-drop framework but makes it one step easier with its single-click access option. It offers advanced manipulation with object rotation, a 3D controller, and its signature “Styles and Formatting” box.

Pros
  • Supports multiple languages
  • Simple and user-friendly interface
  • Works offline without ads
  • Very portable as it requires no prior installation
Cons
  • No options for collaboration

Draw.io

User-friendly, online collaborative diagramming

draw.io-interface

Draw.io is another open-source alternative for Microsoft Visio. Draw.io emphasizes teamwork with its real-time collaboration features. This application stands out in its simplicity and ease of use with a straightforward user interface, allowing easy navigation.

Using Draw.io, you can make UML diagrams, flowcharts, org charts, and whiteboards. Draw.io has gained trust from reputable partners such as Walmart, Tesla, AT&T, and Udemy,  which highlights its authenticity.

The drawing process in Draw.io is simple as it supports layers to handle each component individually. Moreover, it works offline, allowing users to access the app without an internet connection. But, the biggest strength of this app is its security and privacy by restricting its data tracking.

Pros
  • Doesn’t track your data and promote advertising
  • Consumes fewer device resources, thanks to its lightweight nature
  • Comes with a dark mode for people sensitive to bright lights
  • Doesn’t require registration to get started
Cons
  • Limited capabilities for large-scale diagrams and projects

Pencil Project

Specialized in mockups and prototyping

pencil-project-interface

Pencil Project is one of the most user-friendly options to replace Visio. It is a lightweight application with easy installation. Moreover, its open-source GUI makes it accessible to a broader audience. The mobile version of Pencil Project has engaging widgets, such as status bars, icons, and shapes.

This application supports diagram drawing with its built-in shapes and templates. Plus, its colorful yet minimalistic approach makes diagrams more attractive and vibrant. A unique feature of Pencil Project is its inter-page linking, allowing users to link elements in a page.

You can also export your diagrams in different formats using Pencil Project. It allows the creation of desktop, Android, iOS, and web UI with a collection of shapes and graphical elements.

Pros
  • Template libraries
  • Data linking
  • Import/export support
  • Offers a wide range of elements in mobile version
  • Provides regular updates on optimization and new functions
Cons
  • Limited features in free version
  • Not suitable for complex diagrams like UML diagrams

Dia

Coding-based, advanced graph visualization

dia-interface

Dia, or Dia Diagram Editor, is an excellent open-source Visio alternative. It has a neat interface, providing access to all the essential tools and options. The application comes with documentation to train newbies.

However, the biggest strength of Dia is its free-of-cost installation. The app doesn’t ask for in-app purchases or pricing packages. All of its features are available for free, including a collection of shapes.

The shape repository of Dia is also available on its website. There, you will find electrical, HVAC, gradient, optics, racks, electronic, scene mapping, building sites, automata, and other resources. You can install these shapes individually and integrate them into the main Dia software.

The software allows the creation of engineering, database, networking, circuits, computing, lighting, and miscellaneous diagrams.

Pros
  • Free of cost with access to all features and functions
  • Can be used to create a wide range of diagrams for different fields of work
  • Lightweight application with easy installation
Cons
  • No customer support
  • User may fee UI outdated 

Graphviz

Simple, efficient, basic diagram creation

graphviz-interface

Graphviz is yet another best Microsoft Visio alternative open source in our list. It is a visualization app used for creating high-end graphical representations, like network diagrams, database connections, machine learning graphs, and infographics.

It takes convenience to the next level by offering different export formats, like PDF and SVG. Graphviz comes with a variety of graphical elements and tools, but you can also create custom layouts and shapes.

Another plus point of using Graphviz is its support for different platforms. It works well on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Pros
  • Good for high-end diagramming projects
  • Highly recommended for experienced users
  • A simple and clean graphical interface
Cons
  • Not suitable for newbies as app lacks proper documentation
  • Doesn’t have a helpful community

EdrawMax: Free Visio Alternative

Are you unsatisfied with the available alternatives? While the tools in this guide are open-source and free to use, they might have certain limitations, as all free commodities do. Consider giving EdrawMax a try for the following reasons:

With an interface similar to MS Office, you will find it familiar and easy to navigate through the settings and options in the software. The intuitive UI makes it user-friendly to both beginners and pros.

EdrawMax is a one-stop diagramming solution for 210+ types of diagrams. The most frequently created diagram types are:

  • flowcharts
  • mind maps
  • genograms
  • org charts
  • UML diagrams
  • floor plans
  • ER diagrams
  • Architecture diagrams
  • network diagrams
  • schematics
What other types of diagrams can EdrawMax create? Check our Diagram Center to learn more.

The best part is that all the diagrams are available with a blank layout and templates. The software offers over 10,000 free templates and 26,000 symbols.

This all-in-one diagramming tool is available for all major operating systems and platforms, including Android, iOS, Linux, Web, Mac, and Windows. Additionally, its free version can handle all the basic and intermediate diagramming needs.

EdrawMax’s new AI functions have made it much more convenient and straightforward. Now, you can enter your requirements and generate a diagram accordingly. If you are new, you can start with the EdrawMax gallery. It houses thousands of templates for each diagram requiring only a few modifications. That is why the app has a solid 4.3 G2 rating, while Visio has a 4.2.

Pros
  • Export in 10+ formats, including Visio, PDF, and PPT.
  • Enables users to import Visio files.
  • Offers free cloud storage space.
  • Supports adding team members to a project.
  • One-click sharing to different social media channels.
Cons
  • Free version does not support Visio file import.

Conclusion

While Microsoft Visio is an excellent app, it is not affordable for everyone. Plus, its steep learning curve might not suit inexperienced users. So, you can always rely on an open-source alternative to meet your diagramming needs. While all the applications in this list are capable, they have their strengths and weaknesses.

Some apps might have expensive pricing, while others lack the robust features available in Microsoft Visio. That is why we recommend using Wondershare EdrawMax. This complete package of an application might be your perfect diagramming partner without being heavy on your pocket.

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

Zac Jenkins
Zac Jenkins May 23, 24
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