The 10 Best Free Alternatives to Microsoft Visio

Posted by Jamie on August 30, 2018

Depending on what you do for work, you either have never heard of Microsoft Visio, or you use it (or a competitor) all the time. If you’re in the former group, all you need to know is that Visio is a structured drawing application that was acquired by Microsoft in 2000 and subsequently became part of the Office family of products. It’s a very powerful and flexible app, usable for many different purposes, but its main function is to help users draw flowcharts, control diagrams, layouts, and other structured graphical ways of presenting information. Visio is terrific for creating organization charts, workflow charts, and many other kinds of charts. The app lets users quickly create complex and professional-looking flowcharts, and integrates smoothly into PowerPoint or other Office documents for easy sharing. If you need a diagram made quickly, chances are you’ll be using Visio to make your chart.

However, because Visio is part of the Office suite, it’s a bit of an expensive program if you don’t already have access to it. You either have to buy Office 2016, or sign up for Microsoft’s Office 365 subscription service to use the product, or subscribe to a standalone Visio Online subscription for $5/user/month, or to the offline version for $15/user/month. In addition, there is no version of Visio for Mac OS X, so Mac users are locked out of the platform. Visio is a great application, and if you have access to it, you probably don’t need any alternatives. However, if you don’t have access to it, or if you just want to try something different, there are a number of free alternatives to try. Visio alternatives are a dime a dozen online, but not every application is created equally. In this article I’ll present ten of the best alternatives to Visio, all free (or free to try) and many that work online across all platforms. Let’s take a look.

2 thoughts on “The 10 Best Free Alternatives to Microsoft Visio”

Elik says:
Does any of the above options support visio files?
in other words, if I have collected through the years specific shapes, can I re-use these in one of the above options?


John Sloat says:
Hi there, I work at Ardoq. I’m sorry to say that we have recently switched from offering a free plan to a 30-day trial. Please feel free to remove us from this list so readers are not misinformed.

John Sloat


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