Microsoft Visio is a good diagramming tool, but its $589.99 is too high for many of the single users. You may also have heard about some quite good closed source Visio alternatives like Edraw Max or Lucidchart, but how about the choices for open sourced ones? In today’s article, we will check the top 5 open source Visio alternatives.
The software is one of the vector-based open source Visio alternatives with 2D drawing, object creation, and manipulation, data import or export, rendering and so on. It is free to download from its official website.
- Has a well-structured menu system for you to edit every single element on the same layer of your work;
- It can be operated on many operating systems including Windows and Ubuntu;
- So far, not too much exporting options available (only PNG is available)
- Doesn’t support 3D diagramming;
Dia is one of the structured open source Visio alternatives that allow users to save and load diagrams in different formats including PNG, SVG, XFIG, and WMG. It can be used on Windows and Mac. The user interface is drag-and-drop based.
- Overall easy to download and install;
- The software has a work area for users to conveniently locate the competitors;
- It covers a number of shape packages for flowcharts, circuit diagrams and more;
- Currently doesn’t support Chrome OS;
- The main user interface is not so visually appealing (mainly black and white designed);
Pencil Project is among one of the prototyping open source Visio alternatives for you to draw site wireframes and mockups. It can be installed on Windows and Mac OS. The tool also includes some UI templates for you to design mobile interface or desktop mockups.
- Easy to use for wireframe design beginners for many different categories like Bootstrap, material design, GTK widgets and more;
- Quick to export files to PNG, PDF, SVG, ODT, and many more formats;
- You can work projects on the web browser Mozilla Firefox with the software;
- Not works quite smoothly for multi-projects (if you add graphics items on too many sheets then it may cause the software to run slowly);
Apache OpenOffice is another open source Visio alternative. You can use it for mathematical equations, databases management, multimedia slides, 3D illustrations, and project management etc. The software has an online version, and it supports Windows and Mac operating systems.
- The software is free to use (and that’s Microsoft products can’t do so far);
- Teams can easily collaborate and share files via the internet;
- The software has good compatibility with Microsoft files for users to open and edit;
- The software doesn’t include some advanced features as shown in Microsoft Visio;
- Not very user-friendly user interface (a bit of old-style dashboard);
As one of the open source Visio alternatives, LibreOffice allows users to generate, edit and view Microsoft documents including diagrams and text files. Besides, the software also includes collaboration tools, compliance tracking, document archiving, document assembly, document retention, and optical character recognition.
- Quick to install, convenient to use; has different language packages;
- Easy for you to create tables, add images, graphics; or you can directly use the built-in templates;
- Sometimes the exporting version may not be quite the same as your original file;
- The software doesn’t include many preset clip arts;
Open Source Visio Alternatives Summary
So far, we have seen the top 5 open source Visio alternatives. All of them are great to create different types of diagrams and graphics as Microsoft Visio can do. If you like coding, and wanna try something much cheaper than Visio, then you should go for these ones in this article.