It can handle a wide range of schematics, including complex BPMN workflows, UML diagrams and general Flowcharts, along with mind maps and network infrastructures. The list of possibilities is so big that we chose not to list them all here. So what is the catch? Based in Arizona, Pacestar Software has four diagram design tools of which Edge Diagrammer is the most versatile. Using Edge Diagrammer, you can easily generate block diagrams, flowcharts, org charts, family trees, data flow diagrams and many other standard diagrammatic forms. In addition to the base functionality, Pacestar has some free extension packs that support an even wider range of different diagramming methodologies.
19 Best Free Tools for Creating Flowcharts
The limitations of this product are that it is exclusively Windows platform, although it has very minimal hardware requirements and will run on any full version of Windows from XP upwards. There is also a free to distribute Windows tool that allows anyone to view drawings created using Edge Diagrammer. For those wanting to try it out a thirty-day trial is available to download, and for that period you can experience full functionality. Created by the Shenzen Edraw software company, Edraw Max was built to construct professional-looking flowcharts, organisational diagrams and has templates for different diagram types.
If you have a specific need, you might not need all the power of Edraw Max, and the same company makes tailored tools for Mind Mapping, Infographics, Org Charts and nine other different specific diagram requirements. In theory, Edraw Max can do any of these jobs, although users might find the scope and power of this tool a little daunting at first.
Those that get through an initially challenging learning curve report that once mastered this is a great application for creating professional looking schematics rapidly and efficiently. This product has many parallels with Draw.
Gliffy Diagram is available now and provides a straightforward tool for creating a very wide variety of chart types online or within Confluence. It also stores created charts into Google Drive, should you use that those Cloud services. Multi-user licenses also include additional groupware functionality. For Enterprise customers pricing is less per-person structured, and Gliffy provides an integrated solution that can dovetail into existing business processes.
One nice twist on this online software tool is that you can install a Chrome version that can work offline, should an Internet connection not be available. What this product lacks is much in the way of object customisation, although it scores highly on ease of use and a gentle learning curve. According to Lucid Software, they have over 11 million users. Strongly suggesting that this is not a niche solution, but a highly popular one. Lucid is one of the few tools that covers Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OSX and various Linux distributions by default, admittedly by being an online app rather than natively.
Instead, diagrams are restricted to a maximum of 60 objects, sufficient to explore its potential. Pro users get the ability to import and export to Visio, and dynamically link data into their charts for the extra money. And, it might be right for your business, too. When most people think about flow charts, they almost immediately think of Visio , although the product is capable of creating all manner of diagrams quickly and efficiently. It was one of the first products with smart drawing tools, and today it retains the ability for the tool to intelligently restructure a drawing as the user moves objects around.
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The obvious big selling point of Visio is that its part of the Office suite, and therefore designed to integrate with the other Office tools seamlessly. Microsoft offers four different options with Visio; two online, and another two that are standalone Windows applications. As you might guess, that high pricing is intended to encourage you to subscribe to the online versions, labelled Visio Plan 1 and Visio Plan 2. And with that you also get online and Visio Professional app, and access to better mobile tools, and a Visio Viewer for iOS.
For those already using Office , many of the existing packages include the online version of Visio. Like Lucid, SmartDraw can name an impressive list of blue-chip companies that are license holders since the company started in These include at least half of the Fortune quoted businesses and more than , public and private enterprises across the globe. The SmartDraw product can be used online or as a standalone Windows application. It supports the creation of no less than seventy chart types, including all the standard ones. Type in the left panel and your flowchart will show up in the right main workspace, as if you were using a Markdown editor.
It's the fastest way to create a flowchart—once you learn the syntax, that is. This app isn't for everyone. You literally can't drag your items to move them: try it and you'll be told "Nope! This means textografo can't work as a general diagramming tool: it's limited to flowcharts, decision trees, sitemaps, and other things that boil down to text boxes connected by arrows.
But if you want a quick way to make flowcharts, without any futzing around with your mouse, textografo is for you.
Flowchart Designer on the Mac App Store
But that's not the only reason it's worth checking out. The user interface, which closely resembles that of Google's online office applications, is easy to learn. There is also an optional a dark theme, which some people might appreciate. Arranging objects is simple thanks to a clearly defined grid, although the automatic arrangement options aren't as robust as we'd like. Files can be stored locally on your computer or using cloud services like OneDrive and Google Drive.
You can also import files from Visio, Gliffy, and Lucidchart, or export to just about every format you can imagine, including vector files. One unique feature, at least among online flowchart apps: File. This means you can edit your flowcharts without an internet connection, assuming you've saved them to your device instead of the cloud.
One downside: the number of shapes and templates offered is small, even though the basics are well covered. Overall this is a very flexible piece of software that doesn't take a lot of time to learn. It's well worth checking out, even if you only occasionally need to diagram something. OmniGraffle is the diagramming application that feels most at home on Apple devices. The interface is laid out just how Mac and iPad users expect, which is something no web application can deliver. Being native means OmniGraffle also works offline.
This is a flexible tool with a focus on creating mockups for software and websites. There aren't too many shapes and templates included by default but you can download more —and there's a surprising number of options. I was able to mock up a macOS application pretty quickly, for example, and there are also bundles that make it possible to mock up things like a landscaping project or an electrical diagram. The process for building a flowchart isn't automated but there are instructions you can follow. If you're strictly looking to make flowcharts I'd probably look elsewhere, but if you need a range of diagramming tools and prefer a native Apple interface, OmniGraffle is worth checking out.
SmartDraw is versatile.
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There are templates for everything from flowcharts to software design, from landscaping to wireframes. There's even a surprisingly large collection of maps you can use, from Canadian provinces to European countries. It's one of the more complete collections of templates we found. Diagrams can also be exported to Visio, image forms, or an SVG vector, meaning you can use these charts just about anywhere. The downside here is the user interface: it's just a little bit clunky when compared to Lucidchart or Visio. You'll figure out how to do everything eventually, sure, but we wish this was just a little more polished.
There's a seven-day free trial, however, so you try this out for yourself before deciding to subscribe. Gliffy Diagram, another web-based option, is really easy to learn. Choose from a template, start dragging shapes from the left panel, and you'll quickly have a flowchart, Venn diagram, or pretty much anything else you can think of.
There are a variety of shapes and icons to choose from, and adding your own is as simple as dragging from your computer. The built-in grid makes it easy to keep things tidy, and building a flowchart was quick in our tests.
catigmoni.tk Export options include images and SVG vectors, and it's possible to import Visio files. Perhaps the standout feature here are versions that integrate with bug management software Jira and Confluence, allowing users to quickly make diagrams using information from those services.
This is great if you use those services, but if you don't the Gliffy homepage is a little confusing. Just know that Gliffy Diagram, found here , is the standalone service for making diagrams, while Gliffy Project is the one that integrates tickets with visual plans. Cacoo is another solid option, albeit one that doesn't really stand out. It sports a simple user interface and a wide range of templates. The standard flowchart shapes aren't offered by default but there are templates you can use as a starting point. There are also templates for mind maps, Venn diagrams, and even calendars, which gives Cacoo some versatility.
There's also a simple chart function, which lets you quickly enter or paste data to make simple bar, pie, and trend charts.
You can then integrate these charts in the rest of your diagram. You could easily create such charts using Excel and then add them to your diagram, sure, but it's nice for everything to have the same visual style, so this tool can come in handy. Cacoo exports to image, vector, and even PowerPoint files. There's also support for importing from Visio. Title image via Lucidchart.
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Justin Pot is a staff writer at Zapier based in Hillsboro, Oregon. He loves technology, people, and nature, not necessarily in that order.