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Visio Alternatives for Mac OSX

Updated on February 17, 2013
Visio alternatives for Mac
Visio alternatives for Mac

Something similar to Visio on Mac / OSX

As a software engineer I frequently has to draw various diagrams. Flowcharts, database diagrams, ER diagrams and a whole lot more. And when it comes to drawing diagrams in Windows nothings comes close to Microsoft Visio. Since its from Microsoft it only works in Windows platforms so I did a research for some Visio alternatives for Mac. I have limited them to desktop software because there are plenty of web based diagramming software available. Web based diagrams software are powerful and will be enough for most users diagramming needs, but sometimes it is essential to have desktop software.

Creately desktop - a great Visio alternative for Mac
Creately desktop - a great Visio alternative for Mac

Creately Desktop

Creately comes above Omnigraffle for one reason, that is they have a online version that automatically syncs with your desktop version. This is really handy if you are accessing and modifying your diagrams from multiple locations. For 75$ it is much more cheaper than Omnigraffle as well.


  • You get an online account which automatically syncs with desktop
  • Cheaper than other available options
  • Support multiple platforms ( Windows, Linux, Mac )
  • Ability to export as images, pdf's
  • Access to hundreds of professional templates


  • No Visio import
  • Lack of advanced editing tools

Considering the price and flexibility this was the best option for me. Check out Creately desktop.

Please give your ratings on Creately desktop as a Visio alternative

4 out of 5 stars from 5 ratings of Creately Desktop
OmniGraffle - an excellent Visio alternative with advanced diagramming features
OmniGraffle - an excellent Visio alternative with advanced diagramming features

OmniGraffle Professional

One of the most advanced diagrams tools for Mac OS. It has most of the functionality available in Microsoft Visio so can be considered an excellent alternative for Microsoft Visio.


  • Full set of advanced tools for easy diagramming
  • Ability to imports some Visio formats


  • Expensive compared to other alternatives
  • No syncing with online accounts like Creately.

If you are using diagrams extensively in your day to day work then paying extra for these advanced features is definitely worth it. Check out OmniGraffle professional.

Become an OmniGraffle Expert

OmniGraffle 5 Diagramming Essentials
OmniGraffle 5 Diagramming Essentials

An excellent guide on how to become an expert OmniGraffle user. Lots of illustrations make it very easy to understand the tutorials. Importantly the intermediate steps are clearly mentioned so even a newcomer can grasp the tutorials easily. You will definitely learn some neat tips and tricks in using OmniGraffle.


Dia Diagram Editor

For open source fanatics Dia is another good Visio alternative for the Mac OS. It doesn't have the advanced tools like the other alternative mentioned above but it is more than enough for basic diagramming needs. As with most open source software you wont be able to find dedicated support teams at your disposal.


  • Its free, so you don't have to pay anything.
  • Ability to add your own diagram types ( as xml files )


  • No dedicated support, you mostly have to go to forums to resolve issues
  • Not feature rich and not the most user friendly system.

Not the most feature rich and easy to use tool, but to quickly draw a flowchart this is more than enough. Also the ability to define your own diagram types makes it attractive for technical users. Check out Dia now.

Online Visio Alternatives

Mentioned above are desktop software programs that can be used as Visio alternatives. But there are plenty more online diagramming tools that can be used instead. They are usually cheaper and has its own unique sets of advantages. Some of them include

  • Real-time online collaboration
  • Ability to access your diagrams from anywhere
  • Flexible monthly payment schemes
  • Free but limited public version

Below are some of them

  • Creately - mentioned above as a desktop version as well. Creately has an online version of its software.
  • Gliffy - the very first online diagramming software provider
  • Lucidchart - an HTML5 online diagramming software provider

Vote and Share Your Opinion

What is the best Visio Alternative for Mac ?

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    • Easy Exercise profile image

      Kelly A Burnett 

      3 years ago from United States


      Great article - very helpful, very succinct as to the pros and cons. Voted up and will link to when we launch our new website.

    • Oscar Brunn profile image

      Oscar Brunn 

      5 years ago from Moravsk√Ĺ Beroun

      I'm searching an information in web regarding Visio alternatives.

      Since we do migrate on Macs in my company (which are good news), I must to accept the fact of new tool (which is not very easy for some people).

      But looks like there are several good analogues. I've already tried Omnigraffle and Concept draw PRO and second looks ideal for me and my team, because there still will be several Windows users and Conceptdraw supports both Mac&PC, also because of very professional templates and free Visio convertor service in PRO.

      Thanks a lot to author.


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