What is Diagramming Software?
Diagramming Software support the creation of flowcharts, diagrams, and maps for org charts, seating arrangement for events or office planning, network diagrams, conceptual diagrams, or project ideation (e.g. Venn diagrams, cause-and-effect, testable models, mind maps etc).
Some diagramming software includes collaboration tools to share or allow groups to edit work, more advanced or complete templates, and extensive libraries of objects and support for custom object creation. Some are purpose-built (e.g. wireframing) and some contain quite advanced or specific objects particular to their industry of intended use. More advanced diagrams and flow charts may integrate data or images from other applications or in turn produce outputs integrable into presentations.When on the market for Diagramming Software, consider these factors:
Diagram Software Features & CapabilitiesDiagram Software may include some of the following functionalities:
- Grid based design layout
- A UI component library containing commonly used elements
- Drag-and-drop or free form sketch based diagram or map editor
- Template library including wireframe, org chart, application prototype, mind map, etc
- Diagramming and flow charts
- Sharing features
- Collaboration tools including real-time chat, commenting, etc.
- Revision History
- Document embedding in website or presentation
- Export to vector graphics software or other tools (e.g. ITSM)
- Support for editing on mobile or tablet interface
Diagramming Software Comparison
- Cost: There are many diagramming tools available for free, obviously, with less features than their premium counterparts. However, these are great options if you want your entire organization to get involved in using diagramming software on a budget. If you only plan on having a few people use it, invest in the premium tools to make sure you get the most out of them.
- Real-time collaboration: Similar to the considerations taken into account with cost, think about whether or not you want diagramming software to act as a facilitator for collaboration in real-time (working on the same diagram at the same time). If not, you may not need to use a tool that offers this as a feature.
- Templates: While being able to build diagrams from scratch is a must-have for diagramming software, so are templates. Templates save you even more time by doing the design for you. Most diagramming software comes with standard templates, with premium options providing users with even more templates from which to choose.
Pricing Information & Availability
Diagramming and flow chart software can be relatively low cost and some (limited) options have free or trial options available online, or they might be ancillary software supporting some larger creative or productivity suite. While very simple charting software is available free online other more advanced packages present an annual cost of up to $8 per user monthly with annual billing, more or less depending on feature breadth and team size.
MindManager is a mind mapping and project management tool that aims to boost users’ productivity. It is designed to facilitate a wide range of project types, and includes cross-platform functionality and 3rd party integrations.
Lucidspark is a virtual whiteboard where teams can bring their best ideas to light. Users can collaborate in real time, no matter where they are. Lucidspark helps people organize notes and scribbles and turn them into presentation-ready concepts. When it’s time for next steps, teams can develop work…
Lucidchart is a presented by the vendor as a flexible yet powerful flowchart and diagram software that integrates with other collaboration tools, enabling visual collaboration for teams.
Cvent Social Tables is a software application that allows event planners and properties to work together online. Cvent's cloud-based hospitality software positions event properties to increase sales and work more collaboratively and efficiently with their event, and meeting customers. The vendor boa…
Microsoft offers Visio, a diagramming tool for building flowcharts, diagrams (e.g. network diagrams), org charts and floor plans, available online as a subscription and also in enterprise level packages (e.g. Visio Professional).
OmniGraffle is a wireframing tool for Mac users.
draw.io is an online diagramming tool with integrations with Jira, Google, and Confluence available free online or at cost depending on integration chosen.
Apache OpenOffice is a free open source office suite that includes six applications: Writer (word processor), Calc (spreadsheets), Impress (presentations), Draw (diagramming and graphics), Base (database), and Math (formulas).
MindMeister is an online mind mapping tool that lets users share maps with an unlimited number of users and collaborate with them in real-time. The vendor says more than 11 million people around the world use MindMeister to brainstorm ideas, plan projects, take meeting minutes, develop business stra…
Gliffy is an online diagramming tool with collaboration features from the San Francisco company of the same name, offering standalone versions of Gliffy and integrated versions for Jira and Confluence.
SmartDraw is a diagramming and flow chart building tool from SmartDraw Software in San Diego, California.
ConceptDraw DIAGRAM is an on-premise diagramming tool that, according to the vendor, allows users to create designs of any complexity level either on Macintosh or Windows, regardless of the platform being used. Users can install the same license of ConceptDraw DIAGRAM on multiple computers. The ven…
Whimsical is a visual workspace application from the company of the same name in Denver, allowing users to create collaborative wireframes, mindmaps, flowcharts, and sticky notes.
Hong Kong based Xmind offers their diagramming tool featuring a range of templates, alternate brainstorming and presentation modes, a clip art library, and export to a wide variety of file types (e.g. PDF, JPG, Word or Excel, etc.).
Creately aims to provide powerful diagramming features at a very affordable price. The product boasts an intuitive interface so users can quickly and easily come up with professional diagrams. Users can draw flowcharts, organizational charts, wire-frames, SWOT diagrams, Venn diagrams, network diagr…
ConceptDraw MINDMAP is l mind mapping software application that can also resolve tasks for project management. According to the vendor, multiple shortcuts help users create new topics, re-arrange them and highlight important points, and export to various file formats. Enrich your mind map with in-…
Cacoo is a user-friendly online diagramming tool that allows users to create a variety of diagrams such as wireframes, flowcharts, UML diagrams, network diagrams, mindmaps, sitemaps, database diagrams, and more. Cacoo includes an extensive collection of templates and shapes, collaboration features …
MindGenius is a project management software built around capabiliities such as map creation, meeting management, and strategic planning.
Edraw Max is an all-in-one diagram software designed to make it simple to create professional-looking flowcharts, organizational charts, network diagrams, business presentations, building plans, mind maps, science illustration, fashion designs, UML diagrams, workflows, program structures, web design…
Nevron Software in Wilmington offers and supports MyDraw (formerly Nevron Draw), an advanced diagramming application billed as an alternative to Microsoft Visio.
Keepsolid offers Roadmap Planner, a diagramming tool available in multiple tiers offering a free version for single users with limited presentation view, and higher tiers containing support for larger teams, collaboration, more advanced presentation view for flow charts and diagrams, synchronizatio…
SimTech Systems headquartered in Irvine offers MindMapper, a diagramming tool that allows the user to generate ideas, organize information, and implement plans.
Room Viewer is a space diagramming software tool for venues and events, from Timesaver Software in Santa Ana.
Gardena Garden Planner is a free, browser-based landscape design software that allows users to plan exterior designs or garden plans.
iScape - Outdoor Home Designer is a free application designed to design outdoor living spaces.
Frequently Asked Questions
Software engineers use diagrams more often than those outside the field think. A feature diagram visually depicts how the elements of a software system relate to each other when operating in Unified Modeling Language (UML). Engineers typically employ the use of diagramming software to create these visualizations.
Diagramming software is useful for visualizing more abstract concepts and showing the relationship between various people, objects, or ideas. They are particularly useful in collaborative settings and work well for introducing concepts to more visual learners.
Diagramming software can be useful for just about anyone. They can be useful for engineering teams, human resources, sales, education, and remote teams looking to translate in-person meetings into something easily digestible online.