Visio is the most conspicuous example of a program that I found useful on Windows for which I have not identified a Mac-compatible equivalent.

Visio's primary function is as a flowchart diagramming tool. It allows the user to construct complex information flows with smart objects and interconnect graphics that snap and bend as the user moves things around on the page. It evolved over the years to support other diagram and information flow views like IT diagrams and UI mockups.

What's out there that can replace Visio on the Mac?


13 Answers 13


OmniGraffle or OmniGraffle Pro: http://www.omnigroup.com/products/omnigraffle/feature_comparison/

  • 7
    OmniGraffle Pro reads Visio's binary files, not just their XML ones. That was worth it by itself for me. Also, FWIW, I much prefer OmniGraffle to Visio in terms of ease of use. My coworkers often comment about how nice the diagrams are.
    – Michael H.
    Commented Oct 4, 2010 at 13:39
  • 1
    I have had similar experience with my coworkers. Omnigraffle is what Visio would like to be.
    – Kevin
    Commented Feb 17, 2011 at 15:36
  • 1
    OmniGraffle isn't equivalent to Visio. It's a much higher quality software for its UI quality and for the quality of graphics produced. Pages may also be used to make high quality graphics and with much more graphical objects than OmniGraffle.
    – dan
    Commented Jan 18, 2013 at 22:53
  • As much as i like OG, it still lacks the ability of fine tuning shapes in a more accessible manner like the fine tuning abilities present in visio and concept draw when it comes to mechanical processing diagrams. It still is a fine replacement for the purpose of drawing UI mockups.
    – ismail
    Commented Jan 19, 2013 at 4:27

We produce draw.io, it's not as complex as the named tool, but it does the majority of tasks in this field. It's free, plus there's a Desktop version available.

  • 5
    Hi. I understand that this answer might be very old and you may not monitor this account, but I just want to let you know that I'm completely blown away by how simple and free draw.io is. It's lightweight, loads fast (even loads faster than the actual MS Visio lol), has tons of shapes, can save to cloud or local drive right away, and also great documentation! I can't believe this is completely free, even for commercial use! Thank you for develop this! Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 2:21

As others have mentioned OmniGraffle is a great Visio replacement. But if you want something free, I'd also recommend yED:


I use it on my Linux-based systems, but since its java-based, it works well on Mac OS X, as well as Windows.


Dia, it's not a native app, it uses x11 but it works ok. There is also ConceptDraw PRO but this is another of those cross-plantform apps and doesn't work as well as OmniGraffle.

I would probably still recommend OmniGraffle for Mac.


OmniGraffle is awesome, but quite pricy. If you're looking for Visio replacement for specifically UI mockups or really simple diagrams, you can use Balsamiq Mockups


Check out GenMyModel, a new browser-hosted UML modeler, cross-platform and free. It works on Chrome, Firefox, IE and Safari (Mac OS) and provides UML-compliant modeling with code generation (java, SQL). It presently supports class diagrams and use case diagrams. You can also export images and PDF reports.


Surprised to see that Lucidchart isn't on here.

  • HTML5 based
  • Supports all the IT libraries I want
  • Import and export any Visio files

  • It has a visio viewer that allows you to edit and view visio files. This is because its integrated with your google drive so it is easy for Lucidchart to allow you to work on those files and export it.

  • Lucid chart has a collaborative interface that allows to easily work with small teams editing rather than having to send a diagram back and forth.

  • Its free for a single user. (there are other options which do have prices attached which isn't too bad)

  • It has a drag and drop feature which makes it easy to use and is very intuitive.

  • 3
    I'm not surprised at Lucidchart's obscurity on the Mac platform. It's not native and for a software rental, the cost is high compared to options for iOS and Mac like OmniGraffle with a rich set of support in the Mac ecosystem.
    – bmike
    Commented Apr 29, 2013 at 22:15

I have just come across another nice (open source) application for creating Diagrams and Mockups - http://pencil.evolus.vn/. It is not as professional and powerful as Omnigraffle, but for many situations it probably is enough, namely simple diagrams and mockups (which can be exported as HTML).

I also use some other solutions for diagrams (including UML diagrams), these are not for mockups:


An alternative viewer to the one mentioned in Donald B's answer is:

Enolsoft Visio Viewer for Mac

A smart file viewing tool to support the use of Visio files by Mac OS users, enabling them to view, save and print Microsoft Visio drawings and diagrams on Mac OS X 10.7 and higher.

  • View Microsoft Visio Drawings in VSD format easily on Mac.
  • Convert Visio to PDF with original elements retained.
  • Support multi-tab viewing to switch between multiple Visio files easily.

It is a "Paid-For" product however it is available as a "Free Trial", to allow you to try before you buy (if so desired).


I personally like MaSSHandra. The approach of it is a bit different to what MS Visio has as it is a 3D tool and provides other tools like autodiscovery of networks. And it's cross-platform.


While I love Omnigraffle, it isn't cost effective for most. A cheaper alternative for me was Diagrammix, especially since it allows me to use Omnigraffle stencils to create network diagrams, E-R diagrams, and flowcharts, for example.

  • If the link was ever valid, it no longer is, and points to videos of dubious morality.
    – benwiggy
    Commented Oct 26, 2023 at 17:24

The Opensource Apache OpenOffice offering includes a visio-like tool which is appropriate for drawing shapes. It supports windows, linux and Mac.

You may give it a try: https://www.openoffice.org/download/index.html


Check out Napkin. It's $39.99 on Mac App Store.


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