I'm seeking a Mac app for creating basic flowcharts and similar diagrams.

Google has been no help; I've followed dozens of links to apps that either don't exist anymore, I can't find any real reviews of, or that won't run on OS X 10.6.6.

What I'd really like:

  • A simple and clean interface

  • Basic shapes

  • Automated connectors that stay linked as you move shapes around

  • Inexpensive, preferably under $30 but definitely under $50

What I'm not looking for:

  • Hundreds of shapes

  • Default styles that have shadows and textures and such that I have to keep removing

  • Dozens of amazing features that allow you to automatically map databases and draw UML diagrams from code and such (I'm looking at you, Visio) that I have to constantly navigate around to make a few basic diagrams

  • A mind-mapping app with all the features such a thing entails, one that happens to also let you make basic diagrams

  • A full-fledged drawing app where, once again, I have to maneuver around a whole bunch of features and options to get to the basic functions I need. (I have Illustrator, I love Illustrator, but it's crap for basic flowcharts and other simple diagrams.)

I wouldn't actually use it for flowcharts, but rather basic similar diagrams to show data flow between apps, information flow in a company or other places, that kind of thing.

I recently found out that the drawing portion of Google Docs actually does a pretty good job with the types of diagrams I need to create, but the UI is pretty poor and it obviously requires a constant net connection.

  • So you do not want to use the free feature in MS Office (SmartArt)! – user44516 Mar 22 '13 at 10:33
  • 4
    I suppose it's "free" if you own MS Office. – Matthew Frederick Mar 22 '13 at 22:45
  • Rather than spending$100 on some flowchart stuff, you spend bit more and have the office. <kbd>⌘</kbd> – user44516 Mar 22 '13 at 23:05
  • one of the software I find very useful is Balsamiq mockups. balsamiq.com – Ivan Aracki May 6 '17 at 21:48
  • This review describes 17 alternatives: machow2.com/flowcharts-for-mac-the-best-software – iled May 2 '18 at 19:14

31 Answers 31


Try yEd, it's free and very good.


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