I'm looking for something to replace Visio on a Mac. I am getting tired of using VMware because it's too slow on my computer and was wondering if there's anything out there I can use to wireframe apps specific to Macs.

  • 2
    Consider adding RAM. It might be cheaper in time and money than buying other software and learning how to use it.
    – user588
    Jan 18, 2011 at 17:55
  • RAM is all maxed out :-)
    – wajiw
    Jan 18, 2011 at 23:01
  • Please, O mighty Apple Community, provide an answer! I have been dreaming of this and it's the only thing left tying me to Windows...
    – atroon
    Jan 19, 2011 at 1:18
  • @wajiw I'm not sure what hardware you have but with 8GB RAM you ought to be able to run Windows Apps w/o a problem. Check your settings in Parallels (or try VirtualBox). Personally, all-Mac would be a nicer solution, so I hope a good answer is posted below. But slow shouldn't be an issue if you can fit 8GB in.
    – user588
    Jan 19, 2011 at 2:18
  • @mankoff 3GB max in my C2D 15" 2.16GHz says otherworldcomputing... even virtual box with xp slows me way down
    – wajiw
    Jan 19, 2011 at 3:33

5 Answers 5


If money isn't an issue, or one that you can wrestle with, then I don't think there is really any better tool for this than OmniGraffle by the Omni Group. It doesn't come with interface elements by default, but there is a freely-available extensive library of options on their site Graffletopia.

  • 1
    +1 for OmniGraffle. It isn't as 'thorough' an application as Visio, but I would be inclined to say that the vast majority of current Visio users would be satisfied, if not happy, using OmniGraffle in its place.
    – mummey
    Jan 19, 2011 at 18:18
  • Second the OmniGraffle recommendation. I've been using it for 6 years, and its the best diagramming program I've found on any platform. It will also import (some) Viso files. The ones I've have problems with had pictures embedded from other Windows software.
    – KeithB
    Jan 19, 2011 at 18:26
  • I've been using the OmniGraffle Pro Trial for a day now and it does an excellent import/export of Visio files. Answered!
    – wajiw
    Jan 27, 2011 at 22:24

Even if the need is not exactly the same, some answers of this recent thread may apply.


I have the same problem, Visio and MS Project are the only things i can't find good replacements for, so i have an XP VM running in Parallels.

Most of the time we use the free version of Balsamiq. We have a license for the installable version, but no one uses it, preferring to use the online version.

Not as clean as Omnigraffle or Visio, but works well for wireframing.

Also, consider the Drawing tools in Google Docs, they are excellent and have all the basic shapes.


Not the exact answer, but Crossover Mac claims to run Visio 2K3 (And the whole Office Suite) using an API comparability layer, rather than a full-blown VM.

It's basically Wine with a pretty GUI and some Mac-Specific Tweaks.

OTOH, if you're feeling adventurous, you could try straight-up wine, whough it will likely require some console trickery.

The Wine App DB Claims that Visio 2007 works pretty well.

The easiest way to get Wine on OS X is probably MacPorts -
Just sudo port install wine winetricks


I recommend OmniGraffle, as previously mentioned, with the Konigi Wireframe Stencils or the Yahoo! Design Stencil Kit.

But, if you find OmniGraffle too expensive, you can save some money and use Keynote ($20 in the App Store) with Travis Isaac's Keynote Wireframe Toolkit ($12), which I've found a very capable replacement. Check out his Keynote Kung-Fu presentation on the subject of wireframing with Keynote.

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