Top 12 Free & Open Source Flowchart Software [Updated] (2024)

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Published : June 1, 2020

Last Updated: September 19, 2022

Do you want to convert complex processes of your business in a pictorial form? Or do you want to turn your ideas in a flowchart to make it easy to understand? If your answer is yes, then you should consider choosing a flowchart software for your organization.

The purpose of this software is to make sharing of information about processes or systems easy to understand by quickly creating flow graphs. They help you to gain insights into the sequence of steps to be followed to accomplish a task.

What is Flowchart Software?

A flowchart software is that application that will help provide advanced functionalities in creating graphs and charts needed for your business operations, plans, and projects in the form of a flowchart.

With arrows, boxes, and visually appealing design of a process, you can create an optical model of complex documents that were otherwise hard to understand.

How to Select the Right Flowchart Software?

A useful flowchart software will help you to generate a flowchart that is simple and effective, which at the same time removes any ambiguity. You should consider the following factors while choosing a free flowchart software –

1. Reduce Time Taken

An ideal flowchart software will substantially reduce the time taken to create flowcharts. It will allow you to assign specific keywords that generate specified symbols making the process easy.

2. Customizable

Good software will allow you to customize the list of your favorite symbols and create a functional-looking diagram.

3. Automates Most Steps

Software is useful only when it automates various steps; for example, the creation of a specific diagram by entering predefined symbols would make things convenient for you.

4. Ease of Editing

You should have an option to edit the flowchart at each step of your process flow without remaking the entire diagram easily like you do on photo editing tools.

List of Top Free and Open-Source Flowchart Software

1. Dia Diagram Editor

Dia is an open-source flowchart software to create diagrams for GNU/Linux, MacOS X, Unix, and Windows. The software can be used to draw many types of programs, including entity relationship programs, flowcharts, network diagrams, etc. many features make it a perfect software to fulfill your needs.

Top 12 Free & Open Source Flowchart Software [Updated] (1)Features

  • Optional OGDF based automatic layout plug-in feature
  • Groups can be scaled and rooted
  • Predefined symbols and objects to quickly create diagrams


  • Excellent cross-compatibility between various operating systems such as Windows, Linux, macOS X.
  • Very easy to use and layout is quite basic


  • The final work when exported may not have the same quality as the initial sketch
  • Very simplistic layout and lacks bright colors

2. Inkscape

Perhaps the biggest thing that separates Inkscape from the others is the fact that it is a vector graphics software, much like Adobe Illustrator. It makes use of SVG as its native format. Moreover, it has an extension ecosystem and has a passionately fervent user base, especially considering the fact that it is free software.

Top 12 Free & Open Source Flowchart Software [Updated] (2)


  • It has cross-platform usage
  • Makes use of vector graphics
  • Comes packed with tools such as Bitmap tracking, drawing, calligraphy, and drawing tools


  • Abundant and easy to use Path Tools
  • Decent placement design


  • The interface needs some work
  • Mac version is a bit tricky to use and comes with no guide for beginners
  • Not very easy to learn and use

3. Lucidchart

Every user’s favorite part about Lucidchart is how easily it lets you start working on your diagram. Around 500 free templates and an extensive shapes library can be accessed to drag and drop elements to the screen as you start working. Or you can just go for a pre-existing automated layout diagram instead. Lucidchart excels in the areas of features and functionality when compared to other open-source flowchart software.

Top 12 Free & Open Source Flowchart Software [Updated] (3)


  • You can log in and edit your chart before sharing it with your team
  • Lets you import data from Zapier, Excel, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and Salesforce. There are a host of other integration options available, too, including, but not limited to, Google suite, Microsoft, Atlassian, and Github.


  • Offers intuitive cloud-based solutions to the users
  • Monthly updates keep users up to date with new functions and features


  • Integration with Microsoft apps does not go as smoothly as you would expect it to go and consumes time and energy
  • Software faces a few hiccups when handling too many graphical elements

Top 12 Free & Open Source Flowchart Software [Updated] (4)Looking for Flowchart Software? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of the Best Flowchart Software.

4. Studio Free – Bpm’online

Studio Free is software by Creatio, which was formerly Bpm’online. It was designed to give users a streamlined designing process for creation. It is good for collaborative work, and it simplifies the documentation process. As far as free flowchart software goes, Studio Free is a good option for teams of more than 5 and beginners.


  • Good for collaborative projects
  • Simplistic visual tools, with a helpful process library for storage and management


  • Easy to use
  • Streamlined file sharing and collaboration process
  • Simulation models and relational display


  • No cross-platform functionality

5. Creately

Creately is probably one of the most robust flowchart software out there. It combines the intuition of drawing tools with hundreds and thousands of freely available shapes and templates to give you the option to create the best business flowcharts out there. Their UI is clean and pleasing to the eye, with the design centered around ease of use.

Top 12 Free & Open Source Flowchart Software [Updated] (5)


  • Thousands of freely available templates
  • Works online and offline
  • Option to collaborate with up to three users if you are using the free version
  • User-friendly UI and aesthetically pleasing design


  • Configuration options for the UI are fluid and seamlessly implemented
  • The thousands of free shapes let you create the finest business flowcharts by any open-source flowchart software out there


  • The free version only lets you collaborate with up to 3 people, so you need to pay if you wish to work with a larger team
  • The organization system lacks flexibility. After the initial setup, moving diagrams between various folders is almost nigh on impossible

Also, Read: Different Photography Invoice Templates For Free Download

6. Calligra Flow

Calligra Flow is one of the most simplistic flowchart software out there. It is tightly integrated with other Calligra Flow apps, which makes for fluent integration and opens up a multitude of features to be used.

Top 12 Free & Open Source Flowchart Software [Updated] (6)


  • It gives access to wireframes
  • Offers up many effects and complex path operations such as path flattening, boolean set operations, whirl/pinch effects, etc
  • The UI is customizable, with freely placeable dockers and toolbars as well


  • Comprehensive Path Editing Tool, with capabilities offered for on-canvas editing
  • Layer Docker helps in easily handling complex documents and files


  • Does not allow collaboration
  • Can’t import or export graphic elements

7. Diagramo

This free flowchart software makes use of purely HTML5 and gives you access to a lifetime of storage. Relatively new in the market, this software still has a long way to go in gaining traction, but with regular updates and an intuitive UI, it is already competing with the other heavy hitters in its domain.

Top 12 Free & Open Source Flowchart Software [Updated] (7)


  • Only makes use of HTML 5
  • Diagrams can be shared with “permalinks,” meaning you can share the links with someone and they can see the diagram


  • Lets you collaborate and share with ease
  • Allows to export JPEG, PNG, and GIF files via permalinks


  • Doesn’t let you use bookmarks
  • Doesn’t allow for track changes

8. SmartDraw

With over 4000 free templates, close to 35000 symbols, beyond 70 diagram options with quick-start options, SmartDraw lets you create charts that represent engineering and architectural visuals to scale if needed. The software itself is robust and combines ease of use of drawing tools with access to various templates.


  • Available in desktop and cloud edition
  • Integrates easily with Google, Microsoft, Jira, WordPress, etc


  • You can collaborate online or work from the comfort of being behind the protection of a firewall
  • Any drawing can be inserted into Excel, Word, Powerpoint and even Google Docs and Sheets


  • Has some progress saving issues and can lead to work being lost
  • The software tends to crash a lot, especially when working with too many visual elements

9. Gliffy

This online diagramming software is very versatile and easy to use. Use this software to effortlessly create AWS architecture diagrams, UML diagrams, floor plans, flowcharts, Venn diagrams, entity-relationship diagrams, SWOT analysis, and many more.

This will help you to improve team communication and collaboration by quickly explaining all the complex organizational processes in visual form.

Top 12 Free & Open Source Flowchart Software [Updated] (8)


  • Drag and drop option to draw flowcharts with ease
  • Wide variety of symbols available, and you can add your own stencils from an SVG-based artwork.
  • Effortless collaboration for group projects


  • Ease in integration with an existing system such as Chrome, Google Drive, Google Docs Addin, MS word Addin, Confluence
  • Extensive library for various kinds of shapes


  • The free version will make your diagram public after 15 days

10. yED

yED is one of the most efficient open-source flowchart software that can be used to draw diagrams manually and even import data from external sources. The automatic layout algorithm of the software will help you to arrange the most complex piece of data.

The intuitive interface allows you to import your own data from an excel spreadsheet and arrange it in diagrammatic form.


  • Import data from external sources such as excel spreadsheets
  • Automatically arrange data elements
  • Export bitmap and vector graphics as PNG, JPG, PDF, etc.


  • Files can be saved in native format or exported in various other formats
  • Can be customized and easy to use


  • Limited palette of icons available
  • Requires a bit of learning curve to get used to this software

11. is a free flowchart software with no premium pay functionality. There is no watermark functionality so that you can own the content that you create. Also, you can use this software for creating commercial flowcharts. The software includes a shape library with all types of components that you need to build your BPMN diagrams.


  • Use drag and drop interface and automatic layout function to create flowcharts easily
  • Mind map feature to remember the information


  • Easily integrates with other systems
  • Seamlessly import and export image
  • Various methods for saving, displaying and sharing content


  • There is a limited section for templates that makes certain diagrams repetitive

12. Flowgorithm

Flowgorithm is a free flowchart software that helps you to create easy flowcharts. The software supports multiple languages, and the programs are written using a text editor. The software allows users to use shapes to represent different actions that are required to be carried.


  • Supports multiple languages
  • Graphical variable watch window
  • Interactive and easy code generation


  • Easy to understand interface
  • Loops, arrays, and flexible expressions


  • Using code language requires learning curve in the beginning

Wrapping it up

Flowcharts help in organizing vital information that turns ideas into actions. These open-source and free flowchart softwares will help you to create a variety of diagrams ranging from floor plans to network diagrams to UML diagrams. This will, in turn, increase employees’ efficiency as they will understand the complete information with ease.

Which flowchart software do you use for your business operations? Do you use any of the software mentioned above? Let us know your experience in the comment section below.


Chanchal Soni is a Growth Hacker and CRO Specialist at Appitsimple. She has experience in digital marketing, social media, content strategy, and marketing communications. Lover of huskies, the ocean & Boston sports.

Top 12 Free & Open Source Flowchart Software [Updated] (2024)


What is the best free software for flowcharts? ›

The 7 Best Free Online Flowchart Makers
  • Lucidchart.
  • Cacoo.
  • Gliffy.
  • Wireflow.
  • Textographo.
  • Google Drawings.
29 May 2018

Is Lucid flowchart free? ›

Flowchart Software - Create a Free Diagram | Lucidchart.

Does Google have a free flowchart app? ›

Google Drawings.

Use the menu options and buttons to design diagrams, paint an image, and create flowcharts and other types of drawings.

Is Microsoft Visio free? ›

No, Microsoft Visio is not a free tool. It comes with monthly or annual subscription plans as well as one-time software purchase for standard and professional versions licensed for 1 PC.

What is the easiest program to make a flow chart in? ›

SmartDraw's flowchart software is the easiest way to make any type of flowchart or diagram representing a process. You start by picking one of the flow chart templates included and add steps in just a few clicks.

What are the 3 types of flowchart? ›

Among the mass, there are four common types of flowcharts. They include the process flowchart, the workflow diagram, the swimlane flowchart, and the data flowchart.

How much does Lucidchart cost? ›

Lucidchart Pricing

Lucidchart offers Free, Basic, Professional, and Team accounts: Free Individual: $7.95 /mo Team: $6.67 /mo Enterprise: Contact Lucid Software for pricing details.

Is there something better than Lucidchart? ›


Creately is a diagramming tool that works just as well as, if not better than, Lucidchart but is more affordable. It comes with an easy-to-use interface, neat and free from clutter.

Is Lucidspark free? ›

Lucidspark is available on Free, Individual, Team, and Enterprise licenses, as follows: Free: Up to 3 editable boards and basic features.

Is SmartDraw free? ›

We offer free accounts to those looking to create simple diagrams, while SmartDraw offers only a free 7-day trial.

Does Google have a free Visio equivalent? ›

Google Drawings is cloud-based diagramming software inside the web-based Google Drive suite offered by Google.

What is Google version of Visio? ›

There is another tool buried in Google Docs that we haven't yet looked at during our 30 Days With…Google Docs–Drawing. The Microsoft Office equivalent, or counterpart, would be Visio, although Visio is an additional purchase that is not part of the Microsoft Office bundles.

Does Microsoft Office have a flowchart program? ›

In Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or Excel, you have two options for creating flowcharts. You can either use SmartArt or Shapes from the Insert tab. Within SmartArt, you'll find an array of graphic options to choose from. Process is usually a good option for flowcharts, but the choice is yours.

What is the replacement for Visio? ›

Lucidchart lets you create both simple and complex diagrams in minutes with easily customizable templates, hundreds of drag-and-drop shapes, and collaborative features. It's the perfect cloud-based Microsoft Visio online alternative for every user, every industry, and every budget.

Is there an open source Visio? ›

Graphviz: Best open-source Visio alternative

Graphviz is the programmer's choice; a library of open-source tools created by AT&T Labs Research for creating visual flow diagrams and graphs using the DOT language to facilitate low-level control and command-line image generation.

How do you make a process flow chart for free? ›

Canva's free online flowchart maker is full of designer-made templates, so all that's left for you to do is add your information. Add and edit your flowchart steps in just a few clicks – simply click the holder text to add your own. Create a flowchart – fast – by selecting from our range of templates.

Can I create a flowchart in Word? ›

From the Insert tab within the Ribbon, select a flowchart shape from the dropdown gallery. You can then click and drag it to the size you want on the page to place it. Continue to add shapes and lines to complete your flowchart.

Can Excel make flow chart? ›

You can also build your flowchart in excel using the shapes tool. To access Excel's shape library, go to the insert tab and click “Shapes.” A gallery will appear with a variety of basic shapes including lines, arrows, and geometric shapes. Scroll down to find the flowchart section.

What are the 8 basic symbols of flowchart? ›

The most fundamental shapes in the diagramming collections, these basic flowchart symbols are used in creating your flowcharts, just stay consistent.
  • Circle.
  • Rectangle.
  • Triangle.
  • Trapezoid.
  • Diamond.
  • Semicircle.
  • Hexagon.
  • Parallelogram.

What are the 2 types of flowchart? ›

The most common flowchart types are:
  • Process flowchart.
  • Swimlane Flowchart.
  • Workflow Diagram.
  • Data Flow Diagram.

What is Visio flowchart? ›

Flowcharts are diagrams that show the steps in a process. Basic flowcharts are easy to create and, because the shapes are simple and visual, they are easy to understand. Note: You can also automatically create a basic flow chart from data by using a Data Visualizer diagram in Visio.

What are the 7 steps in developing a flowchart? ›

Steps to creating a process map
  • Step 1: Identify the problem: What is the process that needs to be visualized? ...
  • Step 2: Brainstorm all the activities that will be involved: ...
  • Step 3: Figure out boundaries: ...
  • Step 4: Determine and sequence the steps: ...
  • Step 5: Draw basic flowchart symbols: ...
  • Step 6: Finalize the process flowchart.

Which is better Visio or Lucidchart? ›

Over 15 million users in 180 countries

Lucidchart is a far superior product to the more traditional flowchart software, Visio. The simple layout, easy sharing, and the ability to build complex flowcharts make Lucidchart the best out there.

How can I get Lucidchart for free? ›

Students and teachers

Register for a Free Lucidchart or Lucidspark subscription with your educational email address. You should automatically be upgraded to the free Educational Account.

Which is better SmartDraw or Lucidchart? ›

Lucidchart is a winner because it provides a more flexible formatting type that allows you to create fully custom diagrams without any limits. On top of that, it gets much more frequent updates and its interface is heading in a better direction than SmartDraw.

What is equivalent to Lucidchart? ›

Microsoft Visio is often compared in its functionality to that of Lucidchart. The application is a powerful diagramming tool that provides a great deal of flexibility to its users so that you can have the liberty to create diagrams you want and represent data in a vivid, visual format.

Is Figma better than Lucidchart? ›

Reviewers felt that Figma meets the needs of their business better than Lucidchart. When comparing quality of ongoing product support, reviewers felt that Lucidchart is the preferred option. For feature updates and roadmaps, our reviewers preferred the direction of Figma over Lucidchart.

Is Lucidchart free on Google Docs? ›

Learn how to insert diagrams into Google Docs with the free Lucidchart add-on.

What is the difference between Lucidspark and Lucidchart? ›

About Lucid

Lucidspark is a virtual whiteboard application for freeform ideation, group brainstorming and real-time collaboration across teams. Lucidchart is an intelligent diagramming application for understanding the people, processes and systems that drive business forward.

What is lucid flowchart? ›

Lucidchart is an intuitive online diagramming platform that combines flowcharts, collaboration, and data visualization.

What is Lucidscale? ›

Lucidscale is the cloud visualization solution that helps organizations see and understand their cloud environment.

Is Lucidchart safe to use? ›

In addition, Lucidchart's software security program policy is very robust and discloses Lucidchart uses encryption, specify a data storage location, and disclose notice to users in the event of a data breach.

Is SmartDraw open source? ›

Furthermore, SmartDraw is not open source.

How much does SmartDraw cost? ›

SmartDraw Pricing Overview

SmartDraw has 2 pricing edition(s), from $5.95 to $9.95. A free trial of SmartDraw is also available.

What replaced Google draw? ›

Lucidchart is the best and simplest drawing program on the market. Plus, it's completely integrated with Google Apps.
We make flow charts simple, intuitive, and even fun.
  • Easy editing. ...
  • Edit Visio files. ...
  • Google integration. ...
  • Share and publish.

Does Google have something like Lucidchart? ›

Work seamlessly in Google

In addition to accessing Lucidchart through Drive, you can also integrate with Google Docs to add diagrams that can break up a wall of text, with Google Sheets to link data to your diagrams, and with Google Slides to add professional visuals to your presentations.

Is MS Visio free with Office 365? ›

Is Visio included with Office 365? Microsoft Visio Online is included with Office 365 for viewing and sharing capabilities. But it doesn't include create/edit rights. So even though the tool is part of the Office 365 family, you'll have to buy Visio to create original diagrams.

What is the latest version of Visio? ›

Visio Plan 2, available as a subscription, includes the same capabilities as Visio Professional 2021. In addition, such cloud-only features as Data Visualizer, Database Reverse Engineering, Improved support for the AutoCAD drawings has been introduced.

How much is Visio a month? ›

Visio Online Plan 1: $5/user/month (billed annually) or $6/user/month (billed monthly). Visio Online Plan 2: $15/user/month (billed annually) or $18/user/month (billed monthly).

What replaced Microsoft Flow? ›

Microsoft Flow, now rebranded as Power Automate, is a tool that lets users automate tasks and processes within their Office 365 workflow.

Is Microsoft Flow free? ›

This plan includes access to Microsoft Flow for free. You will need a work or student email to sign up – personal email addresses such as Gmail accounts will be rejected. Additionally, you'll be limited to 750 flow runs per month and 2GB of file storage.

Does Office 365 have a process mapping tool? ›

Empower your team to be productive every day, from virtually anywhere, with Microsoft 365. Business process mapping details your process. From start to finish, it shows what needs to happen to reach the end goal.

Is Excel or Word better for flowcharts? ›

Flowchart mapping as a tool is usually a critical part of process documentation, and is often part of instruction manuals and user guides, and most creators prefer such documentation in Word. Hence, it is simpler to create flowcharts in Word, since creating it in Excel would have its problems.

Can I do a flowchart in Excel? ›

You can also build your flowchart in excel using the shapes tool. To access Excel's shape library, go to the insert tab and click “Shapes.” A gallery will appear with a variety of basic shapes including lines, arrows, and geometric shapes. Scroll down to find the flowchart section.

Is PowerPoint or Word better for flowcharts? ›

Word is great for simple flowcharts with few shapes as long as they all fit within the page constraints of Word. PowerPoint has similar slide constraints like Word's page constraints, but for larger flowcharts, you can use PowerPoint's hyperlinking options that let you spread the same flowchart over multiple slides.

Can I make a flowchart in Word? ›

From the Insert tab within the Ribbon, select a flowchart shape from the dropdown gallery. You can then click and drag it to the size you want on the page to place it. Continue to add shapes and lines to complete your flowchart.

Are flowcharts outdated? ›

In the same way, flowcharts are now an outdated way of capturing process content. Over the last 5-10 years there is a simpler and more engaging diagramming notation.

Can PowerPoint do flowcharts? ›

You can insert a flow chart into your PowerPoint presentation by using a SmartArt graphic. On the Insert tab, click SmartArt. In the Choose a SmartArt Graphic dialog box, on the left, select the Process category.

Do professional programmers use flowcharts? ›

Developing and deploying algorithms – as “written description, sequenced symbols, or graphical representation” – remains key to the development of modern computer science. Pursuant to this, professional programmers use flowcharts to ideate the primary and secondary structures of algorithms.

Is Visio good for flowcharts? ›

Basic flowcharts are easy to create and, because the shapes are simple and visual, they are easy to understand. Note: You can also automatically create a basic flow chart from data by using a Data Visualizer diagram in Visio.

What is the best way to create a flowchart? ›

How to Make a Flowchart in 7 Simple Steps
  1. Step #1: Know the purpose of your flowchart.
  2. Step #2: Start with a template.
  3. Step #3: Add shapes and symbols.
  4. Step #4: Connect your shapes with lines and arrows.
  5. Step #5: Split paths or add decisions.
  6. Step #6: Customize your flowchart's appearance.
22 Jul 2021

How do I make a flowchart in Word free? ›

Go to Insert > Illustrations > Shapes. A drop-down menu will appear when you click on “Shapes.” Find the shapes labeled “Flowchart.” Here is where you will find all of the necessary shapes for building a flowchart, like process and decision boxes.

Can you make a flowchart in Google Docs? ›

From your Google Doc, select Add-ons > Lucidchart Diagrams > Insert Diagram. A sidebar will appear. Click the orange "+" button at the bottom of the panel. Select a blank document or choose a basic flowchart template to customize.

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