What is Microsoft Visio and how to get it

by Radu Tyrsina
Radu Tyrsina
Radu Tyrsina
CEO & Founder
Radu Tyrsina has been a Windows fan ever since he got his first PC, a Pentium III (a monster at that time). For most of the kids of... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • If you're looking for a Microsoft Visio viewer, Edge is ideal since the app is web-based.
  • Visio comes in two subscription plans, but you'll also find a Microsoft Visio free version.
  • It has limited capabilities and it requires a Microsoft account.
  • Microsoft Visio has no download app nor a trial, so in order to use it, you need a Microsoft account and a license key.
how to get microsoft visio

Microsoft Visio is a diagramming and vector graphics application, part of the Office 365 family. It includes an online, web-based version, as well as APIs dedicated to developers. Visio can be used with the latest version of the most popular browsers

The app was launched in 1992 by Shapeware Corporation. Then, in 2000 it was acquired by Microsoft, which further improved it and added Visio Online, which allowed users to access the app from any of the supported browsers.

What is Microsoft Visio used for?

what is visio used for

Visio is the ideal app for those who love working with diagrams, mind maps, or similar visuals and get their ideas together in a comprehensive graphic to ease their work.

The program includes a variety of network and flowchart templates, shapes, and connector tools.

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Of course, the program is integrated with other Microsoft apps, including SharePoint. This makes it extremely easy to use Visio with your team and collaborate on various workflows, projects, and flowcharts.

For developers, Visio also includes JavaScript APIs, which allow access to embedded Visio Online diagrams in a SharePoint Online page. So developers can interact with Visio diagram elements, write custom handlers for mouse events, create visual mark-ups on the diagram canvas, and more.

How can I install and use Visio?

Currently, Visio comes in two plans; one of them is rather web-oriented, while the other includes desktop capabilities.

Key features of Visio Plan 1:

  • Visio web-version + 2 GB of OneDrive for Business cloud space
  • Dozens of professional templates, starter diagrams, and shapes
  • Integration with Microsoft Teams and any other Microsoft 365 app
  • Possibility to embed Visio diagrams into Power BI reports
  • Access to your work from almost anywhere, on any device.
Visio Plan 1

Visio Plan 1

The diagramming app that makes ideas stick like nothing else thanks to the visually rich features it brings.
Check priceVisit website

As you can imagine, Plan 1 is perfect for personal use, for both educational and professional purposes. Since it is available for use on a single device, if you need multiple use, you can get Visio Plan 2.

Key features of Visio Plan 2:

  • Use on up to five PCs + 2 GB of OneDrive for Business cloud storage
  • Exclusive options such as export to Microsoft Flow or Word, Excel data visualizer, and PowerPoint slide snippets
  • Auto-generation of org charts from data sources like Excel, Exchange, or Azure Active Directory.
Visio Plan 2

Visio Plan 2

Get exclusive access to Visio’s awesome graphic capabilities and powerful integrations with all of Microsoft’s Office suite.
Check priceVisit website

You directly access Visio web version by signing in with a work or school account. It doesn’t require installation, since it’s web-based.

However, your browser needs to be updated. Edge is a reliable Visio viewer tool, but so are IE 11, Chrome, Mozilla, or Safari 10+.

On the other hand, you can also use Visio for free. That is, the web version offers a limited access to basic Visio, in which you can only view files. You need a Microsoft account, though.

If you already have some experience with Visio, share it with us in the comments section.