5+ best diagram and flowchart software [2021 Guide]

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Last update:
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  • Diagram software for Windows will greatly help programmers design IT systems using flowcharts.
  • Take a look at our Windows diagram tool selection below to find the best premium products.
  • If you are just starting out, note that we've also included some free Windows diagram software.
  • You can also try some of the open-source diagram tools for Windows below if you're more experienced.
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Flowcharts are essential for system designers and programmers. System analysts and programmers design IT systems and software with data flow diagrams and algorithm flowcharts.

You can layout basic flowcharts withdrawing, presentation, and even word processor software; but dedicated flowchart applications have more extensive diagram options and tools.

These are a few of the best flowchart applications for Windows.


What are the best Diagram and flowchart tools for Windows?

Adobe Illustrator (recommended)

Adobe Illustrator shoe design

Adobe Illustrator is one of the best flowchart and diagram software alternatives, as it includes the most powerful vector-based features.

This software is part of Creative Suite apps, and you can add it to Windows (XP to 10) together with other graphic tools like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Indesign, and other apps.

The program is also compatible with iPad platforms, so you can design diagrams and flowcharts with touch or Apple Pencil if you feel this way is easier for you.

Your work will be saved to the cloud, so your team will be able to access it no matter where they are.

Adobe Illustrator users can draw out flowcharts and many other types of diagrams with the software. UML, network, circuit, and assorted diagrams are a few of the diagrams you can draw out in Adobe.

This is also a good choice for database designers as it includes objects for entity-relationship diagrams.

The most attractive thing is the fact that all your changes made upon your work will be seen in real-time and your workflow will be improved considerably as you will use complex vector graphics.

In order to add more creativity to the flowchart, you can use, as well, typography designs by adding powerful effects and font styles.

Adobe Illustrator has an interactive interface for a beginner as for a graphic specialist, so you can easily edit diagrams in multiple tabs. The program also enables you to add alternative layers to diagrams.

Furthermore, the software supports the most notable diagram file formats as: .ai, .eps, .ait, .svgz, .svg.

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator

If you are a system designer, Adobe Illustrator is the best software for designing flowcharts.
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Edraw Max

Edraw Max is an all-in-one diagram application that has one of the most extensive collections of shapes and symbols for flowcharts and other diagrams you’ll likely find in any software.

With more than nine million downloads, Edraw is the diagram software of choice for many. This is multiplatform software compatible with Windows 10/8/7/Vista, Linux (Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora) and Mac OS X platforms.

Edraw’s publisher boasts that you can set up more than 260 diagram types with this software. When Edraw users first open the application, they can select from a wide variety of template categories.

The software is perfect for business, flowchart, engineering, organizational, network, database, software, presentation, and wireframe diagrams.

The software includes more specific flowchart templates for data flow, audit, highlight, SDL, cross-function and basic flowchart diagrams.

Edraw users can select more than 12,000 vector symbols and add infographics to flowcharts with URL hyperlinks, document attachments, and annotations.

If that isn’t enough, it also provides a presentation mode and PDF and HTML export options for sharing diagrams.

 Try Edraw Max


Microsoft Visio

Microsoft Visio for Windows 10/8.1/7 is an intuitive software that you can utilize to set up flowcharts and many other types of diagrams.

Visio Standard 2016 is retailing at $299.99, and there’s also a Visio Professional that’s available at $589.99. Ok, $299.99 might not sound like especially great value.

But this application packs in an extensive toolkit for diagrams and has a lot of exclusive features you won’t get in most freeware alternatives.

Visio Professional also includes data linking and more sharing and collaboration options than the standard version. Few other flowchart applications can match Visio’s rich set of design tools.

Visio 2016 enables its users to set up the full gamut of diagrams, such as basic and cross-function flowcharts, UML, wireframe, network, Venn, and technical engineering diagrams.

You can also utilize the software to set up Gantt charts, calendars and organizational charts. The software includes 70 diagram templates and starter diagrams.

Visio also provides real-time collaboration so that multiple users can edit a diagram, a presentation mode, HTML and PDF export tools, and a clipart gallery including shapes, symbols, and other décors for flowcharts.

 Get Visio Standard

 Get Visio Professional


ClickCharts (NCH)

ClickCharts (NCH)

The purpose of diagrams is to simplify and oversimplify the teaching and learning process of a particular topic. As such, you are taking a complex set of information and turning it into something more understandable.

So, a program that is made to create diagrams should be just as simple to use. That would be the case with ClickCharts (NCH), an incredibly easy-to-use diagram creation tool that will get you set up in minutes.

The UI is incredibly simple and uncluttered with unnecessary tools, and the only limit to how fast you can create diagrams with it is your own knowledge over the subject at hand.

There are plenty of things that you can use ClickCharts for, including:

  • Visualize complex processes and organizations
  • Create value stream and data flow diagrams
  • Identify bottlenecks and find opportunities to optimize processes

As for the diagrams themselves, they can be customized in whatever manner you see fit, from the style of the diagram (Venn, Pie chart, etc) to the colors, placements, number positioning within the page, you name it.

All in all, it is an extremely good tool for anyone that relies on diagrams for teaching, learning, studying and doing research, allowing better optimization of a system’s flow through better visual understanding.

⇒ Get ClickCharts (NCH)


yEd Graph Editor

yed Graph Editor flowchart  software

The yEd Graph Editor is Java-enabled software compatible with the Windows, Linux and Mac OS X platforms. Thus, you also need Java JRE installed to run this flowchart application.

This is a freeware program that includes plenty of tools for flowchart creation, and you can download it from this website page.

The yEd Graph Editor application provides an extensive palette of shape nodes, edge types, flowchart symbols, group nodes, entity-relationship symbols, BPMN symbols, and other diagram elements.

You can design a wide variety of diagrams or charts with those elements. The software has plenty of annotation options so that you can add an icon, multi-line text, or HTML labels to them along with tooltips and URLs.

The automatic layout feature is a great addition to the software that automatically arranges flowchart diagram parts for end-users.

This application also supports lots of import and export file formats, such as XML, GraphML, PDF, HTML, GIF, JPG, SVG, PNG, BMP, and more besides. Check out this gallery to see some yED Graph Editor diagram output.

Get yEd Graph Editor


Diagram Designer

Diagram Designer is a straightforward and lightweight vector-based flowchart application for Windows.

This isn’t really a match for the likes of Visio and Edraw, but it still provides a decent selection of tools for drawing flowcharts. This is also open-source software that’s compatible with all the more recent Windows platforms.

Diagram Designer users can utilize this application to draw a flowchart, UML design, GUI design (for UI storyboards), and electronic circuit diagrams.

It includes standard drawing tools for rectangles, lines, arrows, ellipses, curves, and arrows, and enables its users to add shapes to alternative layers so they can edit them without changing any of the shapes on other layers.

Diagram Designer users can save their own template palettes or download them from the software‘s website. In addition, this application packs in a graph plotter, slideshow viewer, and pocket calculator for equations.

Get Diagram Designer


Those were some flowchart applications that are worth noting. Edraw Max and Visio are the heavyweights, but Diagram Designer, yEd Graph Editor, and Dia are decent freeware and open source alternatives.

Note that you can also design flowcharts with web apps such as Lucidchart and Gliffy. Feel free to give us any feedback regarding the subject in the comment section below.


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