Use Visio Online Preview to open Visio diagrams in browsers

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Managing Editor
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  • If you don't possess a Visio license and you don't feel like purchasing one, rest assured there are ways to view and even edit your diagrams.
  • Download the latest version of Adobe Illustrator or use Visio Online Preview to open .vsd files effortlessly.
  • Learn everything that is worth knowing about your graphics software from our Adobe Illustrator page.
  • Also, check out our File Openers section to quickly choose the right programs for every type of file extension.
Software to open Visio diagrams

What programs can open Visio files?


Adobe Illustrator

Quick tip: If you’re an Adobe Illustrator user, you might want to know that your favorite vector graphics software can also open .vsd files effortlessly.

Simply import for Visio file in Adobe Illustrator to transform your diagrams into fully editable objects.

 As an alternative, you can also print to PDF and open that document with the Illustrator.

Download the latest version of Adobe Illustrator here


Visio Online

Visio Online is a tool that lets users view and share Visio drawings on the web even if they don’t have Visio installed in their machines. Microsoft already rolled out Visio Online Preview to Office 365 commercial customers in First Release.

All you need to do is upload a .vsdx file to the cloud, OneDrive for Business or SharePoint Online. Then all users can access the file on their browsers without installing Visio on their computers. If you’re curious to see what this tool can do, test it, and get an idea of what it’s like.

As soon as the Visio Online Preview is available for a particular organization, Office 365 admins will get a Message Center post informing them about its availability.

Other features include:

  • Navigate to other pages in the file by clicking the tabs in the lower left.
  • Zoom in and out of the drawing using the slider located in the lower-right corner.
  • You can share your drawing by sending a link instead of an email attachment. Click Share in the upper right and other users can then view it in a web browser.
  • You can also view shape data: click on a shape and then select Shape Info to see its data.
  • Hyperlink support is available.

Here’s what you need to know about the Visio Online Preview:

  • The tool doesn’t allow users to edit drawings, but this feature will be supported in the future.
  • Visio Online Preview works with the current versions of Edge, Chrome, and Microsoft Internet Explorer.
  • The tool is expected to be generally available by the end of this year to all Office 365 subscription plans that include Office Online.

FAQ: Learn more about .vsd (Visio) files

  • How do I convert a Visio file to PDF?

Simply open the Visio file, click Print, and choose the PDF output format. As an alternative, you can use a PDF editor that supports the .vsd file format such as Adobe Acrobat Pro.

  • How do I edit a Visio file without Visio?

There are numerous programs that allow you to view and even edit Visio files such as Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW, or LibreOffice Draw (among others).

  • Is Microsoft Visio Viewer free?

Yes, this tool allows you to view Visio diagrams directly in your browser without any charge. Other free software that can open .vsd files are LucidChart, Draw.io. and LibreOffice.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2016 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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