Flowcharts are certainly not something you think about every day, but there are situations where they are simply irreplaceable. For example, flowcharts are useful for streamlining your workflow or planning your free time.
Currently, there are a number of convenient applications for creating flowcharts (so-called flowcharts) for various operating systems, but sometimes it is more convenient to use the online service. Firstly, you do not need to download and install anything on your computer, and secondly, you do not need to look for an appropriate solution for a specific OS or device. All you need is a browser. In this article, we will look at seven of the best online services for creating flowcharts.
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If you need a completely free service, we offer you draw.io. The service does not require registration, just specify which storage to use. draw.io supports Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and local storage. For teamwork, Google Drive is best, because draw.io supports Google Drive collaboration features.
Once you’ve chosen a repository, you can start creating your own flowchart from scratch or use ready-made templates. Unlike Lucidchart, which offers ten templates, only five are available in draw.io. In addition, you can use other templates that are not related to the flowchart.
To create a flowchart, simply drag and drop the shapes and arrows from the sidebar. The service interface is fairly clear, but still not as intuitive as that of Lucidchart.
The service allows you to import files in the formats JPEG, PNG, SVG, Gliffy, Lucidchart and VSDX. Charts created using draw.io are saved in HTML, JPEG, PDF, PNG, SVG and XML formats.
Unlike many similar services, draw.io is completely free. Its functionality is somewhat limited and in some respects inferior to other services. However, the application is free and there is no need to complain.
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Another completely free service is Wireflow. If you are engaged in web design or application development, this tool is just for you.
Wireflow is a great application for designing custom threads and wireframes of sites. A nice, intuitive interface offers several options for flowcharts and a number of connecting elements that you can simply drag and drop onto the canvas.
Minus Wireflow – the finished diagram is exported only in JPG format. This is not surprising, given that the application is absolutely free. In addition, get ready for the fact that you have to scroll a lot due to the abundance of a wide variety of elements for flowcharts.
If you only need to create a flowchart for visualizing user threads, Wireflow is what you need.
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Regarding diagrams, the best online application to create them is Lucidchart. The intuitive interface and the ability to drag and drop elements significantly speeds up and simplifies the process of creating diagrams. You can choose from the templates offered by the service or create blocks from scratch.
Even in the free version of Lucidchart (click Start Free Account), users can access basic block shapes, arrows, and text boxes. The users of the free version also have the option of collaborative projects, however, with some restrictions. For example, users of the Team version can work together with users of the Free version, but Free users can edit the project only if it includes no more than 60 elements, and among these elements there are no paid ones.
A document created in Lucidchart can be saved in several formats, in particular in JPEG, PDF, PNG, SVG and Visio (VDX). The service also allows you to import files from Amazon Web Service (AWS), Visio (VSDX), and Omnigraffle. If you want to pause and continue working later, the project is saved in the clouds of these services, so you can return to it at any time.
As mentioned above, users can use both the free version of Lucidchart with basic functions and the paid one. You can purchase a subscription to the Home version ($ 5.95 per month), Pro ($ 8.95) or Team ($ 20). They will provide you with additional features, including a larger storage volume, an unlimited number of forms and documents, the function of adding links to data, import from Microsoft Visio, etc.
Lucidchart is a great option for anyone looking for an alternative to the Visio vector graphics editor. You can use the service on any device with a browser.
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To work together on flowcharts, we recommend using the Cacoo service. Like Lucidchart, it features an eye-friendly interface. The service offers a wide selection of various templates for flowcharts, wireframes, Venn diagrams, etc. With regard to flowcharts, in Cacoo you will find various options for the forms to choose from. In order to create a flowchart, just drag the desired shapes and arrows and arrange them accordingly.
The best feature in Cacoo is real-time collaboration. This means that many people can work on the flowchart at the same time. A chat is provided to discuss changes. Cacoo also lets you see who is currently working on a project.
Cacoo was originally developed as a team collaboration service, as evidenced by project folders and security settings for team members. However, it is great for one person. At your disposal 1 thousand pages, unlimited opportunities for exchange, import and export of SVG and much more.
It is worth noting that Cacoo fully justifies its value. For individual users, the monthly fee starts at $ 4.95 per month. The Team tariff plan for team work starts at $ 18 per month (for three users). Cacoo for corporate users (Enterprise tariff plan) allows you to install the application on your private server. Its cost starts at $ 600 per year for 10 users. For any version, a trial period (14 days) is provided during which the service can be used for free.
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If you are looking for a simple and lightweight tool, we recommend using Gliffy. Compared with other similar services, its functionality is very limited, but it is the best suited for a quick sketch of a visual block diagram.
You can create any flowchart in just a few clicks. Gliffy offers several basic templates that let you quickly sketch out everything you need. However, when it comes to editing, things are not so smooth. There are several points that can slow down the work, but “snap-on” elements and tools for alignment compensate for these shortcomings.
Gliffy is an HTML5 application, so it can work without an internet connection. The service also allows you to work collectively. You can share the project and invite other users to view, edit and comment on it, however, in comparison with other services, Gliffy offers so many options.
Subscription costs $ 7.99 per month for a single user and $ 4.99 for team work. The Gliffy version for corporate users offers even more features and security settings.
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You need to create a block diagram, but you do not want to mess around with a lot of shapes and arrows for a long time? Then Textographo is just for you.
Textographo is a unique tool for creating flowcharts using text. The user only needs to type the block diagram on the keyboard with the help of special text syntax using hashtags, keywords and markings. Textographo automatically turns this text into static or animated charts with flowcharts, layout maps, organizational charts, decision trees, etc.
Everything is very simple, easy and affordable. Users can adjust the finished diagrams by adding themes or changing layers. Textographo saves all the data in its cloud, so you can work on a project collectively.
The service is available in two versions – Essentials and Premium. Subscriptions for Essentials start at $ 4 per month, and Premium starts at $ 14 per month.
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For Google Account holders, the free Google Drawings feature is available.
Use the various forms available in Google Drawings. Add basic shapes, arrows, footnotes, and an equal sign. All elements are moved around the canvas with a simple drag and drop. If necessary, you can change their size or rotate around its axis.
Since Google Drawings are part of Google Drive, you can collaborate on a project. Just invite other participants by e-mail and give them access to view, edit and comment on the project. You can export the finished flowchart as a graphic file or in SVG format and even publish it on the Internet.
Google Drawings is a free Google Drive feature where 15 GB of storage is available to users. If you need more space, you can use paid tariff plans.
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Best Visual Brainstorming Solution
Flowcharts are an unusually powerful tool. With their help, any complex process becomes more accessible for understanding. Above, we told you about the best in our opinion online services for creating flowcharts. Some of them are free, and some need to be paid.