When you’re looking for flowchart software, you want to find one that’s easy to use but also has enough features that you can do your job easily and efficiently. Visio’s diagram software is one of the easiest in our review to use and has many of the outstanding features that we looked for when we chose the top ten flowchart software. It also offers excellent help and support, including a tutorial to help you become familiar with the program. For these reasons and more, Visio earns our Business.com Gold Award.
We evaluated the interface and features that made the software easier to use. Visio was one of only two companies to earn a full 100 percent on this test. With Visio, you can enter text directly into shapes on your flowchart. You can also replace shapes without first needing to delete an object, which we found helpful since it saved us time and frustration. Spellcheck is also available in this software, which makes it easier to present a professional flowchart to your clients or team members. Symbols automatically resize to fit your text, and you can add extra connector points to them, though there are already multiple connector points available. Junction jogs are also available, which creates bumps in a connector when it crosses another connector line.
Although Visio’s clipart gallery isn’t as extensive or varied as some of the other programs we reviewed, it includes hundreds of shapes, symbols and decorative objects, most of which you can apply colors, fills and styles to. If you don’t have time to design a flowchart from scratch, there are color schemes and design themes available for you to use and customize.
You can create a multiple-page diagram to give your clients more information than would comfortably fit on a single chart. The canvas expands as you add content to your diagram and layers are also available. You can create charts from data sources like csv files, which can save you time since you won’t have to manually copy and paste information into your flowchart. Additionally, if you need to collaborate with one or more people while you create your presentation, this software offers real-time collaboration so that you can see what changes your cohorts are making as they edit the diagram.
There are many different scenarios where you might use flowchart software. Visio has many applications available to help you use its software for specific scenarios. For example, you can easily make organizational charts, business process modeling notation (BPMN) diagrams and mind maps with this software. Network diagrams, Venn diagrams and UML diagrams are also available. Additionally, you have access to wireframes and SWOT analysis with Visio. It’s one of the best choices for technical drawings and diagrams because it is the only product on our lineup that includes rule checking and that automatically creates data legends. It includes 70 diagram templates and 20 process templates as well as starter diagrams.
When you send your process flowchart to your viewers, they can download a viewer from Microsoft’s website so that they can view the diagrams you’ve made. It was difficult for our testers to find the link to this feature, however, and it's only available for Windows computers, which may prove frustrating for some of your clients. Our testers had to ask for customer assistance in order to locate the appropriate link.
When you’re preparing your diagrams for your clients, you can simplify the chart by collapsing and expanding groups of shapes. You can also add links to sections in your flowchart to make it easier for your clients to reference the information they need quickly. However, this software does not let your viewer edit your chart or add comments. Visio also lacks a revision history feature that would allow you to see the edits and updates made to the diagram, which means you need to manually save various versions of your chart.
You can password protect your diagrams and presentations, which can help keep your company’s proprietary information secure. Additionally, you can assign authorized users to help you control who sees and edits the document. You can also use Visio’s presentation mode for meetings with clients. Or, alternatively, you can export your presentation to PDF or HTML documents.
It can be difficult to get used to a new software, but Visio helps by providing a step-by-step tutorial or tips with each template to help you familiarize yourself with the program. If you need further assistance, representatives are available to assist you by phone and live chat. You can also look for answers to your questions by perusing the company’s blog and user forums.
Keep in mind that you must download this software, as it is not cloud-based. This software is not compatible with Apple products, including Mac computers and iPads. It is also not compatible with Android tablets.
Visio is the best flowchart software available because it’s intuitive to use, has multiple helpful features and can be used to create many different types of diagrams. However, its ease-of-use from your client or viewers’ perspective is not as high as some of the other products on our lineup since it’s difficult to find the link to the free viewer, which also isn’t available for Macs. Visio is also not compatible with any tablets or with Mac computers. These things aside, Visio is an excellent choice for flowchart software.
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