Recently I came across these diagrams, even though I learned about it long back! In this post I present you free tools to create flow charts, data flow diagrams and other architectural diagrams. I have included both the free desktop and web versions. I have also included trial version based software. Flow Diagram or flow chart is a diagram of the sequence of operations in a computer program or an accounting system. If you are unaware about DFD symbols, you can check this.
P.S. 1 If your diagrams are simple you can handle them using MS Word or other MS Office tools.
P.S. 2 The tools mentioned here are free to use, and for some you need to pay to enjoy full features, but still you can work on it.
1. Microsoft Visio : Microsoft Office Visio is a commercial diagramming program for Microsoft Windows that uses vector graphics to create diagrams. [Recommended]
2. Gliffy Flowchart Software : Gliffy is a flow chart tool that makes it easy to create online flow charts. Just drag and drop shapes and lines from the flow chart shape libraries and you can turn your ideas into professional-looking flow charts. It’s free, and there’s nothing to install.
3. SmartDraw : Create diagrams, use case diagrams, entity relationship diagrams, UML diagrams, and more in minutes with SmartDraw. Start with the exact template you need—not just a blank screen. Add your information and SmartDraw does the rest, aligning everything and applying professional design themes for great results every time.
4. Creately : Creately is a web-based flowchart software for drawing beautiful Flowcharts, Workflow Diagrams, Process Flow Diagrams & Data Flow Diagrams.
5. Edraw Max : With Edraw Max, the designers can rapidly create structured analysis diagram, information flow diagram, process-oriented diagram, data-oriented diagram and data process diagrams as well as data flowcharts, business process diagrams, work flow diagrams, value stream maps, TQM diagrams, and cause and effect diagrams.
6. Lucidchart : LucidChart is the missing link in online productivity suites. LucidChart allows users to create, collaborate on, and publish attractive flowcharts and other diagrams from a web browser.
7. Cacoo : Simply with a browser, Cacoo enables you to create and insert beautiful diagrams easily into online documents. Any modifications appear instantly, so that the most recent version of the diagram is always displayed.
8. Flowchart.com : Flowchart.com is an online multi-user, real-time collaboration flow charts service. It’s Flowcharting made easy. You can collaborate with your colleagues in real-time. All collaborating parties can chat and design flow charts at the same time.
9. yUML : Create and share simple UML diagrams in your blogs, wikis, forums, bug-trackers and emails.
10. Diagramly : Any browser, no login, fully functional, completely free, includes real time collaboration.
11. yEd : yEd is a powerful diagram editor that can be used to quickly and effectively generate high-quality drawings of diagrams. Create your diagrams manually or import your external data for analysis and auto-magically arrange even large data sets by just pressing a button.
12. Graphviz : Graph visualization is a way of representing structural information as diagrams of abstract graphs and networks. It has important applications in networking, bioinformatics, software engineering, database and web design, machine learning, and in visual interfaces for other technical domains.
13. SlickPlan : SlickPlan is a web-based sitemap/flowchart generator that allows for the creation of free sitemap and flowchart design. SlickPlan was handcrafted with PHP/MySQL and jQuery by the Dayton website design team at Atomic Interactive.
14. Draw Anywhere : Create diagrams online & collaborate. No download, no-install. Log in from anywhere & draw. Sign up for a free 30-day trial account to create, modify and share your diagrams.
`15. Dia Diagram Editor : Dia Diagram Editor is a free program to draw structured diagrams and charts.
16. SilverDiagram : Create your custom diagram based application with SilverDiagram. Make a mind map application, create flow charts for your custom projects or develop other solutions.
17. ArgoUML : ArgoUML is the leading open source UML modeling tool and includes support for all standard UML 1.4 diagrams. It runs on any Java platform and is available in ten languages.
18. Allclear : You can edit your flowchart in a text outline view. It makes for easy editing and creation during a process meeting.
Which is your favorite one? Do share your views on the comments below.