Alternative to Microsoft Visio

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by grapii, May 5, 2010.

  1. grapii macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2009
    Hi All,

    Just wondering if there is a cheap alternative to Microsoft Visio for Mac OS that lets me create the following schematics quickly and easily?:

    Entity Relationship Diagrams
    Use Cases and other UML diagrams i.e activity, state, and class

  2. tersono macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2005
  3. Otaillon macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2009
    I've used Dia at school! The interface is very bad but hey! It's free!
  4. Mork macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2009
    There are some known issues with exporting use-case diagrams, for example, from Omnigraffle to Visio. The use-case diagrams (in version 5.3) do not come across into Visio as editable use-case objects. This may or may not be a concern for you.

    Also, if you have blended colors and shapes on top of other shapes, the OG to Visio export also has trouble with these. I've also had trouble getting slanted text to export correctly.

    OG's technical support is quite good and they're working on these issues to make the Visio export more robust.

    OG is an excellent product, but I'd recommend trying it out to make sure the visio export will work for you in your environment.

    I'm hopeful that the visio export will be improved in version 6.

  5. mccwow83 macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2011
    Try the Models! project for Mac and iPad.
    It's still buggy but the development is still going on..

    Mac Version
    -UML 2.0 Support
    -Use-case diagrams
    -Class and object diagrams
    -Activity diagrams
    -Component, deployment, package and composite structure diagrams
    -Post-it notes, grids, alignment tools, coloring, formatting and search capabilities
    -Integrated libraries of software architectures and patterns
    -Class and Association Editing
    -Code generation for Java, Objective-C and PHP
    -Multi-touch zoom
    -Export option to .PDF and .TIFF
    -Customizable toolbar
    -Useful enhancements: 1-click to copy&paste; resize proportionally...

    iPad Version
    -Class diagrams
    -Use-case diagrams
    -Entity-relationship diagrams
    -Demo templates
    -Snap grid option
    -Shadows option
    -Export to .pdf via email

    A demo version is available on the project's website
  6. Epoch KW macrumors member

    Epoch KW

    Dec 2, 2011
    I have the same question, but my use of Visio is mainly for scale building layouts

    Does anybody know how good Omnigraffle is for building layouts?

    or is there something better for my needs
  7. steveoc macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2007
    Adirondacks NY
    I can't tell you if this will work for you, but there is a relatively new app called Diagrammix that only costs $20. It can be purchased through the app store or directly from the developer. You can also download a trial version.
  8. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    I've been using Eazydraw for scaled drawings about 5 years now. It isn't cheap ($95 on Mac App store, still less than OmniGraffle which I also have). Support has been great.
  9. Ace McDuck macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2012
    Slight twist to visio alternative

    I'm looking for something that can import visio files from about 10-12 years ago. I don't even remember the version that was used to create them.

    I don't have a PC to test whether they will open in the current visio version and convert to xml, so I'm wary of spending the PRO money for Omnigraffle until I'm sure it will work.

  10. jlc1978, Feb 9, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012

    jlc1978 macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2009
    If you have Visio 2007 or older, crossover isn't a bad solution. It lets you run Visio on a Mac w/o installing Windows. It isn't perfect but is a relatively inexpensive solution if you already have Visio.

    I've never found an alternative, cheap or otherwise, if you need Visio interchangeability. The best solution is Visio w/ a VM, followed by Crossover and Visio 2007 or earlier.

    I have Diagramix, and while it is nice it's no where near Visio in terms of capabilities.

    That said, unless you need Visio's ability to span large number of pages and advanced diagramming capabilities, PowerPoint or Keynote can do simple ones quite well.
  11. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Omnigraffle has a 14 day free trial, so download it and see if it works, then pay the money.
  12. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011
    Err, dunno about that. It's good, but in a corporate environment Visio is still king, and Omnigraffle's handling in/out of Visio are pretty lacking. I ended up with both, Visio in a VM and Omnigraffle on the MBP
  13. csds88 macrumors newbie


    Feb 17, 2012
    Diagrammix works and it's cheap

    I've been using Diagrammix for a few months... had the same concerns... didn't want to spend $700 for Visio, when I can get the rest of the office suite for $150. Anyway, I like Diagrammix because it's cheap and you can use free templates from graffletopia (just search for it). As for usability, it could use some work, but for price/peformance, I like it. Note: I don't use it every day, otherwise, I'd probably get something that would allow me to build a diagram a little quicker. Also, the developers have put out a few updates, so the software is pretty well maintained. No serious bugs.

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