Productivity Windows

The 7 Best Free Flowchart Software for Windows

Emma Roth Updated 22-01-2020

Flowcharts aren’t just for engineers, programmers, and managers. Everyone can benefit from learning how to make flowcharts, most notably as a way to streamline your work and life, and even to break free from bad habits.

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The only problem is, what’s the best flowchart software? Plenty of amazing options exist, but they’re rather pricey. Luckily, you don’t have to pay a subscription fee or an expensive one-time payment to get access to a great flowchart creator. If you don’t want to create stunning flowcharts using a costly tool, then use one of the free flowchart software below.

Note: Web-based flowchart apps have been intentionally excluded from this list.

1. Dia

free flowchart tool dia

Dia is a free and full-featured flowchart creator. It’s also entirely open source under the GPLv2 license, which is great if you believe in the open-source philosophy. It’s powerful, extensible, and easy to use.

If you’re looking for the best free alternative to Microsoft Visio, then Dia is as close as you’re going to get.

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Key features and highlights:

  • Simple and intuitive interface.
  • Dozens of standard shapes, including UML, circuit, and database.
  • Add custom shapes using XML and SVG.
  • Colorize shapes and text with standard or custom colors.

Download: Dia (Free)

2. yEd Graph Editor

free flowchart software yed graph editor

yEd Graph Editor is an excellent, up-to-date tool for flowcharts, diagrams, trees, network graphs, and more. You can download the app as a JAR file (which requires Java on your system) or an EXE (which includes a Java installer). It’s powerful and versatile, but the trade-off is an ugly, Swing-based interface.

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Key features and highlights:

  • Very little effort for professional-quality charts.
  • Auto-arrange flowchart elements from messy to clean.
  • Organic and orthogonal edge routing for connections.
  • Several export options, including PNG, JPG, SVG, and PDF.

Download: yEd Graph Editor (Free)

3. ThinkComposer

free flowchart editor thinkcomposer

ThinkComposer is a flowchart program for professionals. In addition to flowcharts, it can handle business models, class diagrams, genealogy trees, timelines, use case diagrams, and more. It’s a bit overkill for one or two charts every so often, but a smart choice if you deal with flowcharts on a daily or weekly basis.

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Key features and highlights:

  • Create custom, reusable nodes, and connections.
  • Deep, multi-level diagrams for full visual expression of ideas.
  • Compositions can combine many different charts and graphs.
  • Generate PDF, XPS, or HTML reports based on your data.
  • Open source and extensible with plugins.

Download: ThinkComposer (Free)

4. Pencil Project

free flowchart app pencil project

Pencil Project is an old flowchart creator that fell out of favor due to a long development hiatus, but things picked back up in 2015, and in 2019 version 3.1.0 was released. Everything is now modern and up-to-date, making it an excellent choice for anyone who needs fast, simple diagramming with a minimal learning curve.

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Key features and highlights:

  • Tons of built-in shapes for all types of charts and interfaces.
  • Create your own shapes or install collections made by others.
  • Several export options, including PNG, SVG, PDF, and HTML.
  • Import art from OpenClipart.org for use in charts and diagrams.

Download: Pencil Project (Free)

5. LibreOffice Draw

free flowchart tool libreoffice draw

LibreOffice is arguably the best free alternative to Microsoft Office for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and even visual diagrams. With LibreOffice Draw, you can easily add shapes, symbols, lines, connections, text, images, and more. It isn’t perfect, but it’s certainly flexible.

Key features and highlights:

  • Custom page sizes, great for all kinds of chart types.
  • Page map makes it easy to work on multiple charts.
  • Advanced object manipulations, including 3D controller.
  • Can open (but not save to) Microsoft Visio format.

Download: LibreOffice (Free)

6. Diagram Designer

free flowchart editor diagram designer

Diagram Designer is a somewhat primitive free diagram software, but don’t let that turn you away! It runs fine on my Windows 10 setup, and it’s more than effective for creating flowcharts that look nice. Not to mention that it’s even simpler than creating a flowchart on Microsoft Word How to Create Flowcharts With Microsoft Word The Easy Way Want to learn how to make a flowchart in Word? It's easy with the right technique. This introductory article explains how. Read More . Could it be better? Of course. But for personal use, it’s great.

Key features and highlights:

  • Easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface.
  • No unnecessary features that steepen the learning curve.
  • Import and export PNG, JPG, BMP, GIF, ICO, and more.

Download: Diagram Designer (Free)

7. PlantUML

free flowchart app plantuml

PlantUML is unlike all the other flowchart creators in this list. Instead of a graphical interface, you create your diagrams using PlantUML’s scripting language. This is an excellent tool for programmers who don’t like mouse-based drag-and-drop. PlantUML requires Java on your system.

Key features and highlights:

  • Define objects and relationships using PlantUML’s scripting language.
  • Supports many diagram types: sequence, usecase, class, Gantt, etc.
  • Export diagrams as PNG, SVG, or LaTeX.

Download: PlantUML (Free)

Other Useful Flowchart Apps and Tools

Finding the right flowchart creator definitely comes in handy when you’re trying to demonstrate a sequence of events or brainstorm ideas. Better yet, a free flowchart software makes it even easier access to such a handy tool.

Would you rather use a web-based flowchart maker? We highly recommend LucidChart, which is best in its class. Alternatively, why not try making a flowchart in Excel How to Create a Flowchart in Microsoft Excel Did you know that you can create flowcharts in Microsoft Excel? Here's how to set up a flowchart in Excel right away. Read More ?

Related topics: Flowchart, LibreOffice, Organization Software, Planning Tool, Project Management.

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  1. Peter
    June 24, 2019 at 7:46 am

    Dia does not follow common standard for text editing so it become awkward to work with in the long run

  2. Roy
    May 28, 2019 at 12:37 am

    Cell phone spy software enthusiast and researcher. With over 8 years in the business I can offer the most comprehensive analysis and recommendations for virtually any program on the market. Engineerroy68 at gmail com !

  3. Nils
    October 17, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    Another great tool for flowcharts is Software Ideas Modeler. I firstly thought that it is only paid software but I found out there is a free standard edition and it supports flowcharts. I do not need more.

  4. Ashton
    July 6, 2017 at 9:22 am

    draw.io <3

  5. Guilherme
    June 21, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    I have been using Dia for a long while, until I discovered Draw.io and its integration with Google Drive. Never used another one since then.

    • John
      October 21, 2019 at 12:43 pm

      Hi, you might want to checkout gleek.io. It is similar to draw.io but instead of the never ending point and they have a simple syntax similar to YAML where as you type the diagram renders in real time. The editor offers code completion and integration with github. I have been using it for about a month now and don't see myself going back to mouse anytime soon.

  6. Marco
    June 21, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    I have used powerpoint many times. Also, I recommend you go to youtube and pickup a few basic concepts of BPMN. It makes a huge difference. I should know as this is what I do all day everyday.

  7. Dovor Acher
    June 20, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    Draw.io have an offline chrom app.