When looking for a flowchart software, the two options that you will bump into are Visio and LucidCharts. These two may be confusing to settle on one. In this article, we take an in-depth look at the two-flowchart creation software to help you pick out the best.
Here is a summary for those who may have fears of going through the whole article – we know it’s not short.
In this comparison article, Lucidchart is our winner. Lucidchart has all the features you may need, including – multiple device syncing, secure, easy file sharing, easy import, and export and also has a reversion history. It also supports various platforms, real-time collaborative features, supports chat, and commenting, supports many integrations, unlike Visio, and is also cheaper. Lucidchart also has an intuitive user interface that is clean and easy to use, even for beginners.
Visio VS LucidCharts: Features
LucidChart is available on different platforms. The software has an app available on the two most popular mobile platforms – Android and iOS. Apart from these two, the software is also web based, meaning you can access it from even your computer right inside any browser. Although LucidChart has no native desktop application, just being browser-based is still a win-win situation, so there is nothing to complain about here.
LucidCharts is cloud-based. This gives you the versatility of accessing the app from any device and getting right back into what you were working on previously. This makes it easy to work with this flowchart software on the go. Whether you want to give yourself a break on your computer, its easy. Pick up your tablet, and you will resume right from where you left. Being cloud-based also comes with its disadvantage, by the way. Cloud-based apps and services cannot be accessed without an internet connection. So, if you are traveling to a place with poor connectivity, definitely you will not be able to access your work since its stored in online servers and not on your device. Since the service is cloud-based, it is good also to consider the security measures put in place to protect your intellectual property.
For enterprise account owners, LucidChart offers the option to migrate all users to a centrally managed account and control the accessibility of each member to the confidential documents. Admins can also control how users share and access documents amongst each other. Admins can limit access to specific IP addresses, restrict users from publishing or sharing documents outside your workplace, control how and with whom employees share documents, and also retain documents after employees leave.
Furthermore, LucidChart promises not to share your intellectual property documents publicly. LucidChart relies on 256-bit encryption technology via TLS 1.2 for the security of data exchanged between user devices and Lucidchart servers. For data at rest, LucidChart embraces the military-grade AES 256-bit encryption technology. The cryptographic keys used to secure the servers are managed by Amazon’s Key Management Services. LucidChart relies on Amazon Web Services for hosting data, which is one of the industry’s providers in cloud computing solutions. The company has also bagged several compliance certificates on security and privacy issues.
File sharing on LucidCharts is easy as pie. Files can be imported or exported to other services as well, including Visio, Gliffy, and OmniGraffle. On top of that, LucidCharts allows you to upload files into your workspace from different locations. This includes your local storage and even from cloud storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, among others, thanks to its integration support.
LucidChart allows real-time collaboration for teams. Teams can work together in LucidCharts, which is a handy feature for companies who use teams to brainstorm on a given idea to create flowcharts. Collaboration features in LucidCharts also include a chat feature that is handy for easy and convenient communication among teams while working on a project. And what’s more, is that LucidCharts also allows video calling via the Google Hangout integration. In addition to that, there is a commenting feature that enables teams to leave comments on various parts of the flowchart. This feature comes handy with a mention function that makes it easy for the tagged team member to be alerted of the necessary information left in the comment. The collaboration feature on LucidCharts also allows team members to work on a single file at the same time, which is basically the core function and the main essence of collaboration. Teams can also take advantage of this feature to build templates and image libraries that they will be using on different projects.
This is an advanced feature created for teams to give them more power and improve their efficiency. Apart from team members being able to pull data into their diagrams, they can also allow LucidChart to create them on their behalf automatically. LucidChart can be used to Generate a UML sequence diagram from text markup, and even create an org chart from a CSV file. It can also import AWS infrastructure for network diagrams, import database, tables, and schemas for ERDs and also to connect diagram shapes to live data in Google Sheets.
LucidChart avails all the tools you need to create excellent flowcharts. This ranges from the customizable canvas, support for keyboard shortcuts, organization of diagrams with containers, and the ability to include links and layers for easy-to-read diagrams. Apart from this, LucidChart also allows you to add necessary context permanently to a chart using the notes feature. Also, for presentations, LucidChart has a built-in presentation functionality. No need to use any other third-party apps. In addition to that, you can embed your presentation in Google Slides or PowerPoint presentations.
Apart from these productivity features, LucidChart also makes it easy to share your finished work. You can share using a unique URL, and diagrams can also be included with access control, thus setting restrictions on how people view the document. Lucidchart documents can even be published in PDF, JPG, and PNG that can be embedded on a website or shared via email or even on social media sharing via auto-generated links.
If your team has created diagrams using other platforms, it is easy to import them on LucidChart. LucidChart allows the importation of diagrams created in Visio, Gliffy, or OmniGraffle. You can import MS Visio (.vdx), Gliffy (.gxml, .gliffy), and OmniGraffle (.graffle, .graffle.zip) and pick up right where you had left.
LucidChart also has inbuilt templates that you can rely on to kickstart your project faster. Lucidchart has tons of templates available premade for you. The templates have been categorized into many categories and can be applied in almost any field out there that has a place for flow charts. Lucidchart templates apply in industries like engineering, business, networking, sales, education, data flow, and more. The templates are customizable. It is easy to add text and also format shapes. The platform is also added with new templates each week, so there are tons of them available.
Revision history is a lifesaver when you want to go back a few steps on a document to rectify a problem. For team managers, this gives you the ability to view all the changes made to the document until the final point. If at times, things went astray, you can take the team back to start working on the project from a certain point.
Multiple Languages Supported
Microsoft Visio supports multiple languages. The app supports over ten languages. Examples of languages supported include; English, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), and ten other languages.
Microsoft Visio supports different platforms, as well. Of course, the first platform supported is Microsoft Windows, followed by iOS. There is no support for Android, which to some, maybe a bummer. However, Microsoft Visio is also available on the web, which means you can use it on other platforms as well like Linux, and Mac OS.
Microsoft Visio also allows the importation of documents. But unlike Lucidchart, which allows importation from different places and different document types, Visio is only restricted to DWG files. However, Visio supports multiple data sources, including Microsoft’s suite of services like Excel, Microsoft Excel Services, Active Directory, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft SQL Azure, and Microsoft SharePoint Lists and Business Connectivity Services.
You can also share your Microsoft Visio diagrams as well. You can share your work easily as a secure web-based link, attachment, image, or PDF.
Microsoft Visio also allows for data visualization. For a recap, data visualization is the graphical representation of data and information. It also provides for customized visualization as well. Visio allows you to choose from default data graphics for icons, colors, and text, or easily create your own visualization using Visio smart shapes. In addition to that, Visio also allows you to convert excel data in Visio flowcharts using their data visualizer. Apart from these, you can also Embed Visio diagrams directly into Power BI reports with Visio Visual.
Creation of Diagrams
Visio enables you to create different professional intuitive diagrams. These can range flowcharts, diagrams, org charts, floor plans, engineering designs, and more.
Visio also allows for real-time collaboration. Teams can be able to work on the same file or diagram at the same time, just like in LucidChart. Microsoft Visio also allows commenting on any section of the diagram.
Visio VS LucidCharts: Small Comparison Table
Who is this for?
Microsoft Visio and LucidChart apply to different industries ranging from engineering, business, finance, banking, education, and more. Any place where flowcharts are needed, these two tools can always be applied. They also have support for the web, which means you can use either of them, no matter your desktop client.
Pros and Cons
- Cross platform support – android, iOS, and web-based
- Supports many integrations
- Revision history
- Cloud-based meaning you should be connected to the internet first
- Gets slower as the complexity of charts increases.
- Can work offline
- Allows for integration
LucidChart has four different pricing plans. These include – Free, Pro, Team, and Enterprise. The free plan provides access to free shape libraries and access to all templates. The pro plan goes for $9.95 per month paid annually or $11.95 for the month-to-month payment plan. With this, LucidChart gives you the following features;
Unlimited documents, Unlimited shapes, 1 GB of storage, Visio import/export, Revision history, Premium shapes, chart AI and Presentation mode. The team plan goes for $20 a month paid annually and is limited to only three users. It includes the following features; Unlimited documents, Unlimited shapes, 1 GB of storage, Visio import/export, Revision history, Premium shapes, Presentation mode, Chart AI, Real-time collaboration, Microsoft, Google, and 30+ additional integrations. The last plan – Enterprise plan packs good features, but you will have to call the sales team to know about the pricing. It includes the following features;
- Everything in Team
- Group Management
- Ability to reassign licenses
- Centralized admin control
- Document retention
- Team folders
- Optional Enhancements
- Lucidchart Sales Solution
- Salesforce Integration
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator
On the other hand, Visio is quite pricey as compared to Lucidchart. There are two plans available here. The first plan goes for $5.00 per month paid annually, or $6.00 paid on a monthly basis. The second plan goes for $15.00 per month paid annually or $18.00 paid on a monthly basis.
Lucidchart has an intuitive user interface and is easy to use. The UI on Lucidchart is clear, thus delivering a better user experience even for beginners. The only drawback here is that Lucidchart tends to be slower when you have more complicated charts. And another disadvantage is that you have to use an internet connection at all times. This makes the application of the software quite limited and not friendly on some occasions like under poor internet connectivity or when you are traveling by air, for example.
On the other hand, Visio is not user-friendly, the platform’s UI is a bit clunky, and for first-time users, it is not the easiest software out there. Basically, you will have to dedicate some time to learning Visio before being comfortable with using it.
LucidChart supports quite a number of integrations. As of now, it supports the following app integrations;
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator
- Bamboo HR
- Dropbox Paper
- Zoho connect
- Visio import and export
- Gliffy import
- Draw.io import
- OmniGraffle Import
Microsoft Visio supports the following integrations
- Microsoft OneDrive
- Office 365
- netTerrain Logical
- The VIP Test Modeller
- Digital Enterprise Suite
LucidChart features both online and knowledgebase support. There is a well-written help center that you can rely on to learn about LucidChart. On top of that, Lucidchart also has a community that can help users solve most of the problems. Microsoft Visio promises 24/7 online support. The team’s tools are not well written, so you might have problems using the software.
It is clear who is the winner here – Lucidchart. It generally has more features baked in than in Visio. Lucidchart is also cheaper and has great features. Lucidchart also makes it easy to share files, communicate with your team members via chat, and cross-device syncing is available. In addition to that, it supports many app integrations, a more comfortable learning curve, user-friendly, and not forgetting real-time editing capabilities. Importing and exporting of files is also made easier on Lucidchart. The only drawback here is that Lucidchart being cloud-based means you cannot use it without being connected to the internet.
Visio is quite expensive and features fewer features than Lucidchart. Talk about the integrations and more.