Gliffy – Alternative to Visio


Gliffy is a free web-based diagram editor. It is being touted as the online visio killer.

The client application is built using OpenLaszlo.

OpenLaszlo is an open source platform for creating zero-install web applications with the user interface capabilities of desktop client software.

OpenLaszlo programs are written in XML and JavaScript and transparently compiled to Flash and soon DHTML. The OpenLaszlo API’s provide animation, layout, data binding, server communication, and declarative UI.

Snapshot of the Gliffy UI

The following types of diagrams are supported:

  1. Flow Chart
  2. UML Diagrams (I tried to write a sequence diagram; was kind of painful ! )
  3. User Interface Diagrams
  4. Floorplan
  5. Basic Shapes

The diagram can be exported as SVG,JPG or PNG.

So next time you have quickly add a component diagram, or an UML diagram in your design document, try Gliffy 🙂

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jonas Nov 6, 2006 Link

    I’ve been using Gliffy for a while and really like it. There’s a competitor out there called Cumulate Draw. It doesn’t have the features as Gliffy but doesn’t need Flash. I’ve just written a review at my blog. My blog is to uninstall ALL applications from my desktop and replace it with online tools. Check the review out at:

  • Andreas Herz Nov 22, 2006 Link

    worth a look: Open-jACOB Draw2D



  • Goomes Jan 25, 2007 Link

    Hi Andreas,

    thanks for the openjacob hint……very nice API and absolute fast.



  • Elwyn Jenkins Aug 8, 2007 Link

    Thanks for the outline of Gliffy. I will be recommending my readers to view this post.

  • Debi K Dec 1, 2007 Link

    Thanks for the review of Gliffy. We are very appreciative. If you have any suggestions and/or feedback please drop us a line at our newly revamped website! Thanks,
    debik at gliffy dot com

  • David Mar 6, 2011 Link, similar idea, except no need to login or register to get all functionality. It’s JavaScript, not Flash. It does Visio import and, most importantly, uses the Libyan domain…

  • Linda Mar 21, 2011 Link

    I’d recommend looking at Lucid Chart also has Visio import (a lot cleaner than the attempts I made on diagramly mentioned above that just refreshed the page with nothing showing up…). We’re in the process of converting all our files to Lucid Chart now and moving to the cloud….finally!

  • Nishadha Jun 25, 2012 Link

    Another great web based Visio alternative is Creately. It has real-time collaboration which makes it very easy to work with clients and they have hundreds of beautiful templates to get started quickly.

  • Lucas Feb 12, 2013 Link

    So I’ve tried out gliffy, lucid chart and creately based on the articles and the comments. For me, I’m grateful that Linda posted here because Lucidchart’s Visio editor was the key differentiator. It’s the only one that actually works with Visio!