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Kerry Smith
Sr. Industrial Hygienist at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 10
Helps with organization by facilitating diagramming of complex procedures

Pros and Cons

  • "It works really well for flowcharting, it can label."
  • "It should be easier to transition into a new version without having to spend so much time in just one area."

What is our primary use case?

I am a health and safety professional. I use it for flowcharting, but I also use it for drawing diagrams. 

I will do a technical assessment of a workplace scenario of equipment as well as noise measurements, and I will use Visio to draw out the scale.

There are many images that you can put in there and data to create images of workplace exposures.

How has it helped my organization?

It has improved the way our organization functions.

It's a tool that helped me diagram complex procedures. More as a picture versus words. 

It also for training and letting other people know how to do that same procedure.

What is most valuable?

It works really well for flowcharting, it can label.

Also, being able to pull the finished drawing out and put it in a Word document is easy, and very useful.

It allowed me to do some things and save them really well. And I found many different things to do with it. It's beyond flowcharting.

The latest version has taken some transitioning and it's a bit of a workaround, but it's also been good. I found the ctrl 1,2,3 buttons that I didn't know about and have been very useful. If you hit ctrl 3 it lets you do your line draw.

What needs improvement?

I just uploaded the latest version and using it now, and I'm struggling with it. It's very different than the other version I have used, and I haven't done any tutorials. 

The previous version was easier. It was easy to intuitively figure out what it did. I learned it on my own and it didn't require the review of tutorials. But with this updated version, I am definitely struggling with it. I need to go through the training and go through the tutorials. So far it seems more complex, but maybe it's just different.

It may handle images well, but I don't know yet. It is something that I would like to see in this solution.

It should be easier to transition into a new version without having to spend so much time in just one area. Providing information on what has changed and how to do it would be very helpful.

I would like the option of going back to the way of doing things in the previous version. I don't understand the block system. I had the favorites that I have to build again because somehow they got lost with the upgrade.

In my favorites, I had shapes, fans, and other things. You pull up all of your basic images or search for them, and you could drag them over into your diagram.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Visio for approximately eight years.

We are using the latest version.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not had any issues with stability. It's a stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is easy to scale this solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have never contacted technical support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously, I did not use another solution. It was a discovery. 

I came across Visio, I saw what I could do with it, and I just continued to expand my uses.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. With this new version, it is a bit confusing. 

With the previous version, I was able to have all of my favorites, I was able to pull objects and do an arrow as a connector, and I had to stop and learn how to do that.

I like the way it was earlier, but it could be just my learning curve.

What other advice do I have?

If you have a need for flowcharting, organizing, or creating diagrams, I think you should check it out. It's worthwhile.

Based on my previous experience with the previous versions, I would rate Visio a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Alberto Hidalgo
Project Development at INECO
Real User
Top 5
Intuitive with an easy setup and a good interface

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution makes it very easy to make exciting pictures and designs. Everything is very intuitive and simple to figure out."
  • "The user interface could be more robust."

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use the solution to make new core designs. I connect the designs to the projects I'm involved with. 

What is most valuable?

I love that interface a lot. I've been involved with design my whole life, and this solution is an excellent program in terms of assisting with design projects. You can work on quite large projects with Visio.

I've used the solution for so long, and I have so much experience with it, I'm quite comfortable using the technology.

The solution makes it very easy to make exciting pictures and designs. Everything is very intuitive and simple to figure out.

What needs improvement?

I'm not sure of the features that are missing. It's a pretty complete solution.

In some instances, I do feel that AutoCAD is a better solution to use. I find AutoCAD makes better lines and has a few better capacities.

The maintenance of the solution could be better. It might be better on a PC. I'm not sure.

I'm not sure if Visio is the best for 3D designs. One does have to make a bubble. It's typically better to do such designs in AutoCAD.

I find that, in order to get money, advertisers, etc., AutoCAD is a better solution.

The user interface could be more robust. It can export to AutoCAD, however it doesn't do so very effectively. You really struggle with exports as they end up exporting in different forms. It doesn't translate exactly. What is white in Visio ends up being black in AutoCAD. Ultimately, you have to go and fix everything. It's not that easy. You end up losing quality.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used Visio in the past 12 months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In general, the solution is pretty stable. However, occasionally, we do experience a bug or glitch. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of the solution depends on the project. You can only put it on so many devices. We have a rather large company, so we have quite a few people on the solution. Not everyone in our organization uses it. It's just specific departments. We're in telecommunication, and we use it in our department specifically.

How are customer service and technical support?

I'm a big fan of support. They've been very helpful in the past. I'm satisfied with the level of service they provide to me.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I'm also used to AutoCAD and I can make beautiful designs with it. AutoCAD is more complicated, the final drawings are not better than with Visio. That's the main difference.

However, when you have to sell something like Architectura, the screen isn't as clean on AutoCAD.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup isn't too complicated. It's straight forward.

You have to spend your time with it in order to funny understand the solution in the beginning. It can be a little crazy at first due to the fact that there are a lot of rules we don't use. That said, it's not difficult to learn.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I'm not sure what the pricing is for the solution. I know that AutoCAD is very expensive, therefore, it's possible Visio is comparable.

What other advice do I have?

I'm using the latest version of the solution.

I use Visio now, and I'll use it going forward. I imagine I'll always use it. I have used AutoCAD, however, I prefer Visio. It's my favorite as I'm so comfortable with all of the aspects of the solution after working with it for so long.

Overall, I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Visio. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
553,954 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Xavier-Rodriguez
Infrastructure Architect at CandX Consulting
Real User
Top 20
Phenomenal built-in templates, very stable, and easy and quick to deploy

Pros and Cons

  • "A lot of built-in templates are really phenomenal. They cut down the time when you're trying to get something out. They reduce the complexity that technical folks like to put into things that have to be given to technical folks."
  • "Some of the improvements that have been made in Visio have not been beneficial, at least to me, personally. Too many things have been added to it, and it makes it kind of clunky sometimes. There is an overwhelming desire or competition to continue to improve it when the product is and has been pretty good, and some of what is done tends to clutter it. In some cases, the updates make it more difficult to use. It is already pretty feature-heavy and continuing to add stuff is not productive from my perspective."

What is our primary use case?

Company-wide, it is used a lot for flow charts. From an IT perspective, we use it quite a bit for network diagrams and documentation. The Human Resources team uses it for organizational charts.

In terms of deployment, we have a kind of mixed deployment. I tend to use an on-prem version that is loaded directly on my machine. We are all Office 365, so a bulk of our users use it as a cloud-based downloadable solution, which is a part of their Office 365 implementation.

How has it helped my organization?

It helps us to secure business and C-suite leadership approval on projects. For lack of a better term, it dumbs down technical solutions so that everybody can understand them. It provides a nice middle ground. We have a lot of really talented engineers on staff, but they tend to get lost in the technical minutia, and the business gets bored with that. 

What is most valuable?

A lot of built-in templates are really phenomenal. The templates assist in translating very complex design elements into understandable diagrams that non-technical folks can grasp.

What needs improvement?

Some of the improvements that have been made in Visio have not been beneficial, at least to me, personally. Too many things have been added to it, and it makes it kind of clunky sometimes. There is an overwhelming desire or competition to continue to improve it when the product is and has been pretty good, and some of what is done tends to clutter it. In some cases, the updates make it more difficult to use. It is already pretty feature-heavy and continuing to add stuff is not productive from my perspective. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for 10 to 15 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I don't have any input on that. In terms of the number of users, we probably have a couple of hundreds of users of Visio. They are from the IT and the infrastructure side. We have Applications users and Human Resources users. We have a manufacturing organization, so we have program managers who manage various customer products, and they use it as well.

It is used fairly extensively throughout the organization. Our usage is okay for now, but we're always one acquisition away from that going out the window.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've never used technical support for Visio.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

It has always been Visio. Prior to using Visio, it probably was Paint or whatever program was available at the time.

How was the initial setup?

It is straightforward. It takes very little time to deploy.

What about the implementation team?

It is done in-house. In terms of maintenance, because we're loading it from the cloud, if there's an update, that's taken care of with the regular Office updates. So, pretty much everything is on the front end, that is, getting it from a business standpoint, getting the approval for the license and the cost associated with the license, and getting it installed. Once it is in, it is usually off to the races.

What was our ROI?

We have definitely seen a return on investment.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We're in a Visio plan that is like $15 a month per user. At the moment, it is just the standard licensing fees that I'm aware of.

What other advice do I have?

Be aware that it is easy to get lost in all the different things to do with it.

I would rate Visio a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Shelley Engen
HRIS Specialist at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Better for visualizing various types of workflows than more primitive methods of tracking

Pros and Cons

  • "The ability to visualize a workflow is certainly an advantage over just tracking a process in something like Excel."
  • "It is pretty easy to use if you are looking for this type of solution."
  • "The behavior of the interface can sometimes be unpredictable."

What is our primary use case?

I am an HRIS (Human Resources Information Systems) specialist. I use Visio for a variety of things.  

  • I do work charts on it.  
  • I do WiX (Windows Installer XML).  
  • I do all swim lane mappings.  
  • I do process mapping.  

That pretty much covers it.  

What is most valuable?

The ability to do my mappings is the most valuable feature in the solution. It is the reason I have and use the product.  

What needs improvement?

I am fairly happy with the program. That would be about 90 percent happy. There is not really much that is wrong with it.  

The only problem I tend to have is that sometimes when I am moving objects around within the interface I lose the formatting or it changes type or linking. You have just got to get used to the connectors not staying in the right spots or how they behave as you work with it and know how to repair it. When you are moving stuff around the joins sometimes just do not go where you want them to. That is the join arrow or shapes or connectors might intuit what you are trying to do in another way than you might intend.  

It is an issue with learning the user interface and working within the behaviors of the program. When you move stuff around and it might move off the visible page, you just have to know to resize to make it fit in the view again. That part of the interface could be more intuitive or left to the control of the user.  

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Visio for least eight years although I think it is closer to ten, actually.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a pretty stable solution. I do not experience much in the way of bugs or glitches.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I do not really have experience with scalability when it comes to this solution. In my department, it is just me using the program. Outside my department, I guess our IT department and our business analysts use it. I know because we are involved in doing some work with the IT department and they use Vizio extensively. I would say there are like five or six business analysts in that area who use it. I guess if you need to scale usage, you buy another license.  

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not had to contact technical support.  

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Before using Visio, we did not use to do a lot of process mapping and our work charts were done in Excel. I was already fairly familiar with Visio, so that is why we got a Vizio. Vizio is a part of the package for the Microsoft suite, but it is an additional cost. So Vizio is not in the standard package but it is a product that is very compatible with familiar components in the Microsoft Office suite.  

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup and installation were easy. It was even less than an hour, I think.  

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Visio is about a $180 dollars to purchase. It is a one-time licensing fee.  

What other advice do I have?

The only real comment I have for people thinking of adopting Visio is that it is pretty easy to use if you are looking for this type of solution.  

On a scale from one to ten (where one is the worst and ten is the best), I would rate Vizio as an eight-out-of-ten.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
AC
Founder at AC Lean
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Easy to use and very basic, but it's hard to manage attributes

Pros and Cons

  • "I haven't needed to reach out to technical support the entire time I've used the product. It's very basic and very simple, and therefore I've never run into any issues I haven't been able to deal with personally."
  • "To be able to extract a report for business project management notations would be ideal."

What is most valuable?

I find it really easy to use. 

You can customize the process very easy. 

You can also communicate with people ad they don't even need to have the tool. They can see the processes on the internet which makes it easy to collaborate with people that don't actually choose to use the tool. 

It's easy to use generally, due to the fact that it's really basic. 

It has also a lot of Planteria, I know how to paint in it, however, you can use different samples, depending on the structures that you want to draw. It has a lot of possiblities.

What needs improvement?

I'm working with Visio Plan 2. I find some lags on this tool. For example, I cannot manage the attributes. For example, for each figure of the process map, I cannot add any further information about it. I can't add the activity or the role that I'm using to relate to other activities. It is very limited by the information that I can use. Managing data is quite limited.

I would love to see five samples for each attempt that I include in my process. I would like to be able to add some extra information. For example, to be able to add some attributes for each item. 

To be able to extract a report for business project management notations would be ideal. Another solution, ARIS, lets you configure each item that you add to the Visio model process, and you can add some attributes that we cannot currently add. For example, calls to activity, main indicators, or a lot of descriptions, etc.

After that, to be able to export a report that shows the relation between the functions and the roles that you have related would be great. If it were possible to see different functions for each role and export it, that would be ideal.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for a very, very long time. It's been about ten to eleven years at this point. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is quite stable. We haven't had any issues in that respect. It doesn't crash or freeze and it's not buggy or have glitches.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't needed to reach out to technical support the entire time I've used the product. It's very basic and very simple, and therefore I've never run into any issues I haven't been able to deal with personally.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I'm actually currently looking into different options as I am finding Visio's capabilities a bit dated and limiting.

What other advice do I have?

I'm just a customer. I don't have a business relationship with Visio.

For how I use the solution, it's quite good and does what I need it to do. It's unique in terms of drawing processes. That said, it is getting a little bit old. There are other solutions out there that offer many more functionalities and users can work with more information on them. That's really useful. Visio, on the other hand, doesn't have the same kind of capabilities.

That's why I'm currently looking for another application to use. I want to be able to export more information from the business process management notations. Visio could potentially improve on this, and, if they don't I will have to look elsewhere for a solution that can handle this.

Overall, I would rate the solution at a six out of ten due to its general limitations at this point.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Elsedeeck Elrayes
Business Process Management Specialist and Business Continuity Management Coordinator at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
Very fast with great documentation but has limited scalability

Pros and Cons

  • "The fact that it's on-premises allows you to get fantastic speed. It's got a faster response rate, it doesn't lag, and it doesn't have any latency when you're working on it."
  • "If you look at ARIS, for example, or Signavio, the flowchart combines all the details and with the click of a button I can create a process manager. That would be something that Visio could add. It would cut my workload in half."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for business process design.

What is most valuable?

The simplicity of the solution is great. It doesn't have a lot of menus, so it's easy to navigate. 

The fact that it's on-premises allows you to get fantastic speed. It's got a faster response rate, it doesn't lag, and it doesn't have any latency when you're working on it.

The solution has a very comprehensive set of icons. It has a BPMN location and a lot of other different locations you can use at the same time.

Microsoft offers great documentation of the product.

What needs improvement?

The reason we're moving from Visio to another program is the fact that you can link the library on ARIS or Signavio. These you have to save them on the save drive which as a collaboration. It's not working for us.  There needs to be better configuration at this point. We need something a bit more flexible in that sense.

The scalability is limited.

If you look at ARIS, for example, or Signavio, the flowchart combines all the details and with the click of a button I can create a process manager. That would be something that Visio could add. It would cut my workload in half. Currently, once I'm done with drawing the flowchart, I need to take it and put it in that document and then explain what the flowchart is.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for four to five years at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good. It's reliable. It doesn't crash on us, or freeze. I don't recall any bugs or glitches.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is average. It's not as scalable as other options. Organizations that need to expand it may run into issues.

We have about five to ten users on the solution at our company.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've never required technical support. I can't speak to the level of service they provide.

That said, there is great documentation, so it's pretty easy to troubleshoot by referencing those if you need to.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We've tried ARIS and Signavio. We're still looking for a solution that can replace Visio for us. We're looking for something that can link our library.

How was the initial setup?

In our organization, the IT department takes care of the initial setup. I wasn't part of the deployment process.

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer. We don't have a business relationship with Microsoft.

We're using either the 2015 or 2016 version of the solution.

The first question a company needs to determine how complex the processes are and how much depth, how much detail they want to document. If it's simpler and they want to get away from the flow chart and then present it somewhere else (such as on a PowerPoint or a report) Visio is a great option.

However, if you want to actually manage your processor, simulator, have a database, or have workflows in order to get approval within different departments or, for example, create documents after a flowchart, then I'd recommend other programs.

Overall, I'd rate the solution seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
NR
Executive Director, Global Technology Director at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
A stable diagramming and vector graphics application with a useful automation feature

Pros and Cons

  • "I like the way you can hypertext across tabs so you can actually create an interactive that you can export as a website. You can also extend it to a monitoring tool if you really wanted to."
  • "The price could be better."

What is our primary use case?

We use Visio extensively for creating architecture, network and workflow diagrams. Also used for UML Class diagrams and various types of flow charts 

How has it helped my organization?

We use it to create diagrams used for architectural review. It's a great tool to create diagrams to show how an infrastructure or software architecture has being designed and then review that with the other domain architects.

What is most valuable?

I like the way you can Hyperlink objects to a URL, local file or other tabs within the same diagram. I use this to create an Overview tab with a high level digram and then link objects in the Overview to other tabs with more detail on that object. You can also save the diagram as a html page and then host on a local server to create an interactive diagram. You can also automate the creation of diagrams with PowerShell

What needs improvement?

Would be nice if visio viewer didn't require active-x.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Visio for over 15 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a stable solution. It's Visio. It just works.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is fine. It runs on each individual client. I haven't used any of the team integration hooks. We have a lot of technologists that use it and we're trying to make a move to move those architecture diagrams to be more driven by code by leveraging C4 and then model driven design through MagicDraw and that's a new journey for us. I think there are still going to be a large number of teams that still end up using Visio as it's very versatile. 

How was the initial setup?

It's all automated for our firm by our department. I run it on my Mac as well, and it's super simple to set up.

What about the implementation team?

We do everything ourselves. We set up and deployed this solution.

What was our ROI?

It's better than using PowerPoint or something else to draw the diagrams. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It's not the cheapest product, but it's extremely valuable.

What other advice do I have?

I would tell potential users that it depends on how you use it. You can use Visio for everything from designing networks to organizational charts. You can also use it for so much more as it's a very versatile tool. There are a lot of Visio stencils that are available on the web. Use those.

Just do your homework. But there's just a lot of people who have contributed to creating various open-source Visio stencils. Most product vendors have already created those stencils. You don't need to go and recreate it on your own. You can go to NetApp or VMware, or Cisco and download the stencil for their products. Then it makes it very easy to use and integrate.

On a scale from one to ten, I would give Visio a nine.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Michel Bourque
Partenaire, CEO at cyberdefense ai
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Good availability, really professional, and very easy

Pros and Cons

  • "I like all the features. I go online, and everything pops there. It is in the cloud, and everything is there. Even if there is a crash, everything is still there. I don't lose anything. That's what is the most valuable and likable. It is really a professional solution for designing. The designs look really nice in the PDF."
  • "They have to improve shapes. It has good shapes, but it certainly can have more shapes. There are no U shapes. It also requires more customizations. There are a lot of icons, but they can be modernized more. These icons have to be more customizable so that we are able to change the color and things like that. It should also have more integration so that we can use it with other tools on the web. We don't use Microsoft Teams. We use Discord, which is more for gamers. It would be helpful if Visio is integrated with Discord. I can then show my work to my team. We use Visio, and it is a must-have solution for us, but being a startup, we don't have the money to use the whole Microsoft system. Some day we will use Office. For companies like us, there should be connectors for other software. We should be able to use a connector with the software that we are using or with the new generation solutions. Connectors will make it very easy to transfer data."

What is our primary use case?

I use it to design business models, cyber defense portals, and pictures. We are using the latest version of Visio.

How has it helped my organization?

We tried other design tools from Google and other companies. We also tried a few open-source solutions, and frankly, you don't get that professional finish in any other solution. Visio is more professional and accurate. 

What is most valuable?

I like all the features. I go online, and everything pops there. It is in the cloud, and everything is there. Even if there is a crash, everything is still there. I don't lose anything. That's what is the most valuable and likable. 

It is really a professional solution for designing. The designs look really nice in the PDF. 

What needs improvement?

They have to improve shapes. It has good shapes, but it certainly can have more shapes. There are no U shapes. It also requires more customizations. There are a lot of icons, but they can be modernized more. These icons have to be more customizable so that we are able to change the color and things like that.

It should also have more integration so that we can use it with other tools on the web. We don't use Microsoft Teams. We use Discord, which is more for gamers. It would be helpful if Visio is integrated with Discord. I can then show my work to my team.

We use Visio, and it is a must-have solution for us, but being a startup, we don't have the money to use the whole Microsoft system. Some day we will use Office. For companies like us, there should be connectors for other software. We should be able to use a connector with the software that we are using or with the new generation solutions. Connectors will make it very easy to transfer data.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Visio for three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable. I never had a bug.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. We are a small organization. We are a part of a startup, and there are about five to seven users who use it, which is not a big number, but it is enough for us. Architects and web designers are some of the users of this solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

I never needed their service. It is so easy to use and stable. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I used a workflow, which was free, but it wasn't better than Visio.

How was the initial setup?

It is really easy.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

There are some cheaper as well as free solutions.

What other advice do I have?

It is natural and professional. It is very easy. You just align and drag and drop elements. That's the only thing Visio needs.

I would rate Visio a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.