I often have to give presentations that include extensive use of complex network diagrams to expensive-suit-wearing types. I've always used Visio for network diagrams, but have always felt that they look clunky. What other software is out there which:

  1. Can export as HTML with links to other pages.
  2. Has some kind of pop-up or menu for object config data (IP-address, OS, License, etc)
  3. Looks really sexy.
  • 2
    Never thought I would see the words "complex networks diagrams" and "expensive-suit-wearing types" on the same sentence. Sorry, couldn't help it.
    – jliendo
    Mar 30, 2011 at 18:05
  • possible duplicate of Network Diagramming Software, FREE or Open-Source.
    – jscott
    Mar 30, 2011 at 22:03
  • 2
    For the record, I voted to close this a dupe, not as off-topic. I really can't see why others voted for off-topic. Mar 30, 2011 at 22:20

6 Answers 6


OmniGraffle for Mac is great for just kind of thing, have you considered using VisioCafe's excellent make/model-specific stencils with Visio? - actually having representative graphics of the actual servers/switches etc. adds so much.


OSAlt has a decent list of open source alternatives to Visio



I've been teaching myself graphviz for this purpose(amongst others) the investment is going to be a bit higher to start with

  • Thanks for the tips guys. I think I'll stick with Visio for now, using some of the great templates at Visio Cafe. Apr 1, 2011 at 7:36
  • I love graphviz. The nice thing about the DOT language is that it's a relatively mild learning curve and it's easy to write programs to output graphs using any programming language. Jun 5, 2014 at 13:34

I've used Dia and ArgoUML for UML models. However, I've found that Visio tends to be the shortest path from scratch to polished diagram. Especially when using templates and shapes from VisioCafe.


yED is a free (but not open source) Java application. It can export diagrams in formats such as >

html, jpg, pdf, png, svg, swf

It also includes a good library of diagram elements.

More info including a 90 second video of it in action here > yED Graph Editor


draw.io, it has a function to create a JavaScript embedded version of the diagram, that is pannable, linkable and scalable (it's vector, no bitmap scaling problems).

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