Looking for a good UML diagramming software (in browser or desktop) which is free or heavily discounted for students.

It needs to be able to support at least; Use Case, Class, Object, Interaction and Deployment Diagrams. Also, be able to export to pdf and popular image formats. Efficient and easy to use would be great too.

I have tried out draw.io and AgroUML and I want to know if there is anything better out there which meets my requirements.



4 Answers 4


In fact, I use UMLet with my students for many reasons but here are only major's one :

  1. Very light ► no need to install with admin rights, just extract and launch. Could be used on USBKey (portable)
  2. Very simple ► beginners could use it with the GUI (symbols are ready to use) and modify them by changing text properties
  3. Powerful ► advanced users will be happy with text properties to change anything (on arrow, lt- or lt-> or lt->>.... lt->>>>> permits simple relationship to composition. fg=#FF0000 or fg=red permit to change foreground color, m1= and m2= changes multiplicities)
  4. Text rather complex format ► If you need to check a specific object, you can ask for text (copy/paste properties) rather graphical screen capture : you could create a parser to check students responses (for now, I'm not able do that with graphic object in other tools like StarUML, Modelio, ObjecTeering...)
  5. Writing a class (or anything else) took small time (editing properties could be longer with GUI tools like StarUML)
  6. No network needs ► it work as a standalone tools (if you're in examination, you could cut the Internet access).
  7. Exportation are ► PNG, PDF, JPG and SVG (vector file : no quality loss).
  8. It support Copy/Paste ► to a Microsoft Office / Libre Office application

Give it a try, they're lot of tutorials (Youtube).


Try UMLet. It can run standalone or inside Eclipse.

You can see the diagram types available.

Use Case, Class, Object, Interaction and Deployment Diagrams

It can "export to pdf and popular image formats".

How to export diagrams to other file formats?

Use the menu command "File>Export as.." to export the diagram to BMP, EPS, GIF, JPG, PDF, PNG, and SVG.

(from FAQ)

It is free.

  • This is a good recommendation UML software. Considering UMLet is an open source software.
    – meisyal
    Jun 8, 2016 at 10:52

I would recommend StarUML.

This is a desktop-based UML diagramming software. StarUML is basically free, but a license should be purchased for continued use. Speaking of price, there is special price for student (educational or classroom). Details of price comparison can be found here.

StarUML supports UML 2. It supports use case diagram, class diagram, object diagram, deployment diagram, and collaboration diagram. Beside that, you can export your diagrams onto PDF. Exporting a diagram to image is also supported by StarUML. You can export it onto PNG, JPEG, and SVG formats.

Like @Jan Doggen said, you should define what a good or better UML diagramming software is. You can tell us what features is missing from a software you have been used before.

  • How is something that is trialware "basically free"? Astroturfing with a bold? Jan 13, 2019 at 9:22

Recently I have been pretty pleased with Plantuml. It is free to use and unlike most UML tools it is text based instead of a fancy drag and drop editor. We use Gitlab at my work which displays PlantUML diagrams directly in Markdown so the diagrams and corresponding documentation live together. It is much more simple than most UML tools because it is not as feature rich so it is less overwhelming which would be good for a student.

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