I would like to try some software like Visio, Rational Rose or similar that allows to design relationship within classes.

I would like software to draw UML Diagrams, and other drawings used for communicating software requirements (Such as Dataflow diagrams and flowcharts).

I also want to be able to use it for brainstorming, so a good annotation feature would be a plus.

It must support export to some commonly used format, such as PDF, so I can show it to my colleagues.

Operating System: Windows


2 Answers 2


I have used a software called Visual Paradigm. There is the free and the paid version, and it is for Windows. I have used the free version for ERD diagrams, some colleagues of mine have used it for UML.

One of the differences between the paid and free version is that on the paid version you can generate the code from the UML model.

This software has also the functionality to export the diagram in PDF, for both paid and free version (the free version sometimes adds a watermark to the PDF).

Here is the free version.

For me, this has become a substitution for Visio, since in its new version (2013), they changed completely the way to make ERD diagrams, and I did not like it.

  • Visual Paradigm Community is a nice piece of software which can be used free of charge for non-profit development. It is quite user-friendly and easy to use. Unfortunately it's main drawback is binary project format (vpp-file as a SQLite DB), which makes it hardly usable in a team environment with a source control system :( So bear this in mind when you're considering to download it for evaluation (the app takes almost 1GB when installed on Windows).
    – AntonK
    Commented Apr 13, 2022 at 17:45

yEd Is a tool that I recently started to use as a replacement for Visio. I used to work at a company that already had Visio but my new company does not. Before I asked them to buy it I thought I would look around. Features you are looking for that supports include:

  • UML
  • Ability to export to pdf.
  • Windows version (Mac OSX and Linux as well)

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