I am looking for a tool for drawing diagrams (sets diagrams, relations, etc) where the objects inside are high level objects like book, car, house, etc (looking like icons, or emoticons); rather than primitive objects like squares, circles.

Visio might be a close tool, but I am looking for a free tool, with smiley-like components.


5 Answers 5


I would suggest taking a look at LibreOffice Draw:

  • Free & Open Source
  • Cross Platform
  • Has its own clip art
  • Can import clip art/images to use those
  • Portable edition available so you can run from a USB key.

Draw Screenshot with some clipart

  • The page size is too small!
    – Colas
    May 4, 2015 at 10:15
  • @Colas are you talking about the screenshot above, where I was also browsing the clipart which you can close when done, you can also zoom the page, or about the actual physical page, on mine you just go to Format->Page and under paper format I can pick up to A0 which is a big piece of paper. May 5, 2015 at 5:28

You can use Pencil:

  • free and open source
  • cross-platform
  • supposed to be an open source Visio:

enter image description here

  • 2
    Note: Not the same as the pencil package in Ubuntu's repositories.
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Jul 14, 2014 at 8:51

Personally I think that Microsoft Visio is the best by far in terms of number of features it contains but the website draw.io (formerly known as Diagram.ly) is pretty good:

  • free
  • a good amount of shapes available
  • connection with Google Drive and a few other online services

enter image description here

  • Does any of them have clipart library to use?
    – Dana Wild
    Jul 12, 2014 at 1:15
  • @DanaWild I use external libraries like commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Crystal_Clear and import images as needed. Jul 12, 2014 at 1:23
  • Draw.io is no longer free: drawio-app.com ... or at least I'm uncertain about it. I sometimes cannot get to the drawing part. Aug 13, 2022 at 9:08
  • @MartinThoma thanks, perhaps draw.io is freemium? I just tried and could make a simple diagram Aug 13, 2022 at 9:10
  • Yes, when I clicked on your link it worked for me as well. But when I used my bookmark I couldn't get to the drawing option any longer. And it seems to be the same link. Very weird. Aug 13, 2022 at 9:39

Dia is a diagram creation program for Linux, Unix and Windows

Dia is roughly inspired by the commercial Windows program 'Visio', though more geared towards informal diagrams for casual use.

Diashapes is an external program to download Dia compatibles shapes from the Internet.


I used Dia for years, but changed a while back to Y-edit.

It comes with some good built-in images, but what I really like is that you can add your own images and also assign them to section on the toolbar (houses, animals, etc).

When I don't have the correct icon to hand, I download a Creative Commons image, edit it and scale it to suit, then import it. That way I can re-use it in future diagrams.

Import your own data from an Excel® spreadsheet (.xls) or XMLenter image description here

Create diagrams with ease via an intuitive user interface.
enter image description here

Automatically arrange your diagram elements.
enter image description here

Export bitmap and vector graphics as PNG, JPG, SVG, PDF, SWF
enter image description here

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