What is Visio® and how can you view Visio® drawings on Mac?

Visio® is a widely used diagramming software, designed by Microsoft Inc. If you google “Visio® Viewers for Mac” you will find a variety of Visio® alternatives. The most popular of them are:

    • LucidChart
    • Concept Draw Pro
    • SmartDraw
    • VSDX Annotator
    • Nektony VSD Viewer
    • Cisdem DocumentReader

LucidChart, Concept Draw and Smartdraw are vector graphic applications that additionally support the viewing and editing of Visio® files, while VSDX Annotator, VSD Viewer and Document Reader are especially designed to view Visio® drawings. We have tried out each Visio® Viewer and prepared visual results, so you can quickly see how each of the above apps copes with its task.

As the basis of our survey, we took a VSD file, “Apartment design,” created in MS Visio®. The file includes Shape Data, Hyperlinks and Layers.

visio software

 

If someone emailed you a file in VSD, VSDX or VDX extension and you don’t know how to open it on macOS, this article is for you. If you already have a Visio® viewer for Mac but Visio® drawings are displayed incorrectly or incompletely, the text below will interest you, too.


What is the best Visio Alternative for Mac?

Take a look at the results of opening the VSD file in different Mac Visio® Viewers. We explore the pros and cons of each Visio® equivalent for Mac.

free visio

LucidChart

Price from $4.95 to $20 per month (free for a limited number of Visio® documents)

Results:

Shape Data, Hyperlinks or Layers are not supported

No text is displayed

 Image mapping errors appear

 


Open Visio in Concept Ddaw

Concept Draw Pro

Price $199 one-time payment

Results:

Shape Data, Hyperlinks or Layers are not supported

+ Image mapping is correct

+ Text is displayed

*Note: Concept Draw Pro supports VDX files only. We had to re-save our VSD file to open it in the application. This is inconvenient if you work mostly with VSD files. Read in our previous article which extensions each Visio® alternative supports.

VSD file extension


visio mac - smartdraw

SmartDraw

Price$12.95 per month

Results:

Neither Shape Data nor Layers is supported

Insignificant image mapping errors appear

Hyperlinks are supported


VSD file Viewer

VSD Viewer by Nektony

Price – $14.99 one-time payment

Results:

+ Shape Data, Hyperlinks and Layers are supported

+ Image mapping is correct

+ Text is displayed


vsdx file viewer

VSDX Annotator*

Price – $24.99 one-time payment

Results:

+ Shape Data, Hyperlinks and Layers are supported

+ Image mapping is correct

+ Text is displayed

* VSDX Annotator is a pro-version of VSD Viewer. It provides additional features, notably, the possibility of annotating Visio® files and saving VSDX files in the same extension for further editing in MS Visio®.


visio reader mac

Cisdem DocumentReader

Price – $14.99 one-time payment

Results:

Shape Data, Hyperlinks or Layers are not supported

No text is displayed

Image mapping errors appear


We have shown how various Visio® Viewers render drawings and display visual images. For a clear overview, we have prepared a short table of the results.

Comparison Chart of Visio Alternatives for Mac

(Application of Various Visio® Viewers to VSD File “Apartment Design”)
Shape Data Hyperlinks Layers Text Displaying Correct Image Mapping Annual Price
LucidChart from $59.40
Concept Draw Pro –  + + $199.00
SmartDraw + $155.40
VSDX Annotator + + + + + $24.99
Nektony VSD Viewer + + + + + $14.99
Cisdem Document Reader $14.99

Need Visio® Alternative for Mac?

 


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