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Engineering Diagram

The 5 Best Process Flow Diagram Software for Engineering

Make documenting your process flow easy
Process Flow Diagram Software

A process flow diagram (PFD) is a diagram of an industrial plant or any of its equipment displaying all significant components and their relations with each other to produce good machinery. Since a PFD could be quite complex in some instances, many engineers prefer using a process flow diagram software that already has almost all the required icons and symbols to represent various elements the equipment is composed of. Even though mostly used in industries, a PFD can sometimes be helpful in other domains as well.

5 Best Process Flow Diagram Software

As mentioned above, since drawing a PFD could be extremely challenging at times, especially when a piece of equipment is sophisticated and comprises several components, most professionals prefer using an efficient computer program to expedite and simplify their diagramming tasks. That said, listed below are the five best process flow diagram software that can help you create perplexing PFDs within a couple of minutes with ease:

1. Edraw Max

Edraw Max

The first process flow diagram software on the list that is both low in price and easy to work with is Edraw Max. This tool is available for almost all major platforms, along with a web version that can be accessed using any of your favorite web browsers regardless of the operating system, as long as you have an active internet connection. The paid version of the web-based version gives you access to all the sophisticated templates and the ability to work on multiple documents at a time.

Has a plethora of categories suitable for all streams such as software engineering, computer networking, floor plans, etc.
Web version of Edraw Max can be used for free as long as you create an account and sign in.
Has MS-Office-like interface that makes it easy to use the program without any technical expertise or training.
Online version of Edraw Max allows you to create only up to 3 documents while using a free account.

Supported Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, and Web-based

Price: USD 179.00 for Lifetime License and USD 99.00 for Annual Subscription.

2. Visual Paradigm

Visual Paradigm

One of the most popular diagramming tools that also allows you to create PFDs with ease, Visual Paradigm comes with both perpetual and subscription plans. Available for all major platforms, the Community Edition and online version of this process flow diagram software have limited options, but can be used for free.

Visual Paradigm has several categories with almost all the relevant icons and symbols to expedite the drawing processes.
Online version can be accessed for free.
Some users may need a bit of training before they get comfortable with the application.

Supported Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Web-based

Price: Maximum (Enterprise) USD 1999.00 and USD 1068.00 Annual Subscription

3. SmartDraw

SmartDraw

SmartDraw is another diagramming tool that is available for both PC and web-browsers. In addition to helping you prepare simple to complex PFDs, this process flow diagram software also has several other categories like Data Flow Diagram (DFD), Floor Plan, Flow Chart, Organizational Chart, Project Management, Invoicing, and much more.

Let you create diagrams for almost every industry.
Overly populated libraries might confuse some new users.
Has a high learning curve for new users.

Supported Platforms: Windows and Web-based

Price: Single User License (USD 297.00)

4. Lucidchart

Lucidchart

One of the most popular process flow diagram software applications, Lucidchart is used by many giants of their respective industries such as Netflix, Microsoft, Amazon, etc. With the ability to create infographics and PFDs for almost every category, this diagramming tool makes the drawing process extremely simple with the least computer hardware resource consumption.

Offers great ease of access.
Requires an active Internet connection.
Can’t work offline.
Not support for some particular kinds of diagrams.

Supported Platforms: Mobile and Web-based

Price: On-demand

5. Microsoft Visio

CircuitLab

A product that comes with Office 365 and is also available as an offline program, Visio is backed up by Microsoft brand, and that is why it is considered to be an efficient process flow diagram software for both scholars and professional engineers. Because of the typical vendor, Visio can easily integrate with other MS Office products and enables you to come up with detailed and yet formatted reports in comparatively less time.

Microsoft Visio has almost everything that is needed to create PFDs and charts for various industries
Visio can tightly integrate with other Microsoft Office products
Both offline and web-based versions of the program are a bit expensive as compared to some other similar tools available in the market

Supported Platforms: Windows and Web-based

Price: Professional USD 530.00 and USD 15.00 Per User Per Month

What is Your Option for PFD Software?

Below is a comparison table that lists all the features of the process flow diagram software discussed above. The main purpose of the table is to help you pick the right application that can best fit your needs as per your current working industry:

comparison table

Although you can choose any of the process flow diagram software discussed above, taking all the details and the comparison table into account, Edraw Max seems to be the best among all. Not only is the program available for all the major platforms, but it can also be accessed via a web browser. Furthermore, the free version of web-based Edraw Max even lets you create up to three documents simultaneously, and allows you to create complex PFDs and other charts with unrestricted access to symbol libraries of different categories.

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