Is there an alternative to Microsoft Office Visio?
I especially like yEd.
DIA is unusable in comparison. I still wonder how I managed to document my Bachelor's Thesis using it. Try aligning objects in DIA, try creating any diagram so that it doesn't look like it was done in 3 minutes.
Oh, you are right, yEd is far better. The only (and unmeaning) disadvantage is that it's not in GTK+.
Thanks for your good solution, I have to draw network maps time to time (Network node map for each room and apartment).
* yEd might be an "alternatives to Microsoft Office Visio" that may be used on Ubuntu (the Java or HTML flavour, maybe ?). * It looks like it promises to bring the benefits of graphviz with mouse-based editing. * But it doesn't look like it's "for Ubuntu". And it's also non-free (as in freedom and as in beer), not open-source.
Just found https://www.yworks.com/products/yed/download that offers "yEd for Linux (72.9 MB)" with a licence agreement prompt https://www.yworks.com/resources/yed/license.html . It's proprietary software built partly on open-source libraries (Apache, MIT, BSD license). The download includes a java runtime environment.
I've primarily used Inkscape. It's a very different UI, but it works well and it's a powerful tool. Output can (depending on input) look as professional as necessary.
In Inkscape, use the "Create diagram connector". It has the option to "Make connector avoid selected objects". If you draw a connector, then select the object you want to avoid, edit the connector and finally click the button to avoid that object, you can use smart connectors that will not overlap the different elements of your box. In practice, I find the easiest way to do this is to:
- Draw a connector
- Deselect the connector by clicking the object you want to avoid
- Hold SHIFT and double-click the connector you just drew
- Choose "Make connector avoid selected objects"
Also see this question and answers: Nice network diagram editor?
About the other recommendations
I haven't used it much yet, but yEd looks very good.
Alternatively, LibreOffice Draw is a popular piece of software, see other answers. One thing to note is that LibreOffice can now open Visio diagrams, and it lets you edit them. It works well for simple diagrams, not as well for very Visio-idiosyncrasy-intensive ones. It could still be usable with more effort, and in an environment with a lot of existing diagrams, this might be tolerable.
Inkscape would also be my preferred option, but note that it is not as much a diagram drawing tool as it is vector drawing software. DIA and Visio can auto-align and draw smart connections (well, Visio can) between blocks. In Inkscape this would require additional steps, making the design a more cumbersome process, but the results will look excellent.
I always had trouble letting the diagram connectors dodge other objects, though I must admit it has been a while since I tried. Just found the "Make connector avoid selected objects" option and got it to work, that is doing what I was implying with "smarter behaviour". Would you mind if I updated your answer a bit, explaining this?
Many of the suggestions in other answers are good stand-ins for Visio for general diagramming. One gap I found was the lack of a decent set of network equipment symbols like those found in Visio. So I jumped in and built a set for OpenOffice/LibreOffice, now shipping in Fedora in the vrt-network-equipment package. It's also available to download here if you just want the OO/LibO extension.
Edit: Now also added to extensions.libreoffice.org and extensions.openoffice.org