Visio Online is available more (paying) customers
There’s a ‘free’ Visio Online available for businesses and schools. It’s quite possible your current Microsoft 365 plan includes Visio Online and you don’t know it.
What is Visio Online
‘Visio Online’ is a lightweight version of Visio that’s for all users on most Microsoft 365 commercial plans. That includes Business Basic and Business Standard individual and small business users but not Microsoft 365 Home or Personal plans.
Visio is Microsoft’s diagramming product. It’s been an expensive extra for many years with only two subscription, standalone plans as options for organizations. A few years ago, Microsoft introduced a browser-based Visio Online and added it to the existing list of online apps available to Microsoft 365 work and school plans.
Anyone with a business or school licence can use the main Visio features. That will be great for people frustrated with the simple and clumsy flow-chart and diagram options in Word, Excel and PowerPoint (via Insert | Shapes).
Learning Visio isn’t hard because it works much the same as other Office apps. Ribbon with extra tabs that appear as needed, right-click options etc. The main difference is the left-pane of shapes that you can add to a diagram.
Of course, there’s a lot more to Visio Online than such basic needs. Diagrams can be worked on collaboratively with comments, just like in other Office documents.
Finished diagrams can be copy/paste into Word, Excel or PowerPoint docs as an image.
Teams users can open Visio files too — whether they can just view or also edit depends on their Microsoft 365 licence.
See Two ways to view a Visio file free
Visio Data Visualizer with Excel
If you’ve used the Visio Data Visualizer which converts Excel into a diagram, Visio Online will give a lot more editing and formatting choices.
Who gets Visio Online?
Visio Online is available for any of these licenses:
- Microsoft 365 Business Basic
- Microsoft 365 Business Standard
- Microsoft 365 Business Premium
- Microsoft 365 Apps for business
- Office 365 E1, Office 365 E3, Office 365 E5, Office 365 F3, Microsoft 365 F3 (includes Office 365 F3), Microsoft 365 E3 (includes Office 365 E3), Microsoft 365 E5 (includes Office 365 E5), Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise, Office 365 A1, Office 365 A3, Office 365 E5, Microsoft 365 A1 (one-time, per-device license paired with free Office 365 A1 per user licenses), Microsoft 365 A3 (includes Office 365 A3), Microsoft 365 A5 (includes Office 365 A5).
If you’re not sure what licence you have from the above alphabet soup of plans, just look for Visio in the apps list at https://www.office.com/apps (make sure you’re logged into the right Microsoft account). If Visio isn’t listed, then your plan doesn’t qualify.
When and How?
Visio Online has been available since July 2021.
Go to https://www.office.com/apps and scroll down to see Visio listed. Or click the Apps icon in the left column.
Two ways to view a Visio file free
Visio can now export to Word
Visio Data Visualizer converts Excel into a diagram
View a Visio file without Visio software