PlantUML vs Lucidchart Which is better

PlantUML vs Lucidchart are two popular diagramming tools, each offering unique features and catering to different user needs. This comprehensive guide delves into the features, use cases, and differences between PlantUML and Lucidchart, helping you make an informed decision on which tool best suits your needs.


Diagrams are essential for visualizing complex systems, processes, and ideas. PlantUML and Lucidchart are two leading tools in this space, each offering a range of features to cater to different user needs. Understanding their strengths, weaknesses, and specific use cases can help you choose the right tool for your projects.

Overview of PlantUML

PlantUML is an open-source tool that uses a simple and intuitive text-based language to generate diagrams. It supports a wide range of diagram types, including UML diagrams, sequence diagrams, and more.

Key Features of PlantUML

  • Text-Based Diagramming: Create diagrams using a simple text language.
  • Wide Range of Diagrams: Supports UML diagrams, sequence diagrams, activity diagrams, component diagrams, and more.
  • Integration: Integrates with various IDEs, wikis, and other tools.
  • Customization: Highly customizable with the ability to define styles and themes.
  • Open Source: Free to use and modify.

Pros and Cons of PlantUML


  • Lightweight and fast.
  • Integrates well with development tools.
  • Highly customizable and flexible.
  • Supports version control through text files.
  • Free and open-source.


  • Steeper learning curve for non-programmers.
  • Limited real-time collaboration features.
  • Requires understanding of its specific text language.

Overview of Lucidchart

Lucidchart is a web-based diagramming tool that offers a user-friendly interface and a wide range of templates and shapes. It is designed for real-time collaboration and integrates well with various third-party applications.

Key Features of Lucidchart

  • Drag-and-Drop Interface: User-friendly interface with drag-and-drop functionality.
  • Templates and Shapes: Extensive library of templates and shapes for various diagram types.
  • Real-Time Collaboration: Allows multiple users to collaborate in real-time.
  • Integration: Integrates with popular tools like Google Drive, Microsoft Office, and Slack.
  • Cross-Platform: Accessible from any device with a web browser.

Pros and Cons of Lucidchart


  • Intuitive and easy to use.
  • Excellent collaboration features.
  • Wide range of templates and shapes.
  • Strong integration capabilities.
  • Cross-platform accessibility.


  • Subscription-based pricing.
  • May require internet access for full functionality.
  • Limited customization compared to text-based tools like PlantUML.

Feature Comparison of PlantUML vs Lucidchart

Diagram Creation

  • PlantUML: Uses a text-based language to define diagrams, which can be more efficient for those comfortable with coding.
  • Lucidchart: Offers a drag-and-drop interface, making it easy for users to create diagrams visually without any coding knowledge.


  • PlantUML: Limited real-time collaboration; primarily suited for individual use or asynchronous collaboration via version control systems.
  • Lucidchart: Strong real-time collaboration features, allowing multiple users to work on the same diagram simultaneously.


  • PlantUML: Integrates with various IDEs and text editors, wikis, and CI/CD pipelines.
  • Lucidchart: Integrates with a wide range of third-party applications, including Google Drive, Microsoft Office, Slack, and more.


  • PlantUML: Highly customizable through its text-based syntax; users can define styles, themes, and complex diagrams.
  • Lucidchart: Limited customization options compared to PlantUML; primarily focused on ease of use and accessibility.


  • PlantUML: Requires installation and setup, although many IDE plugins and online services make it accessible.
  • Lucidchart: Web-based and accessible from any device with a web browser, making it highly accessible and convenient.

Use Cases

PlantUML Use Cases

  1. Software Development: Ideal for creating detailed UML diagrams, sequence diagrams, and other technical diagrams as part of the software development process.
  2. Documentation: Useful for embedding diagrams in technical documentation, wikis, and markdown files.
  3. Version Control: Works well with version control systems, allowing diagrams to be versioned along with the code.

Lucidchart Use Cases

  1. Business Process Mapping: Excellent for creating business process diagrams, flowcharts, and organizational charts.
  2. Collaborative Projects: Ideal for teams that need to collaborate in real-time on diagrams and visualizations.
  3. Presentations: Useful for creating visually appealing diagrams for presentations and reports.

Comparison Table of PlantUML vs Lucidchart

Feature PlantUML Lucidchart
Diagram Creation Text-based Drag-and-drop
Collaboration Limited real-time collaboration Real-time collaboration
Integration IDEs, text editors, wikis Google Drive, Microsoft Office, Slack
Customization Highly customizable Limited customization
Accessibility Requires installation or online services Web-based, cross-platform
Pricing Free, open-source Subscription-based
Learning Curve Steeper for non-programmers Easy for all users
Template Library Limited Extensive
Real-Time Updates No Yes
Version Control Yes, through text files Limited


Which tool is easier to use for non-programmers?

Lucidchart is generally easier for non-programmers due to its intuitive drag-and-drop interface, whereas PlantUML requires familiarity with its text-based syntax.

Can PlantUML and Lucidchart integrate with other tools?

Yes, both tools offer integration capabilities. PlantUML integrates with various IDEs, wikis, and CI/CD pipelines, while Lucidchart integrates with popular applications like Google Drive, Microsoft Office, and Slack.

How do the pricing models compare?

PlantUML is free and open-source, making it cost-effective for individual and team use. Lucidchart operates on a subscription-based pricing model, which may be more suitable for businesses that need robust collaboration features.

What are the customization options like for each tool?

PlantUML offers extensive customization options through its text-based language, allowing users to define styles, themes, and complex diagrams. Lucidchart provides limited customization but excels in ease of use and accessibility.

How do the collaboration features compare?

Lucidchart offers superior real-time collaboration features, allowing multiple users to work on the same diagram simultaneously. PlantUML has limited real-time collaboration and is better suited for asynchronous collaboration through version control.

Can I use these tools offline?

PlantUML can be used offline once installed, whereas Lucidchart typically requires an internet connection for full functionality, although some offline features may be available with specific plans.

External Links and Resources


Choosing between PlantUML and Lucidchart depends on your specific needs and preferences. PlantUML is ideal for users who prefer a text-based approach, offering extensive customization and integration with development tools. It’s particularly well-suited for software developers and technical documentation. On the other hand, Lucidchart excels in ease of use, real-time collaboration, and accessibility, making it a great choice for business users, collaborative projects, and creating visually appealing diagrams.

Evaluate your requirements, consider the features and use cases of each tool, and leverage the extensive resources provided to make an informed decision. Both PlantUML and Lucidchart can significantly enhance your diagramming and visualization processes, driving better understanding and communication within your organization.

Supercharge Your Collaboration: Must-Have Microsoft Teams Plugins Top 7 data management tools Top 9 project management tools Top 10 Software Testing Tools Every QA Professional Should Know 9 KPIs commonly tracked closely in Manufacturing industry