Despite not offering as many templates as some, Cacoo is still near the top of the pack of charting and diagramming online tools.
Easy to use
Large number of integrations with other services
Update alerts via Slack
Not as many templates as some competitors
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Cacoo by Nulab is an online tool designed for businesses that need to create a variety of diagrams such as flowcharts, wireframes, mind maps, and sitemaps. It is aimed at teams made up of engineers, developers, marketers, designers, and product and project managers.
Whether your team members are working together in the same room or are distributed virtually around the world, they’ll be able to work on the same document at the same time, all while tracking changes and adding and replying to comments.
Plans and pricing
Cacoo has both paid and free plans. The free plan is limited to two users and six sheets, has no revision history, and provides only email support.
The paid plans are named Pro, Team, and Enterprise. Pro and Team have the same pricing: $6 per user per month. If you pay annually instead of monthly, the price comes down to $5/month, and there is a 14-day free trial.
The Pro plan is limited to just one user, which is less than the free plan, but it offers unlimited sheets and revision history. However, with the Team plan, you can have up to 200 users as well as features unavailable on the Pro plan: shared folders, user permissions, 1-on-1 online training, and priority email support.
The Enterprise plan works a bit differently in that you download software to install on your own server. Pricing goes from $600/year for 10 users up to $12,000/year for 200 users. This plan is more configurable and is aimed at organizations that want greater control over their data, settings, and permissions. It also comes with a 30-day free trial.
Because Cacoo is cloud based, it means your team members can collaborate on documents together in real time, regardless of their location.
You can start a diagram from scratch using the editor or choose from a large library of pre-existing templates. Some of the diagram templates include AWS, Azure, Fishbone, GCP, Network, SWOT, UML, Venn, and WBS. Then there are templates for customer journeys, flowcharts, mind maps, office layouts, org and PERT charts, sitemaps, timelines, and wireframes.
When creating diagrams, you can either input data directly into Cacoo or import data from a spreadsheet to create dynamic charts. Each diagram’s revision history will show when it was last edited so changes over time can be compared.
Diagrams can be displayed as slides in presentation mode, with audience members able to leave comments on diagrams for the presenter to review later. The presenter can resolve comments while attending to each piece of feedback.
Diagrams, or even entire folders, can also be shared with people outside your organization, with the option of using view-only links. Diagrams can be exported as SVG, PDF, PowerPoint, and Postscript, and can be embedded into web pages and wikis.
If you’re coming from other diagramming solutions, Cacoo has a healthy range of integrations including Google Drive, Google Docs, Atlassian Confluence, AWS architecture diagrams, Adobe Creative Cloud, Dropbox, Box, and Visio.
And when changes are made, team members working on the same diagram can be notified via Slack or Nulab’s own business chat app, Typetalk.
Interface and In Use
After signing up for an account, your dashboard will display all your recent diagrams. From the left column, you can create new diagrams either by starting from scratch or by choosing a template, of which there are 94.
The editor will be familiar to anyone who has used a graphics or desktop publishing application before, with a toolbar on the left for inserting shapes, text, lines, tables, or charts. You can draw with the Pencil tool or import files from your computer or Dropbox, Box, Adobe Creative Cloud, Visio, or AWS Architecture.
Clicking on elements in the diagram will present another menu for each one. You can then change the element’s fill, line style, shadow, text style, and stacking order.
Elements can be grouped and ungrouped, and clicked and dragged around the editor window. As an element is dragged, any lines that have been drawn connecting it to other elements will automatically reposition themselves.
Cacoo has plenty of options for support. If you want to talk to its team, you can send an email message via the contact page or ask a question via live chat.
However, if you prefer to search out answers yourself, the Support Center has a range of articles covering popular topics. In the Resources section, there are also guides to creating certain types of diagrams and video tutorials.
Cacoo has many competitors including Microsoft Visio, Lucidchart, and SmartDraw.
Pricing-wise, Cacoo is closest to SmartDraw, which charges $5.95/month for multiple users, although SmartDraw’s single-user price is a bit more at $9.95/month. Lucidchart’s basic plan is also $5.95/month, but Lucidchart’s prices increase as you move up through the plans.
Cacoo’s interface may not be as intuitive and user-friendly as that of LucidChart, but it has more features and integrations with external services than Visio.
Cacoo may not offer as many templates as some of the competition, but its team collaboration tools, large range of integrations with other cloud services, notifications via Slack, and competitive pricing make it one of the best services available for creating charts and diagrams.
John is a freelance writer and web developer who has been working digitally for 30 years. His experience is in journalism, print design and web development, and he has worked in Australia and the UK. His work has been published in Future publications including TechRadar, Tom's Guide, and ITProPortal.