architecture diagrams

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Visio is the industry standard for that kind of thing. It's usually a good idea to just Google for free visio alternatives and you should get a recent list of options. I would suggest OpenOffice Draw since it is designed to mimic Visio.

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Michael VasilevskySolutions ArchitectCommented:
Word and Excel also offer more limited (compared to Visio) functionality with Insert -> Shapes.
Word and Excel...
For an architectural diagram? :)
David Johnson, CDRetiredCommented:
Open Draw part of OpenOffice

other alternatives
There are several tools that do what you want. Here is a list of 40 open source and free tools.
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