yEd Graph Editor Reviews

Wonderfully logical!

Positive Review by peterarmstrong
about yEd Graph Editor Jan 2017

I have looked at several diagramming and mind-mapping tools, including some of the most popular, and found most of them tedious or frustrating in various ways.
Having just found yEd I am already impressed with many aspects:
- its versatility: it seems easy to do what I want, without yEd making assumptions about what that is, or constraining me to a particular style (which mindmapping tools often do)
- its ease of use: Many tools leave me thinking 'But I just want to ... , why is it so awkward to do?' Not so with yEd.
- Its logic: This is what makes me enjoy it. Somehow it all makes sense - more than most other tools. There's a clear logical mind behind yEd.


best for years

Positive Review by andreashe
about yEd Graph Editor Oct 2016

My choice for many years now. I even to class diagrams, workflows, etc. I love it!



Positive Review by DestyNova
about yEd Graph Editor and RStudio, R (programming language) Nov 2015

This straightforward and clean program makes it really easy to create nice looking graphs that are properly aligned and arranged. I used it to make almost all of the diagrams in my PhD dissertation, except for the graphs which were made with R (another excellent but totally different tool, along with RStudio).

The UI is sometimes a bit clunky, but for the most part everything is smooth and logical, and the automatic layout options are very powerful. One of my favourite features in yEd is graph distance colouring, where you can set up a gentle fade or other colour transition along a tree of nodes.

[Edited by DestyNova, November 16]


Deceptively awesome

Positive Review by jjjjjjjjjjj
about yEd Graph Editor Oct 2015

The only graphing application I've used that actively helps you think through and manage complexity. I've tried lots from Visio to Omnigraffle to Sketch to MindManager, etc. Usually they help you add node and node, while the diagram gets more and more complex - until it finally gets unusably complicated, and abandoned!

yEd is great for creating and exploring complex hierarchies - and especially exploring as your create. You can add boxes, figure what they join to, then focus (in the 'Neighborhood' and related views) on just that node and it closest neighors (or successors/predecessors). This lets you revisit and review tiny chunks of the diagram at a time, seeing clearly what they require and what they create.


Good but it needs more improvements

Review by Hsub
about yEd Graph Editor Sep 2015

It is actually very good and useful graphic tool but what it misses which is important to any graphic tool is, real measurement for example, how you can draw the diagram having base 2.7 inches and height 3.4 inches on letter page size (8.5*11 inches) so that if you print page you see real sized diagram.
It will be better if you check for this.


Best graph tool, hands down

Positive Review by MazyodTT
about yEd Graph Editor Jul 2015

Very simple, yet powerful and high performance tool. It's free, open source, and best of all, supported on all major platforms!


This is the one I was looking for

Positive Review by dustractor
about yEd Graph Editor Apr 2014

I was a little leery of a java application, and if you open ALL THE TOOLBAR PALETTES at once, you will experience a slowdown perhaps, and thus concludes the negative portion of the review.

I swore off of using cracked software some time ago, but I have used and enjoyed OmniGraffle.
I have USED others, but not necessarily enjoyed. If you, Dear Reader of This Comment, need to "Go to print" with your diagram, then you will probably want OmniGraffle.

IF however you want simplicity, and something that "stays more or less how you configure it once you configure it" go for yEd.

I like that the default format is not a binary file, so that I can keep mindmaps in with git repositories without incurring the cost/drawbacks of binary files.

I didn't love the way you make nodes at first, because I hadn't even looked at the preferences yet. Once I checked a box, everything was all good. ( made the nodes fit the labels auto)

I use this thing for brainstorming software architecture and it has helped me put a few things in order. Actually. There were times when I would find myself pausing the moment after I opened up previous mindmappers, pausing to think "WHY THE F AM I DOING THIS" and then I would generally close the program, next. With one app in particular, I could never understand why the keyboard shortcuts were so illogical. I'm not saying yEd's are great, but I don't find myself needing them, so it all works out.


yEd Graph Editor User Feedback

Positive Review by TimAbbottuk
about yEd Graph Editor Dec 2013

I have made an effort to come here from the yEd page to post a short review for the benefit of those involved in the project, and anyone scratching their head about whether or not to try this.

Here are my thoughts.

This software is absolutely brilliant.

I needed a simple (like me) program preferably free just to do some quick and simple flowcharts.
Everyone wants to charge an arm and a leg for these programs, which is fair enough if you use them a lot, but I use them very occasionally so it doesn't make sense for me to use a paid software.

My first criteria for any software is simplicity of use.

If I cannot learn an interface without looking at the manual more than once, I trash it.
yEd has been designed in the MS tradition, after 5 minutes playing about, I had this program purring for me.

One super-duper feature is the horizontal and vertical alignment of the boxes - that one is gold.
Everything else is awesome too, with two exceptions.

The program could be improved imo by allowing the addition of a multi-line text box, one line labels are just not enough for some projects.
I'm sure somebody will correct me if you can do this, as I didn't read the manual short of doing a search for 'text' in it.

Ah yes, The problem with all manuals as I see it is that they seem to be written by developers, MS are notorious at this too.

The manual for yEd uses far too much technical jargon, much of it is impossible for anyone except an expert to understand, although I appreciate the need for professionalism.

Here's a tip for all the devs of the world... Use images in the help files, a picture paints a thousand words of nerdy technospeak :-)

Summary. Superb program, fast and well excuted, 9.75 out of 10. Well done to all concerned.
Get it folks, it's a real nugget.


yEd is amazing. And free. It has so many capabilities.

Positive Review by rs123
about yEd Graph Editor Oct 2013

First -- I'm writing this because I'm in hacker love with this software. And I feel like I owe yWorks something for the gift. So thank you. and here goes....

yEd is java based software - runs on anything - that helps you make node-edge diagrams. So, anything from simple flowcharts to one of those wild thousand node network diagrams.

I use it mostly when I need to show connections between steps in a process, or between concepts, or to make a model of the basic physiology behind an experiment. Recently I used it to put together diagrams for a grant proposal, so you can make them beautiful if you need to. When I first got yEd, I was put off by the default look. Don't be.

If it's simple, and you want to do it by hand, yEd has great alignment guides -- way better than Keynote or PPT. Not only shows you when things are lining up, but when things are spaced evenly -- in pretty complex situations. Beautiful.

Now, if you have something really complex, you might not want to lay it out yourself. yEd has many different automated (and tweakable) layout schemes. Try it. Tweak it and yEd lays it out again. Repeat until your happy. Keep in mind that pretty much everything is tweakable.

What I've been doing of late is to hack out the basics of the diagram by writing, by hand or with scripting, a list of nodes and connections using the so-called Trivial Graph Format that yEd supports.

TGF is a simple text file that looks like this:

  • 0 first step
  • 1 another step
  • 2 session start
  • 3 baseline urine collection
  • 4 IV ports placed
  • 5 baseline blood collection
  • #
  • 0 1
  • 1 5
  • 1 3
  • 2 4

[If that list shows up with bullets in this review -- skip the bullets]

So, first the nodes. Then the connections (edges). Do not forget the # between the list of nodes and the list of connections.(!) I think the connections can have labels too, but I haven't used that. Give the file the .tgf extension and open it in yEd. Apply an automated format to get things started. Then go to work.

This can be taken to extremes. Recently, an old project came back to haunt me that had limped along on the back burner for a couple years. [Actually, i like the project, but you get the idea]. Anyway -- Now, all the sudden, the project was (maybe) moving to the front burner. I needed to figure out where everything was and what was related to what. Dozens of R statistical coding programs, which read dozens of data files and output dozens of output pdfs, pngs, etc. Ouch. And no, it wasn't beautifully top-down designed because I wasn't supposed to be the main guy. I was just helping out from time to time. It was a rats' nest, made by ADHD rats.

So I wrote some code (in R) to navigate the directory tree, scanning the text inside R files for other filenames, and then writing all those filenames and their connections in the Trivial Graph Format. 200+ nodes and 300 edges.

Read it into yEd. Pick an automated layout. Boom. Complex network diagram that I can now use to pull the project back together. yEd loves this stuff. [And I love yEd. Isn't that sweet.]

So, just download yEd and start playing. If you can drive stick, so much the better. Do not underestimate this tool. I've barely scratched the surface myself.

Anyway -- this is my thank you to the folks at yWorks. Wow. Makes me wonder what you get if you actually buy something from them.

[Edited by rs123, October 09]


Simply the best

Positive Review by Ignatius
about yEd Graph Editor and Microsoft Office Visio Jun 2012

I was looking for a graph editor like visio and I found yEd. All I can say is it steals the show as far as visio is concerned. yEd is easy to use, precise and very functional. I can recommendit to anyone who needs to produce graphs and other flow charts which are good to look at and simple to structure. The snap lines make it easy to place shapes on the chart while at the same time keeping an eye on the point to point distances between the shapes. All rounded off with an export menue which includes pdf! What more could you want!