- Open Source
- 44 Reviews
- 647 Likes
yEd is a powerful diagram editor that can be used to quickly create diagrams manually or import external data for analysis and auto-magically arrange even large data sets by just pressing a button. You can use yEd to quickly create flow charts, BPMN and UML diagrams, organization charts, mind maps, and many other kinds of diagrams, graphs, and networks. Choose from a wide range of highly sophisticated layout algorithms to automatically arrange diagrams in no time. An intuitive and visually appealing user interface makes creating diagrams fun. Once a diagram has been created, it’s easy to save, print, or export it to popular formats like PDF, SWF, EMF, SVG, JPEG, GIF, PNG, or HTML image maps.
Auto Layout BPMN diagrams Class Diagrams Component Diagrams ER Diagrams Export to SVG Flow diagram visualisation Flow chart Grid layout options Import From Excel Library Modules Portable Sequence Diagrams XML import / export Add a feature
chart diagram-editor diagramming graph-editor layout uml visualization
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Might work for you if you work in one of the officially sanctioned fields (UML, computer networks, etc), but if you need some flexibility to get it to work with diagrams from a different field, you quickly realize that everything appears to be hardcoded.
The very first thing I needed was a triangle pointing to the right.
Impossible to obtain.
For my use case, that's a deal breaker.
I came to this about 10 years ago, went away after a few uses, then came back to it having tried some other apps, and have been using it steadily for 5+ years. This is an excellent graphing tool. For quickly creating a simple diagram to explain something, or to produce an elaborate diagram for an evolving design, this is pretty good. I run it on Windows and Linux and there is no problem with moving between the OS. Stability is good as well. I'd definitely pay money for this app.
Maybe its focus more on Data Science or some other specific purpose.
It does a good Job when nodes are spread wide over the plane, in a organic layout and so on (just to show how big it is)
But a terrible Job if you try to visualize a sorted and structurized network. The bigger the network, the more chaotic the graph, and almost impossible to structurize it with the given tools.
Just look at the forum!
Most answers to questions how most people use this software are like:
Yed can't do this
Yed does not offer this.
Thats not how this function works
The algorythm was planned for some other
...and so on
Even if the asked function would be more logical and useful
-Creating nodes specific data - just by importing from Excel NOT from inside the program
-When custom nodes imported, ALL nodes have the SAME custom properties. Even the nodes from stock. Thats mostly not useful.
-Import from Excel to EXISTING graph is NOT possible!!! Just to a new one and copying in the existing
-Export Node Data - NOT possible
Making general purpose Schemes and Diagrams is a pain with this software, therefore it comes nowhere near MS Visio
If this SHOULD BE general purpose, the programmer followed and is still following the wrong concept, i think!
Funny how different my view of yEd is. For me, yEd can do what I couldn't elsewhere, mainly its autoarrange algorithms. For a beautiful price on top of that.
While there are certainly things yEd cannot do well and definitely there's also stuff that Visio does better, I would not use a forum to measure the usefulness of any software: People simply don't post questions about stuff that works! It's a forum where users are requesting help with their problems; not a review board. Of course all of the questions are about problems and just because there are a lot of questions in a forum doesn't meant that the software doesn't work for the majority of the users. Instead, it gives you an idea about how many people are using it and about the quality of support they get. Actually if you consider that this software is used by literally hundreds of thousands of users, given that there hardly is less than a dozen feature requests or questions which have more than 50 votes, I'd say that most users are actually quite happy with the software. Did you report your specific question/problem to the forum?
Instead look at the reviews at this site, e.g. The big majority of the reviewers is quite happy with it.
Anyone whose requirements it meets should definitely use it!
"I would not use a forum to measure the usefulness of any software: People simply don't post questions about stuff that works! It's a forum where users are requesting help with their problems; not a review board."
"Of course all of the questions are about problems and just because there are a lot of questions in a forum doesn't meant that the software doesn't work for the majority of the users. Instead, it gives you an idea about how many people are using it and about the quality of support they get."
"Did you report your specific question/problem to the forum?"
"Actually if you consider that this software is used by literally hundreds of thousands of users, given that there hardly is less than a dozen feature requests or questions which have more than 50 votes, I'd say that most users are actually quite happy with the software."
..... "Instead look at the reviews at this site, e.g. The big majority of the reviewers is quite happy with it.
Like: Fantastic tool to get the job done! Simple no frills.
Down: The lines sometimes become angled. This causes the OCD part of me really nervous. I like my flowchart lines at right angles.
Great free software, now with online version!
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]
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.
I've been using yEd now since third semester. I'm studying information systems at the Hochschule der Medien in Stuttgart. Right now I've finished my bachelor thesis.
yEd have always been useful to me. In my study-time I used it mainly for modelling UML, eEPK and BPMN 2.0.1. But during my bachelor thesis yEd was especially helpful to me. The bachelor thesis was about process modeling for homogenization of the IT architecture. So, process modelling and IT-Architecture obviously played a big part in it. For this purpose I used the BPMN 2.0.1 modelling notation and the process support map, which is subarea of the software cartography.
I don't know which tool I would have used instead of yEd for my purpose. As a student I'm really happy to have such a powerful tool as yEd, not to mention that it is for free!
So, thank you yEd for providing this tool for all uf us. Keep up the good work so that more students like me can use it to get their bachelor's degree!
I feel like I have to write two entirely different reviews, one positive and one negative. People are looking for things in yEd that are not best done in it.
yEd's strong suits are:
In other words, yEd is great if you're going to be making use of graph layout as a discovery engine.
If you have a strong idea of what your diagrams should look like, yEd is overkill and a little clunky UX-wise. The default aesthetics is not great and will clash with your totally fetch PowerPoint decks. For that kind of thing I recommend and use draw.io.
In short: yEd is like Matlab to draw.io's Tableau. Like Eric Dolphy to Kenny G. Do not make the mistake of trying Eric Dolphy as alcove mood music.
Its free, powerfull, beautiful,easy to use and I´m amazed that I can build a customized XSLT to use to import a XML file. That´s awesome!!!
hmm, It says that it's open source, however I'm unable to find a download link for the source. I'm interested in creating a plugin to export my Graph into a specialized format
I really like the way the Programm works in general, it is intuitv and easy to use and the digram one creats is not really restricted in form or size.
Unfortunatly it is next to unusable for me, because there is no way to enter formulas directly. You can either copy and paste Unicodesymbols and if necassary arrange them with html (look a littel bit funny sometimes, but readable) or create in an external program from latexcode an SVG, which then can be use in yEd. Both way to time consuming when nearly a half of your diagram need formulas...
[Edited by rakswin, October 31]
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:
My choice for many years now. I even to class diagrams, workflows, etc. I love it!