Release notes
yFiles.NET (WinForms)

yFiles.NET (WinForms) 5.6

Version 5.6 is the latest yFiles.NET (WinForms) major release.
See the change log for a list of all changes in this and all other versions.

Below you will find the technical requirements and a list of all changes, including new features and incompatible changes.

What to expect on this page

Technical Requirements

  • Applications based on yFiles.NET Complete or yFiles.NET Viewer require the Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 (or higher). Applications based on yFiles.NET Layout require the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 (or higher) or a .NET implementation that supports .NET Standard 2.0 (e.g. .NET Core 2.0).
  • A browser to view the HTML documentation.
  • A Microsoft Windows operating system that supports one of the aforementioned .NET versions.

All changes
Since version

This release brings exciting new major features, and many other minor new features, improvements, and bugfixes to all parts of the library.

If you are updating from an older version of yFiles.NET, have a look at the list of incompatible changes.

Major new features

Constraint organic layout and more

The OrganicLayout class now supports different types of constraints that restrict the placement of the graph's nodes that are specified with the new OrganicLayoutData.Constraints property.

In addition, organic layout now supports:

  • Integrated edge labeling, which can be enabled with the OrganicLayout.IntegratedEdgeLabeling property
  • Drawing edges such that they point to the main layout direction, specified with the new OrganicLayoutData.EdgeOrientations property
  • Individual minimum lengths of edges that can be specified with the new OrganicLayoutData.MinimumEdgeLengths property.
Compact tabular layout

The TabularLayout class now supports the calculation of node arrangements that lead to a low overall edge length. This feature can be enabled with the new property considerEdges.

New alignment layout stage

The new AlignmentStage class places the nodes of a given layout on automatically determined horizontal and/or vertical lines. This stage is particularly designed as a post-processing step that snaps suitable nodes to the same x- or y-coordinates to obtain a grid-like structure. When rearranging the initial layout, the stage moves the nodes as little as possible.

The associated new AlignmentStageData class allows specifying custom data considered during the layout calculation.

Improved group node style

The last major release brought a powerful GroupNodeStyle, that got even more features and improvements in this release, namely:

  • If GroupNodeStyle's tab width is set to 0, the tab width does not reduce the corner radius of the style's outline anymore. However, it still forces the corner radius of the style's inner corners (i.e., the corners of the content area on the side of the style's tab) to 0.
  • The new GroupNodeStyle.MinimumContentAreaSize property simplifies enforcing a minimum size for the content area a group node.
  • GroupNodeStyle offers the possibility to have its tab width grow (or shrink) depending on the preferred size of associated tab and tab background labels.
  • The new GroupNodeStyle.RenderTransparentContentArea property controls whether a semi-transparent value for the contentAreaFill property works as expected by showing what's behind the group node.
Support for .NET 8.0

To facilitate using our library with .NET 8.0 and to improve compatibility a .NET 8.0 version of the library has been added.

New Features


    • Selection, focus, and highlight visualizations can now be easier customized with a node, edge, label, or port style. These style instances can be set to the corresponding properties of the new GraphSelectionIndicatorManager, GraphFocusIndicatorManager, and GraphHighlightIndicatorManager classes that can be set as corresponding managers on the GraphControl. This removes the need for NodeStyleDecorationInstaller, etc.
    • To render items in a zoom-invariant fashion, their style can be wrapped in one of the new IndicatorNodeStyleDecorator, IndicatorEdgeStyleDecorator, IndicatorLabelStyleDecorator, or IndicatorPortStyleDecorator classes. The main use case for these decorators is using item styles as selection, focus or highlight indicators.


    • The OrganicLayout class now provides a feature that dynamically detects whether nodes already lie almost on a common line or circle and, if so, snaps the nodes to this line/circle. This new feature can be enabled with the ChainRecognition and CircleRecognition properties.
    • PreferredPlacementDescriptor instances can now be created from ILabelModel and ILabelModelParameter instances, respectively, via their ToDescriptor extension method.
    • The RadialLayout class now allows defining a custom order of child nodes around a local root node. The order can be individually specified for each node by using the new RadialLayoutData.OutEdgeComparers property. It is especially suitable for tree-like input graphs. For specifying a single global order for all nodes, for example, alphabetically, the new RadialLayoutData.NodeComparables property is a more convenient option.
    • The CircularLayout class now offers the possibility to define star substructures. The CircularLayout.StarSubstructureStyle property specifies the style of star substructures and the CircularLayout.StarSubstructureSize property their minimum size (structures of smaller size are not handled as a star substructure). Furthermore, the CircularLayout.StarSubstructureTypeSeparation property specifies whether star substructures should be separated by the node type.
    • The CircularLayoutData class offers the new EdgeDirectedness property that influences the detection of star-substructures; see CircularLayout.StarSubstructureStyle.



    • EdgePathLabelModel and EdgeSegmentLabelModel have been improved to provide better placements with edge-cases where the path is too short for the label or degenerates completely.
    • GroupNodeLabelModel no longer triggers an ArgumentException when used with / set for a node that does not use GroupNodeStyle. GroupNodeLabelModel is still not intended to be used with nodes that do not use GroupNodeStyle. This restriction has been lifted to support workflows where the node style is set to GroupNodeStyle after the label model is set to GroupNodeLabelModel.
    • Changing the height of an arc or bridge edge via its handle is now undoable.


    • The rendering order of nodes in the GraphOverviewControl has been improved to be more in sync with the rendering order in the corresponding GraphControl.
    • GraphOverviewControl now uses its ContentGroup instead of the RootGroup to add the visualization of its graph content. This makes it easier to customize the overview for example by adding a background visual.
    • The LabelLayerPolicy property of GraphModelManager, which defines whether labels should be rendered at their owner or in a separate layer, has been split into three separate properties NodeLabelLayerpolicy, EdgeLabelLayerPolicy, and PortLabelLayerPolicy to support different policies for node, edge, and port labels.
    • The new SelectionModelChanged event of GraphControl is raised when the model managing the selection is changed itself, not when the selected items change.


    • The ArrowEdgeStyle's bounds now are tightly enclosing the rendered shape. Before they were too large.
    • Bends in edges that use ArcEdgeStyle, ArrowEdgeStyle, or BridgeEdgeStyle are no longer shown when selecting these edges. Additionally, marquee selection will not select these bends anymore even if they lie in the selection rectangle.


    • The method PortRelocationHandle.CreateDummyEdge is now virtual and can be overridden.
    • The protected property DummySourceNodePort has been added to CreateEdgeInputMode to simplify overriding CreateDummyEdge.
    • The protected virtual method CreateEdgeInputMode.CreateDummyBend has been added that can be overridden to customize bends added during edge creation.
    • The edge creation start gesture while dragging inside the source node can now be customized with CreateEdgeInputMode.SourceNodeDraggingFinishedRecognizer.
    • The ItemDroppedInputMode.DragDropped event is now raised after the drop gesture has actually finished, in line with how similar events are raised elsewhere.
    • The MoveInputMode, MoveLabelInputMode, and HandleInputMode sub-modes of GraphEditorInputMode no longer have a pre-set SnapContext. Instead, they get their SnapContext from the InputModeContext. That way, setting the SnapContext on GraphEditorInputMode will affect all sub-modes unless a custom SnapContext is set to them.
    • The resize handle rendering order has been adapted to improve usability for small nodes.


    • The GetUpdatedStyle method of the NodeCreator/EdgeCreator/LabelCreator classes now uses the default style from the graph as fallback if the style provider is not set.
    • The LabelCreator.GetUpdatedLayoutParameter method now uses the default layout parameter from the graph as fallback if the layout parameter provider is not set.
    • The NodeCreator, EdgeCreator, and LabelCreator classes can now be used without a GraphBuilder. This enables developers to apply styles and labels from a data object in cases where a GraphBuilder is not suitable for graph creation.
    • A NodeSource now allows for recursive definition of child nodes in a grouping hierarchy. The new methods AddChildNodesSource and CreateChildNodesSource allow for defining a source to fetch child node items from a node data item.
    • A NodeSource now allows for implicit definition of parent nodes in a grouping hierarchy. The new methods AddParentNodesSource and CreateParentNodesSource allow for defining a source to fetch a parent node item from a node data item.


    • Improved GraphML serialization of Color.Transparent.


    • If AffectedLabels are set in LabelingData but no DpKey has been provided for them, the key set as AffectedLabelsDpKey on the labeling algorithm will be used.
    • For oriented rectangles the intersection test no longer allocates unnecessary memory and no longer creates unnecessary objects, which improves its allocation performance.
    • The HierarchicLayout class now also considers layering constraints between elements of different grouping hierarchies if the recursive group layering is enabled (property HierarchicLayout.RecursiveGroupLayering). Previously, such constraints were ignored in that case.
    • The TreeLayout class now places the ports of edges incident to multi-parent nodes and with port constraints (excluding any-side constraints) at the nodes' border. Previously, unlike as for edges incident to other nodes, the edge ports where located at the nodes' center.
    • The RadialLayout class now supports node types. The types influence the ordering of nodes of the same circle such that nodes of the same type are preferably placed next to each other if this does not induce additional crossings or conflicts with other constraints. Node types can be defined via the RadialLayoutData.NodeTypes property.



    • Fixed NullReferenceException that occured when removing highlighted edges from their graph.
    • Fixed a bug where labels with an initial opening brace were not correctly serialized.
    • NinePositionsEdgeLabelModel center placements above and below the edge have been improved when the angle wasn't close to one of the two coordinate axes and the distance was non-zero. Previously, labels could seem to jump around when the path changed and weren't always close to the center of the path.
    • GroupNodeLabelModel no longer stretches tab labels and tab background labels into the collapse/expand icon of the corresponding GroupNodeStyle.
    • NavigationInputMode.ExpandGroup, EnterGroup, and the ExpandGroup and EnterGroup commands do not create empty undo units anymore if nothing has changed.
    • NavigationInputMode.ExitGroup and the ExitGroup command now create undo units if the bounds of the exited group node were adjusted.
    • GroupingSupport's methods EnlargeGroupNode and EnlargeAllGroupNodes do not create empty undo units anymore if nothing has changed.


    • CanvasControl: Animated viewport changes could lead to strange behavior if maximum or minimum zoom were set and violated by the viewport change.
    • GroupNodeStyle's associated INodeInsetsProvider now correctly calculates insets for "small" nodes, i.e. nodes whose height (or width) is less than the style's TabHeight property.
    • Fixed a bug which might have caused port selection visualizations to disappear in image export or printing under rare conditions.


    • With ArcEdgeStyle, the 3 center positions of the NinePositionEdgeLabelModel are now in the right places. Previously they were often way off.
    • GroupNodeStyle's collapse/expand icon can now be reliably hit in all cases. In rare cases, changing the value of one the properties that affect the icon's location were not taken into account for hit tests.
    • GroupNodeStyle no longer renders a hairline in place of the tab when using a Pen with TabWidth 0.
    • ImageNodeStyleRenderer's GetBounds method now returns the actual image bounds instead of the node layout's bounds if KeepAspectRatio is enabled.
    • DefaultLabelStyle now adds ellipsis more reliably at the end when the text does not fit into the specified text wrapping shape.
    • Bezier edges no longer devolve into polyline paths under rare circumstances.
    • ArrowEdgeStyle now correctly considers its visibility with thicknesses greater than 13.
    • MemoryImageNodeStyle and UriImageNodeStyle now properly respect their KeepAspectRatio property for rendering, hit testing, and outline.
    • The hit test for PolylineEdgeStyle, ArcEdgeStyle, BezierEdgeStyle, and BridgeEdgeStyle has been fixed. Previously, the hit area was too large when using thicker pens.


    • The default visualization for selected ports is now displayed properly.
    • Fixed an issue where changing the GraphControl.InputMode while the context menu is open would lead to a crash.
    • Fixed a bug in HighlightIndicatorManager that could result in missing or surplus highlight visualizations when changing the GraphControl.HighlightIndicatorManager.
    • Self-loops no longer disappear when resizing nodes while orthogonal editing is enabled.
    • Fixed a bug in MoveViewportInputMode that caused the inertia feature to mistakenly start moving the viewport after the mouse pointer has stopped before being released.
    • Starting a CanvasControl/GraphControl viewport animation now properly stops a running MoveViewportInputMode inertia animation.
    • The direction of the first edge segment during orthogonal edge creation is now correctly determined when the source port candidate lies on the node border.
    • Fixed a bug in some input modes which led to undefined behavior if the mode has been uninstalled in a handler for its own events.


    • Fixed GraphML serialization and deserialization for certain configurations of GroupNodeStyle and RectangleNodeStyle.


    • Layout animation performance has been improved for edges with many bends.


    • Fixed the issue of excessive memory consumption in the analysis algorithm Paths when a large number of start and end nodes were set.
    • The ShortestPaths class now correctly calculates the k-shortest paths of graphs (see methods ShortestPaths.KShortestPaths and ShortestPaths.KShortestPathsCursor). Previously, in rare cases, the algorithm sometimes produces wrong results, i.e., returns paths that are not the shortest.


    Hierarchic Layout
    • Rare combinations of PortCandidates in PortCandidateSets no longer result in exceptions.
    • For input graphs with a PartitionGrid structure, the HierarchicLayout class now correctly considers the layering produced by the FromScratchLayerer if it is already compatible with the specified grid structure.
    Organic Layout
    • The OrganicLayout class no longer produces edge overlaps when property ChainRecognition is enabled.
    • In rare cases fixed nodes could move when also a group node was fixed.
    Radial Layout
    • The RadialLayout class no longer throws an exception if the layout algorithm is executed too many times from the same instance.
    Circular Layout
    • The CircularLayout class no longer throws an exception if property StarSubstructureStyle is set to StarSubstructureStyle.Radial and the whole input graph is a star.
    Clear Area Layout
    • The ClearAreaLayout class no longer produces results where the specified area is not cleared for some input graphs when property ClearAreaStrategy is set to PreserveShapes or PreserveShapesUniform.
    Partial Layout
    • The PartialLayout class does no longer yield different results in rare cases when the same instance is applied twice to the same input graph.
    • The PartialLayout class now correctly places disconnected components for cases where a layout orientation is specified, and the property ComponentAssignmentStrategy is not Single. Previously, such components were sometimes placed far away from the remaining graph elements.
    Edge Router
    • The EdgeRouter class does no longer yield different results in rare cases when the same instance is applied twice to the same input graph.
    • The EdgeRouter class no longer produces self-crossing routes of edges with labels if property IntegratedEdgeLabeling is enabled.
    • The EdgeRouter class no longer produces bad layout results for some scenarios with grouped edges and multiple PortCandidates. Previously, the algorithm selected any of them without considering the alternative options.
    Orthogonal Layout
    • The OrthogonalLayout class no longer throws an exception for some input graphs with tree substructures when the TreeStyle is set to a value different from TreeLayoutStyle.None.

    Demo Improvements

    • Fixed BPMN-DI import for LaneSets in a Subprocess.

    Incompatible Changes


    • yFiles does not support .NET Core 3.1 anymore. Minimum .NET version is 6.0 now. Minimum .NET Framework version still is 4.0. For the Layout only packages, the minimum requirements still are .NET Framework 3.5 and .NET Standard 2.0
    • The Layout package, i.e. the package which provides only the layout and analysis library, now only provides libraries for .NET Framework 3.5 and .NET Standard 2.0. These are compatible with all supported .NET versions, though.


    • The property GraphModelManager.LabelLayerPolicy has been marked as deprecated and may be removed in future releases. Use the more specific properties NodeLabelLayerPolicy, EdgeLabelLayerPolicy, and PortLabelLayerPolicy instead.
    • HoveredItemChangedEventArgs is no longer a subclass of the unrelated ItemEventArgs.
    • TreeNodeSource and AdjacencyNodesSource no longer inherit from NodeSource.
    • TreeBuilder.SetData only accepts a TreeNodesSource and no longer a NodesSource as a parameter.
    • CactusGroupLayout.DefaultNodeComparator has been renamed to DefaultNodeComparer.


    • The ItemDroppedInputMode.DragDropped event is now raised after the drop gesture has actually finished, in line with how similar events are raised elsewhere.
    • Bends in edges that use ArcEdgeStyle, ArrowEdgeStyle, or BridgeEdgeStyle are no longer shown when selecting these edges. Additionally, marquee selection will not select these bends anymore even if they lie in the selection rectangle.
    • The MoveInputMode, MoveLabelInputMode, and HandleInputMode sub-modes of GraphEditorInputMode no longer have a pre-set SnapContext. Instead, they take the SnapContext from the InputModeContext. That way, changing the SnapContext on GraphEditorInputMode will also affect the sub-modes.

    Changes of Default Behavior

    • EdgePathLabelModel and EdgeSegmentLabelModel have been modified to yield better results for some degenerate path cases. This leads to greater visual stability when the path is not long enough for the label or even completely invisible due to overlapping nodes. Technically, this can result in slightly different placements with the same parameter values in these edge-cases.
    • Adding a label with GroupNodeLabelModel to a node that does not use GroupNodeStyle or setting a GroupNodeLabelModel-created parameter for a label whose owner node does not use GroupNodeStyle no longer throws an ArgumentException claiming "The parameter does not support this kind of label.".
    • If GroupNodeStyle's tab width is set to 0, the tab width does not reduce the corner radius of the style's outline anymore. However, it still forces the corner radius of the style's inner corners (i.e. the corners of the content area on the side of the style's tab) to 0.
    • The EdgeRouter class now ignores inner node labels by default, see property IgnoreInnerNodeLabels. Previously, this property was disabled by default.

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