yEd is a powerful desktop application that can be used to quickly and effectively generate high-quality diagrams. It runs on all Windows, Unix/Linux, and Mac OS versions. If you want to know more about all our diagram editors check out the yWorks diagram editors overview.

Diagram Creation

yEd makes diagram creation easy and fun with its powerful features and intuitive user interface.

BPMN palette

Ready-to-use Diagram Elements

yEd comes with an extensive palette of beautiful, ready-to-use elements to get you started with your first diagrams, including:

  • a wide variety of shape nodes and edge types
  • group nodes that expand, collapse, and nest to tame large data sets
  • UML elements for class and object diagrams
  • swimlanes and table nodes to which other elements can be added or nested
  • BPMN symbols for business process diagrams
  • Entity Relationship symbols and crow's foot connections
  • flowchart symbols
  • people and computer network symbols

You can also easily import your own bitmaps (JPG, PNG), vector graphics (SVG), or shape stencils from Visio® VSX files into the palette to create custom element types.

Clearly Displayed Data

yEd also helps you annotate and position elements for maximum clarity:

  • clearly label elements with icons, multi-line text, HTML, or even multiple labels
  • automatic label positioning ensures labels are clearly readable
  • elements can show tooltips on hover and open URLs on click
  • neatly align elements using snap lines and orthogonal connections
  • use the properties mapper to turn an element's user-defined data into visual elements
  • use organic edge routing or orthogonal edge routing to re-route connections
  • let automatic layout algorithms do the heavy lifting for you

Intuitive User Interface

Editing diagrams in yEd feels intuitive and comfortable thanks to:

  • powerful search and selection tools
  • mouse wheel zoom
  • clipboard operations
  • extensive undo
  • the ability to work with multiple diagrams simultaneously
  • keyboard shortcuts
  • dockable panels that you can arrange to meet your needs
  • print preview, handy for poster printing
  • English and German localization
  • configurable and persistent settings
  • integrated help

Automatic Layout

yEd provides powerful functionality for the layout of complex data sets. Its highly sophisticated mathematical layout algorithms can be used either to automatically arrange diagram elements, or to support you when undertaking a manual layout.

Flowchart layout algorithm
  • Hierarchical Layout perfectly visualizes hierarchical or pseudo-hierarchical scenarios
  • Orthogonal Layout produces clear representations of complex networks
  • UML-style Orthogonal Layout offers special support for arranging UML class diagrams
  • Organic Layout clearly represents complex ER diagrams, UML diagrams, and more.
    Layout can be restricted to fit a given shape (e.g. rectangle, circle, ellipse) or aspect ratio.
  • Circular Layout perfectly portrays interconnected ring and star topologies
  • Tree Layout clearly visualizes tree-like structures in many different ways
  • Radial Layout arranges the elements in concentrical fashion and emphasizes tree-like structures in diagrams
  • domain-specific layout algorithms automatically arrange the elements in swimlane and flowchart diagrams

Easy Data Import

Import from any of the following formats:

  • GraphML, an XML format which supports arbitrary, user-defined element properties
  • Excel® XLS spreadsheets, which can be easily imported using our wizard for comfortably specifying matrix and list-like annotated diagram data. Custom properties can be imported, too.
  • GEDCOM, which contains genealogical information
  • GML, a popular text-based diagram file format
  • arbitrary XML run through an XSLT stylesheet that transforms the input into valid GraphML. Predefined stylesheets for Ant build scripts, the OWL Web Ontology Language, and others are included.

Impressive Output

Once you've created a stunning diagram with yEd, it's easy to save it to GraphML and to export it for use in print or on the web.

Multiple File Formats

yEd can export diagrams to a range of graphics formats including:

  • Adobe® Portable Document Format (PDF)
  • Adobe® Flash® (SWF)
  • SVG vector graphics, which support embedded URLs and descriptive tooltips
  • Enhanced Windows Meta File (EMF), a vector format supported by almost all Windows applications
  • JPG, GIF, BMP, and PNG bitmaps. Large diagrams can be exported as multiple images.
  • HTML image maps with support for embedded URLs and descriptive tooltips.
  • Encapsulated PostScript (EPS)


To view more examples of yEd output, visit the yEd Gallery of User-created Diagrams.

Technical Details

yEd is a pure Java Swing application. It runs on all Windows, Unix/Linux, and Mac OS versions where a suitable Java Runtime Environment is available.

yEd is based on the yFiles for Java diagramming library, which provides not only the automatic layout algorithms and analysis tools, but also the intuitive user interface that makes creating and editing diagrams so easy.

For its look and feel, yEd makes use of UI components from JIDE Software.

Why, how, what? —
Just ask the diagramming experts!

Our team is happy to advise you – no strings attached. Let's talk about your project and find the perfect solution for your needs!

E-mail: hello@yworks.com

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