Archive for the ‘yEd’ Category

yEd: Multi-Line Labels

Monday, July 8th, 2013

In yEd, the wonderfully flexible, smart and free diagramming/graphing tool, suppose I want to write some notes/prose or even paste-in some script (dramatic or algorithmic).  That can be done as follows:

  • Several options:
    • Force a new-line:
      • [Control-Enter]
      • [Enter]
        • when the label is entered in the tabular view of the node’s properties,
        • or in the node’s properties dialog (which can be opened by hitting F6 [Mac OS: Command-I])
      • HTML Markup
        • Example:
          <html><div style="text-align:center">This is a<br>
    • Automatic text-wrapping:
      • Automatic text wrapping for a label is configured using the Cropping label configuration. For a node label, for example, it can be set in the node’s Properties dialog under the [Label] tab:
        • Placement: [Internal: Top]
        • Size: [Fit Node Width]
        • Configuration: [Cropping]

Graph Editor – yEd: Import of Graphs in [dot] Notation

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

In the past, I have created data-flow graphs in dot notation.  Some of my colleagues still do.  The otherwise-fabulous yEd graph-tool is unable to open dot files.

However it turns out that someone has written a dot-to-XML convertor, to an XML format acceptable to yEd.


Graph Editor – yEd

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

I wanted a graph editor where I could define the connectivity on-the-fly, including inserting new nodes partway along existing connections.  Something “fluid” to use.

I found it: yEd, available at  Superbly slick, functional, multi-platform and free (gratuit), even for commercial use.

Main reason for wanting such a thing was to be able to document the media depenencies in a multimedia (e.g. video) project.  For example I might begin with an Adobe Premiere project based on raw footage.  I would document that in a connectivity-graph having a RawFootage node (object) with an arrowed line coming out of it and going into a Project node.  Later on, I might decide to enhance (e.g. CPU-intensively de-noise) the footage and then use that enhanced footage in the project instead (media-replace).  Such an intervention would not have been planned, it would have been an after-thought.  To bring my documentation up-to-date,  in my connectivity-graph, I would want to interpose an Enhance node in the existing footage-to-project connection.  Being able to do that in one single step would be great (no need for individual steps such as delete connection, add node, connect source to node, connect node to project).  Having made many such changes and additions over time, the diagram might become untidy and in need of rearrangement.  So ideally the application should offer Auto-Arrangement, to produce or at least provide a starting-point towards a tidier arrangement.

The same approach could apply to many things, including general brainstorming/mind-mapping, drama/story-design (prior to screenplays/scripts) and plain down-to-earth production of explanatory graphic diagrams as media themselves for incorporation in multimedia projects.

All this is way beyond the diagramming tool I have most used in the past few years, namely Visio – at least the (old) versions I have encountered.  I have dabbled with GraphViz, which auto-generates/arranges diagrams from formal connectivity (etc.) definitions in geeky formal notation.  GraphViz gets the job done but from my personal experience it is somewhat clunky and slow to use (involving frequent re-experiments and reading of lookup-notes).  I want something slicker, more “GUI”, more intuitive…

Haha!  Such a thing does exist!  I found it!  Not only does it allow the kind of graph-editing flexibility I am looking for, it can also import data from Excel etc. and auto-generate graphs from that.  So if I want I can document my connectivity/dependency information first in Excel or Notepad (say) with a view to generating a diagram from it at a subsequent stage.  And it is multi-platform (based on Java) and it is free (gratuit).

It is called yEd and is available at