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The Preferences Dialog

The Preferences dialog can be opened from the menu (File >> Preferences...).
It has the following tabs: General, Display, Editor, Background, Modules, Snap Lines, Grid.

General Tab

Show Welcome Screen

If set, the Welcome screen will be presented on each yEd startup.

Check for New Version on Startup

If set, yEd checks whether a newer version is available at the yWorks web site on each startup.


Determines whether or not a tooltip will be displayed when hovering with the mouse over a node or an edge. The first label of the node/the edge will be displayed as the tooltip.

Tooltips Display Duration (Seconds)

This value specifies how long tooltips are visible.


Allows choosing the default language of the editor. Currently, the languages German and English are supported. Changing the language comes into effect after the application has been restarted.

Number of Steps of 'Undo'

Controls how many levels of undoability should be provided by the editor. The higher the value, the more memory will be used.

Animated Zooming

If set, zooming will be animated, i.e., zoom factors and viewport position will be interpolated.

Mouse Wheel Behavior

You can choose between zooming in/out or scrolling up/down/left/right and zooming in/out or no action at all.

Fit Content on Resize

If set, resizing the editor windows will automatically adjust the editor's viewport such that the entire graph is shown.

Maximum Number of 'Current Elements'

Determines the maximum number of different graph element samples that are shown in the section "Current Elements" of the palette tool window.

Display Tab


If set, antialiasing techniques will be used when rendering graph objects. Setting this option increases the rendering quality, but also slows down the rendering process.

Draw Selected Elements On Top

If set, the nodes or edges are drawn in front of the others as long as they are selected.

Edge Path Clip

This value specifies the length that is clipped (not drawn) from both ends of an edge path.

Paint Nodes over Edges

If set, edges will be rendered before nodes, i.e., the nodes will always be seen at the front.

Paint Details Threshold

This value specifies the zoom level beyond which graph elements will be painted with less details. The smaller the value the farther you have to zoom out in order to see a low-detail painting.

Bridge Style

Determines how to render edge crossings.

Bridge Scaling

Determines whether to scale bridges that span multiple edges.

Crossing Determination Mode

Determines which order of a set of crossing edges should be used to determine where to insert bridges. Crossing determination mode affects, e.g., whether all bridges are oriented into a single direction or not.

Group State Icon

This value specifies whether the icons for opening a folder node or closing a group node are displayed. It is possible to display them in the editor but hide them on export or printing.

Context Views Update Trigger

Determines the strategy for updating the context views: either when a graph element is selected or when the mouse hovers a certain amount of time over a graph element.

Hierarchy Aware Context Views

If set, the context views which display the neighbors of selected nodes show the real neighbors even if they are hidden in a folder node. Otherwise the containing folder node is displayed as a neighbor.

Editor Tab

Create Node on Background Click

If set, a single mouse click (with the left button) on any empty location in the editor creates a new node (unless there is a current selection).
If not set, new nodes can still be created using the clipboard (Copy and Paste) or by dragging a node sample from the palette into the active editor window (using a mouse drag gesture).

Synchronize Open and Closed Group Label

If set, changing the label of a group in its open state changes the label for the closed state of the group, too, and vice versa. Moreover, new groups are created with matching labels for their open and closed state. If not set, the label for the open and the closed state may be different and can be changed independently.

Center Edge Anchors

If set, the target end point of an edge always snaps to the center of the target node. If not set and Orthogonal Edges are active yEd tries to make a suitable decision for placing the end point.

Select Dropped Node/Edge

If set, nodes and edges created by drag and drop from the palette get selected.

Split Edge on Node Drop

If set, an edge is automatically split when a new node from the palette is dropped onto it.

Create Default Label for New Nodes

If set, a consecutive numbering is used for the label of newly created nodes. Otherwise, the label of newly created nodes remains empty.

Edit Label on Create Node

If set, upon node creation the label of newly created nodes can directly be edited.

Edit Label on Create Edge

If set, upon edge creation the label of newly created edges can directly be edited.

Dynamically Adjust Node Size to Label Size

Determines whether the node size gets automatically adjusted to the label. If set, the node size is adjusted whenever the label changes. Internally the Fit Node to Label tool is used. Thus it is possible to fine tune the node size adjustment by changing the settings of the tool.

Remove Bends Inside a Node

If set, all bends from the start or end point of an edge to the last bend before the path of the edge is leaving the node get deleted. The last bend gets the new start point of the edge.

Show Scrollbars in Edit Mode

Determines whether in Edit Mode the scrollbars to the right and below the canvas are shown. If the scrollbars are not shown, then the current viewport (the visible diagram area) of the editor window can still be changed by dragging the mouse with the right button pressed.

Label Editor

You can choose whether the ENTER key closes the label editor or creates a new line.

Resize from Center

If set, resizing a node using the properties view/dialog will keep the node's center fixed; otherwise resizing will keep the node's upper left corner fixed.

Background Tab


Determines the mode, which should be used to render the background of the graphs.

The background will be homogeneously colored using the given color
The specified image will be positioned at the top left corner and scaled according to the current zoomlevel.
The specified image will be positioned using a fixed size at the center of the canvas.
The specified image will be tiled on the canvas like brick in a brick wall.
The specified image will be tiled on the canvas.
The specified image will be stretched to fit the canvas.


Determines the color to be used as a background color.


Specifies the image to be used with the above modes.

Layout Modules Tab

Morph Layouts

If set, the calculated layouts will be applied in an animated fashion to the original diagram.

Morph Layout Behavior

Specifies how the editor's viewport is adjusted when a layout is morphed.

Fit Content
The graph with the new layout will be displayed in its entirety.
Keep Focus
The zoom level of the graph remains as is and a selected node is displayed in the center of the editor. If there are several selected nodes, one of them is chosen arbitrarily. If there are no selected nodes, but some selected edges, the source node of a selected edge will be centered. If there is no selection at all the node nearest to the center of the editor before the layout will be centered.

Morph Duration

Specifies the duration of the layout morph animation in milliseconds.

Show Modules Dialog

Determines whether options should be displayed prior to the invocation of the layout algorithm.

Snap Lines Tab

The details are described on a separate help page.


Specifies the color of the snap lines.

Node to Node Distance

Specifies the snap distance between nodes.

Node to Edge Distance

Specifies the snap distance between nodes and edges.

Edge to Edge Distance

Specifies the snap distance between edges.

Consider Edge Distance when Moving Ports

if set the end of an edge snaps at multiples of the edge to edge distance with respect to the center of the node if it is moved along the border of that node

Grid Tab


Specifies the color of the grid marks.


Specifies the distance between two grid points.


Specifies the visual appearance of the grid.

Small crosses will be used to indicate grid points.
Orthogonal lines will be used to indicate the grid.
Small points will be used to indicate grid points.