yEd Graph Editor Manual

What’s New?

Information on the major changes in the current release of yEd are listed in the yEd Release Notes.

Getting Started

The possibilities offered by the yEd Graph Editor and its essential concepts are explained in the section yEd First Steps.

User Interface

Editor Windows

Key Bindings and Mouse Interaction

Menu Bar


Main Tool Windows

Docked/Floating Tool Windows

Palette Manager

Layout Algorithms

yEd provides access to powerful layout algorithms. In Description of the available Layout
they are being described briefly.


In Description of the available Tools a brief overview of the supplied tools is given.

Properties of Graph Elements

Graph elements offer a range of (e.g. graphical) properties; Properties of Nodes and
describes them briefly.


One of yEd’s most exciting features is the ability to work with a graph hierarchy. Grouping
contains more detailed information about this topic.

Auto Grouping allows to compute a grouping which is in accordance with one of several

File Formats

yEd can open and save graphs from and to a number of different file formats. Furthermore, images can be created in
common bitmap and vector graphic formats. In section File Formats, the supported formats
are described in more detail.

Special Support

Swimlane Diagrams

Support for creating and working with Swimlane diagrams using specialized swimlane nodes and table nodes,
respectively, is explained in Support for Swimlane Diagrams.

UML Notation

Creation of specialized UML nodes is explained in UML Support.

Entity Relationship Diagrams

Editing attribute names in entity nodes is explained in Entity Relationship Diagrams.

Importing Custom Symbols for Nodes

yEd allows to import own representations for nodes either as image file or as SVG file. Importing
Custom Symbols
has a brief description of all necessary steps.

Converting Nodes to Labels

It is possible to convert a node to a label and
vice versa.

Mapping Custom Properties to Visual Properties

Custom properties are a flexible means for storing additional data with the elements of a graph.
By default, however, they are not visible in the diagram. The
Properties Mapper lets you change the visible properties of
the nodes and edges in a graph according to their custom properties.