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Converting node-to-label and label-to-node: An explanation

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New users of yEd may be puzzled about the need to convert a node to label (and convert a label to node).

I have prepared a help on this topic. Please add finer nuances (if any).

By default, the labels are plain rectangular areas that have border of a fixed thickness.

If we want to use fancy shapes, and/or different border thickness, we must use a node as a label. To do this, follow this procedure:

  1. Create a new node with desired shape (e.g. a star, octagon, etc),
  2. Change its border thickness and color as needed.
  3. Press F2 and edit the text (this edits the default label of the node).
    Note: Once the node gets converted as label, this text is not editable.
  4. Drag it over the "host" node (=node for which the label is needed.)
  5. Now right-click and select the "Convert node to label" command.
    The node becomes a label of the "host" node.
    The original shape (including text) of the node become an icon.

The text in the icon is uneditable. If you select this label (CTRL+Click), and press F2,  you are allowed to enter new text. You can fine-tune the position of the text on/around the icon by changing the properties of the label.

The only way to edit the icon is to convert it back to node. For that, use the context menu of the "label" node.

After editing the node, you can convert it back to label by using the context menu.


You can select a "normal" label and from its context menu, select the  Properties option. Change to Shape tab. Select any shape. However, in this approach, very few shapes are available (compared to the wide variety of nodes available in the palettes).

Then you can edit its properties to apply different shapes, and change the line thickness, etc. Then optionally convert it back to label.

in Help by (1.5k points)
edited by

There is no "Shape" tab in the properties of "normal" labels - only shape nodes and some group nodes have a "Shape" tab.

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