Automatic Layout

Task of a Layout Algorithm

A layout algorithm is responsible for automatic arrangement of graph elements. Following certain rules, it computes both node positions and edge paths in such a way that a clear and aesthetically pleasing result is achieved.

The rules can be of quite varying nature, which is why there exist diverse layout styles.

Creating a Graph

To compute the layout for a graph, there has to be a graph first. A graph can be created using several ways, e.g.,

  • manually (see also “Creating a Graph”),
  • loaded from a file (see menu ‘File’, item ‘Open…’),
  • using one of the tools to automatically create a graph (see menu ‘Tools’,
    item ‘Create Graph’).

Starting a Layout Algorithm

Menu ‘Layout’ provides a variety of powerful layout algorithms that compute appealing results already with their default settings.

Note: Not every algorithm is a perfect match for each graph. For example, a tree layout algorithm by default expects a graph with a tree-like structure.