Automated flow diagrams in yED

Came across yED today, a java based flowchart creator/editor. The things that caught my eye about this were 1) its ability to auto arrange diagrams and 2) its ability to import data from spreadsheets. This makes things much easier if you are making slight alterations to a diagram over time.


download, give permissions, and run the installation script

chmod +x

If you have another os, there are more instructions on the yED webpage


I had a go at importing data and auto arranging it into a diagram using an example they had on their website

  1. example data (load into open office and save as .xls)

    Source Target
    Anna Ben
    Anna Chris
    Anna Dan
    Ben Chris
    Ben Dan
    Chris Dan
    Chris Elena
    Dan Elena
  2. Open yED
  3. select file>open (or ctrl+o)
  4. select the .xls file and click open
  5. select the following settings (tip: you can click and drag on the spreadsheet window instead of typing in some of the fields) and click ok
  6. You should now see the output in the editing window.

    You can still make changes to the arrangement and appearances of the boxes etc. I find importing and auto arranging is a lot less work than starting from scratch in the editor.

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