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Is there a good WYSIWYG solution out there for quickly drawing tree-like structures (e.g. in combination with graphviz)? The nodes may contain arbitrary text and should be positioned automatically. I explicitly do not want to model the tree with a text editor (or just for fine-tuning).

I need it for latex and therefore it's necessary that the tool is capable of exporting the tree in a vector format like PDF/ EPS.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Dec 8 '11 at 23:10

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

I should further specify my question: is there free software for preferrably unix-based OSs (in my case Linux and MacOSX)? – Eric Dec 8 '11 at 18:24
up vote 5 down vote accepted


yEd Graph Editor http://www.yworks.com/en/products_yed_applicationfeatures.html

"yEd is a powerful diagram editor that can be used to quickly and effectively generate high-quality drawings of diagrams."

"Export your diagram to bitmap or vector graphics: PNG, JPG, SVG, PDF, SWF, EPS, ..."

hope this helps

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Thanks @punker, I will have a look at it. I'm afraid that only the trial version is available for free... – Eric Dec 8 '11 at 18:26
@Eric ??? "yEd is freely available and runs on all major operating systems." yworks.com/en/products_yed_download.html – punker76 Dec 8 '11 at 18:43
Sorry, I got it wrong. I was referring to the Java class library which is not free... It's already late :) – Eric Dec 8 '11 at 19:52
Thank you @punker76, this is exactly what I was looking for. – Eric Dec 8 '11 at 19:55

If a French interface isn’t problematic for you, you may like the online application for generating TikZ trees at math.et.info.free.fr/TikZ/Arbres.html.

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Pas du tout! :) Actually I use TikZ trees at the moment and I found it kind of tedious to encode all of my examples by hand. I will have a look at it. Thank you @Thérèse. – Eric Dec 9 '11 at 9:55

There is also a known software frequently used for thesis reports or lecture posters in research field:


Inkscape is an open source vector graphics editor. Its goal is to implement full support for the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.1 standard. Inkscape is cross-platform and runs on OS X, Unix-like operating systems, and Microsoft Windows.

This software is really powerful and enables producing everything you actually think, without boundaries. The graphical interface is also quite convenient. I really suggest you to take a look at it. Furthermore, this software proposes way more tools than yEd, as you will probably notice.

Download link

Let me know if you have any questions about it.

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