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.

  • I should further specify my question: is there free software for preferrably unix-based OSs (in my case Linux and MacOSX)?
    – Eric
    Dec 8, 2011 at 18:24

4 Answers 4



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

  • Thanks @punker, I will have a look at it. I'm afraid that only the trial version is available for free...
    – Eric
    Dec 8, 2011 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, 2011 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, 2011 at 19:52
  • Thank you @punker76, this is exactly what I was looking for.
    – Eric
    Dec 8, 2011 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.

  • 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, 2011 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.


Graph Galaxy is a graph editor encourages an approach to editing graphs in WYSIWYG fashion.

Graph Galaxy builds on top of the Graphviz, and provides an out-of-the-box environment to edit graphs. We are able to quickly sketch graphs on canvas without thinking the DOT source code. In addition, Graph Galaxy provides some features to help editing graphs for better experience:

  • Outline. The outline panel shows the table of contents, which gives us a quick insight about how the graphs are structured.
  • Import and Export. Graph Galaxy can read the .gv files, and export the graphs to various formats like PDF, SVG, JPEG, PNG, and DOT.
  • Table Editing. The elaborate table operations allow us to create a complex and irregular table easily.
  • Hand-Drawn. The stroke can be transformed to hand-drawn, which is useful for prototyping.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .