Category Archives: yWorks

yEd

So, today I needed a flowchart editor. Something like Visio, really, but less bloated and available on Linux and Windows. I did a quick Google search.

There’s Dia, obviously. It’s not being developed these days, though, and I never did like it much. Also, it looks bad on a HiDPI screen–my laptop is blessed (or cursed, if you run Java software) with 4k.

The next thing suggested was yEd, developed by yWorks, a company specialising in “the development of professional software solutions that enable the clear visualization of diagrams and networks.” They had an online HTML5 version that I tried and liked, and even better, the desktop software was a) available for Linux, and b) free. Now, yEd is written in Java so a) wasn’t actually all that surprising, but for a company whose bread and butter is diagrams, releasing it for free was.

But Java, you say? What about HiDPI? Well, here’s the best part: while most of their downloads include a prepackaged JRE 8, they also make available the JAR without the JRE, allowing me to run it in an early release JRE 9, and Java 9 has supported HiDPI for quite some time now. And let me just say this: yEd looks great. It’s perfectly scaled, with beautiful icons and a spacey interface.

Plus, on top of the HiDPI goodness, the software itself is great. I’m really pleased.