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NShape Logo

.NET Diagramming Framework for Industrial Applications

NShape is an Open Source diagram designing framework for .NET WinForms. Software developers use NShape to integrate diagramming capabilities into their applications. Using NShape, applications let users view, annotate, modify and create diagrams like flow charts, wiring schemes or project charts.

  • NShape is targeted towards large industrial applications, which differentiates it from most other diagramming frameworks.
  • NShape offers all the required basic functionality like glue points, aggregation, undo/redo, zooming, layers and grouping.
  • NShape is powerful and scalable to work also with large diagrams of many thousand shapes.
  • NShape is template based to enable the user to manage large diagram sets. Modification of templated properties are immediately reflected in all shapes instantiated from this template.
  • NShape is style-based, so you can change the look of all diagrams in a project consistently with only a few mouse clicks.
  • NShape provides a repository interface to integrate it in your applications persistency concept. A SQL Server and an XML implementation are already contained in the package.
  • NShape comes with a built-in permission management to control the actions the user may perform.
  • NShape's WinForms controls all implement the Controller-Presenter pattern to allow for perfect integration into your application's user interface.
  • NShape promotes a model-view architecture to clearly separate the applications model from the presentation functionality provided by NShape.
  • NShape allows for binding shape properties to model properties, which updates the user interface immediately when the corresponding model data changes.

NShape was written in pure C#. For maximum backward compatibility, it is based on .NET Framework 2.0 but can also be combined with all newer versions. Please send an e-mail to for all questions regarding NShape.


NShape is published under a dual license and you can choose which license is best suited for your project.

  • The GNU General Public License version 2 (GPLv2) basically allows you to use and modify the framework in any free program, even if it is used in businesses. Please read the exact license terms delivered in License.rtf together with NShape, if you want to choose this license.

  • If your program is not free, that means if you do not publish its source code or if others are not allowed to distribute it, you must buy a license from dataweb in order to use NShape for this program. Please turn to for more information on licensing.


As the main target platform is Windows, we recommend to download the setup installer which contains all you need:

  • Source Code
  • Sample Programs
  • Documentation
  • Compiled Assemblies (AnyCPU)


The documentation is available here. It is also included in the setup installer as *.chm file (compiled HTML).


NShape was developed by dataweb GmbH and initially realeased in 2011.