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About is an interactive viewer for graphs written in Graphviz's dot language.

It uses internally the GraphViz's xdot output format as an intermediate format, Python GTK bindings, and Cairo for rendering. can be used either as a standalone application from command line, or as a library embedded in your Python application.

Status script became much more popular than I ever anticipated, and there are several interested in improving it further. However, for several years now, already meets my own needs, and unfortunately I don't have much time for maintaining it myself.

So I'm looking into transition maintenance to others: either hand over the maintenance to a community or indicate an official fork of

I encourage people interested in development of to fork the GitHub repository, and join the new mailing list.


  • Since it doesn't use bitmaps it is fast and has a small memory footprint.
  • Arbitrary zoom.
  • Keyboard/mouse navigation.
  • Supports events on the nodes with URLs.
  • Animated jumping between nodes.
  • Highlights node/edge under mouse.

Known Issues

  • Not all xdot attributes are supported or correctly rendered yet. It works well for my applications but YMMV.

  • Text doesn't scale properly to large sizes if font hinting is enabled. I haven't found a reliable way to disable font hinting during rendering yet.

See also:


Profile 1 Screenshot Profile 2 Screenshot Control Flow Graph


Windows users

Download and install:

Debian/Ubuntu users


apt install gir1.2-gtk-3.0 python3-gi python3-gi-cairo python3-numpy graphviz


Command Line

If you install from PyPI or from your Linux distribution package managing system, you should have the xdot somewhere in your PATH automatically.

When running from its source tree, you can run it by first setting PYTHONPATH environment variable to the full path of's source tree, then running:

python3 -m xdot

You can also pass the following options:

Usage: [file|-]

  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -f FILTER, --filter=FILTER
                        graphviz filter: dot, neato, twopi, circo, or fdp
                        [default: dot]
  -n, --no-filter       assume input is already filtered into xdot format (use
                        e.g. dot -Txdot)
  -g GEOMETRY           default window size in form WxH

  Up, Down, Left, Right     scroll
  PageUp, +, =              zoom in
  PageDown, -               zoom out
  R                         reload dot file
  F                         find
  Q                         quit
  P                         print
  T                         toggle toolbar
  W                         zoom to fit
  Escape                    halt animation
  Ctrl-drag                 zoom in/out
  Shift-drag                zooms an area

If - is given as input file then will read the dot graph from the standard input.


See included script for an example of how to embedded into another application.