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Constraint-based diagram editor
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Dunnart is a prototype constraint-based diagram editor. It includes standard diagram editing capabilities as well as advanced features such as constraint-based geometric placement tools (alignment, distribution, separation, non-overlap, and page containment), automatic object-avoiding poly-line connector routing, and continuous network layout.

Note: Dunnart is alpha software. It is in the process of being rewritten, and while many things work it still contains many bug and lacks key features. Use it at your own risk!


Nightly alpha builds for Mac OS X, Linux and Windows can be found here:

How to cite?

If you refer to Dunnart in your own research or publications, please cite the following reference:

  • Tim Dwyer, Kim Marriott, and Michael Wybrow.
    Dunnart: A constraint-based network diagram authoring tool.
    In Proceedings of 16th International Symposium on Graph Drawing (GD'08),
    LNCS 5417, pages 420–431. Springer-Verlag, 2009. DOI

Further information

The concept behind Dunnart is to use constraint-based methods to free users from manually maintaining relationships within their diagrams. These could include geometric relationships, non-overlap, object-avoiding connector routes or graph layout. In Dunnart, the user can define these features of their layout and they will be automatically maintained throughout further editing. The user can override or alter these relationships at any time.

Dunnart is a research prototype. As such, it lacks some of the features and polish of a professional diagram editor. any of the significant features of Dunnart are implemented in the open-source Adaptagrams constraint layout libraries and are described in my publications and/or PhD thesis.

Dunnart screenshot


Dunnart depends only on the Qt cross-platform application and UI framework. All other components are included in the repository.
Dunnart can be built by issuing the following commands:

qmake -recursive -config release  

libdunnartcanvas - Reusable constraint-based canvas component

Dunnart is built using libdunnartcanvas, a reusable Qt-based canvas widget that extends our low level Adaptagrams constraint-based layout libraries and provides interactive constrain-based layout and placement tools. See the image below for an overview of the architecture.

Adaptagrams is a library of tools and reusable code for adaptive diagramming applications, for example: drawing tools, automated document and diagram layout, smart presentation software, graph drawing, chart layout, etc.

Dunnart architecture


Dunnart is written and maintained by Michael Wybrow. The latest version of the source code can be found here:

The Adaptagrams layout algorithms are developed by Kim Marriott and members of his Adaptive Diagrams Research Group at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. The Adaptagrams libraries were originally written by Tim Dwyer and Michael Wybrow.

The latest Adaptagrams source code can be found in the github repository:


Dunnart and libdunnartcanvas are available as open source under the terms of the GNU GPL version 2. We are also open to dual-licensing parts of Dunnart's constraint-based layout technology for commercial use.

Copyright (C) 2003-2007 Michael Wybrow
Copyright (C) 2006-2011 Monash University

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

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