Getting started
with yFiles for HTML

First-time setup

The Getting Started section of the Developer's Guide explains the following steps in detail.
Of course, you need a yFiles package and a valid license to use yFiles. If you don't have one yet, you can download a free trial version from our customer center or via the yFiles Dev Suite.


The demos need an installed Node.js to run properly.

Install Nodes.js 16 or newer
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Running the demos locally

The best way to run the demos locally is with the included dev server.

Run the start_demos script in the yFiles-for-HTML-Complete- directory:
start_demos.cmd (Windows) (Linux)
start_demos.command (MacOS)
Open the demos
You can explore them at /demos-ts or /demos-js.

Working with yFiles

Install an IDE
We recommend WebStorm (30 days free). You can also use Visual Studio Code as a free alternative.
Open the project
Open the yFiles-for-HTML-Complete- directory as project in your IDE.
WebStorm will automatically start the dev server in the background. So you don't have to start the server manually each time.
Modify the demo code and observe changes
The dev server automatically reloads the demo's page after changes in the source code.

Intro to yFiles

There are three approaches to learning the yFiles basics. You can choose any of them, according to your personal preference.

Work through the interactive beginners tutorial

If you prefer to learn by exploring and experimenting, check out the yFiles Basic Features tutorial included in the package. It can be found relative to the package root, in the following directories:

TypeScript icon/demos-ts/tutorial-yfiles-basic-features
JavaScript icon/demos-js/tutorial-yfiles-basic-features

As a prerequisite for this tutorial, you need to have opened the packages' project in an IDE, as described before in First-time setup.

Read and work through the written tutorial

The written tutorial takes you through the basic concepts of working with yFiles in a step-by-step manner. Links to detailed documentation are provided throughout this tutorial.

As a prerequisite for this tutorial, you need to have opened the packages' project in an IDE, as described before in First-time setup.

Watch introductory videos

The yWorks YouTube channel provides several helpful videos introducing the most important steps and concepts. Start your journey to becoming a proficient yFiles developer.

Next steps

Experiment with demos

The yFiles package contains over 250 demos presenting the various features of the library and how to use them in your own code. We invite you to open the various demos in the IDE and experiment with them.

TypeScript icon/demos-ts
JavaScript icon/demos-js

Work through the interactive advanced tutorials

In addition to the introductory tutorial, you'll find tutorials that deal with specific topics:

Using the GraphBuilder class
Implementing a custom style for nodes
Implementing a custom style for edges
Implementing a custom style for labels
Implementing a custom style for ports

Your own yFiles app

yFiles integrates easily into most JavaScript or TypeScript projects. Start a new yFiles-powered app from scratch – or include yFiles into your existing application to add sophisticated diagramming functionality.

Learn about the Development Mode to improve your development process:
meaningful error messages
type information
graph inspection

Creating a new app using yFiles

There are several ways to create a yFiles-enabled web app from scratch. Choose the one that suits you best.

yFiles Dev Suite project wizard

Create a basic project with just a few clicks in the yFiles Dev Suite. Automatically add application features like a context menu or a graph search. (powered by App Generator)

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Templates on GitHub

Our template apps for Vue.js, React and Angular provide a starting point for development.

load from Vimeo

App Generator

The yFiles App Generator is an ETL tool that lets you rapidly prototype yFiles applications with custom data, styling, and graph layout.

load from Vimeo

Manual setup

Create your app manually in JavaScript or TypeScript.

load from Vimeo

Integrate yFiles into an existing project

yFiles is compatible with all modern web application frameworks, so it can be easily integrated into your existing application. After including the library, there are multiple demos show you how to add graphs to your application.

General integration

The easiest way to include the yFiles for HTML library into your project is to use it as a local npm module. Find lib-dev/es-modules/yfiles-26.0.4-dev.tgz in your yFiles package and add it as a dependency to your package.json.

>npm install --save <yFiles package path>/lib-dev/es-modules/yfiles-26.0.4-dev.tgz

The npm module comes with support of code completion for both JavaScript and TypeScript. If necessary, these typings can be generated and included in existing projects at any time.

For more information on how to set up this module, see the Working with the yFiles npm module chapter in the Developer's Guide.

Before you can start developing, register the yFiles for HTML license.

Using yFiles in a framework-specific project

Each framework comes with special requirements. We provide specific advice for most common toolkits.

Several demos showcase yFiles integration with different frameworks:

Test and experience
yFiles free of charge!
Fully-functional yFiles version
Free access to our high-quality support, to help you start easily
More than 100 source-code examples for rapid prototyping
Extensive step-by-step source-code tutorials that cover the essentials
Free resources like our Developer’s Guide, documentation, IDE setup tips, and more

Why, how, what? —
Just ask the diagramming experts!

Our team is happy to advise you – no strings attached. Let's talk about your project and find the perfect solution for your needs!


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