I'm looking for a Windows application that will generate packet diagrams from some simple data structure script. I found this question on Stack Overflow and this answer (mentioning dformat script) is exactly what I'm looking for. Unfortunately, I can't get it to work in Windows (I found groff for Windows, but can't figure out how to get that preprocessing dformat script into it, though it would great and would suffice actually).

Ideally, I'm looking for a single purpose free tool that will produce from some simple data structure script diagram like this:

enter image description here

Is there something like that for Windows? Or, as a bonus question, is there any way to use that tool with dformat script on Windows platform?

  • 1
    Graphviz, perhaps? Commented May 27, 2014 at 17:58

1 Answer 1


@Tlama, got bored of the Delphi tag on S.O?

I have marked this question as a favorite & will be watching it closely. You say "generate from script", but I salivate at the thought of "generate from log", for instance from WireShark. Care to expand your question?

If you want to leave it "as-is", then dformat is simply an Awk script.

Gogole is your friend - https://www.google.com.sg/search?q=awk%20for%20windows

For instance, this S.O question or GnuWin, or why not recompile the source for Windows with this recommended configuration?

However the new & still zealous moderators prefer that we have actually used a program which we recommend (I understand, trying to lay foundations for a good site), and I can put hand on heart and say that for years I have used the Awk in Cygwin. It might be overkill, installing the whole Cygwin environment just for Awk, but you have a plethora of answers here. Take your choice & Thanks for dfromat.

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    Thanks for your answer! Well, I've tried GnuWin, was able to run groff, but had no success with that dformat script. I just don't know what to do with it. I've tried many ways following a few manuals but I think I just missed the whole concept of that application. I've spend with it almost whole day and for now I postponed it to "who knows when" :-) But dformat could be the best for me I think, because I'm looking exactly for this output from such simple script input.
    – TLama
    Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 15:43
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    I'm accepting your answer and maybe one day I'll get back to dformat. If someone would tell me just "you need to rebuild that groff project, otherwise that script won't work" would help me as well because I seriously don't know what I've been doing there. I thought just, oh great, a script, I'll just put into a directory where the binary finds it and run an example. Ehm, but the only output I got was the input script rendered on the image :-)
    – TLama
    Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 15:51
  • I want to see this working too. Do you have a sample input file, or a URL for one, which I can use to test as I play around?
    – Mawg
    Commented Jun 11, 2014 at 8:00
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    An example script with its output is in this post.
    – TLama
    Commented Jun 11, 2014 at 8:09
  • Ok I am on to it. Maybe an interesting little Delphi project if we can't get Awk to work? Add a few features & bung it on SourceFourge. Complete program? Or just a VCL component for others to incorporate? Wag! I lve th suggested "packetdiag - program for writing some more simple diagrams, with an online tool" at interactive.blockdiag.com/packetdiag Wuld a front-end be acceptable, or do you need offline capabilities? I am thinking that a GraphViz front-end might also be a solution graphviz.org/Gallery.php
    – Mawg
    Commented Jun 11, 2014 at 9:10

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