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There is a small number of items, labeled say as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

There are several arrows between items like 4->2.

I want to visualize this digraph diagram.

I want the software to do it as much automatically as possible. I want it to be WYSIWYG. I do not want to paint the arrows manually, if possible, but just point the start vertex and end vertex.

Now, shame to say it, I use a paper and pen.

Ubuntu Linux 18.04.

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I recommend yEd. It's specifically designed for creating graph diagrams. You plop vertices down on the canvas and then connect them with edges. If you move the vertices around, the edges "stick" and retain the adjacency relationship. It also has several available algorithms for automatic layout, and it has a very handy grid if you want to arrange your graph freehand but like things aligned.

It's implemented in Java, so it can be installed on any popular platform.

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  • As much as I love Yed, the OP did say "I do not want to paint the arrows manually" – Mawg says reinstate Monica Jul 30 '18 at 9:49
  • @Mawg - Well, there's manually and then there's manually. We don't have direct neural interfaces yet (at least at the consumer level), and OP did also specifically say they want to "point the start vertex and end vertex", which I take to mean manually select the "from" vertex and the "to" vertex. That's pretty darn close to describing how you make an edge in yEd (select the "from" vertex and then drag the mouse to the "to" vertex and then let go). Using yEd for graphs is way more automatic than, say, Dia for the same task. – John Y Jul 30 '18 at 13:29
  • I do hope that the OP will try Yed. After that, let's see what he says :-) – Mawg says reinstate Monica Jul 30 '18 at 13:36

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