I have been using graphviz together with dot for quite some time. But I am always overwhelmed, when it comes to bigger graphs, because the automatic adjustment of the boxes, rectangles, nodes, arrows etc makes the graph look very unneat. Is there any way to fix the positions by giving explicit position markers? My major problem has always been scaling and aligning and often it took more time for me to readjust the graphs than to generate the graphs itself.

For example: Simple box diagrams, ( lets say this one ) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Unix_history-simple.svg is a tedious work to do by drag and drop. So there might be some way it can be generated . Just wanted to know how?

Can gnuplot, sage or other mathematical plotters also produce images like the above?

2 Answers 2


You can explicitly set the position of a node with the pos attribute, eg:

 "foo" [height=0.52778, label="node foo label",
        pos="19938,4672.2", width=1.2222];
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    do you know any other tool other than vimdot and xdot to parallely monitor the changes done in the dot file? what about the example with the wikipedia file? Is it possible to do in graphviz? Apr 19, 2017 at 10:18

Although the answers at GD.se does not directly answer my query. Still it is a nice read and the correct site to ask this question.


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