Projects AsciiUml


An UML editor that outputs ascii. Written in C# and needs plenty of love. There are many interesting aspects to the project despite its crude looks. So don't be fooled and jump in. We need to improve the algorithm for screen updates, shortest path when drawing arrows, event-ify the code such that we can record sessions and submit as bug reports and to enable integration testing, support different box and arrow styles, and make configurable all the elements you can draw. see e.g.


A drawing program for making diagrams in ascii.

Ascii diagrams have many advantages over traditional diagrams

  • Easy to modify
  • Easy to paste into wiki's, chat's etc
  • Easy to search for elements within a diagram (eg. CTRL-F)
  • Diagrams are less formal due to the crudeness of ASCII, making it easier to spark discussions

asciiuml in action

To save a picture simply select the text and press copy.


  • Boxes
  • Labels
  • Arrows (shortest path, turn minimization)
  • Free style arrows
  • Move objects
  • Resize objects

Help wanted

This is a fun project. While simple on the outside, there are some advanced things going on under the hood. It would be cool to form a community around the tool and help make it more mature. I certainly have plenty of ideas for ways of improving it :-)

If you want to help out just raise an issue here on github with your ideas.


The code base is a bit of a mess. Styles are mixed. Initially, heavily use of functional code and the "functional core, imperative shell" pattern. It prooved to be more difficult as a GUI library was introduced. So now the code is becomming more OOP.

Given a state and a key press, a new state is returned, which in turn is printed to the screen. The new state then serves as the state and yet another key press is awaited..

Lets try to draw this using AsciiUml itself

* KeyboardHandler *             * Draw service *
*******************             ****************
       ^          |
       |          |
       |          |
       |          |
 state |          | new state
       |          |
       |          |
       |          |
       |          v
       * EvalLoop *


The state of the project very alpha. It will crash upon use! :-)

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