Dia (software)

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Dia 0.97 - Flowchart example.png
Dia 0.97 in Norwegian on Windows Vista
Original author(s)Alexander Larsson
Developer(s)Dia developers
Initial release31 August 1998; 23 years ago (31 August 1998)[1]
Preview release
0.97.3[2] / September 5, 2014; 7 years ago (2014-09-05)
Repositorygitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/dia/ (upstream), github.com/GNOME/dia (mirror)
Written inC
Operating systemWindows, OS X, Linux, Unix
TypeDiagramming software
WebsiteGNOME Apps

Dia (/ˈdə/)[3] is free and open source general-purpose diagramming software, developed originally by Alexander Larsson.[1] Dia uses a controlled single document interface (SDI) similar to GIMP and Inkscape.


Dia has a modular design with several shape packages available for different needs: flowchart, network diagrams, circuit diagrams, and more. It does not restrict symbols and connectors from various categories from being placed together.

Dia has special objects to help draw entity-relationship models, Unified Modeling Language (UML) diagrams, flowcharts, network diagrams, and simple electrical circuits. It is also possible to add support for new shapes by writing simple XML files, using a subset of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) to draw the shape.

Dia loads and saves diagrams in a custom XML format which is, by default, gzipped to save space. It can print large diagrams spanning multiple pages[4] and can also be scripted using the Python programming language.


Dia can export diagrams to various formats including the following:

  • EPS (Encapsulated PostScript)
  • SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)
  • DXF (Autocad's Drawing Interchange format)
  • CGM (Computer Graphics Metafile, defined by ISO standard 8632)
  • WMF (Windows Meta File)
  • PNG (Portable Network Graphics)
  • JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
  • VDX (Microsoft's XML for Visio Drawing)


Dia was originally created by Alexander Larsson but he moved on to work on GNOME and other projects. James Henstridge then took over as the lead developer, but he also moved on to other projects. He was followed by Cyrille Chepelov and Lars Ræder Clausen in turn.

Dia is maintained by a group of developers: Hans Breuer, Steffen Macke, and Sameer Sahasrabuddhe.

Dia is written in C, and has an extension system, which also supports writing extensions in Python.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Larsson, Alexander. "Initial revision". GitLab Dia Repository. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-07-09. Retrieved 2014-09-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Dia Frequently Asked Questions". Retrieved 2008-08-12.
  4. ^ "Dia". ohloh. Geeknet, Inc. Retrieved 2010-05-30.

External links[edit]