Process Mapping with yEd – Free Video Tutorial Course

yEd is a free and effective alternative to MS Visio.

Visio is a great program for process mapping but it’s expensive and hard to learn.  If you want something that is just as good if not better than Visio, then you should be looking at yEd.

You might not have heard of yEd. The company that makes it, yWorks, could do a better job of marketing it.  Admittedly, like all software, yEd has a few little quirks. However, you can work around most of these by resetting the defaults.

yEd for Process Mapping

I use yEd in my process consulting work daily. My clients like it because of the price, as well as the features.  Sadly, there are no decent tutorials focused on using it specifically for process mapping. What guides there are, are basic and far too general.

So, I decided to create my own video tutorials. Originally, I intended to give them just to my clients. I get a lot of requests for software reviews so I decided to make them available to everyone.

Like yEd, they are free. All I want in return is your feedback.

Free yEd Process Mapping Video Tutorial Course

Here is an outline of what I cover:

  • Downloading & Installing yEd
  • Basics of the user interface
  • Configuring yEd
  • Creating a process map from a photo of a whiteboard session
  • Adding decisions to a process map
  • Connecting things up
  • Auto-arrange
  • Finishing touches
  • Printing and exporting

I am also planning a series on more advanced topics like using yEd to create interactive process maps for an intranet. (So you can finally get rid of all those dusty ring binders with your process maps that nobody ever reads).

Sign Up Now

You will need to sign up even if you are already a subscriber to the Stay Process Smart newsletter. You should get the first video, “Downloading & Installing yEd” within minutes. The others will arrive at regular intervals.

Don’t forget, part of the deal is that you take a moment to send me your feedback and hopefully offer a little constructive criticism.

If you like them, please comment. It’s a lot of work to do these and I would be glad to know if you think it’s worth it.

Sign up today and get the first installment, “Downloading & Installing yEd”


FREE yEd101 Tutorials

Sign up today and get the first installment, "Downloading & Installing yEd”

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13 Responses to Process Mapping with yEd – Free Video Tutorial Course

  1. Patrick J. Appleby April 29, 2016 at 1:28 pm #

    Ian I love your yEd and your process improvement videos. They are clear, entertaining and to the point! I am using yEd on a Windows 8 PC and have noticed some inconsistencies between what is demonstrated on your Mac vs. my PC. I do understand it is out of scope to solve the Mac vs. PC ware, but here are a few I have noticed so far:
    1. Palette Manager is not available.
    2. Mouse Wheel Behavior is not an option under preferences.
    3. No BPMN option for Layout

    • Ian James May 10, 2016 at 2:03 pm #

      Hi Patrick,

      Thanks for pointing that out. It has been a while since I used a PC and I guess I should have checked. (I had to go to a Mac when I went out as a solo consultant, too difficult on your own with a PC).

      On the other hand, PCs are so cheap now, I should probably buy one just for these kinds of occasions.

    • arana January 23, 2018 at 1:38 pm #

      I like how you easily explain things, I came here trying to find out if :
      is there any tool or template to create VALUE STREAM MAPS in yed?

  2. Rick May 5, 2016 at 10:35 am #

    I just found your website and I wanted to let you know that I found your video to be really helpful.

  3. Benjamin Brandall August 17, 2016 at 5:49 am #

    Hey Ian!

    Great video. yEd looks like an exceptional alternative to Visio, and just in your video here I’ve learned how to use it, which shows it’s got a good feel to it.

    I also write about processes, for Process Street, an SOP / workflow tool. I’ve really struggled to find a blog that explains processes properly, and doesn’t read like it was written by some distant HR manager who understands it so well they make lots of assumptions and can’t explain it! I like how you don’t fill your content with impenetrable jargon.

    Anyway, excellent content and I’m happy to find your blog in a sea of substandard process articles.

  4. Joel February 21, 2017 at 10:37 pm #

    Hi Ian,

    I came across your site doing a Google search. You have a great way of explaining things!

    I too use yEd and have found it to be a powerful tool for creating process maps. I have signed up for your yEd 101 Training and am very interested to learn more about posting yEd files online to create a process library.

    Thanks again for providing such a great resource!

    I’m a fan!

  5. Eboni January 11, 2018 at 11:29 am #


    I have just come across your webpage and yED, very useful video and I am interested in learning more. I have tried to sign up for tutorials but it is coming up with an error message see below:

    Please advise


    ‘Error 404 – Page not found!
    The page you are trying to reach does not exist, or has been moved. Please use the menus or the search box to find what you are looking for.’

  6. Eric January 17, 2018 at 7:11 pm #

    Very impressed by this tool. Can’t wait to get at work. And your video are so well done. Clear, and to the point.

  7. Andrei January 28, 2018 at 8:24 pm #

    Thanks a lot.

    Would you please go into more details how you do that clickable Web Interface for customers?

  8. Jim Lorch November 8, 2018 at 2:51 pm #

    Ian, I have found the yEd videos to be very helpful.

    1. I like the way you break them into short sessions.
    2. You keep them simple and to the point.
    3. Your comments of the pros and cons of the software as it pertains to process mapping
    are appreciated.
    4. You are answering the questions I did have prior to seeing your videos.

    At this point I am feeling quite comfortable using yEd.

    Thanks for your help.

  9. Aurora December 11, 2018 at 3:58 am #

    yEd is exactly what I want. Thank you for your video and hope to see more because I am new in YEd Graph Editor.


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