LightUML is an Eclipse integration of UMLGraph, a lightweight tool for generating class diagrams from Java projects and packages. Previously installed GraphViz is required!

Basically, LightUML enables you to generate a UML class diagram from a Java project or package with a mouse click or two. Note, however, that LightUML (via UMLGraph) uses a declarative approach to modeling, and you have to declare relationships via Javadoc comments if you want to see other than extends or implements relationships in your diagrams. UPDATE: as of UMLGraph 4.3, UMLGraph can infer dependencies given the right options - LightUML 1.2.6 and later support these options directly.

Current version requires Eclipse 3.1 or later.


Step 1: First of all, you need to have GraphViz installed for LightUML to function properly. Install it before installing LightUML. When you have it installed, continue.

Step 2: Get a UmlGraph.jar of your choice from UMLGraph homepage (newest ones need jdk >= 1.5).

Step 3: Use Eclipse Update Manager to install LightUML (In Eclipse: Help > Software Updates > Find and Install). In Update Manager, create a new remote site with URL: Then select the new site and install LightUML as a new feature. Restart as instructed.

As an alternative (since LightUML 1.2.3) you can download the, unzip it on your harddrive and use the created directory as a local updatesite.

Step 4: Set the path to your UMLGraph.jar in Window > Preferences > Java > LightUML > UMLGraph. Note: you might need to give the path to your GraphViz dot executable in Window > Preferences > Java > LightUML > dot and pic2plot. If you don't plan to use UMLGraph version 4.1 or later, set the version in Window > Preferences > Java > LightUML > UMLGraph to "< 4.1".

That should be it.


After you have installed LightUML, you should read LightUML help (in Eclipse: Help > Help Contents > LightUML) and use LightUML as you see fit. However, you should also probably read UMLGraph documentation to learn how to generate neat diagrams.

The "Using" help page can also be found here.

Also, if you plan to use LightUML, you should see the LightUML project page and read the Latest News.

If you are experiencing (javadoc related) problems when running, try to give the path to javadoc executable explicitly via the LightUML preference page.


If you want to be a LightUML developer, just contact me. To get the source codes via anonymous CVS, see instructions.

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Last modified: Wed Mar 8 15:19:35 EET 2006