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Old News

Warning: this list is not being updated anymore, it is only kept for historic reference. Please use the SourceForge news tracker above.


Looking for a program that can convert old files generated by JaxoDraw-1.3-2 to a format that can be opened by JaxoDraw-2.0-0? Try our jd-graph-converter!


We have added our usual installer binaries for JaxoDraw-2.0-1. There are some RPMs (Linux), a .dmg disc image (Mac OS X) and a .exe executable for Windows available. Get them from our download pages.


We are happy to announce the release of JaxoDraw-2.0-1! This is a minor bug-fix release, changes are fully backward compatible with the 2.0 release.

We invite everybody to upgrade to the new version. Have a look at the changelog, get the release from the download page and make sure to read the instructions!

Note that for now we only make source and binary distributions available. Installers for various operating systems will follow soon.



We have published a couple of plugins for JaxoDraw-2.0. The most interesting ones should be the plugins that can export JaxoDraw graphs to PDF and SVG format.

We would like to point out that with version 2.0 it is possible to write custom plugins for exporting/importing arbitrary file formats from/into JaxoDraw. Check out our short tutorial for instructions.


We have added some installer binaries for JaxoDraw-2.0. There are some RPMs (Linux), a dmg disc image (Mac OS X) and a .exe executable for Windows available. Get them from our download pages.


We are happy to announce the final release of JaxoDraw-2.0! After more than two years of development, this is a major new release with lots of new stuff and changes.

We invite everybody to upgrade to the new version. Have a look at the changelog, get the release from the download page and make sure to read the instructions!

Note that for now we only make source and binary distributions available. Installers for various operating systems will follow during the next days.



We are happy to announce that we have finally managed to publish a first Release Candidate for the new JaxoDraw-2.0! After more than two years of development, this is a major new release with lots of new stuff and changes.

We invite everybody to try and test the new version. Have a look at the changelog, get the RC from the download page and make sure to read the instructions! Enjoy!


We are happy to announce that we have added another developer to the JaxoDraw team! John Collins, from Penn State University, has joined us in an effort to create a new version of axodraw.sty, that is going to be used by the new version of JaxoDraw.

After some discussions we have decided to create a separate project for axodraw, you can monitor John's progress on the project's svn web interface.


Read this post on the JaxoDraw user list and leave us your feedback!


We are proud to announce that JaxoDraw-1.3-2 has been awarded the "100% CLEAN" award by Softpedia.

The "100% CLEAN" award verifies that JaxoDraw-1.3-2 has been tested by Softpedia labs and that the software has been found to be completely clean of adware and spyware components.

In a written statement, the Softpedia team says, "We are impressed with the quality of your product and encourage you to keep this high standards in the future". They add, " Softpedia guarantees that JaxoDraw-1.3-2 is 100% CLEAN, which means it does not contain any form of malware, including but not limited to: spyware, viruses, trojans and backdoors".

More information about the award is available here, and at the JaxoDraw review page.


The Australian software vendor Cenqua has issued a free Clover license to the JaxoDraw project. Clover is a code coverage analysis tool, it discovers sections of code that are not being adequately exercised by unit tests.

A sample report of the current coverage state can be viewed on our stage site. This should let you know that we do care about test quality (and that we still have to improve it a lot!).


We just discovered that ScienceDirect has introduced a new service called ScienceDirect's TOP25. It is a free service which provides top 25 lists of most read articles - counted by article downloads on ScienceDirect.

Browsing the list for the Journal Computer Physics Communications, we found that our JaxoDraw user guide ranks #22 under subject area Physics and Astronomy and even #6 under subject Computer Science!

This seems a good indication that people are actually reading the JaxoDraw user guide!


We are happy to announce that we have added a new committer to the JaxoDraw team. Christian Kaufhold has joined us recently and has already been busy cleaning up and fixing all that ugly code that we have been building up over the last years! Welcome Christian, we hope that we can get even more out of you in the near future!

Now with another collaborator to help us, we are currently working hard (again) on a new release of JaxoDraw. In view of the big changes that are planned, we decided to go for a big version jump and call it JaxoDraw-2.0. Be warned, it's going to be even faster, bigger and muuuch better!


Now that open source implementations of the Java Virtual Machine are getting serious competitors, and Java itself is becoming open source anyway, it seems that the way is free for mainstream distributions to include packaged versions of standard Java software. As a first example, we have found that Gentoo Linux has included an ebuild package of JaxoDraw! It can be downloaded here. Hopefully other distros will follow this example!


It's been a while since we last posted some news, but believe it or not, we are still working on JaxoDraw! In spite of a number of distracting events, from new jobs and new homes to new family members (hey! welcome Francesco! and congratulations to Chiara and Daniele!), we have actually made quite some progress, and now that things have calmed down a bit, it seems that a new release is not that far away anymore!

So here are some condensed news from the past couple of months:

  • The published JaxoDraw User Guide has crossed the 50 citations mark and is now ranked a Top 50 paper according to SPIRES.
  • JaxoDraw has been added to the list of Swing Applications that run under the (free and open-source) implementation of GNU Classpath (see this blog for a demonstration).
  • For Windows users: MikTeX has recently released the new version 2.5 of its TeX implementation for the Windows operating system. Unfortunately, they have made a few backward-incompatible changes to their setup, such that the currently available Windows self-installer of JaxoDraw does not work with this new version. We have added a warning note to the download page.
  • And finally: JaxoDraw rules!


We have started some serious work again on a new version of JaxoDraw (probably 1.4-0). Trying to optimize and stabilize the code by implementing a JUnit test suite, we discovered quite a few minor bugs (check the SourceForge bugs page for a latest overview).

However, we also indent to implement some new features, in particular those that are filed on the SourceForge feature request page.

So if you have any improvement suggestions or pending bug reports, please let us know!


JaxoDraw 1.3-2 has been released!

This is a bug-fix release for 1.3-1, all users are encouraged to upgrade. Have a look at the Changelog to find out what has changed with respect to the last version, and download it from the download section. Please contact us for bug reports or enhancement requests. Have fun!


A SNAPSHOT has been published that fixes the recently discovered bugs. We still plan a new release during the coming days, so if you want to do some testing, now is the time!

We also noted another slight layout problem in the text edit panel: the pull-down menu for the font size does not always show up. This only seems to happen whith Java 5, we are still investigating it.


Two minor bugs have been discovered in the latest version of JaxoDraw:

  1. Editing a postscript text does not work if you save and re-open a graph.
  2. Double lines are not drawn correctly if the double-line spacing is too big.

We will put out another bug-fix release (v. 1.3-2) shortly, so if you are aware of any other problem, please report it now!


It's hard to believe but JaxoDraw is really two years old today! Development on the program has somewhat slowed down in its second year, but this is mainly because we consider it almost feature-complete and bug-free. However, we are still working on it, and expect to do at least one more release in the not so distant future (we know what that means ...).

In the meantime, I have found this little HOWTO article, that explains how you can install our JaxoDraw rpms on Ubuntu Linux. Have fun!


On July 6th 2005, the EU parliament rejected the proposed software patent directive with an overwhelming majority. This is a great victory for the movement against software patents and a big relief for the free software industry in Europe and worldwide.

However, while an important battle has been won, the struggle is far from over. In fact, there are already thousands of (presumably invalid) software patents filed at the European Patent Office. Furthermore, efforts to extend patentability towards software will now continue on the national level and probably return at the EU level in a few years. And of course, there are other countries (e.g. the USA) where patentability of software is already a long-standing fact.

For more information about this topic, see this Wikipedia article about the debate.


Now that the usual hassle after a major release has been sorted out (for now), we use the occasion to announce the second big change that has happened recently. As you might have noticed already, the JaxoDraw web site has been transfered to a new location at the open source server SourceForge and the program has been registered as a new project there.

You should browse the SourceForge project page for the most up-to-date information on the program. Note in particular that we have setup two mailing lists which should be used preferably from now on to report any issues regarding JaxoDraw. There is also a tracking system (for bugs and feature requests), and the latest JaxoDraw source code can be checked out from the public CVS server.

We would like to thank again the Departament de Física Teòrica of the University of Valencia for hosting JaxoDraw during its first two years, and in particular Prof. Arcadi Santamaria for all his help and support.


JaxoDraw 1.3-1 has been released!

This is a bug-fix release for 1.3-0, all users are encouraged to upgrade. Have a look at the Changelog to find out what has changed with respect to the last version, and download it from the download section. Please contact us for bug reports or enhancement requests.


There is a nasty bug in our latest 1.3-0 release concerning line edit panels (see this post on our mailing list). We are working on the problem and will publish a bug-fix release as soon as possible. In the meantime we make some binaries for the old 1.2-0 release available again on this download page.

Our apologies for the inconvenience.


JaxoDraw 1.3-0 has been released!

As expected, it took us quite a while to prepare our next release, but here it is! Have a look at the Changelog to find out what has changed with respect to the last version, and download it from the download section. Please contact us for bug reports or enhancement requests.

We hope you like the new version!


We have added two more entries in our bug parade about some strange things happening on Windows: you can't open too many tabs at the same time or you will get a "Java.lang.OutOfMemoryError", and you can't use white spaces in you path-and file names.

For those who were wondering if we are still alive (and the JaxoDraw project with us), the answer is definitely "yes", we are now actually in the process of wrapping up some final things and preparing a new release! However, you will probably have to be patient for a while still, all the new features and changes from our last release will require a complete re-write of the documentation, that might take some time.


We have discovered quite a subtle bug in the latest version of JaxoDraw. If you save a graph that contains arcs and try to re-open it, the arcs will all be messed up. Now you might wonder why we call this a subtle bug, in fact this is so evident that it seems impossible that we might have missed it in our testing phase. It turns out that this bug only manifests itself in certain versions of the Java JRE. From a couple of rapid tests that we have done, it follows that:

  • java 1.4.1-03: Works
  • java 1.4.2-06: Does not work
  • java 5: Works

If you are affected by this bug and do not want to change your Java version (note that with Java 5.0 there are a couple of other issues, see below), the only workaround that we can offer is to export/import the graph in latex format. However, we will fix this issue in our next release.


If you run JaxoDraw using the new Java 5.0 notice that

  • Compilation with javac gives you a warning message:

    Note: Some input files use unchecked or unsafe operations

    This can be safely ignored, it goes away if you use the -source 1.4 option.

  • The old metal look and feel can be obtained with the command line option:



If you use the new Java 5.0 to run JaxoDraw you will not be able to bring up the preference panel due to an ArrayOutOfBounds exception at run time which is absent if you run it with any previous Java distribution.

The reason for this exception is that on 5.0, there is no "Default" font anymore reported in the list of fonts. In fact, the fonts that we get on our machines are very different, depending on whether we use 1.4 or 5.0. In general there are more fonts on 5.0 (which is good), but the Default one is missing. Now when JaxoDraw brings up the Preferences, it will loop over all the fonts to find out which one matches the current default one, and if you have set the default to Default in the .Jaxorc (which is the file which stores the user preferences), then the array index runs out of bounds. So one workaround would be to edit your .Jaxorc by hand and replace the Default font by something else (for instance the Dialog one). Note that deleting the .Jaxorc file will not help since Default is the default fallback font as defined in the JaxoPrefs class.

(By the way, notice that if you save your preferences under 5.0, the .Jaxorc file will not be as nicely formatted as before, everything will be just on one long line, which is awful to edit.)

Now we are quite upset about this new issue, it seems that fonts in Java are really a mess! We looked a bit around on Google and Sun's bug database but we didn't find anything helpful. We always thought that Java uses the fonts that are installed on the system (that would ahve looked as the optimal platform independent implementation to us), but this problem indicates that every JDK version uses its own set of fonts (or maybe the determination of installed fonts is buggy in one or the other release). Anyway, we don't see for now how we can really fix this, since we will never know which fonts will be installed and/or detected correctly on any given system (in the worst case, we would even have to assume that there are no fonts installed at all...). Therefore we will have to do a bit more research and think about it again before we do our next release.

As a quick hack, for those of you who cannot leave without the 5.0 (and its hippy implementation of the Metal Look and Feel), you might replace the getFamilyIndex method in the JaxoPrefsPanel class by the following one:

        private int getFamilyIndex(String s) {
            int i = 0;
            Vector envGreekFonts = thePanel.getSystemGreekFonts();
            int size = envGreekFonts.size();

            while (i < size - 1 && ((String) envGreekFonts.elementAt(i)).compareTo(s) != 0) {

            if (((String) envGreekFonts.elementAt(i)).compareTo(s) == 0) {
                return i;
            } else {
                return 0;

With this variant of the method, if none of the fonts in the list matches the current default one, we just return the first one in the list as default (which assumes that there is at least one font present). This should solve the problem even if you have the Default font as the set preference in your .Jaxorc.

However, this is just a temporary solution, but you probably got the point: we are NOT the one to blame for this.


If you use Microsoft PowerPoint for your presentations, and you have TexPoint properly installed (together of course with a TeX Windows distribution), you can use JaxoDraw to insert nice Feynman graphs in it following this procedure:

  • Draw your Feynman diagram, and then export it to a LaTeX file (since we are going to cut and paste the LaTeX code generated by JaxoDraw, you may consider to open a Preview of the file instead of saving it on the hard disk).
  • From the TexPoint entry in the PowerPoint menu bar select New TeX Display.
  • Cut the code between \begin{center} and \end{center} of the JaxoDraw .tex file, and paste it in between the \begin{document} and \end{document} of the Tex Display window.
  • Before the \begin{document} add the \usepackage{axodraw} and \usepackage{color} lines.
  • If you have labels in your diagram, you may consider to change the Tex Display default {slides} style into the {article} one (in this way labels will be displayed using the normal math fonts).
  • Click the Make Bitmap button remembering to check the Transparent option if you want to remove the white background.
  • Watch the result.

Seriously, you should try this: you will have the smoothness of PowerPoint presentations (I am a hard core Linux, but when it comes down to do presentations, I think there is no comparison) with LaTeX quality formulas (thanks to TexPoint) and Feynman diagrams (thanks to JaxoDraw).


As you may have noticed (!) two weeks ago the server has crashed due to a hardware failure. It will never be on-line again. After two weeks, we have arranged for what seems to be a temporary solution: the site is now hosted at, and we have redirected all the callings to the old altair address to the new one. Please update your link to the JaxoDraw page to the new address. We are also pondering possibilities of mirroring the site, we will let you know if this will happen.


Some users have reported that JaxoDraw crashes on some systems (in particular Debian Linux), if there are certain fonts installed. This bug is documented in Sun's bug database. If you get a crash with a notice about the library (libfontmanager.dll on Windows) then check out this workaround.

As of version 1.4.2, the native Java implementation does not support fonts that use format 2 for CMAP (see again Sun's bug entry), apparently this bug has not been fixed in the new 5.0 Java release). If you have such fonts installed on your system (one example are the LMcaps fonts in the Debian package lmodern), then JaxoDraw will crash at start-up with an error message similar to this:

        An unexpected exception has been detected in native code outside the VM.

        Unexpected Signal : 11 occurred at PC=0x4CF1E527

There are two possibilities to fix this:

  • Try to compile (javac and run (java AllFonts) this little program, it will tell you which fonts are causing the problem. If you can do without them, uninstall these fonts.
  • If for some reason, you do not want to uninstall some fonts, you will have to recompile JaxoDraw yourself, with the following modification: in the file src/JaxoDraw/, comment out (with //) or remove lines 975 and 977 (not line 976), which test if the fonts can actually be displayed. Then follow the instructions in the User Guide to compile and run the program. You should be able to use postscript texts after that (except maybe the ones that cause the trouble), but some fonts may not show up on the screen.

NOTE: This information applies to JaxoDraw version 1.2-0, we have not had any reports with earlier versions, please let us know if you experience problems.


We have discovered three (mild) bugs in v. 1.2-0. They are:

  • You can create empty Postscript/LaTeX labels objects by editing a non-empty one and erasing its text (this is not really a bug, but we should avoid such possibility);
  • When drawing arcs you should not drag the mouse when choosing the last point defining the arc: if you do that strange things can happen (the arc may be drawn in red, or may not be drawn at all because the three points are collapsing to a line). Subsequent editing of the arc object is possible and in that case the arc will display normally.
  • If the arc is too small nothing will be drawn on screen.

As we said these are very mild bugs and most of the users did not even noticed them (but I am also sure that most of them are now actually drawing arcs dragging the last point on purpose!), and will be solved in the next JaxoDraw release.


I know it looks impossible but our beloved JaxoDraw is, starting today, one year old.

The balance of this year has been quite positive: we had good feedback from the community (more than 6000 contacts for a total of more than 4000 downloads, although only 7 authors did cite our CPC publication, as explicitly asked), some "press coverage" ( Linux Magazin, Physics Today) and a lot of fun (well, sometimes it was not all that fun...) implementing new features, sometimes suggested by our users. Google gives something more than 300 hits to the JaxoDraw page, which makes our site to score 6th in its directory rank.

Really not too bad for a project that we have started back in January 2003 as an exercise to learn this wonderful language that is JAVA (and because I was not in the mood of doing physics after getting my Ph.D. degree...).


JaxoDraw 1.2-0 has been released!

This release contains a few improvements specific to Mac OS X, but also some general bug fixes and new features, like improved arc drawing, hexagonal grids, etc. Go, grab a copy for your favourite Operating System.

You may also have noticed (!) that for the occasion the web page has been totally redone. We hope you like the new look...


The JaxoDraw User Guide for version 1.1-0 has been published in Comput. Phys. Commun. and the program is now stored in the CPC Library.

On the development front, version 1.2-0 is ready since a while but this time, some server problems are delaying publication. Be patient, it can only be a matter of days...


Be prepared for a major change in the JaxoDraw page that should come together with the new improved version of the program. Expect that to happen very soon...


JaxoDraw has a link in the WebWatch section of the May issue of Physics Today! Thanks to whoever initiated this!

This is also to let you know that we are working on a new release that will, again, add some nice new features to JaxoDraw. Having learnt from our experiences after our last release, we don't announce a release date (yet), but expect it to be out during the next weeks!


In the Windows download section we have added a new link that points to a Windows self-installer. If you have already a working Java runtime environment, installing JaxoDraw has never been so smooth!

On a totaly different subject, we have changed the User Guide section of the web page. Now there you will find available the new user guide for the current version in ps and pdf formats (as well as the html one).


As usual, we have found some (minimal) bugs (some of them only related to the Mac version) in the new 1.1-0 release, and we are working on bug-fixing 1.1-1 release. We are also pondering whether or not we will include in this release some suggestions about preferences made by the JaxoDraw community.

17.03.2004 - 3

The Known Bugs section has been updated to reflect the changelog of the new version (also some reformatting has been carried out).


After correcting the bug posted yesterday, the new version 1.1-0 is available for download at the usual place. Give it a try we are quite proud of it.

17.03.2004 - 2

A bug in the class file that takes care of LaTeX import affected the 1.1-0 version: so that feature is not going to work for earlier downloaders (they will get an ArrayOutOfBound exception at runtime if a LaTeX label is present in the .tex file they want to import). Since the download rate is still low, we have removed the new version and put back the old one while we are working on the solution. Tomorrow the patched version will be available, and early downloaders will be asked to replace their distributions with the new ones. Sorry about that.

17.03.2004 - 1

We have corrected some typos for the Linux/Windows/Mac instructions of the download section. Also, we have added a link to the axodraw rpm package you need to have for succesfully installing the JaxoDraw rpm.

16.03.2004 - version 1.1-0 released!

The new version 1.1-0 has been released! All users are invited to upgrade. Please refer to the changelog file for all the improved features/bug corrections of this new release. Also, a bunch of screenshots showing some new features is available in our screenshots section. As usual, we will be more than happy to hear comments/suggestions/complaints about the new 1.1-0 release of JaxoDraw by happy/unhappy users.

This said, you should go and grab your copy from the Downloads section!


During our final beta testing some new bugs showed up. Nothing worrying, but we postpone the version 1.1 until some day next week.


Sorry for not posting anything since more than a month ago, but I changed my laptop and the Linux installation was not as smooth as I thought...

Well here we are, just to say that THIS IS THE WEEK!!! We are currently updating the Web page, still beta testing the code (but we have already a very stable one), and in a few days we will be ready for the new release. Keep tuned for upcoming news.


Version 1.1 has reached its 100% completion level, which means that we have stopped inserting new functions in the code (deep sigh of relief here...)

Currently, we are adding final touches to it, looking for bugs (which are always there), and updating the documentation.

The probable release date is between the last week of Febraury and the first one of March. A more precise date release will be soon announced.


Ok, let's talk about version 1.1. After beta testing, the completion level of the new version is about 95%. The activity has slow down a little bit for obvious reasons (remember, also, that this is a spare time project). We need between two and five weeks to code the remaining 5%; then we will have an alpha release. As you see we are a little off scheduled, but we can already tell you that you will find quite a lot of improvements in the new version.


You can find the english translation of the Linux Magazin article following this link. I have been told, however, that the original article in german sounds much better.


Congratulations to Alice and Lukas!!!

On Sunday the 11th of January, Alice gave birth to Jonah!. Both of them are doing OK, and getting some rest in Vancouver (I guess Lukas as well...).

¡Enhorabuena chicos!


Welcome back and happy new year to everyone (and especially to JaxoDraw users!) First, let's start with a nice news. The biggest german Linux journal, Linux Magazin, has written an article about JaxoDraw! Check it out at the Linux Magazin Brave GNU World page (in german only).

As my advisor said when he read the article, it is the closest that Lukas and I will ever have our names to that of R.Feynman!

As far as version 1.1 is concerned, we are still beta testing it. Be patient, you will be compensated.


Version 1.1 is entering the beta testing phase. Changes have been extensive (we have also included an import option for directly reading TeX files) so that it will last for quite a while. Moreover, Daniele is in the process of moving from Valencia to Trento (he has a two year post-doc position at ECT*), so that things will slow down a little bit. Stay tuned for release dates.


Update for Mac OS X users: some features of JaxoDraw only seem to work correctly if a Look and Feel different from the Mac OS X one is chosen in the Options Menu (Metal is supposed to work best). To open an external application, you have to use the command "open -a", so for instance for the preferred text editor, put "open -a /Applications/" into the corresponding text field of the Preferences dialog. Many thanks to Warren Siegel for these hints.


Version 1.1 is doing very well. The completion is at about 70%. What would be better of a more powerful JaxoDraw under the XMas tree of any physicist?


We added a list of Frequently Asked Questions in the Docs section of the web page. We have also updated the Known Bugs section (don't worry no new bug was found, we only have resurrected bug #12 -it is not solved as we thought- giving a workaround for it, and marked #2 as solved -which indeed it is).

By the way we would like to thank all the people that have written to us reporting bugs and making suggestions!


We changed our policy on the way we would like people to cite JaxoDraw in their papers (we discovered that SPIRES automatically removes commands of the type %%CITATION if not appearing after a \bibitem, i.e. a physical entry in the reference list). Go to the home page and read it, if interested.


We started the coding of what will be the version 1.1. New features will be the possibility of grouping objects, rotating lines, a better text parser, etc. Stay tuned for release dates!


Our little community is expanding! Joakim Edsjö has managed to install JaxoDraw on Mac OS X (10.2.6)! This is how he did it:

  1. Download the Linux sources
  2. Unpack them
  3. Compile with ./compile.bsh (the javac version didn't seem to work fully)
  4. Type 'open JaxoDraw.jar' (or double-click JaxoDraw.jar in the Finder) to launch

Therefore Mac users too can have JaxoDraw on their hard disks...


The bug-fixed version 1.0-1 has been released. We have corrected all the bugs from #7 to #13. Go grab your copy from the Downloads section!


The bug-fixed version 1.0-1 is scheduled to be released for the beginning of the next week.


These are the downloads statistics after one week:

 152 - JaxoDraw-1.0_windows-jre.tar.gz
 124 - JaxoDraw-1.0_linux-bin.tar.gz
 123 - JaxoDraw-1.0_windows-bin.tar.gz
 118 - JaxoDraw-1.0_linux-jre.tar.gz
  70 - JaxoDraw-1.0_linux-src.tar.gz
  33 - JaxoDraw-1.0_windows-src.tar.gz
  17 - jaxodraw-1.0-0.i386.rpm


We had the first bug report (thanks to Stefan Braunewell):

(i) The LaTeX-EPS export command save the file only in the directory JaxoDraw was started and not in the directory chosen from the dialog.

(ii) If your locale settings are different from the english ones, you may get errors in your LaTeX files (a comma "," instead of a point "." could appear as decimal separator).

We are working on the solutions, and release soon a corrected version (v. 1.0-1).


We had more than 300 downloads! Give us feedback on the possible improvements we can make.


JaxoDraw-1.0 has been released. We hope you enjoy the program and wait for your feedback.