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NodeXL is an Excel 2007 add-in that adds social network analysis features to a spreadsheet  (Open source).


Tool Type

Visualization Tools

General Associations
Excel (4), social networking (16), spreadsheets (6), visual (18), visualization (29)

Notes on License



Free (requires Excel 2007 for Windows Vista or XP; will also work within Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion on the Mac)


NodeXL is an Excel 2007 template for viewing and analyzing network graphs, along with a set of .NET Framework 3.5 class libraries that can be used to add network graphs to custom applications. (NodeXL used to be called ”.NetMap”.)

(To see the following information with the original visual examples, click here.)

NodeXL Excel 2007 Template

The easiest way to use NodeXL is to install the NodeXL 2007 Template. With the template installed, you can enter network data into a template-based Excel 2007 workbook, then view the network graph within the workbook’s window

A simple two-column edge list is all that is required by the template, but a variety of optional columns can be used to customize the graph’s appearance. These include edge color, width, and opacity; and vertex color, shape, radius, opacity, label, tooltip, and location.

Because you enter graph data in a familiar Excel workbook format, there is no need to learn a complex, arcane file format to display your graph. And because Excel 2007 is used as an application platform, the full power of Excel is available for filtering and computing vertex and edge data.

Layout Algorithms

By default, the Fruchterman-Reingold layout algorithm is used to lay out the graph’s vertices, but a variety of additional layout algorithms are provided as well. You can repeatedly lay out either all of the graph’s vertices or just a selected subset.

Graph Metrics

A number of graph metrics can be computed and inserted into the Excel 2007 workbook on demand, including vertex degree, betweenness centrality, eigenvector centrality, closeness centrality, and clustering coefficient. The graph metric framework is extensible and other metrics will likely be added in future releases.

Data Import/Export

You can import graph data from delimited text files, Pajek files, and other Excel workbooks. Selected subgraphs can be exported to other Excel workbooks.

Built-In Data Sources

If you use Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Mail, or a similar email client, and if you have Windows Desktop Search installed on your computer (it comes with Vista and can be installed separately on Windows XP), you can use the Excel 2007 template’s “Analyze Email Network” feature to graph the network of people you communicate with via email. The “Analyze Twitter Network” feature displays a Twitter user’s one- or two-degree social network, including the latest “tweet” from each person in the network.

Dynamic Filters

A set of sliding “range” controls let you filter the graph’s vertices on the workbook’s numeric and date/time columns. For example, you can easily hide all vertices with degree less than three, or all edges that have associated dates earlier than January 1, 2008. Clustering A graph’s vertices can be automatically or manually grouped into clusters that are distinguished by color and shape.

Class Libraries

The Excel 2007 Template displays graphs using a custom Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) control that can also be used in other applications. In fact, the template is just a Visual Studio Tools for Office 3.0 wrapper around a stack of reusable, prebuilt class libraries.

The WPF control is one of several graph “visualizers” that are packaged in a pair of Visualization assemblies. There is also an Adapters assembly for reading and writing graph data in various formats, a SocialNetworkLib assembly for analyzing social networks, a Core assembly that implements the low-level vertex, edge, and graph classes, a Layouts assembly that lays out graphs using various layout algorithms, and an Algorithms assembly that calculates graph metrics.

Version and Plans

Complete NodeXL release history available here.

Interface Languages
English (416)


Joteypic_thumb Jessica Otey