PlantText Release Version 20

Version 20 is Released!

Version 20 of PlantText is here! We are really pumped about it and hope you enjoy using it.

Most exciting are the new features for registered, logged in users. Remember, it’s free to register on PlantText. Version 20 also offers many new features for everyone else too. Let’s go through them one at a time…

Code snippets

The new code snippets feature allows us to add blocks of code that can be quickly added to a diagram with just a few key-strokes. First, log in and open the Settings windows. Make sure “Snippets” is checked, then select the diagram type you want. Now code snippets are activated for that diagram type only. Just type the first three letters of a diagram type name (like “act” for Activity or “cla” for Class Diagrams) and pop-up options will appear. If you have the “Live Autocompletion” setting checked, the options will just appear automatically. If “Live Autocompletion” is not checked, press CTRL+SPACE to make the code snippets appear. If you can’t remember the full name of the snippet you want, just remember the three letter prefix in front of it so they all pop up like you see in the image below…

We will eventually have snippets for all the different PlantUML diagram types. We can add them over time on the back end. We want to get them right and make the best snippets possible, so we need to take our time. Here is an example of how it works right now. The snippet “act-ife” will write an activity diagram if-then-else block into the editor once you select it. You can then tab through and add text to the ${1}, ${2}, and ${3} tags. Once we have hundreds of snippets, your typing will be minimal. Here is an actual snippet in the database.

snippet act-ife
	if (${1:condition}) then (yes)
	else (no)

And here is another example but for class diagrams…

Syntax Highlighting

We also added syntax highlighting for a bunch of different languages besides PlantUML. You can choose one from a dropdown list in the settings window. But the cool thing is that the editor will now look for the PlantUML “@startuml, @startjson, or @startyaml” tags at the top of the editor and automatically switch the syntax highlighting for you to the appropriate language. So notice below that the Syntax Highlighting setting is JSON below because the @startjson tag is present…

Diagram Pop-out Window

The Diagram Pop-out Window is finally here! We have wanted to do this for a long time, and finally made it happen. You can now have the editor in full screen on one monitor and the diagram image at full screen on another monitor. Just toggle the checkbox for it in the settings window.

For users who are not logged in we also added a bunch of other great features too. I am most exited about the Live Auto-completion and Diagram Themes.

Live Auto-completion

Live Auto-completion of words in the editor is useful and works along side the snippets. Just start typing (or turn off Live Autocompletion and press CTRL+SPACE) to get a list. Press enter to select the item and it gets inserted into the editor for you.

Diagram Themes

Now you can choose a diagram theme from a dropdown on the main window. It is pretty sophisticated, as it will also parse the content in the editor and stay in sync with the dropdown menu. There’s a pretty decent variety of different color schemes to choose from. Give it a try!


Lastly there are a few additional features / fixes. Here is a short list…

  • Added a warning message before file deletion. No more ooops! deleted files.
  • The local file list is now sorted in the open window. Small but helpful.
  • Accidental refreshes when scrolling has been fixed, mostly for mobile.

Looking ahead

Here are a few features that we are currently working on for the next few releases…

  • Save registered users diagrams to our server. Share them by email address?
  • Dark mode. The light hurts my eyes!
  • In-application community chat. Discuss your issues with other users? Real time and ephemeral?
  • ChatGPT or GPT-4 integration. Have the PlantUML generated automatically! 🙂

Anyway, again we have greatly accelerated the development of new features and putting in a lot of time. If you can spare a few bucks for a donation, that would be great. A monthly recurring donation of even $2 makes this a sustainable project! We want to keep PlantText free forever!

If you have any thought on these or other enhancements, please share your thoughts with us at

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