I am searching for what tool that is used to create such sketchy drawings to be used in technical (software) related projects, and hopefully it is open source.

The main point here is that I already make my technical diagrams with a good flowchart and dependency diagram tool named draw.io, but I want more. Lines, fills and maybe texts, too should be like they were drawn manually. The next example resembles what I want:

enter image description here

  • It is more specific on a tool that can create diagrams in the sketchy format - currently i use draw.io, but i would like to have some diagrams looks more like drawings
    – aweis
    Nov 19, 2021 at 11:39
  • Welcome to GD.SE!
    – Mensch
    Nov 19, 2021 at 12:28
  • You could do it with almost any vector image editing software. Since you mention Open Source software, then the obvious one would be Inkscape. Although it's complex software and has a rather steep learning curve, such sketchy diagrams are entirely possible. The software is not specifically made for diagrams though. So it might be overkill for your needs.
    – Billy Kerr
    Nov 19, 2021 at 15:46
  • No idea is there something available for others than programmers, but check this writing pakstech.com/blog/draw-diagrams It tells about an existing project around something you may want. As said, it tells about a development project, it isn't a place where you get it. At least it leads to this tryout site: plus.excalidraw.com/…
    – user82991
    Nov 19, 2021 at 18:13
  • (continued) Here is a little more to check: This suggests that a version of what you already use has it drawio-app.com/introducing-draw-ios-new-sketch-feature And this also can have something softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/questions/32601/…
    – user82991
    Nov 19, 2021 at 18:23

1 Answer 1


Start by trying to utilize more what you already have learned to use. Program draw.io seems to have what you want: https://drawio-app.com/introducing-draw-ios-new-sketch-feature/

Tried it by myself, too. At least it works:

enter image description here

The effort needed to get something less clinical than the perfect geometry basic shapes is zero, only set option Sketch =ON. Then every already drawn and selected item and every inserted new item will be sketchized. Making the same in a general purpose vector drawing program needs much more work. The difference can easily be 500 or 1000%. The difference reduces substantially if you prepare a big enough set of your own shapes that you only copy, paste and stretch to different sizes.

BTW the same core drawing tool is available in several different packages.I tried portable (=no install) Windows version of diagrams.net 15.7.3 Its diagrams can be exported as SVG which can be opened in Inkscape.

It's useful to see how the roughness is constructed by using only simple paths which could be as well drawn manually in Inkscape with no effects. Every connector and shape edge line is duplicated. Both copies have a little different random bendings. In Inkscape or other drawing program they are born without asking if you use the pencil tool and draw everything twice. The scribble fill in draw.io is a single path.

Here's a 100% manually drawn example in Inkscape.

enter image description here

The texts are not roughened in draw.io, they use normal computer fonts. Some of them can resemble manual writings. Beware: some commonly used ones have collected passionate haters and that can harm the reading. The example in my 1st image uses one. I am not at all sure would the text in my 2nd image be treated better, no matter it's unique.

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