SankeyMATIC Manual

Getting Started: Nodes and Flows

Entering Data

In the field named “Inputs”, enter one “Flow” per line, using this format: Source [Number] Target

Sample: Income [100] Checking Account

After entering one or more Flows, click “Preview”.

SankeyMATIC will automatically lay out a diagram connecting all Source and Target “Nodes” using Flows with proportional thicknesses.

Simple sankey example

Using the same Node name in multiple lines will produce multiple flows in or out of that Node.
Note: Node names are case sensitive: 'A' is not considered a match for 'a'.

Diagram Shape and Size

Tall example

Is your data shown best using:

  • A tall rectangle?
  • A wide rectangle?
  • Something closer to a square?

These three examples all share the same inputs.

Experiment with the “Diagram Width” and “Height” settings to find what shape communicates your data most clearly.

Narrow Short example Wide example

Space between Nodes

Small Node spacing example
Space = 3 px

Small spaces between Nodes lead to crowded or muddy diagrams, difficult to parse visually.

Large Node spacing example
Space = 36 px

Large spaces between Nodes lead to thin spidery Flows, making differences between them harder to distinguish.

Good Node spacing example
Space = 12 px

Find a happy medium appropriate for making clear comparisons between Flows.

Getting Data from a Spreadsheet?

Given data laid out like this in a spreadsheet document:

1 From To Amount

Add another spreadsheet column applying either one of the following formulas to all of your data rows:

=A2 & " [" & C2 & "] " & B2


=CONCATENATE(A2, " [", C2, "] ", B2)

(Both formulas rearrange the data in the same way. Both have been tested in Excel and in Google Sheets.)

The new column will contain your data rearranged like this:

2IncomeBudget100 Income [100] Budget
3BudgetExpenses60.75 Budget [60.75] Expenses
4BudgetSavings39.25 Budget [39.25] Savings

Then copy & paste the data from that new column into the SankeyMATIC “Inputs” field, and voilà:

Spreadsheet example

SankeyMATIC Manual — Index