First Steps

System Requirements

To use Grafcet Studio, you need a standard Windows computer with one of the following operating systems installed:

  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 11

The edition (Home, Pro...) and architecture (32 or 64-bit) does not play a role here.

Grafcet studio requires Microsoft .NET Framework version 4.5.2 and 4.6.2. This should already be on your computer if all the Windows service packs are installed.


You need access to the Internet to activate the license.


You can carry out installation by starting the installation program (setup). Grafcet-Studio requires approx. 25 MB of space on your harddisk.

For administrators: Silent installation is possible if you pass the parameter /S to the setup program. What is a silent installation: After starting the installation program, the software is installed in the standard installation directory without any further queries.


After installation, the software needs to be activated once over the Internet: to do so, you need to run the License Manager and enter the license data.

Grafcet-Studio screen layout

The most important screen elements in Grafcet Studio:

Element Description
Toolbar The key quick access commands are located on the toolbar. You can reach all the menu items by clicking on the icon (arrow down) on the left of the screen.
Canvas The Grafcet is drawn on the canvas. The bottom right of the pane contains a thumbnail view, which you can navigate within.
Overview The Grafcet is shown here as a thumbnail. This helps you maintain an overview in more extensive projects.
Zoom You can zoom in or out on the canvas using the slide control. You can hide the slider by clicking on the "Zoom In/Out" button (See Toolbar).
Grafcet Pages You can insert and remove Grafcet pages here in the "Grafcet Pages" window. The Starter Edition included with the workbook only supports one Grafcet page. This one-page limitation is irrelevant in this workbook, because you can realise all the examples and exercises on a single Grafcet page.
IO Panel The inputs and outputs from the table of symbols are displayed on the IO panel. You can use the mouse to manipulate digital inputs. You can specify a decimal value in an input field for analogue inputs. You can monitor digital and analogue outputs here.
Grafcet Elements You will find the Grafcet elements on the left. You can add elements to the drawing from here. Tip: Usually, it is quicker to duplicate existing elements on the drawing (copy & paste).
Symbolic table You can assign descriptive names to the inputs and outputs in the table of symbols. Using this option as much as possible helps you create a Grafcet as powerful as possible. Only symbols (not addresses) can be entered in the drawing.
License Manager Clicking this button calls up the License Manager. It activates or deactivates the software on your PC.

Getting Started

In this section, you learn how to create a Grafcet and simulate it with the I/O panel.


Create a new project by clicking on "New":


Select this step by clicking on the bottom edge and click 4x on the "Step + Transition" button:


Remove the last step by clicking in the centre of it and then clicking on the delete key on your keyboard to remove it:


Now create a return jump: Click on the bottom third of the last transition and move the cursor to initial step "1" keeping the mouse button held down. Release the mouse button when it reaches the top edge of the step.

This creates the return jump:


Note: You can use the mouse to alter the distance between the vertical line for the return jump and the steps. The further you drag the mouse to the left, the large the distance. You can also draw the return jump along the right side. We do not recommend this, however, because this space is usually needed for the actions.

To write values to outputs, we now first set up so-called actions:


Select step "1" in the centre and then click on next action:

Do the same with steps "2" to "4". The Grafcet now has the following appearance:

The Grafcet is now finished.


  • You can change the step number by selecting the step in the centre and then pressing the Return key or F2.
  • You can change the symbol in the action by selecting the action and then pressing the Return key or F2. Please note that you can only enter symbols that are present in the table of symbols. Otherwise, the Grafcet cannot be simulated.
  • You can change the names of the symbols in the table of symbols. A symbol can have a maximum of 24 characters. The symbol name should begin with a letter. The following characters are permitted: numbers, letters, underscore (_)

Now it is time to simulate the Grafcet. Click on this button to start the simulation:


The "Simulator" needs to be selected so that simulation can take place. See the fig. on the right. If this is not the case, you can select the simulator in the upper combo box in the "Grafcet Engine" window.

Grafcet in monitoring mode: Active steps are shown in red with a rotating gear wheel. Transitions whose condition is true are also displayed in red.

You can see the I/O Panel to the right of the Grafcet. All inputs and outputs from the symbol table are displayed here. The table of symbols is visible below the Grafcet. In monitoring mode, active steps, transitions with TRUE conditions and BOOL symbols are displayed in red (you can set the colour under More...-> Settings). You can view the current value for analogue symbols in a tool tip, which is displayed when you hover over the symbol with the mouse.


You can exit monitoring mode by pressing the Escape key.

Initial Tips

  • If the Grafcet contains an error, a red exclamation mark is displayed directly at the location of the error. The cause of the error is displayed when you hover over the exclamation mark with the mouse.
  • If the canvas contains a Grafcet element (for example, a transition) which is not connected, a coloured exclamation mark appears as a warning.
  • You can save the complete Grafcet, or individual parts thereof, in a high-resolution image file: Press CTRL and A at the same time to highlight all the Grafcet elements. Right-click in an empty space on the canvas and select Save selected objects to image file.
  • In edit mode, you can use the arrow keys to select the individual Grafcet objects and then edit them with the Return key.
  • You can set the Alignment (vertical or horizontal) in the context menu of a transition
  • You can enter a rising edge, e.g. ↑I1, in the editor box in the following way: Press CTRL and at the same time.
  • You can enter a negation with the exclamation mark: !E1. This is displayed as a horizontal line.
  • Vertical transitions can now be multi-line. With Shift-Return a line break can be inserted. This helps to save space with long terms (possible from version on).

Basic exercises...

  • Making changes to the table of symbols, e.g. "I0", "I1", "I2" in "S0", "S1" and "S2". If they are used, these symbols are then updated automatically in the Grafcet chart.
  • Changing the condition in the 1st transition: Replace "1s/X1" with "S0". If you start the simulation afterwards, you need to set input "S0" to "1" in the I/O panel, so that step "2" is activated. To do so, click on "S0" in the I/O panel. Click on "S0" again to undo the input.
  • Add another action to step "2": Select step "2" in the centre and click on the button for an action. The 2nd action is then inserted to the right of the existing one.
  • Delete another action again: Click on the action to select it and click on the Delete key on your keyboard.
  • Try out the Auto-Complete function: Editing a transition condition: Enter an "I" and press Ctrl and the space bar simultaneously. A small window containing all the symbols beginning with "I" opens. Select a symbol with the cursor buttons and press the Return key. This auto-complete function comes in handy when the symbol names are longer.

In the following figure, "I0" was initially replaced by "S0" in the table of symbols. Subsequently, condition "S0" was entered in the 1st transition. Input "S0" has already been switched to "1" in the I/O panel with the mouse:

Drawing with drag and drop

In the example above, the Grafcet elements were drawn by first selecting the insertion position and then clicking on the Grafcet symbol. You can also click directly on a Grafcet element, and then drag the mouse over the canvas with the mouse button held down:

Comments in the Grafcet

You can insert comments by clicking on the Comment icon in the "Grafcet Elements" panel. (You can insert the usual quotation marks or not.)

You can configure the comment boxes in the context menu:

  • Font sizes (small, normal, large)
  • Background colour

A special function can also be used in the comment boxes:


If you write a symbol in curly brackets in a comment box, it is replaced as an expression by the current value in monitoring mode. Therefore, if you write "value of S1={S1}", then the comment is displayed as follows in monitoring mode: "Value of S1=1"

See figure (left: editing mode, right: monitoring mode):

How to proceed

  • Go to the section on draw Grafcet to find out in detail how to draw a Grafcet
  • Simulate the Grafcet with the I/O-Panel or with virtual machines/systems
  • Transfer the Grafcet to a device

Selecting a theme

Click on More... to select your choice of theme (UI colours) on the Theme tab: