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This paper presents a software environment for practical graph applications. The practical graphs refer to those graphs where nodes vary in shape and size used in real world applications, such as flowcharts, UML diagrams, E-R diagrams. A robust model has been developed for practical graphs. This model supports the development of automatic layout techniques for practical graphs and the development of the linkage between the graph structure and applications. Automatic layout for practical graphs is demonstrated and two case studies for practical graph applications are presented.