You can certainly try that. I think this is how you would do it:
1. Set your Vertex.Location properties.
2. Set the ReservedMetadataKeys.LayoutBaseLayoutComplete key on the Graph object. This tells FruchtermanReingoldLayout that the graph has already been laid out and that it shouldn't initialize the vertex locations to random values.
3. Optionally set the FruchtermanReingoldLayout.Iterations and C properties. You would have to determine good values experimentally.
4. Call NodeXLControl.DrawGraph(true). The true argument tells the control to lay out the graph. Because of the ReservedMetadataKeys.LayoutBaseLayoutComplete key you set on the Graph object, FruchtermanReingoldLayout will use your initial
Vertex.Location values as starting points.
I haven't actually tried this. You can let me know if you run into problems with it.
Also, if you happen to have installed our NodeXL Excel Template application, you can experiment with the layout without having to write any code. In the Template, you would:
1. Enter your edge list into the Edges worksheet.
2. Click Show Graph at the top of the graph pane. (Internally, this sets the ReservedMetadataKeys.LayoutBaseLayoutComplete key on the Graph.)
3. Manually drag your vertices into a tree.
4. Optionally set NodeXL, Graph, Layout, Layout Options, Fruchterman-Reingold layout properties.
5. Click Lay Out Again at the top of the graph pane.