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What you are going to learn in this tutorial

  • Create custom shape libraries to share with company-wide.
  • Use the draw.io scratchpad to create an individual shape library.

Introduction

Custom libraries make working with your own graphics and icons a breeze. You can quickly and easily import your own libraries and use your custom shapes. Alternatively, you can create a custom library from an existing diagram, as you will learn how to do in this exercise.

We’ll be working with the Azure 2 template diagram.

Create a custom library

Open the Azure 2 template from the template manager. This one is located in the left hand side window under the option Cloud. Select the template and hit Create.

Add Azure 2 template to your draw.io diagram

To create your own custom library click File > New Library. In draw.io for Confluence Cloud, follow the path File > New Library > Device.

Name your library, drop in any image files from your computer that you want to store in your library (in this case the images Gaffer tape and WD-40), then click Save.

Provide a name for your draw.io library

You can add shapes or groups of shapes to the custom library. Simply select the shapes you want to add, then click on the little + icon in the header of your custom library. Here, we’ve selected the entire first column as an example.

Add multiple shapes to custom library

Copy some shapes from the symbol library into your custom library.

Note: You can only insert shapes or groups of shapes from the drawing area, so make sure you delete any you don’t want to leave in the diagram after you have dragged them into your custom library.

  • Drag and drop the selected shape or group of shapes from the drawing area into your custom library.
  • You can also drag and drop image files from your computer into your custom library.
Add custom shapes to your draw.io library

Tip: Other draw.io users in your Confluence space can use your custom library when they create draw.io diagrams. They can view the custom library by selecting the option +More shapes in the library panel, scroll down to Custom Libraries and check the specific library. You can also define a set of libraries that your users can view by default. In Confluence Cloud, adding a custom library works a little different. Please have a look at our video on creating and saving custom libraries in Confluence Cloud to view the tutorial.

Subscribe to custom libraries in draw.io

Scratchpad

You can use the scratchpad to create your own (quick) custom library, but only you can see your scratchpad. If you want your colleagues to be able to use the shapes in your scratchpad, you’ll need to create and save a custom library with those shapes/images (as you can see above). You can work with the scratchpad in the same way as with a custom library.

  • Drag and drop the selected shape or group of shapes from the drawing area into the scratchpad.
  • You can also drag and drop image files from your computer into the scratchpad.
  • Edit the contents of the scratchpad by clicking on the pencil icon.

You are almost finished with this tutorial! From time to time, you’ll find yourself wanting to work with external partners who don’t use draw.io. You can import and export diagrams in other formats easily with draw.io.

Tutorial exercise 10: Importing and exporting diagrams in other formats