Since 2013, draw.io Diagrams for Confluence has been the top-rated Confluence diagramming solution on the Atlassian Marketplace. As a draw.io user, you already know that it’s powerful and easy to use. We’re here today to let you know about some of the lesser-known benefits. The Easter eggs, if you will. Those little shortcuts that, when taken together, can save you a lot of time and hassle as you navigate your daily diagramming needs.
So, let’s get started.
1 – Attack of the clones
So, you’re creating a brilliant diagram. You want to keep using the same shape, and you want everything to be lined up nicely and neatly. Sure, you could select the shape over and over and spend the extra time to manually line things up, but you’ve got a full schedule and a life to live. Time to harness the power of cloning.
But not just your normal, run-of-the-mill cloning! With this lesser-known draw.io shortcut, you can clone a cell and easily position it at the same horizontal or vertical axis:
Just hit Ctrl+Shift and drag the shape to clone it. When you do, you’ll recognize that you can only position the new shape either above/beneath or at the left/right side of the original shape. This way, you can easily stick to the horizontal or vertical axis and don’t have to reposition the shapes.
Easy. And no Jedi mind tricks required.
2 – The geometry of convenience
But you’re going to want to change things up as well. More shapes! New shapes! Different shapes!
Sure, you can open the Format Panel and use the Arrange tab to alter the shape geometry, but leave those hands on that keyboard! Instead, hit Ctrl+Shift+M (Cmd instead of Ctrl, Option instead of Alt for MacOS) to open another window in which you can modify your shape to reflect your fondest geometric whims.
3 – Tooltips
Here’s a quick one: If you want to quickly define tooltips for hover-over information on shapes, simply hit Alt+Shift+T. Bam!
4 – Vertices! Edges! Connectors! Oh, my!
Another quickie: Want to change either your shapes or connectors? You can easily select all of them using Ctrl+Shift+I (vertices) or Ctrl+Shift+E (edges). Boom!
5 – Attack of the clones, part II
Why does everything have to be so linear? It doesn’t, that’s why!
If you want to clone and connect your new shape while giving it a custom location of your own choosing, just hold down the Ctrl key while dragging a connector from one of the connection points or arrows. Now you’ve successfully cloned your shape, and you can position it wherever you want.
It’s so quick. It’s so easy. It’s like doing the Kessel Run in only 11 parsecs!
Brad Boesen is a writer and editor of books, theses, blogs, articles, web content, and online educational material. His work covers topics ranging from AI to Web Development to Biological Science, Photography, meditation for children, and much more. He spent his formative years working for Gallup, IBM, and the Nebraska State Legislature before setting out on his own as a freelancer, doing the bidding of clients like Walmart, Expedia, and Oxford University. He's now the full-time content creator for draw.io.
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