Work with Lines

Lines are essential to diagramming, which is why Lucidchart strives to make working with them as simple and intuitive as possible. Find instructions on how to incorporate lines into your diagram and format them to meet your needs below.

There are three ways to add lines to a Lucidchart diagram.

First, if you already have an object on your canvas, you can create a line from it by following these steps:

  1. Hover over the object’s border. A red circle will appear on the border beneath your cursor.
  2. Click on the circle and drag your cursor away from the object. A line connected to an arrow will extend from the object as you drag.
  3. If you want to connect your line back to the object it came from, or to another object on your canvas, drag the arrow to the second object. An object can be any shape, line, or image on your canvas. A red dot will appear on the object’s border when the arrow touches it, indicating that the line will attach to the object when you release your cursor.


    If you do not want to connect your line to an object that is already on your canvas, drag your cursor until the line is the length you desire. When you release, a window filled with shapes will appear beneath the arrow. Select a shape to attach to your line or click out of the window if you do not want to connect your line to an object.


    Note: If you move an object that is connected with a line to another object, the line will move to maintain the connection.


If you don’t want to be prompted to add a shape after adding a line to your document, you can disable auto-prompt in your Account Settings Preferences. Under “After Drawing Lines,” simply change “Prompt for next block” to “Do nothing” to disable auto-prompt.


Second, you can add a line to your canvas by dragging the line and arrow icon out of the “Standard” section of your shape library and dropping it onto your canvas. You can then move it by dragging its body or lengthen it by dragging one of its ends.


Third, you can draw a line by right-clicking on your canvas and selecting “Draw Line” from the drop-down menu that appears OR by pressing the “L” key on your keyboard. You can then click and drag your cursor across your canvas to draw your line.


Note: You can hold down “Shift” on your keyboard when drawing a line to make its path follow a straight line of 45˚ increments.

When drawing a connecting line between two objects, you can connect it to the second object in such a way that will make the line “smart.” If you move an object that is attached to another via a smart line, the line will automatically adjust its connection points to form the most efficient path between the two objects.

To create a smart line, follow these steps:

  1. Drag a line from one object to another.
  2. When you reach the border of the second object, hold down your cursor until the object is highlighted in blue.

  3. Release your cursor before the blue outline goes away. Voila! You have given your line a brain.


To modify the path of a line in your diagram, follow these steps:

  1. Select a line by clicking on it. A blue box will appear in the center of each of its legs. If you hover over a section of the line, a lighter blue box will appear at the quarter mark of that leg.
  2. Click and drag one of these blue boxes to change the path of that section of the line.

    alter line path

To create a line that moves independently from a shape, toggle off "line connections" in your Page Settings (File > Page Settings) on the right of your canvas.

Turning off line connections will allow you to move a line in isolation by clicking your arrow keys.

However, lines already connected to shapes cannot be moved in isolation.


Struggling with overlapping lines? Enabling “Line Jumps” helps you manage overlapping lines by making it easier to follow a line’s path. Simply toggle on “Line Jumps” to begin using Line Jumps in your document.


If you double-click on a line, a text box will appear into which you can type. Click on and drag the text box to move it to another place on your line or directly above or below it. To delete the text box, highlight the text inside of it by double-clicking and press “Delete.”

add text to a line

Lucidchart’s many line modification options give you control over how your lines look. To make a change to a single line, select the line and navigate to corresponding section of the Properties bar above your canvas. Alternatively, click on the background of your canvas and make changes to your document’s default line settings to regulate the appearance of future lines you create.

Lucidchart offers three different options for line shape: Straight, Curved, or Elbow.


The default setting for line shape in a new document is Elbow, which means that your lines’ directions will correspond with the background grid of your canvas and only bend at 90˚ angles.

To change line shape, follow these steps:

  1. Select a line or click on your canvas background.
  2. Click the “Line Options” icon in the Properties bar, indicated by an arrowed line. A window will appear displaying the available line shapes.

  3. Select one of the three angle types available.

    If you are modifying a single line and have selected “Elbow,” you can add rounding to your line’s angles by toggling the up and down arrows in the “ROUNDED” box in the line options window.


To change the color of a line, follow these steps:

  1. Select a line by clicking on it.
  2. Click on the "Line Color" option in the Properties bar, denoted by a pencil icon.

  3. Select the color you want by clicking on the corresponding color swatch.


    Alternatively, click on the color wheel to manually pick a color by adjusting the HSB and RGBA values in your color space, or by typing the hexidecimal code of the color you desire into the text box next to the # symbol.


    See below for instructions on how to identify the RGB values of a color that is already used in your diagram.
  4. Select your desired opacity by moving the blue dot horizontally across the OPACITY bar or by inputting a percentage to the box on its right.

To identify the color of an object on your canvas, click on the wand to the left of the color wheel.


A magnifying lens containing a grid will appear on your canvas. Hover over the object in question and the RGB coordinates of its color will display within the magnifying lens.


To change the thickness of a line, follow these steps:

  1. Select a line or click on your canvas background.
  2. Toggle the up and down arrows in the “Line Width” box in your Properties bar to increase or decrease the width of your line OR manually type in your desired width.


    Note: Lucidchart allows line thicknesses ranging from 0.5 to 10 px, and rounds inputted measurements to the nearest tenth of a pixel.

To change the style of a line, follow these steps:

  1. Select a line or click on your canvas background.
  2. Click on the “Line Style” box in your Properties bar for a display of the available line style options.

  3. Hover your cursor over the different line styles to see how they will appear on your line. Click to select your favorite!

    If you are modifying a single line, you can select the “DOUBLE” option at the bottom of the window to turn your line into two parallel lines.


    If your selected line crosses another line on your canvas, you can make it jump over the other line by selecting the “JUMP” option.


The default arrow setting for lines in a new document is one-sided and filled in. However, you can easily change the default arrow setting of your document or of a single line by following these steps:

  1. Select a line or click on your canvas background.
  2. Click on one of the “Endpoint” boxes in your Properties bar for a display of the available arrow options.

  3. Select “None” or the arrow icon with the style you desire.

You can also swap the endpoints of a selected line by clicking the double arrow icon next to the “Endpoint Boxes.”


To add multiplicities or reverse line direction for ERD or UML lines, select a line by clicking on it. A pop-up will appear and give you two options: Add Multiplicities and Reverse Line Direction.

After selecting a line, go to the Properties bar to change the line endings. You’ll notice that certain shape libraries offer additional line endings that are common for those shapes.



Using basic shapes and simple styling features, you can build a mind map out of lines in Lucidchart to brainstorm about a topic or explore a question.


In addition to being cool to look at, mind maps made out of lines allow you to have more control over the shape and arrangement of your ideas.

When you create a mind map out of lines, the lines themselves represent the different branches of your concept map, rather than merely serving as a way to connect an idea to its parent node. You can use the lines and their styling properties (eg. color, thickness, style, and path) to visually display meta information about your ideas.

In this example, line color is used to differentiate between the children of the central node of the mind map. Line path and arrangement is used to cluster related children branches together, and line thickness is used to show the relative importance of different children branches.
You can easily create your own mind map with lines from scrach or by modifying this template.

Before you begin, you must come up with a topic or question that will serve as your center node. If you are student studying for an American History Midterm, this central node could be “Key Concepts from My History Course” or something more specific, like “Factors that Led Up to the Civil War.”

If you are using the mind map to answer a question about yourself, you might want the central node to read “What do I want to do with my life?” or “Why do I feel sad right now?”

Once you come up with the idea behind your mind map, you can create the center node of your diagram by dragging out a shape from the toolbox and dropping it in the center of the canvas. Double click to add text to the shape.

Once you have added your central node to the canvas, you can start adding lines by dragging them out of the shape. To set default line styling properties, change the line settings in the properties bar when you do not have any shape or line selected.

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