Working with Lines

As lines are essential to diagramming, Lucidchart strives to make working with them as simple and intuitive as possible. See below for instructions on how to incorporate lines into your diagram and format them to meet your needs.

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

Firstly, 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. 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.

    draw_line_from_one_object_to_another_2.gif

    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.

    drag_a_line_from_an_object.gif

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

    move_object_connected_to_a_line.gif

Secondly, 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.

drag_line_from_shape_library.gif

Finally, 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.

draw_line_by_right_clicking.gif

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

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

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.

line_shape_options_hover.png

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.

    line_shape_options.png
  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.

    add_rounding.png

    Note: Lucidchart allows line thicknesses ranging from 0.1 to 720 px, and rounds inputted measurements to the nearest tenth of a pixel.

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.

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

    change_line_color.png

    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.

    color_picker.png

    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.

wand_icon.png

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.

line_color_picker.png

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.

    edit_line_thickness.gif

    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.

    display_of_line_styles.png
  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.

    double_line.png

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

    line_jump.png

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.

    line_arrow_options.png
  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.”

swap_line_ending.png

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.

UML_arrow_options.png

 

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