Creating Swim Lanes

Swim lanes divide your flowcharts into meaningful sections. You can use swim lanes to sort responsibilities by person or to separate a process into phases. In Lucidchart, you can magnetize objects to a swim lane so that when you move it, they move with it. Take after Michael Phelps and become a swim lane champion today!

Follow this simple process to add the appropriate shape library and start using swim lanes:

  1. Open the Shape Library Manager.
  2. In the left column under “Standard,” select “Flowchart Shapes,” and press “Save.” (Note: You should see a checkmark next to “Flowchart Shapes” if you have access to both the “Flowchart” and “Containers” libraries.)

    Flowchart Shapes
  3. In the Toolbar on the left-hand side of the editor, find the “Containers” library and select the horizontal or vertical swim lane. You can see shape names by hovering your mouse over a shape.

  4. Drag and drop the shape onto your canvas.
  5. Change the label of your swim lane by double-clicking on the header.
  6. Click and drag the borders to resize.

When you click on the border of your swim lane, a panel should appear above your document, under the properties bar. This panel will allow you to adjust the number or orientation of your swim lanes.


To add or remove lanes, change the number of lanes listed in the panel.

To change lane or text orientation, adjust the "orientation" via the pop-up panel. When you reorient a lane, all objects in the lane will reorient as well.

To move a lane, right-click on the border or header of the lane. Select “Move Lane Up,” “Move Lane Down,” “Move Lane to Left,” or “Move Lane to Right” depending on your desired direction.

Right Click Options

  1. Click on the border of a lane and drag your mouse to resize the lane.

    Swim Lane Border

You can style swim lanes using the Properties bar at the top of the editor. Match your desired action with the number on the image below.

  • Edit text font, size, and color.
  • Change fill color and texture.
  • Change line color, thickness, and pattern.

To add a shadow, click the Shapes Option iconshape_options_icon.png > shadow_button.png and switch the button above SHADOW from off to on. You can then adjust the shadow’s distance, blur, color, and angle.


Related Articles

Introduction to Flowcharting
Use Layers to Create a Current/Future State Swim Lane Diagram
Work with Lines
Access More Shapes