Get Started with Lucidchart

Welcome to the visual world of Lucidchart! Here, you can build beautiful diagrams easily, edit them with colleagues simultaneously, and save all of your changes instantly.

This article will provide some basic resources that will help you get started. It will guide you through the document page and around the workspace, teach you how to create and customize a simple diagram, and acquaint you with the wide range of features that Lucidchart offers.

For more detailed articles on specific topics, check out our Knowledge Base and Community.

For an in-product tutorial of Lucidchart basics, please see one the following guides:

When you sign in to Lucidchart, you will be navigated to your home page, which is the launch pad of your Lucidchart account. Here you can view and organize documents, create and manage folders, and import Visio and other files. This page also serves as a portal to the account settings page, the admin panel (if you are a team admin), the integrations manager, and, most importantly, the Lucidchart workspace.

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You can start diagramming from scratch with a new blank document or build from a Lucidchart template.
To create a blank document from the home page, click the orange New Document button and select Blank Document

To open the template gallery, click New Document From Template.

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When you see a template that you like, simply click on it and it will open up for you in the Lucidchart workspace.

You can also create a new document directly from the workspace by navigating to File > New Document.

lucidchart_file_new_document.png
The Lucidchart workspace is where all of the diagramming magic takes place. Before you start creating, it is useful to become familiar with the different parts of the workspace. See the image below to learn the names of the workspace's components and read on for summaries of their capabilities.

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At the very top of the workspace you will see the header.

lucidchart_header.png

Click lucidchart_documents_page_icon.png to return to the document page, click lucidchart_edit_document_name.png to rename your document, and click on your email address to navigate to the account settings page or log out.
Underneath the header is the file menu, where you can access a range of actions essential to the diagramming process.

lucidchart_menu_bar.png

Click on one of the tabs on the left to open a drop-down of options. Some options might be greyed out depending on what is selected on the canvas. For instance, many of the options under the "Arrange" tab apply to groups of objects, so you will only be able to implement them after selecting multiple objects on the canvas.

lucidchart_arrange_options_menu_bar.png

Some file menu options can also be performed via keyboard shortcuts, which will be listed in the corresponding row under each tab.

Saving your work
To the right of the Help button you will see the saving status of your document. Lucidchart automatically saves all of the changes you make to your document and stores them in the cloud, so this word should automatically switch from “Saving” to “Saved” each time you edit your diagram.

Feature find
On the right side of the file menu you will see the following icon: lucidchart_menu_bar_feature_find_icon.png
This is the handy feature find tool, which can help you locate Lucidchart features within the workspace. If you’re not sure where to find a feature, simply click on this icon and type your search request into the dialog that pops up. The feature find tool will search the workspace and the help center for your query.

Present/Share buttons
Located at the far right of the file menu, lucidchart_presentation_mode_button.png will take you into presentation mode and lucidchart_share_your_document_button.png will take you to the share dialog, through which you can invite collaborators or publish your document.
Underneath the file menu is the formatting bar.

The left section of the formatting bar contains features related to shapes and images.

lucidchart_properties_bar_shape_and_image_options.png

Click lucidchart_manu_bar_shape_manager_icon.png on the left to open the shape library manager, and click lucidchart_menu_bar_image_icon.png to import image files or open the image manager. Search for shapes, images, or icons by clicking lucidchart_menu_bar_search_icon.png and entering a keyword. See Access More Shapes and Import and Manage Images for more information.

On the right of the magnifying glass, you will see two arrows. Click lucidchart_menu_bar_undo_arrow.png to undo the last change you made to your document, and lucidchart_menu_bar_redo_arrow.png to reverse this action. You can also access these options in the “Edit” tab of the file menu or by clicking command + z or command + y.

The next section of the formatting bar contains text editing options. See Work with Text to learn all about them.

lucidchart_properties_bar_text_options.png

The next section is dedicated to shapes and lines - please refer to Style a Shape and Work with Lines .

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On right of the formatting bar you will see a series of icons. Click lucidchart_properties_bar_link_option.png to add links to an object, lucidchart_properties_bar_magnet_icon_.png to magnetize a container, and lucidchart_properties_bar_lock_option.png to lock a shape. Click lucidchart_properties_bar_wrench_icon.png to open advanced shape options, and lucidchart_properties_bar_full_screen_mode.png on the far right to expand your canvas so it takes up the entire workspace.
The panel on the left of the workspace is called the shape menu, and it is composed of sections called shape libraries.

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By default, this menu will contain Standard, Flowchart, and Basic shape libraries, but you can add more Lucidchart libraries or create custom ones through the workspace manager. Rearrange your shape libraries by dragging and dropping them, minimize or expand them by clicking on the triangle to the left of their names, and remove them by clicking lucidchart_remove_shape_library.png to the right.
The panel on the right of the canvas is called the context panel, and it contains a series of drawers each designated by an icon. Click lucidchart_arrows_above_dock.png at the top of the panel or click on one of the icons to expand or hide the context panel's drawers. The top drawer contains page settings options, and the other drawers are each devoted to a specific feature of Lucidchart. Click on the links below to learn about these features.

lucidchart_comment_icon.png Comments
lucidchart_slide_icon.png Slides
lucidchart_revision_history_icon.png Revision History
lucidchart_layers_icon.png Layers
lucidchart_themes_icon_.png Themes
lucidchart_chat_icon.png Chat
Lucidchart_data_linking_icon.png Data Linking
Lucidchart_conditional_formatting_icon.png Conditional Formatting
The canvas is the heart of the workspace and is the space in which you will create your diagrams.

lucidchart_canvas.png

Populate the canvas with shapes and lines by dragging them out of the shape menu, and edit the style of these objects by selecting them and using the formatting bar.
Underneath your workspace you will find the footer.

lucidchart_footer.png

Manage your document’s pages with the buttons on the left, and adjust your document’s zoom level with the zoom bar on the right.
With Lucidchart’s drag and drop interface, diagram-making is simple and intuitive. Open this blank diagram for an in-workspace walkthrough, or follow along on your own with the instructions below.

Add objects to your diagram by dragging them from the shape menu and dropping them on the canvas, and drag and drop to move them from one place on the canvas to another. Edit an object’s size by clicking on it and dragging one of the blue boxes that appear on its corners or sides.

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To draw a connecting line from one object to another, hover over the first object and drag a line from one of the red circles that appears along its border. When you release the line, a menu of shapes will pop up from which you can select a new shape that will automatically be connected to the line. The entire edge of each shape acts as a connection point to attach lines. Once you connect a line to an object, the line will move with the object.

lucidchart_draw_connecting_lines.gif

Select an object and start typing to edit the text it contains.

Lucidchart_add_text_to_objects.gif
If you have already created a diagram using one of the following platforms, you can easily import it into Lucidchart.

Visio (VDX, VSDX, VSD)
Gliffy (GXML, GLIFFY)
OmniGraffle (GRAFFLE, GRAFFLE.ZIP)

To import, click lucidchart_documents_page_import_button.png in the document page or navigate to File > Import Diagram in the workspace. See Import and Export Your Diagrams for more information.
You can also import datasets from the file tab of the file menu to build specific kinds of diagrams. We currently support imports of the following data types:

AWS Architecture
Org Chart (CSV)
Entity Relationship (SQL)
UML Sequence Markup
Mindmap (TXT)
Process Diagram (CSV)
Data linking from sheet data (CSV, Google Sheets, Excel)


Related Articles
Import and Export Your Diagrams
Draw Lines and Objects
Revision History
Collaborate and Share