Diagramming Basics

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can't draw a simple straight line

This is driving me crazy. 45 minutes trying to draw a simple straight line. 

How can I turn off whatever Godforsaken feature it is that is making every vertical or horizontal line I try to draw either bend in the middle or come out diagonal?

Official comment

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Hi all, I just wanted to provided an update to this inquiry as there has been a lot of confusion over the years about drawing a simple straight line.

Lines are essential to diagramming, which is why we strive to make working with them as simple and intuitive as possible. Our Work with Lines article from our Help Center outlines how to add lines to your canvas and how to format your lines. I would recommend checking out these resources first as they provide detailed instructions on how to draw lines.

A few important things to note:

  • The line shape is included in the Standard shape library in the left toolbox in the editor.
  • You can click and drag the line shape from the toolbox to the canvas. If you would like this line to remain straight, you can select the straight style in the Line Options section of the Properties bar:
  • You can have your line move at strictly 45 degree increments by holding down "Shift" while moving your line.
  • With the line selected, you can also modify line shape, color, thickness, style, and endpoints.
  • 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.
  • 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 still have questions about drawing lines, please do not hesitate to comment below :) 

30 comments

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Hi Kathleen! Check the style of the lines you are drawing by selecting the line and looking at the properties bar across the top of the canvas. There you will have three line type options: straight, elbow, and curvy. Make sure straight is selected. When you draw a line, you can use the grid lines on your canvas to make sure that it's straight. If you need to, you can make fine adjustments to the grid lines by selecting the line and holding down Shift with your keyboard arrow keys. 

Monika G 1 vote
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Hi Shannon! To draw a simple line, hold down the L key on your keyboard and drag out the line. Then, when you have the line selected, you can use the properties bar to change the line style, shape, etc. 

Monika G 2 votes
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Holding L down doesn't work for me.  TOTALLY agree--45 minutes to draw a line--making me nuts.  Intuitive?  NOT.  Is this a version thing?  is it because i have a demo version???

Lepsy 0 votes
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Hi Lepsy - I'm responding to your other forum posts as well. :-) To draw a line, first, click "L" on your keyboard. Then, click on the canvas with your mouse, do not let go of the click, and drag out a line.

If you hold down the Shift key on your keyboard, you'll be able to make sure that the line is straight in 45 degree increments. 

Let me know if that helps!

 

Monika G 1 vote
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Hello. I'm having the same problem. L let's me draw a line, but shift is not working for me. When I try to draw a straight line,holding down shift (I have selected the straight line option in the toolbar fyi) it just won't attach itself to the object at a 90 degree angle. It looks to be going at 0 or 90 but then at the last second it will jump and sit at a slight angle. OR it will overshoot the line or object I'm trying to draw a line from or to. It doesn't snap to the object at 90 degrees. Really hard to use this tool at the moment, because of this line (mal)function. Is there a setting that allows you to snap to an object, at 90 degrees? Thanks!

Elsa D 0 votes
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Hi Elsa - I'd love to better assist you. Can you please fill out this form and provide the URL of the document or maybe to an example document where the line isn't connecting properly? Any screenshots would be helpful too. Thanks! :-)

Monika G 0 votes
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Not sure this is resolved. New to LucidChart, but not new to diagramming. I am spending oddly long amount of time doing what I would hope is a simple process... why is this? It seems that when I 'edit line' when I need the line to have more than two bends in it, I sense in advance that I am going to work on the line for quite some time. An option is needed to snap straight a little... holding down Command L does not seem to help here. I am kitted out with UHD monitors, but I am not sure staring at grid for so long to try and get a straight line is helping my eyesight any.

Darren L 0 votes
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 Having the same problem. You can see the line on the left is straight, but the one on the right doesn't want to be. It's not a problem with the alignment of the boxes because the box on the left and the right are aligned in exactly the same way. 

 

 

 

Edit: You were right, the default line from the decision box to the process box was curved by default and I had to change it by clicking on the Edit Line Type button

It's still a bad user experience to make the line curved by default, even when drawing a line straight across. 

James C 0 votes
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Guys, I just want to draw a line.

From nowhere to nowhere.

In a wireframe - because on the screen there will be a line.

Please add a basic line to your Shapes library.

Adriaan W 1 vote
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I have exactly the same problems as described here. Lines are not snapping to other boxes at a 90 degree angle. And if you try to hold Shift or anything else - it just becomes diagonal but never NEVER NEVER EVER snaps at the right angle. It`s like it was almost done on purpose that you can never get that easy snap.

And I see that those issues were brought up almost 3 years ago and still no resolution??

Please can you advise how to do that?

Ruslan K 0 votes
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Hi Ruslan, it sounds like you may be having a line style issue. Is the default line style on angled? 

Suzannah M 0 votes
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HI Suzannah, 

thank you for your answer, but it does not provide solution.

The arrow attaches itself to nearby objects.

Because I am drawing a wireframe (i.e. a black-and-white  representation of the objects on a web page), I need to draw a simple line very close to an object.

However, this line should be full straight and not trying to attach itself to the nearby object.

 

Now, for some reason, since at least 2013, LucidChart refuses to listen to the demands of its customers about having a straight line (not a 'connector line') in its library.

It would be really mature if you can relay this to the product team of LucidChart, because this is a fully acceptable, logical user request.

 

Thanks for letting me know,

Cheers,

 

Adriaan

Adriaan W 2 votes
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Hi Adriaan. There is a way to draw a line that doesn't connect to nearby objects. Turn off "Enable Line Connections" in the View tab settings. 

Suzannah M 0 votes
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Another suggestion, is that the line property also be on the graphic toolbar. You provide some functionality there but not all. I know you guys are trying to be omni but online, and that's why we are all here, but it needs to go all the way.

Ofer 0 votes
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I need a straight line (not a 'connector line') too, and 


>Turn off "Enable Line Connections" in the View tab settings. 

is not resolve my demand.

Reasons:
1. I need both connected line and simple line.

2. Even if with "disabled line connections" setting, it now work as object.
When I drow line as this:and press "arrow down" key, it becomes:

I hope to move it in parallel.

純一 榮 0 votes
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Hi,

Thanks for posting. If you hold down "L" while drawing a line, it will keep the line straight. You can also hold down "shift" to keep the line at 45 degree angles. Here is a video of me drawing a straight line (and editing the line) without using L nor shift.

Kristy P -1 votes
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The shift key solution is good, but "L" key is not work well.

I don't know it is because setting or browser(Chrome) or Device(Mac), 
when I key down the "L" key, the messages [Hold Shift for 45 increments] is appear a lot.

And, if it works well with "L" key, it is not good for me, because put "L" key with track pad is very difficult to operate.
I need to make "Simple Line Object" anyway!

純一 榮 0 votes
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Hi guys is it me or smth wrong, so basically I hold down L draw a straight line and then I try to move it but its not moving to the left or right, but only top point moves. Please help

 

So it looks like this:

Karina K 1 vote
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Hi Karina, thanks for reaching out! It looks like your shapes are grouped together? Unless you've just selected all your shapes but if those shapes are grouped together, then you won't be able to move just your line. Can you possibly provide a screen capture of the issue you described? There could just be a selection issue where the line you're trying to select is under or overlaps another object in that group. 

Sara M 0 votes
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Hi Sara thanks for your quick respond. Nope my layers are not grouped its just weird I tried it again and if I draw a line on top of another layer it doesnt work 

So when I want to move only the top point moves, but if I draw a line just on a canvas independently then it perfectly moves. Still weird though. 

 

Karina K 0 votes
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Okay, so not sure that this is a new issue or an "extension" to the current one. I can draw the line fine, but it is not coming from the object right. I can't figure out how to make it just give me a straight segment of line out :(

I feel like this didn't used to happen for this object before ... but now it is happening on more than just one of the AWS objects ... How so we make it so that it will work right with the "center" of objects. I can get it to work right by moving the attachment point up like this:

But that isn't what I want.

Mason H 0 votes
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Hi Mason,

Thanks for reaching out in the community. I have created a support ticket with you and will help you resolve this issue via email correspondence. Thanks for your patience. 

Andrew D 0 votes
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All that people need is a line tool that does not connect to anything else, that still allows us to set its thickness. We use Lucid Charts video game UI design and almost every wireframe that we make could benefit from a simple line tool. I am currently forced to use the arrow lines, and group them with transparent objects in order to be able to move them freely over top of my other items without messing up my WF. It really does seem like a simple request and it has not been addressed to my knowledge in this thread.

Stephane C 0 votes
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