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tips for faster diagramming

6 tips for faster diagramming in Lucidchart

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Posted by: Annika Wildenradt

Trying to become more productive at work? Struggling to convey your ideas fast enough? You’ve come to the right place! Whether you are a new diagrammer, a power user, or someone who is eager to learn about Lucidchart, check out these six tips from Lucidchart product experts to learn how to diagram more efficiently.

1. Build your diagram sequentially, without ever losing your place

Lucidchart has some handy shortcuts that allow you to add shapes to your diagram without manually dragging them out of the toolbox. After dragging out the first shape of your diagram, you can add a second shape by clicking on one of the red dots along the first shape’s border and selecting a shape from the auto-prompt menu. You can build out an entire process diagram using this method! 

If you accidentally pick the wrong shape, no worries! You can always right-click on a shape and select “Change shape” to re-open the auto-prompt menu and select a different one. 

line connections in Lucidchart

2. Duplicate shapes with one click 

Do you find that you are using the same shape over and over again in a diagram and the copy/paste keyboard shortcut is becoming tedious? Then you are in luck because we have an even more efficient duplication method where you can create a copy and position it on your canvas in the same click. 

 To create a copy of any shape, hold down Alt/Option on your keyboard, then click and drag from the shape. A copy will emerge that you can place anywhere on the canvas. 

3. Navigate quickly around your diagram 

If you are constantly zooming in and out of your canvas and moving from one part of your diagram to another, you might be interested in these tips for easy navigation: 

  • If you are using a trackpad, you can use two fingers to scroll your canvas up and down or side to side.
  • Additionally, while using a trackpad, you can pinch/spread your fingers to zoom in and out of the canvas.  
  • If you are using a mouse, you can scroll in any direction by right-clicking and dragging the canvas. 

4. Mass format the shapes in your diagram

Add style, such as color, font changes, and line formatting, to the objects in your diagram en masse! Use Command + A or pick “All” from the “Select” menu to select all objects on your page. To make a more specific selection, choose “All Shapes” or “All Lines.” You can even select “Inverse” to select everything that is currently un-selected on your canvas. 

To make a change to all shapes that have a feature in common with the shape that is currently selected (e.g., change the border color of all rectangular “Process” shapes in your flowchart), choose “Shapes with Same,” and then select a property from the offered list. 

mass format shapes in Lucidchart

Once you have selected the objects you want to modify, you can apply mass changes using the options in the properties bar, just as you would with an individual shape.

5. Re-order the toolbox based on what shapes you are using the most 

If you are using many shape libraries for the same diagram, you can rearrange them in your toolbox so that you can easily access the shapes you use the most. Move a library above or below another one by clicking and dragging by its name. 

If there is a shape library in your toolbox that you no longer need, you can close it by clicking on the x in the top right corner. If you want to store it for future access, you can minimize it so that its name displays but its contents do not take up space in the panel.

rearrange shape libraries in Lucidchart

6. Align, distribute, and match size

You can easily reposition and resize objects on the canvas so that your diagram is consistently polished with Lucidchart’s layout shortcuts. Select the objects you want to match up, and Lucidchart will match their size, align them, or distribute them evenly across a space. Make sure that whatever shape you select last is the one you want them to match to! 

What are you waiting for? Get back to your diagram now and work faster than ever by implementing these efficiency tips.

About the author

Annika Wildenradt profile picture

San Francisco native and recent English graduate of the University of Michigan, Annika Wildenradt is now working as a content specialist on the customer ops team at Lucid. Outside of work Annika likes to travel, bake pies, write stories for kids, and paint pictures of make-believe creatures and worlds. 

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About Lucidchart

Lucidchart is the intelligent diagramming application that empowers teams to clarify complexity, align their insights, and build the future—faster. With this intuitive, cloud-based solution, everyone can work visually and collaborate in real time while building flowcharts, mockups, UML diagrams, and more.

The most popular online Visio alternative, Lucidchart is utilized in over 180 countries by more than 25 million users, from sales managers mapping out target organizations to IT directors visualizing their network infrastructure.

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