New draw.io Sketch macro for whiteboard-style diagrams in Confluence Cloud

diagrams.net 26 May 2021

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Embed whiteboard-style diagrams in Confluence Cloud pages with the new draw.io Sketch macro. The Sketch macro is a new feature for our integration with Confluence Cloud, delivered as part of our draw.io brand.

When you add or edit a diagram using the draw.io Sketch macro, it uses the sketch diagram editor theme, with the sketch shape and connector styles set as the default global style. The diagram editor has a a white non-paginated background and no gridlines so it feels more like a whiteboard.

A discussion thread on the GitHub draw.io project is open if you have any questions or suggestions.

Add the draw.io Sketch macro to a Confluence Cloud page

  1. Edit the page and type ‘‘/draw’’ to see a list of macros you can embed.
  2. Select the draw.io Sketch macro from the list to open the diagram editor.
    Add the draw.io Sketch macro to a Confluence Cloud page

Diagram in Confluence Cloud using the draw.io Sketch macro

The draw.io Sketch macro uses the Sketch editor theme, where the menu and diagramming tools are simplified. The panels you are used to seeing in draw.io are minimised to make it feel more like a whiteboard.

Zoom: To zoom in and out, click on the magnifying glass tools in the bottom right. Click on the number in the center to reset the zoom to 100%.

Dark mode: To switch between the default light theme and a dark theme (dark background and interface), click on the moon/sun tool in the bottom right.
Zoom in and out and switch the editor into a dark mode with the tools in the bottom right in a draw.io Sketch diagram

Open the menu in the Sketch theme

Click on the draw.io logo in the top left to open the simplified menu.
Click on the draw.io logo to open the menu when using the sketch editor theme

Undo and redo: Click on the undo and redo arrows next to the menu icon to undo and redo the most recent changes. These will not be shown unless you have edited the diagram.

Work with shapes in the Sketch theme

Add shapes: Double click on the drawing canvas and select a shape to add it to the drawing canvas.
Double click on the drawing canvas to add a shape, or click on a direction arrow, or drag a new connection to a shape in another position in the draw.io editor

Connect shapes: Hover over shapes to see direction arrows.

  • Click on the direction arrow to add a new shape in that direction.
  • Click and drag a new connector from the source shape and drop it on another shape to connect them.

Alternatively, click on or drag the text, sticky notes, basic shapes and connectors in the top half of the toolbar on the left to add them to the drawing canvas.
Click on the shapes or drag them from the toolbar onto the drawing canvas

Use shape libraries in the Sketch theme

To see the shape libraries and use a greater variety of shapes, click on Shapes in the toolbar to open the Shapes panel.

  • Search for shapes by entering a search term and press enter.
  • Drag shapes or groups of shapes from the drawing canvas to the scratchpad.
  • Enable more shape libraries: Click on More Shapes toward the bottom of the shape library, select the shape library, then click Apply.
    Click on the Shapes tool to open the Shapes panel and access all the shapes in the shape library

Draw a freehand shape in the Sketch theme

You can draw images with a transparent background with your mouse.

  1. Click on the Freehand tool in the toolbar.
    Click on the shapes or drag them from the toolbar onto the drawing canvas
  2. Click Start Drawing in the Freehand panel.
  3. Click and hold to draw a freehand line on the drawing canvas. You can add multiple separate lines in your freehand drawing.
  4. Click Stop Drawing when you are finished, to save it as an image with a transparent background.
    Use the freehand drawing tool in a draw.io Sketch diagram to markup diagrams or draw shapes with your mouse

Learn more about drawing and styling freehand shapes

Tip: Use the Style tools in the format panel on the right to change your freehand shape’s style, just as you would a shape from the shape libraries.

Style shapes in the Sketch theme

To access the format panel, click on the minimised heading. The tools and options that are available in the format panel will depend on what you have selected in your diagram.
Click on the Format panel's title to open it and style shapes, text and connectors in a draw.io Sketch diagram

Insert a template in the Sketch theme

Click on the Template tool to select and use a diagram template from the template library.
Select a diagram template and click Insert to add it to the drawing canvas in a draw.io Sketch diagram in Confluence Cloud

Save the draw.io Sketch to Confluence Cloud

  1. Click Publish in the top right to save your diagram.
  2. Enter a filename if it is a new diagram, and click Save.
    Publish your diagram to save it and return to the Confluence Cloud page editor

You will return to the Confluence page and see a preview of your diagram in the draw.io sketch macro.

Finally, publish your Confluence page.

Change the draw.io Sketch macro viewer settings

There are two methods to change how your diagram appears to viewers:

When viewing the Confluence page, hover over the diagram, click on the gear icon in the toolbar, change the viewer settings then click Save.
Set the viewer options to change how your diagram appears on the Confluence page
Note: If the diagram uses the Simple Viewer, you will not see the toolbar

Alternatively, from within the draw.io diagram editor, make sure nothing in your diagram is selected, then open the Format panel. The Viewer options are available at the top of the Diagram tab of the format panel.
Set the viewer options within the draw.io Sketch editor to change how your diagram appears on the Confluence page

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