Set global diagram options in the format panel
If you have nothing selected, in the format panel on the right you’ll see two tabs with options that apply to the entire diagram and the drawing canvas.
Global options in the Diagram tab
Change the print and drawing canvas options in the Diagram tab.
By default, a grid with a size of 10pts in a light grey is displayed on the diagram canvas. Use the grid to help you align shapes and connectors, it is not included when you print the diagram or export it to an image format.
- Click on the Grid checkbox to display or hide the grid on the drawing canvas.
- Enter a new size in the Grid text field, or use the up and down arrows to increase or decreases the size of the grid
- Click on the colour button next to the Grid size field to change the grid’s colour, then select a new colour from the palette, or enter a colour’s hex code (without a
#), and click Apply.
By default, a new diagram will use the page view - the grid stops where the edge of your selected paper size ends. Click on the checkbox next to Page View. The grid will expand to fill the entire drawing canvas.
You can set a coloured background and/or use an image instead of using the default transparent background. These will be included when you print your diagram or export it to an image format.
- Click on the Background checkbox to set a solid colour in the background of your diagram.
- To change the background colour, click on the colour button, then select a different solid colour from the palette or enter a colour’s hex code (without a
#), and click Apply.
- To use an image file, click on Image, drag the image file, or paste the URL of the image into the Image URL text field. If you need to, enter values for the image’s Width and Height, then click Apply.
Note: Only use images in your diagram and background that you have a license to use.
Click on the Shadow checkbox to apply a shadow to all elements in your diagram: text, connectors and shapes.
These options change how the diagram editor behaves, by hiding or displaying certain features.
Click on the Connection Arrows checkbox to hide or display the four direction arrows that appear when you hover over a shape on the drawing canvas. By default, connection arrows are displayed.
Click on the Connection Points checkbox to hide or display the connection points (small
x characters on the outside of the shape). By default, connection points are displayed.
Tip: You can also customise a shape’s connection points if they aren’t located where you want them to be on the shape.
Guides are blue lines that appear to help you line up a shape with other shapes that are on the drawing canvas. When you are arranging several shapes, guidelines to help you space them evenly are also shown.
Click on the Guides checkbox to enable or disable these guidelines.
By default, diagrams.net uses an A4 paper size in a portrait orientation.
- Click on the dropdown list and select a different paper size.
- Click on either Portrait or Landscape to change the page orientation.
Tip: You can also set your own custom page size.
You can define custom properties for the shapes and connectors in your diagrams. You can also define your own global properties for your diagram, which work similarly to global variables, and whose values may be accessed by placeholders in labels and tooltips.
- Make sure nothing is selected, then click on Edit Data in the format panel to see the global custom properties.
- Type a property name in the text field, then click Add Property.
- When the name of the property appears on the left above the text field you just used, enter a value in the field on the right, then click Apply.
See how to use custom properties and placeholders in labels and tooltips, and learn about placeholder scope.
Clear default styles
You can change the default styles of shapes and connectors easily as you are creating your diagram (with Set as Default Style in the Style tab of the format panel).
To reset them back to the diagrams.net default, click on Clear Default Style on the Diagram tab in the format panel.
Global styles in the Style tab
Instead of styling all of the shapes and connectors in your diagram individually, you can apply colour schemes and styles to your entire diagram.
- Select the Style tab in the format panel when nothing is selected in your diagram.
- Choose from one of the schemes (over two pages) to update the styles of the diagram background as well as all shapes and connectors in one click. Hover over the style to see a preview.
- Use the checkboxes to change the style of connectors to Curved, select Rounded to round the corners of all rectangles, or apply the Sketch style.
Click Reset to reset the Style options on this tab to their defaults.