Easier Line Drawing Extends SmartDraw's Automation

SmartDraw's intelligent formatting is without parallel. No other diagramming tool offers the power to build diagrams so quickly - often with just simple keyboard shortcuts - and then allows shapes to remain aligned and connected even as you edit, move, and delete them. In just a few minutes, you can build a complex organizational chart or flowchart.

Some technical diagrams may require more flexibility to create. A new feature of intelligent formatting now makes adding lines and shapes easier for technical diagrams like electrical drawings, network diagrams, UML and ER diagrams, and even offers an alternative way of drawing for flowcharts and network diagrams.

Adding a Line and Connected Shape

To add a line and connect to a new symbol, click on one of the yellow dots at the perimeter of a selected shape already on the page, draw a line, and choose a new symbol from the auto-prompt menu of common symbols for your chosen diagram.

This menu is intelligent and will populate with the last 6 symbols you've used in your diagram, so you'll always have the right symbols at your fingertips.

Like other connecting lines in SmartDraw, you can still insert a new shape on an existing line by dragging it to the line from the symbol library. The line will automatically split and connect the new shape.

This style of drawing may seem familiar if you've used Visio® and Lucidchart in the past.

Learn more about improved line drawing for technical diagrams like UML and ERD diagrams.

Learn more about improved automation for engineering diagrams.

Add UML symbols

Flexibility vs Automation

For technical and engineering diagrams, this new way of adding lines and shapes will be the default way SmartDraw works. For a few diagram types, you'll be able to choose between the two types of drawing.

For example, the default Flowchart template uses SmartDraw's familiar automated drawing tools. You'll be able to quickly add any selected shapes from the library using the Add Right, Left, Down, Up buttons on the SmartPanel or holding down Ctrl and the arrow keys.

When you add shapes this way, shapes are always equidistant and perfectly aligned.

Build a flowchart using buttons

If you need the flexibility of the new line drawing, you can now choose the Flowchart (manual) template and you'll be able to add lines and shapes by clicking on the yellow dots on the perimeter of the shape.

Manual flowchart

When drawing this way, you'll have more control over how long your lines are and where you add shapes. If you do need to align shapes later, you can always use the options in the Design tab.

Easier line drawing for flowcharts
Whether you prefer more automation or flexibility, these powerful tools make drawing intuitive so you're free to focus on your content.
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