Step 1: First-time setup
The first time you navigate to draw.io you will be prompted for a few first time settings.
First, you’ll be asked where you would like your diagrams to be saved. Here, you’ll need to select a destination of your choice.
N.b. Should you not be accessing Draw.io using a Google account, you may select any of the other save destinations.
Step 2: Creating your first Diagram
Once you return to draw.io you will be asked if you’d like to “Create (a) New Diagram” or “Open (an) Existing Diagram”. For the sake of this assistance document, we will select the former option.
Clicking “Create New Diagram” brings up a window with some options about what you’d like to start with.
1. Here you can set the name for your new diagram.
2. Here you can select a category of templates.
3. Here you select your template of choice. A blank template is normally best.
4. Once everything is setup, click “Create”.
Step 3: Creating Your Diagram
There are many shapes, diagrams, arrows, and options for your new diagram. The best way to start is to click and drag a shape (or “element”) from the left (from under whichever category you’d like) and put it onto the canvas. If there is text inside the element, you can double-click on the text to change it.
1. Click and hold here to rotate the element.
2. Click and hold here to resize the element.
3. Click and drag here to drag a line (or “relationship” arrow) to another element.
Below are screenshots of the more advanced options on the right-hand side of draw.io. These can be used for more specific colors, fonts, and positioning of your elements.
Feel free to use the “Scratchpad” on the top left of draw.io to keep elements that you’ll be using a lot. Just drag an element that you have created into the scratchpad and drag a copy back out when needed.
Click the button on the top of your screen to add some external resources. It will bring up a menu as shown below.
Right-click an element to copy, or cut it, and then right-click on the canvas if you’d like to paste it.
Step 4 – Saving your Diagram
Your diagram will automatically be saved to your Google Account, but can also be saved in different ways for different uses. The easiest, most adaptable, and useable way is to extract it as a picture. Here are the steps on how to do that.
1. Click the “File” button on the top left of your screen.
2. Select the “Export As…” option.
3. Select “Image…”
The next window has a couple of options but it is normally best to set it to what is shown below and then clicking export.
4. You can then click “Download” to download a copy to your computer, or “Google Drive” to place a copy on your drive.
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