About Connectors

Connections are used in many types of drawing such as flowcharts, organizational chart, UML diagram and mind maps. Connectors show the relationships between shapes in a drawing.

For example, in an organization chart, a manager shape has a connector between it and the shapes representing the manager's direct reports.

The easiest way to create a connection between two shapes is to draw it by using the Connector tool.

connector tool

You can also use the follow connector shapes found in General > Connectors library. Connector shapes in library are often tailored to specific drawing types associated with those libraries. Some connector shapes don't necessarily look like lines.

Connector shapes

Connector Anatomy

Connectors have endpoints that you attach, or glue (glue: A property of shapes that causes them to stay connected even when one of the shapes is moved. When you attach a connector to a shape, you glue the connector.) to other shapes to show a visible connection between the two shapes. When you reposition shapes, they stay connected.

line connector arrow connector

A connector has a begin point and an end point . Begin points and end points turn red when they are glued to a shape.

The connector's begin and end points show the direction of the connection:

  1. Glue the begin point to the shape you're connecting from.

  2. Glue the end point to the shape you're connecting to.

Note: Some connectors have arrows only on one end. The connector's direction indicated by the begin and end points might be different from the direction of the arrow.

Right-Angle Connector

On the Home tab, in the Basic Tools group, click the Connector tool.

To create a smart connector you need to point the cursor at any connection point of the shape. The connection point will be highlighted in red.

To glue an endpoint of the connector to a connection point on a shape, drag the endpoint to one of the shape's connection points until a red box appears around the connection point.

Adjust Connector:

  1. Select a connector.

  2. Drag the control handles to adjust the path of the connector as you want.


Once you adjust the connector, it will change its Reroute Mode to Never Reroute.

Straight Connector

On the Home tab, in the Basic Tools group, click the arrow under the Connector tool, and then click the Straight Connector Tool.

To create a straight connector, you need to point the cursor at any connection point of the shape. The connection point will be highlighted in red.

To glue an endpoint of the connector to a connection point on a shape, drag the endpoint to one of the shape's connection points until a red box appears around the connection point.

Adjust Straight Connector:

  1. Select a connector.

  2. Drag the control handles to adjust the path of the connector as you want.


Once you adjust the connector, it will change its Reroute Mode to Never Reroute.

Curved Connector

On the Home tab, in the Basic Tools group, click the arrow under the Connector tool, and then click the Curved Connector Tool.

To create a curved connector you need to point the cursor at any connection point of the shape. The connection point will be highlighted in red.

To glue an endpoint of the connector to a connection point on a shape, drag the endpoint to one of the shape's connection points until a red box appears around the connection point.

Adjust Connector:

  1. Select a connector.

  2. Drag the control handles to adjust the path of the connector as you want.


Once you adjust the connector, it will change its Reroute Mode to Never Reroute.

Dynamic Connectors Versus Straight Connectors

Right-angle connectors created by Connector tool are dynamic connectors (dynamic connector: A one-dimensional connector shape that changes its path to avoid crossing through the shapes which are connected with the connector), which means they can automatically bend around the connected shapes on the page.

Dynamic connectors Right-angle connectors

Examples of right-angle connectors routing around shapes and crossing over lines

A straight connector is not a dynamic connector; it's a regular one-dimensional shape with end points that can be glued to shapes. A straight connector does not automatically bend around shapes. It always connects in a straight line, which means that it overlaps other shapes in the path of that line.

straight connectors straight connectors

Examples of straight connectors connecting in straight paths.

Note: You can use Connector layout context menu to change dynamic connectors' appearance and behavior, please refer to the article: Change the Appearances and Behavior of Connectors.

context tools - connector

Built-in Connectors

Some shapes, such as organization chart position shapes and the network Ethernet and ring shapes, have built-in connectors - control handles (control handle: A handle that specifies unique behavior for certain shapes. For example, in some shapes you can use a control handle to reposition text on the drawing page. You can pause the pointer over a control handle to see what it does.) that you can drag and glue to other shapes.

Network - connector organization chart - connector

Some shapes have control handles that you can drag to glue to other shapes.

About Connection Points

Adding Text

Adjust Path Segments

Aligning and Distributing Shapes

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