EdrawMax User Guide

Welcome to the user guide that teaches you the basic tools and techniques of EdrawMax and brings out the best in your diagrams
Support Center > EdrawMax > User Guide
    • Introduction to EdrawMax
    • System Requirements
    • Install and Uninstall
    • Activate and Deactivate
    • Create/Open a Document
    • Save Documents
    • Import/Export Documents
    • Print Documents
    • Encrypt Documents
    • Create Personal Templates
    • Select Shapes
    • Modify Shapes
    • Protect Shape
    • Change Shape Layout
    • Tools for Drawing Shapes
    • Tools for Drawing Text Boxes
    • Tools for Drawing Connectors
    • Fill Format
    • Line Format
    • Shadow Format
    • Theme Format
    • Pencil Tool
    • Pen Tool
    • Anchor Point
    • Shape Tool
    • Create Your Own Symbols
    • Create Your Own Library
    • Page Operations
    • Page Layout
    • Page View Options
    • Background and Layer
    • View Your Presentation
    • Add Annotations
    • Insert Picture
    • Insert Table
    • Insert Chart
    • Add Special Object
    • Create a Flowchart from a Template
    • Create a Flowchart from Scratch
    • Use Swim Lanes in a Flowchart
    • Create an Org Chart in Edraw
    • Create an Org Chart from Data
    • Define Field and Display Options
    • Create a Mind Map from a Template
    • Create a Mind Map from Scratch
    • Change Mind Map Layout
    • Change Styles of a Mind Map
    • Create a Gantt Chart in Edraw
    • Create a Gantt Chart from Data
    • Edit Gantt Chart Data
    • Customize Smart Shapes
    • Create Smart Shapes by Yourself
    • Keyboard Shortcuts

Introduction to EdrawMax

What is EdrawMax?

EdrawMax is a powerful, all-in-one, and yet easy-to-use diagramming tool that enables users to visualize the ideas effortlessly. With EdrawMax, you can create and customize flowcharts, Venn diagrams, mind maps, organizational charts, Gantt charts, UML diagrams, electrical drawings, genograms, building plans, etc.

EdrawMax provides beginners and pros the cutting-edge functionalities to build professional-looking diagrams easier, faster, and cheaper! It allows you to create more than 280 types of diagrams and should be an excellent Visio alternative. Powerful toolkits but super user-friendly interface make it easy for users at any level to get started.

To know more about our plans and features available, please check our pricing page and pick up the best option that fits your need. You can always reach out toEdraw Support Team at support@edrawsoft.com and our customer service center will be more than happy to help you with your choice!

The Document Page

When you launch EdrawMax on your computer, it will navigate to the document page. Here you can create and manage documents, search and use templates, import Visio or other files, and modify general options of the software. This page also works as an entrance to the Edraw workspace.

edraw document page

Workspace

On the workspace, you will see Quick Access Toolbar, Ribbon, Canvas, Context Pane, Symbol Library, and Footer. Getting familiar with these functional areas will help you complete your designs more efficiently.

  • Quick Access Toolbar: It is one-click access to commonly used commands such as Undo, Redo, Open, Save, Print and Export. You can also customize this area to fit your preference.
  • Ribbon: There is a set of main toolbars where all commands and controls are organized in different tabs and groups.
  • Canvas: It is the heart of the user interface where you will create your diagrams.
  • Context Pane: It contains a series of features that are represented by the icons. When you click one of the icons, the corresponding pane will expand.
  • Symbol Library: By default, the symbol library will show the related shapes and symbols, when you have chosen which diagram you would make in EdrawMax.
  • Footer: You will find the footer underneath the canvas where you can manage documents’ pages, adjust zoom level and present the canvas in full screen mode.
edraw workspace

In EdrawMax, there add new theme colors for UI – midnight blue and grey. Click the Option button in the upper right corner and choose the color that you like.

change ui color

You can use the self-defined format settings to customize a shape’s style if you don’t like what we have preset for you. Go to the File tab, click Options > Default Setting, and next, all you need to do is to choose your favorite font, connector, theme color, and page size. Now you can start diagramming in a simple and intuitive way!

default setting option

System Requirements

To use Edraw Max, you would better have:

  • Microsoft Windows 2000/2003/2008/Vista/7/8/10 (32bit/64 bit), Mac OS X 10.11 or above, and Linux
  • Minimum 2 GB RAM and 4 GB disk space (not include the project space)
  • High monitor resolution
  • Mouse and keyboard

Install and Uninstall EdrawMax

Go to EdrawMax Download page: https://www.edrawsoft.com/download-edrawmax.html and download EdrawMax on your computer.

For Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, you can find different ways of installing and uninstalling EdrawMax on the download page.

How to Install

1
Download the program
2
Double click the setup file to install
3
Run the program

How to Uninstall

You can click the Unins000.exe in the installation folder to remove the program completely.

Activate and Deactivate EdrawMax

How to Activate?

To get the full features of our product, you can activate EdrawMax and use the premium version. Edraw Activation is an anti-piracy technology designed to verify that software products are legitimately licensed. It works by checking whether the valid license code is used in another device that is more than the permitted number.

Run EdrawMax with computer administrator privilege and navigate to Help > Activate. If you are using the latest version of EdrawMax, go to File > Account and click the Activate button.

help tab

The Activation window will open, where you can enter your license name and valid license code. Then just click the Activate button to finish the process.

If you do not have a license code, but want to continue to use EdrawMax after the trial period, you can click the Buy Now button and go to the product purchase page: https://www.edrawsoft.com/pricing-edrawmax.html

.
activation window

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

How to Deactivate?

Deactivation is necessary if you want to activate Edraw programs in another computer. Simply go to the Help tab and click Deactivate.

Once you deactivate the software, EdrawMax on this computer will turn into the unlicensed version, and you can activate it on another computer.

Note:

Deactivation can only be done once every 30 days.

The Limitation of Unlicensed Version

Using diagrams created by EdrawMax (unlicensed version) for commercial purposes is NOT ALLOWED.

The unlicensed EdrawMax will add watermarks when you want to export your designs, and there are also some other function limitations. Refer to EdrawMax FAQ.

Create/Open a Document

You can start drawing from scratch with a new blank document or build from a pre-designed template.

To create a new document directly, find the desired diagram type in the document page and click the plus icon.

create a blank ducoment

Besides, press Ctrl + N or click the New button new button on the Quick Access Toolbar in the workspace.

To choose and open a template, find the template that you like in the template gallery, simply click its thumbnail, and it will open in the workspace.

To open an Edraw file, you can click Open on the document page, select one of the file paths and find your document.

file open option

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Timestamps
00:09 Create a new drawing document
00:39 Add multiple pages in one document
00:47 Choose and open a template example
00:59 To open *.eddx EdrawMax file
01:10 Save drawing files to local device and on personal Cloud
1:43 Import *VSDX Visio file into EdrawMax
02:00 Import SVG file into EdrawMax
02:17 Eport EdrawMax files to PNG, JPG, TIF and so on graphic files
02:42 Eport EdrawMax files to PDF, PS and EPS format
03:05 Export EdrawMax to editable MS Word, PPT and Excel
03:30 Export EdrawMax to HTML
03:52 Export EdrawMax to SVG file
04:04 Export EdrawMax to *vsdx Visio file
04:19 Print EdrawMax drawings

Save Documents

When you save an unnamed file, you can save it into a folder on your hard disk drive, the desktop, or another storage location. You need to find the target location in the Save in list. Besides, the saving process is the same no matter what location you choose.

Go to the File tab > Save as or press Ctrl + S. You can choose whether to save the documents in your computer or cloud through the Save as option.

file save as option

File Recovery

File Recovery is not a replacement for regularly saving your files. If you choose not to save the recovered file after you open it, the file will be deleted. If you save the recovered file, it will replace the original file (unless you specify a new file name for it).

The more frequently your files are saved, the more information will be recovered if there is a power failure or emergency that may cause losing diagrams.

Go to the View tab, click the File Recovery button to open File Recovery window where you can see all the available backup files.

Navigate to File > Options > General to set a time interval of saving auto-recovered files.

file auto recover option

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Timestamps
00:09 Create a new drawing document
00:39 Add multiple pages in one document
00:47 Choose and open a template example
00:59 To open *.eddx EdrawMax file
01:10 Save drawing files to local device and on personal Cloud
01:43 Import *VSDX Visio file into EdrawMax
02:00 Import SVG file into EdrawMax
02:17 Eport EdrawMax files to PNG, JPG, TIF and so on graphic files
02:42 Eport EdrawMax files to PDF, PS and EPS format
03:05 Export EdrawMax to editable MS Word, PPT and Excel
03:30 Export EdrawMax to HTML
03:52 Export EdrawMax to SVG file
04:04 Export EdrawMax to *vsdx Visio file
04:19 Print EdrawMax drawings

Import/Export Documents

Import Documents

If you have already made diagrams using Visio, you can easily import them (VSDX, VSD) into Edraw Max one by one or in batch. The SVG files are also able to be imported into Edraw.

Navigate to File > Import in the document page and choose the corresponding options.

file import option

Navigate to File > Export & Send or click the Export button on the Quick Access Toolbar. Then choose the desired export options.

file export option

Export to Graphics

To export a document as a PNG, JPG, ICO, BMP, and Tiff file, follow the below steps:

  1. Click Graphics Format, and the Export Graphics dialog box will appear.
  2. Select your desired graphic size, choose which page(s) or shape(s) of your document you would like to export, and, of course, the resolution.
  3. Click “OK”.
  4. Choose what type of graphic to export and where to save the exported graphic.
export to graphics window

Export to PDF

To export a document as a PDF file, follow the below steps:

  1. Navigate to Export & Send > PDF, PS, EPS
  2. Choose Image-based PDF or Regular PDF to export the document
  3. If the document contains 2 or more pages, the software will pop up a dialog box to choose which page(s) you want to export
  4. export to image-based pdf
  5. Only when you choose “All Pages” or “Selected Pages” (but you have to input more than one page number), the options under Documents tab will be available, so you can select to export the document as a single PDF file or multiple separated PDF files

Export to PS/EPS

To export a document as a PS/EPS file, follow the steps that are similar to the steps of “Export to PDF,” but choose PS Format or EPS Format instead. Determine where to save the document and then open it with your Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop.

export to ps and eps

Export to Editable MS Office Files

This feature allows you to export diagrams in Edraw Max to editable MS Office files, including Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.

To export a document as an MS Office file, follow the below steps:

  1. Navigate to Export & Send > Office
  2. Choose the desired office files (docx, pptx, xlsx)
  3. Customize your export settings
export to MS office

Note:

For the export documents, we recommend you open and edit them in Microsoft Office 2013 and the advanced versions to get a better preview effect.

Export to Html

To export a document as a Html file, follow the below steps:

  1. Navigate to Export & Send > Html
  2. Choose Html Format and customize the export options
  3. Decide the storage location and hit on Save

Export to SVG

To export a document as SVG file, follow the below steps:

  1. Navigate to Export & Send > SVG
  2. Choose SVG Format and select which page(s) of your document that you want to export
  3. Decide the storage location and hit on Save

Export to Visio

To export a document as Visio file, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Export & Send > Visio
  2. Choose Visio VSDX Format and the document will be exported to the selected file format
export to Visio vsdx

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Timestamps
00:09 Create a new drawing document
00:39 Add multiple pages in one document
00:47 Choose and open a template example
00:59 To open *.eddx EdrawMax file
01:10 Save drawing files to local device and on personal Cloud
1:43 Import *VSDX Visio file into EdrawMax
02:00 Import SVG file into EdrawMax
02:17 Eport EdrawMax files to PNG, JPG, TIF and so on graphic files
02:42 Eport EdrawMax files to PDF, PS and EPS format
03:05 Export EdrawMax to editable MS Word, PPT and Excel
03:30 Export EdrawMax to HTML
03:52 Export EdrawMax to SVG file
04:04 Export EdrawMax to *vsdx Visio file
04:19 Print EdrawMax drawings

Print Documents

Go to File > Print and see the print preview interface. By default, the copy number is 1 and you can choose printers or check printer status in Printer Properties.

print preview interface

Print Settings

To decide which page(s) of your document will be printed, click the first box to choose the corresponding option. When you want custom print, don’t forget to type specific page numbers.

print page choice

In the meantime, you can decide to print in a collated/uncollated way, change page orientation between Portrait and Landscape.

You can find the paper size list in the “A4(210*297mm)” option box. These paper sizes are supported by the current printer and are all industry-standard sizes.

More Print Setup

Click More Print Setup to see whether the sizes of the drawing page and the printer paper meet your requirements. You can add grid or guideline and see the result in the preview window.

print setup window

Adjust to: The percentage represents how the print size of the drawing page matches that of the print paper(s). 100% means that the drawing will be printed exactly on a paper. Less than 100% indicates that there will be extra space on the print paper that is not covered by the drawing. For more than 100%, the drawing should be divided into sections and printed by several papers.

Fit to: The numbers will decide how many sheets will be used to print the whole drawings. The above means to add printer papers horizontally, while the below is to add papers vertically.

print setup fit to

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Timestamps
00:09 Create a new drawing document
00:39 Add multiple pages in one document
00:47 Choose and open a template example
00:59 To open *.eddx EdrawMax file
01:10 Save drawing files to local device and on personal Cloud
1:43 Import *VSDX Visio file into EdrawMax
02:00 Import SVG file into EdrawMax
02:17 Eport EdrawMax files to PNG, JPG, TIF and so on graphic files
02:42 Eport EdrawMax files to PDF, PS and EPS format
03:05 Export EdrawMax to editable MS Word, PPT and Excel
03:30 Export EdrawMax to HTML
03:52 Export EdrawMax to SVG file
04:04 Export EdrawMax to *vsdx Visio file
04:19 Print EdrawMax drawings

Encrypt Documents

In the new version of EdrawMax, it allows users to encrypt documents, or to put it simply, add passwords to the document they make. Go to View tab and find the Encrypt File button.

encrypt file button

Then, enter and confirm the password that contains at least 4 characters. Must read the note and find a good to remember the password of the file.

encrypt file window

Finally, when you successfully add a password to your file, you can also change the password or remove it.

change password button

Personal Templates

If you and your team often use the same kind of diagrams, you can easily convert the diagram into a template and share it with each other. Creating personal templates can help you and your team save more time and standardize the workflow.

Step 1: Create the diagram, select the page size, background, theme that you want, and choose the commonly-used symbol libraries attached to the diagram. Once you finish creating a document, navigate to the [File] tab.

create a diagram

Step 2: Click [Save As] > [Personal Templates] and name the document. Then click OK.

go to Personal Templates

Step 3: You’ll know you’ve successfully created your personal template when you see the template thumbnail and the pop-up window.

save template successfully

Step 4: Now, you can access and use the self-designed template from the [Personal Templates] panel.

find your template in Personal Templates

Select Shapes

Select Shape Basics

If there is no shape on the canvas, simply drag shapes from the library and drop them on the drawing page.

add shape on canvas

Navigate to Home > Select, choose the first option to make sure the mouse cursor is in the shape of an arrow.

primary select tool

To select a single shape, move the cursor over the shape, and click to select the shape when the cursor turns into a four-headed arrow.

To select multiple shapes, you can make it through the following 4 ways:

  • Select one shape, keep pressing Shift or Ctrl and click other shapes
  • Put the cursor on the blank area of the canvas, drag it to draw a selection box that select all the shapes
  • select multiple shapes
  • Right-click the blank area of the canvas, choose Select All Shapes in the context menu
  • select all shapes
  • Press Ctrl + A. If you just want to select some shapes, not all shapes, please don’t use this feature

If you select extra shapes, you can:

  • Click any blank area on the drawing page to deselect all shapes
  • Press Shift or Ctrl key and click the extra shape to deselect it

The primary shape in the selection box has a thick magenta outline and you can press Tab to switch the outline into other shapes.

Lasso Select Tool

To select shapes using Lasso Select Tool, you can

  1. Navigate to Home > Select and open the drop-down menu
  2. Choose Lasso Select Tool
  3. Use your mouse pointer as a brush to circle the shape you want to select
lasso select tool

Shape Data

Go to the View tab, click Shape Data button or press F8, then the Data Properties pane will open. When you select a shape on the canvas, you can its properties on the right pane.

data properties panel rightside

You can use this feature when you need to add notes or additional information to certain shapes. Click Manage Data, the Define Shape Data window will open. Then you can build or change a data set for the selected shape.

define shape data window

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Timestamps
00:15 Select one shape, select mutiple shapes
01:00 Lasso select tool
01:17 Shape data and manage data
02:00 Move a shape
02:49 Resize a shape
03:24 Rotate a shape
04:02 Replace a shape
04:27 Protect shape
05:52 Rearrange overlapping shapes
06:42 Group and ungrap shapes
07:08 Align shapes
07:43 Distribute shapes
08:10 Match shape size
08:37 Center shape

Modify Shapes

Move a Shape

Position the cursor over the shape and when the cursor becomes a four-headed arrow, press down the left mouse button and drag the shape.

To align the shape with another shape when you move it, you can add Dynamic Grid to help you.

move shape with guideline

Tips:

  1. To nudge a shape, click and select it, and then press the arrow keys
  2. To nudge a shape exactly one pixel, hold down Shift and press the arrow key
  3. To turn on dynamic grid, go to the File tab, click Options > Snap & Glue and check Dynamic Grid

To move a shape precisely, go to Home > Size and type numbers in X and Y boxes to change the placement of the shape on the canvas.

size option menu

Resize a Shape

To resize a shape, you can select the shape and drag one of its control points to change the size, or type numbers of the width and height on the drop-down menu of Size.

control point

Tips:

  1. If you see fewer than eight handles on a shape, zoom in the drawing page to see the other handles and to resize the shape more accurately
  2. When you resize selected shapes proportionally, the selected shapes will be resized while keeping the aspect ratio unchanged
  3. When you resize selected shapes and hold Ctrl key, the selected shapes will be resized while the center points won't move
  4. When you resize selected shapes and hold Shift key, the selected shapes will be resized more smoothly

Rotate a Shape

To rotate a shape at a random angle, follow the below steps:

  1. Click to select the shape, move the cursor over the rotation handle until the cursor becomes an arrow circle
  2. Drag the handle to rotate the shape
  3. rotate single shape

Tips:

As you rotate a shape, the angle of each single dragging depends on the distance between the mouse point and the shape pin. The longer the distance is, the less the angle is.

To rotate a shape in a precise angle, follow the below steps:

  1. Click and select the shape
  2. Navigate to Home > Rotate
  3. Type the rotation degree you want in the Rotate row
  4. rotate option menu

Replace a Shape

For some kinds of shapes in Edraw like Basic Flowchart Shapes, you could replace it with another shape that comes from the same category. Right-click the shape, point to Replace Shape and choose the other shape that you want. Instead, you can click the button to open the sub-menu.

replace shape option replace shape button

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Timestamps
00:15 Select one shape, select mutiple shapes
01:00 Lasso select tool
01:17 Shape data and manage data
02:00 Move a shape
02:49 Resize a shape
03:24 Rotate a shape
04:02 Replace a shape
04:27 Protect shape
05:52 Rearrange overlapping shapes
06:42 Group and ungrap shapes
07:08 Align shapes
07:43 Distribute shapes
08:10 Match shape size
08:37 Center shape

Protect Shape

This feature allows you to lock the selected shape to protect it from being changed in certain ways. For example, a lock on a selection handle means to prevent the user from resizing a shape by using the selection handle.

Go to the Home tab, select the shape, find the Protect button and choose the protect option you would like to apply. The last option on the drop-down menu is “Unlock All”.

protect shape button
  • Click Width to lock width of shapes and for 1-D shapes like lines, it also locks them against rotation
  • Click Height to lock height of shapes and it’s invalid for 1-D shapes
  • Click Aspect Ratio to lock the proportional relationship between width and height
  • Click X Position to lock horizontal positions of shapes against movement
  • Click Y Position to lock vertical positions of shapes against movement
  • Click Rotation to lock shapes against rotation. You can still rotate 1-D shapes by dragging its endpoints and you must lock its width for preventing rotation
  • Click Begin Point to lock begin points of 1-D shapes to specific locations
  • Click End Point to lock endpoints of 1-D shapes to specific locations
  • Click Ungroup to lock grouped shapes against being ungrouped through Group tools
  • Click Edit Text to lock shapes against being edited text on them
  • Click From Selection to lock shapes against being selected
  • Click From Deletion to lock shapes against being deleted
  • Click From Connector to lock shapes against being connected
  • Click Format to lock formats of shapes against being changed
  • Click From Group Formatting to lock formats of shapes against being changed when changing group formats
  • Click From Group Fill to lock fill of shapes against being changed when changing group fill
  • Click From Theme to lock shapes against being changed its existing themes
  • Click From Outline to lock the outline of the shape from being snapped

When you want to cancel the protect option, just uncheck it on the drop-down menu.

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Timestamps
00:15 Select one shape, select mutiple shapes
01:00 Lasso select tool
01:17 Shape data and manage data
02:00 Move a shape
02:49 Resize a shape
03:24 Rotate a shape
04:02 Replace a shape
04:27 Protect shape
05:52 Rearrange overlapping shapes
06:42 Group and ungrap shapes
07:08 Align shapes
07:43 Distribute shapes
08:10 Match shape size
08:37 Center shape

Change Shape Layout

Rearrange Overlapping Shapes

change shape position1 change shape position2

To bring the selected shape forward one level, you can

  • Go to Home > Position and click Bring Forward
  • Press Ctrl + ] (right bracket)
  • Click Bring to Front > Bring Forward on the right-click context menu

To send the selected shape back one level, you can

  • Go to Home > Position and click Send Backward
  • Press Ctrl + [ (left bracket)
  • Click Send to Back > Send Backward on the right-click context menu

To bring the selected shape in front of all other shapes, you can

  • Go to Home > Position and click Bring to Front
  • Press Ctrl + Shift+ ] (right bracket)
  • Click Bring to Front > Bring to Front on the right-click context menu

To send the select shape behind all other shapes, you can

  • Go to Home > Position and click Send to Back
  • Press Ctrl + Shift + [ (left bracket)
  • Click Send to Back > Send to Back on the right-click context menu

Align Shapes

To align two or more shapes, you can

  1. Select the first shape which you want other shapes aligned with, then press Ctrl and click to choose other shapes
  2. The primary shape has a thick magenta outline and you can press Tab to switch the outline into other shapes
  3. Go to Home > Align and pick up the desired option of alignment
  4. align shapes on canvas

Tip: The Align command may be ineffective for connectors.

Distribute Shapes

To distribute shapes (three or more), you need to

  1. Select three or more shapes
  2. Go to Home > Align and choose a distribution option
  3. distribute shapes on canvas
    • For Vertical distribution, the boundaries are defined by the top and bottom shapes in the selection
    • For Horizontal distribution, the boundaries are defined by the leftmost and rightmost shapes in the selection

Tip: The Distribute command may be ineffective for connectors.

Group and Ungroup Shapes

To group shapes, select the shapes (two or more) you want to group, go to Home > Group and then click Group (or press Ctrl + G). Besides, right-click on the shapes and hit Group on the context menu.

To ungroup shapes, select the group, navigate to Home > Group > Ungroup, press Ctrl +Shift +U, or choose UnGroup on the right-click context menu.

group shapes on canvas

Match Shape Size

To make shapes keep in the same width, height, size or angle, you can

  1. Select the shapes (two or more)
  2. Navigate to Home > Size, and you will see the Same Size tab; the reference shape has a thick magenta border
  3. same size on canvas
  4. Select the desired options
    • Click Same Width same width icon to keep shapes in the same width with the reference shape
    • Click Same Height same height icon to keep shapes in the same height with the reference shape
    • Click Same Angle same angle icon to keep shapes in the same angle with the reference shape
    • Click Same Size same size icon to keep shapes in the same size with the reference shape
    • Note:

      The Same Size command will not affect connectors

Center Shapes

To center a shape or shapes on the canvas, you can

  1. Unselect the shape(s);
  2. Right-click on the shape, choose Center on the context menu;
  3. If there is only one shape, then the shape will be moved to the center of the page
  4. If there are several shapes, these shapes will act as a group and the center point of the group will move to the center of the page

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Timestamps
00:15 Select one shape, select mutiple shapes
01:00 Lasso select tool
01:17 Shape data and manage data
02:00 Move a shape
02:49 Resize a shape
03:24 Rotate a shape
04:02 Replace a shape
04:27 Protect shape
05:52 Rearrange overlapping shapes
06:42 Group and ungrap shapes
07:08 Align shapes
07:43 Distribute shapes
08:10 Match shape size
08:37 Center shape

Tools for Drawing Shapes

Navigate to Home > Shape, there are quick tools for drawing basic shapes.

quick shape tool

Click Rectangle Tool, and the cursor will transform into rectangle tool cursor. Drag the cursor on the canvas to draw different sizes of rectangles.

Click Oval Tool, and the cursor will turn into oval tool cursor. Drag the cursor on the canvas to draw ovals or circles. When you try to draw a circle with the oval tool, there will be a dashed diagonal line across the shape, and once you release the mouse, a circle is done.

draw-circle-with-oval-tool

Click Line Tool, and the cursor will change into line tool cursor. Drag the cursor to draw a line on the drawing page. By default, there will be an arrow at the end of the line, and you can change the styles of a line in the right Line pane.

Click Bezier Tool, and the cursor will be like bezier tool cursor. Drag the cursor to draw a curve. By default, there will be an arrow at the end of the line. You are able to drag the endpoints of the curve to change its position or direction. And the yellow squares are used for changing the radian of the curve.

draw curve with bezier tool

Tips:

  1. If you want to move or resize the shape, please click Select on the ribbon and turn the cursor into the arrow firstly.
  2. To switch to the continuous drawing mode, press the F4 key, and then click the Shape button. You will see the cursor is ready for drawing, and it will not switch back into the arrow unless you press the F4 key again.

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Timestamps
00:13 Tools for drawing shapes
01:26 Tools for drawing text boxes - text tool
02:21 Tools for drawing connectors - add connectors
02:53 To add connectors between shapes
03:14 To add a connector point on shape
03:48 To move connector point
04:14 To delete connector point

Tools for Drawing Text Boxes

Text Tool

To insert a text box on the canvas, you can:

  1. Click the Text button on Home tab or Press Ctrl + 2.
  2. quick-text-tool
  3. The cursor will be liketext-tool-cursor.
  4. Click on the canvas and drag the mouse until the size of the text box is what you want.
  5. Put the must-see content in the text box.
  6. Click outside the text box when you finish typing.

Text Block Adjust Tool

To adjust a text box on the canvas, you can

  1. Navigate to Symbols tab and click the Text Tool > Text Block Adjust Tool.
  2. Click on the text box or the shape that has a text box. The outline will show magenta control points, which you can drag to change the size of the box and move the position of the box.
  3. text block
  4. Drag the rotation handle to rotate the whole text box. When the cursor is over the rotation handle, it will become a round arrow.
  5. rotation handle

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Timestamps
00:13 Tools for drawing shapes
01:26 Tools for drawing text boxes - text tool
02:21 Tools for drawing connectors - add connectors
02:53 To add connectors between shapes
03:14 To add a connector point on shape
03:48 To move connector point
04:14 To delete connector point

Tools for Drawing Connectors

Add Connectors

There are 3 different types of connectors in EdrawMax, which are (Right-angle) Connector, Curved Connector, and Straight Connector. The connector means a connection line here.

quick connector tool

There are 2 kinds of connection points – the preset connection point and the floating connection point. Both can be used to draw connectors from a shape. But the preset connection point is fixed, while the position of the floating one is changeable on the shape outline.

connection point

A connection point is a special point on a shape that you can "glue" connectors and shapes. When you move a shape that is attached to another shape via a connector, the line will automatically adjust its angle to keep the two connection points connected.

connect shapes

To add connectors between shapes, follow the below steps:

  1. Find the connection point where you want to draw a connection line.
  2. Put the cursor above it, then the connection point and the cursor will look like as below.
  3. add connector
  4. Drag the mouse to draw a connector. You can change the direction or position of the connector by moving the control points on the line.
  5. add connector

Tip: The default connector is right-angle, so if you want to draw other types of connectors, you can hit on the Connector button and choose which kind of connector you want to use.

To select all connectors, right-click on the canvas and choose Connectors on the context menu.

To hide all connection points of the shape, uncheck Show Connection under the View tab. Then you will not see the preset and floating connection points unless you click the Connector button on the ribbon.

uncheck show connection

Connection Points Tool

To add a connection point on the shape, you can

  1. Select a shape.
  2. Click Connection Points tool on the drop-down menu of Connector.
  3. Hit on where you want to add a new connection point.
  4. Click to select the shape again and see how it looks like.
  5. add connection point

To delete a connection point, you can

  1. Click Connection Points tool.
  2. Click to select the connection point (it turns magenta).
  3. Press Delete.
  4. Click to select the shape again and see how it looks like.
delete connection point

To move a connection point, you can

  1. Click Connection Points tool.
  2. Click to select the connection point (it turns magenta).
  3. Press the left mouse button and move the connection point to the position you want.
  4. Release the left button, the connection point will be placed on the position you want.
move connection point

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Timestamps
00:13 Tools for drawing shapes
01:26 Tools for drawing text boxes - text tool
02:21 Tools for drawing connectors - add connectors
02:53 To add connectors between shapes
03:14 To add a connector point on shape
03:48 To move connector point
04:14 To delete connector point

Fill Format

Users can change the fill color of the shape through the below ways in EdrawMax. Select the shape,

  • On Home tab, click Fill button and choose a fill option that you want.
  • fill button on home tab
  • On the right sidebar, click Style icon to open Fill pane (The Fill pane can be opened via Fill button on Home tab).
  • fill pane rightside

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Timestamps
00:10 Fill Format: No fill, color fill, gradient fill, pattern fill, picture fill, texture fill
02:28 Line Format
06:07 Shadow Format

No Fill

To set no fill in a shape, select the shape, then you can

  • Click Fill button on the ribbon and choose No Fill.
  • fill options
  • Choose No Fill on Style (Fill) pane.

When you choose No Fill, the fill color of the shape will become the same as the background color so that the shape can blend into the background.

Solid Fill

To add a solid fill color in a shape, select the shape, then you can

  • Choose Solid Fill on Style (Fill) pane.
  • Click Fill button on the ribbon and choose preset colors on the drop-down menu. If you don't find what you want, click Options... and jump to Style (Fill) pane.

There are a series of options under Solid Fill of Style (Fill) pane that can modify solid fill colors.

  • Color: Click Color option, you will see Recently Used Colors, Theme Colors, Standard Colors and More Colors on the menu.
  • choose color menu

    You can quickly select desired colors from the first two color labels; otherwise, click More Colors and you are able to find custom colors in the pop-up window.

    select custom color window
  • Shade/Tint: The shade/ tint value will be changed accordingly after you choose a color from the color menu. The higher the value is (from 0 to 100%), the lighter the selected color is; while the lower the value is (from 0 to -100%), the darker the selected color is. You can move the Shade/Tint slider or input numbers in the number box to change the value.
  • Transparency: To set how transparent the shape is, move Transparency slider or input numbers in the number box to alter the percentage of transparency from 0 (fully opaque, the default setting) to 100% (fully transparent).

Gradient Fill

Gradient: A gradual progression of colors and shades, usually from one color to another color, or from one shade to another shade of the same color.

To set gradient fill in a shape, select the shape, then choose Gradient Fill on Style (Fill) pane.

gradient fill pane rightside

There are a series of options under Gradient Fill of Style (Fill) pane to modify gradient fill.

  • Type: the options of gradient fill type include Linear, Radial, and Rectangle. When you choose different type, the below direction option will alter accordingly.
  • Direction: click Direction and select the desired option to choose a different gradation effect of colors and shades. The available directions depend on the gradient type that you choose.
  • Angle: to specify the angle that the gradient fill is shown in the shape, enter the angle value that you want. This option is available only when you select Linear Type.
  • Gradient Stops: to change the color, shade/tint and transparency of the gradient stops to set a gradient, but only one gradient stop at a time. To add a gradient stop, click plus icon; to delete a stop, click minus icon.
  • gradient-stop
  • The settings of Color, Shade/Tint and Transparency in Gradient Fill are used to modify gradient stops, not for the overall fill of the shape.

Tips:

Gradient stops are used to create non-linear gradients.

For example, if you want to create a gradient that goes from red to green and to blue, you need to add three gradient stops - one for each color. Or, if you want to create a gradient that shows up only in the corner of a shape, you need to use gradient stops to make the gradient non-linear.

The gradient fill is made up of several gradient stops, but you can change only one gradient stop at a time. When you click the gradient stop that you want to edit in the list, the position, color, and transparency options reflect the current settings for that gradient stop.

Pattern Fill

To set pattern fill in a shape, select the shape, then choose Pattern Fill on Style (Fill) pane.

pattern-fill-pane-rightside

There are a series of options under Pattern Fill of Style (Fill) pane to modify pattern fill colors.

  • Hatch: to select the desired hatch fill in the drop-down menu for the shape.
  • Foreground: to select a foreground color for the shape, adjust shade/tint value and transparency value to make changes.
  • Background: to select a background color for the shape, adjust shade/tint value and transparency value to make changes.

Picture or Texture Fill

To set picture fill in a shape, select the shape, then choose Picture Fill on the Fill pane.

picture-fill-pane-rightside

There are different types of pre-set texture that you can apply to the shape at once. Moreover, you can also insert your own pictures as a custom texture fill style.

Line Format

Users can change line formats through the below ways. Select the line,

  • On Home tab, click Line button and choose a fill option that you want.
  • line button on home tab
  • On the right sidebar, click Style icon to open Line pane.

No Line

To set no line, select the line or the shape, then you can

  • Click Line button on the ribbon and choose No Line.
  • fill options
  • Choose No Line on Style (Line) pane.

If you choose No line for the selected shape, the shape outline will disappear.

Solid Line

To set a solid line, select the line or the shape and open Style (Line) pane on the right side of the canvas.

solid line pane rightside

There are a series of options under Solid line of Style (Line) pane to modify a solid line.

  • Color: click Color option or click Line Color button on the ribbon, you will see Theme Colors, Standard Colors and More Colors on the option menu. You can quickly select desired colors from the first two color labels. Click More Colors, and you are able to find custom colors in the pop-up window.
  • Shade/Tint: The shade/ tint value will be changed accordingly after you choose a color from the color menu. The higher the value is (from 0 to 100%), the lighter the selected color is; while, the lower the value is (from 0 to -100%), the darker the selected color is. You can move the Shade/Tint slider or input numbers in the number box to change the value.
  • Transparency: to set how transparent the shape is, move Transparency slider or input numbers in the number box to alter the percentage of transparency from 0 (fully opaque, the default setting) to 100% (fully transparent).
  • Width: type numbers or click the triangle arrows in the number box to change the weight of the selected line or shape outline.
  • Dash type: choose a desired line type for the selected line or shape outline.
  • Cap type: choose a desired cap type for the selected line or shape outline.
  • Rounding presets: choose a desired round type for the selected line or shape outline.
  • Rounding size: choose a desired round size for the selected line or shape outline.
  • Begin/End type: choose a desired begin/end point type for the selected line.
  • Begin/End size: choose a desired begin/end point size for the selected line.

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Timestamps
00:10 Fill Format: No fill, color fill, gradient fill, pattern fill, picture fill, texture fill
02:28 Line Format
06:07 Shadow Format

Gradient Line

To set a gradient line, select the line or the shape, and open Style (Line) pane on the right side of the canvas.

There are a series of options under Gradient line of the Line pane to modify a gradient line. If you want to find how to customize these options, please refer to Gradient Fill and Solid line.

gradient line pane rightside

Line Style

To quickly modify line styles, select the line, then click Line Color on the ribbon, and you can

  • Change line width, arrow styles, arrow size, rounding size and dash types of the line
  • Convert connector styles for the selected connector
  • Change jump directions and styles for the cross connectors
  • Set default connector themes
  • line style menu

Shadow Format

Users can change shadow formats through the below ways. Select the shape,

  • On Home tab, click Shadow button and choose a shadow effect that you want
  • shadow button on home tab
  • On the right sidebar, click Style icon to open Shadow pane
  • shadow pane rightside

There are a series of setting options on Style (Shadow) pane.

  • Presets: to choose the desired shadow style (Outer, Inner, and Perspective) or No Shadow for the selected shape.
  • Color: to choose a desired shadow color from the color option menu for the selected shape.
  • Transparency: to choose a desired shadow transparency for the selected shape by moving the slider or input numbers.
  • Size: to specify how large the shadow shows by moving the slider or input numbers. And it’s not available for Inner style.
  • Blur: to set the radius of the blur on the shadow by moving the slider or input numbers. The larger the radius is, the blurrier or "fuzzier", the shape will be.
  • Angle: to specify the angle at which the shadow shows by moving the slider or input numbers. And it’s only available for Perspective style.
  • X/Y Offset: to set the distance between the shadow and the shape by moving the slider or input numbers. By using the Angle and Offset options together, you can place the shadow anywhere relative to the shape.

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Timestamps
00:10 Fill Format: No fill, color fill, gradient fill, pattern fill, picture fill, texture fill
02:28 Line Format
06:07 Shadow Format

Theme Format

When you change the theme format on the drawing page, the fonts, colors, connector styles and other format designs of all the shapes will be influenced unless you have chosen Protect From Theme.

Theme

To alter a theme for shapes, select the shapes, then click the Theme icon on the right sidebar to open Theme pane.

theme pane rightside

To create your own theme, you can

  1. Select a built-in color scheme, font style, and connector style
  2. See the outcome in the thumbnail, click Save Theme and edit a theme name
  3. The new theme shows on the theme list, and you are able to delete or rename it.
create custom theme

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Timestamps
00:10 Create your own theme color
01:08 Connector Style
02:15 Text Font

Color

To alter theme colors for shapes, select the shapes, then you can

  1. Open Theme pane
  2. Click Color option and choose the desired built-in theme colors in the theme color list for the shapes
  3. theme color pane rightside

To create your own theme colors, you can

  1. Click the plus icon above the theme color list
  2. Customize your own theme color scheme by clicking on each accent and picking up custom color
  3. create new theme colors
  4. After selecting all the wanted colors, type a name and click OK; the color scheme will appear on the theme color list

Connector Style

To alter theme connectors for shapes, select the connectors, then you can

  1. Open Theme pane
  2. Click Connector option and choose the desired built-in theme connector in the theme connectors list for the shapes
  3. theme connector pane rightside

To create your own theme connectors, you can

  1. Click the plus icon on the theme connector list
  2. Customize your own theme connector styles in the Create Theme Connector window
  3. create theme connector
  4. After setting the line styles, type a name and click OK; the color scheme will appear on the theme color list

Text Font

To alter theme fonts for shapes, select the text, then you can

  1. Open Theme pane
  2. Click Text option and choose the desired built-in theme font in the theme font list for the shapes
  3. theme text pane rightside

To add your own theme font, you can

  1. Click the plus icon above the theme font list
  2. Modify the new theme font type and size in the Create Font Theme window
  3. create font theme
  4. Type a new font name and click OK, the new-added font will appear on the font list

Quick Style

Quick Styles: A collection of format options that make you change styles of your drawing with one click.

To add a quick style, you can

  1. Select the shape that you want to change its style
  2. Go to Home tab and find the collapsed menu
  3. quick style menu
  4. Open the menu and choose the desired style that you want

When you change the theme of the diagram, the quick style menu shown on ribbon will be changed accordingly.

Pencil Tool

Pencil Tool lets you draw open or closed paths as if you were drawing with a pencil on paper. It is useful for fast sketching or creating a hand-drawn look.

pencil tool

To draw a line with Pencil Tool, you can

  1. Select Pencil tool on Symbols tab and the cursor will look like a pencil
  2. Put the cursor on the canvas and start to draw
  3. As you finish, you will see some small white squares on the path, which are called Anchor points
  4. draw with pencil tool

Tip: You can click the Select button on the ribbon and switch the cursor back into the arrow.

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Timestamps
00:10 Pencil tool
00:40 Draw straight lines with Pen tool
01:08​ Draw curves with Pen tool
02:08 Anchor points on shapes
04:20 Shape Tool

Pen Tool

pen tool

Draw Straight Lines

It’s easy to draw straight lines with Pen Tool. Follow the below steps:

  1. Select Pen tool on Symbols tab and the cursor will look like a pen
  2. Put the cursor on the canvas and start to draw
  3. Click with the cursor and set anchor points
  4. Double-click anywhere of the canvas to finish the drawing
  5. draw with pen tool

Draw Curves

You create a curve by adding an anchor point where a curve changes its direction and dragging the direction lines that shape the curve. The length and slope of the direction lines determine the shape of the curve.

Curves are easier to be edited, displayed, and printed if you draw them by using as few anchor points as possible. Too many points can also introduce unwanted bumps in a curve. Instead, it's a good way to draw widely spaced anchor points, and practice shaping curves by adjusting the length and angles of the direction lines.

To draw a curve with Pen tool, you can

  1. Select Pen tool on Symbols tab
  2. Put the cursor on the canvas and start to draw
  3. Hold down the mouse and drag it. The first anchor point and the direction line will appear
  4. Drag to set the slope of the curve segment, and then release the mouse
  5. Double-click anywhere of the canvas to finish the drawing

Tip: In general, you can extend the direction line to one-third of the distance to the next anchor point you plan to draw (You can adjust one or both sides of the direction line later).

position pen tool

A. Position pen tool

B. Drag the direction line

C. Release the mouse and move to the next point position

To create different curves with Pen Tool, you can

  • To create a C-shaped curve, drag in the direction opposite to the previous direction line. Then release the mouse
  • To create an S-shaped curve, drag in the same direction with the previous direction line. Then release the mouse
position pen tool02

A. Create the second point

B. Drag away from the previous direction line to create a C curve

C. Drag in the same direction with the previous direction line to create an S curve

Draw Curves Followed by Straight Lines

To draw a curve followed by a straight line with Pen tool, you can

  1. Select Pen tool
  2. Use Pen tool to drag and create the first smooth point of the curved segment, and release the mouse
  3. Draw the straight line and double-click on the canvas to finish the drawing
position pen tool03

A. Complete the Curve line

B. Move to the straight segment end

C. Finish Drawing

Draw Straight Lines Followed by Curves

To draw a straight line followed by a curve with Pen tool, you can

  1. Select Pen tool
  2. Use Pen tool and make anchor points in two locations to create a straight segment
  3. Drag the first direction line to set the slope of the curved segment and move to the end point

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Timestamps
00:10 Pencil tool
00:40 Draw straight lines with Pen tool
01:08​ Draw curves with Pen tool
02:08 Anchor points on shapes
04:20 Shape Tool

Anchor Point

Anchor points will show up as you finish drawing a line or shape with the Pencil or Pen tool. Moreover, you can adjust them once the drawing is completed. The number of anchor points is determined by the length and complexity of the path.

anchor point

If you cannot see the points, please select the shape first and then click Move Anchor.

To move anchor points on a shape, you can

  1. Click Move Anchor button under Symbols tab or press Ctrl + M
  2. move anchor button
  3. Select the shape, and you will see all the anchor points
  4. Choose one anchor point and drag the mouse to move it

To move anchor points on a curve, you can

  1. Select the anchor point
  2. If you just need to move the point, drag it to the other place on the canvas
  3. If you want to adjust the angle of the curve, click the point, and drag to move the point of the direction line
  4. adjust curve angle

To add an anchor point on a shape, you can

  1. Click Add Anchor on the ribbon
  2. add anchor button
  3. Select the shape
  4. Click on where you want to add an anchor point, and you will see a new point added
  5. add anchor point

To delete extra anchor points, you can

  1. Click Delete Anchor on the ribbon
  2. Select the shape
  3. Click on the anchor point that you want to delete, and you will see the point disappear

You can convert the points on a path between corner points and smooth points. Using the Convert Anchors tool, you can choose to convert only one side of the point, and you can precisely alter the curve as you convert the point.

To convert anchor points, you can

  1. Select Convert Anchor tool on Symbols tab or press Ctrl + Shift + M
  2. Select the entire path you want to modify so that you can see its anchor points
  3. Position the cursor over the anchor point you want to convert, and do one of the followings:
    • To convert a corner point to a smooth point, drag the direction point out of the corner point.
    • smooth point01

      Drag the direction point out of a corner point to create a smooth point

    • • To convert a smooth point to a corner point without direction lines, click the smooth point.
    • smooth point02

      Click the smooth point to create a corner point

    • To convert a smooth point to a corner point with independent direction lines, drag either direction point.
    • smooth point03

      Convert a smooth point to a corner point

    • To convert a corner point without direction lines to a corner point with independent direction lines, first, drag a direction point out of the corner point to create a smooth point with direction lines. Release the mouse only (don’t release any keys you may have pressed to activate the Convert Anchor), and then drag either direction point.

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Timestamps
00:10 Pencil tool
00:40 Draw straight lines with Pen tool
01:08​ Draw curves with Pen tool
02:08 Anchor points on shapes
04:20 Shape Tool

Shape Tool

When you need to draw some basic shapes, navigate to Symbols tab and there are some tools for making commonly used shapes. When you click one of them, the cursor will look likeline tool for cursor, which means that you can start your drawing.

shape tool

To draw rectangles or squares on the canvas, select Rectangle and start to draw. If you need to draw a square, press Shift key while you drag the cursor until the square is in the desired size.

To create a rectangle with specific values, double-click where you want the center point to be, input the numbers of the width and height, and click OK.

rectangle tool

To draw straight lines on the canvas, you can select Line in Shape Tool group and start to draw a straight line on the canvas directly. Alternatively, double-click on the canvas to open the Line Tool window, type the numbers of length and angle and click OK.

line tool window

To draw a polygon lines on the canvas, you can select Polygon in Shape Tool group and draw one. Or, double-click on the canvas to open the Polygon Tool window, type the numbers of radius and side and click OK.

polygon tool

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Timestamps
00:10 Pencil tool
00:40 Draw straight lines with Pen tool
01:08​ Draw curves with Pen tool
02:08 Anchor points on shapes
04:20 Shape Tool

Create Your Own Symbols

Make New Symbol

If the built-in symbol library in EdrawMax can’t meet your needs, let’s start making your own symbol!

There are some options that are used for making combined shapes. Navigate to Symbols tab, select 2 or more shapes, then

combined shape tool
  • Union: Make a shape from several overlapping shapes and the lines in the overlapped area will disappear.
  • union shapes
  • Combine: Make a shape from several overlapping shapes, and you can still see where these shapes are overlapped.
  • combine shapes
  • Subtract (on the first line): Create a shape by subtracting the overlapped area from the selected upper shape.
  • subtract shape
  • Fragment: Divide multiple shapes into smaller parts based on intersecting lines or overlap.
  • fragment shapes
  • Intersect: Create a shape from the area where multiple selected shapes overlap.
  • intersect shapes
  • Subtract (on the second line): Create a shape by subtracting the overlapped area from the selected lower shape.
  • subtract shape

Tip: Don’t forget to save your symbol when it is done! Click Save Symbol button under the Symbols tab and there will open the Save Symbol window. When you have decided where to save the symbol and give it a new name, you will see an ede file and a PNG file, then you can import them into your own shape library.

Add Text Box

To add a text box on your symbol, you can select the shape and go to Symbols > Text Tool.

symbol text tool

Add Text with Control Point: After you click this option, double-click the shape, there will be a text box below, and you can see a yellow diamond, which is called Control Point. You are able to move the text box by dragging the control point.

add text with control point

Add Text Above the Shape: This option will add a text box above the symbol and when you type words, you will not see the symbol, but the text box.

Add Connection Point

To add connection points on your symbol, you can select the shape and go to Symbols > Point Tool.

symbol point tool

Add Connection Points Automatically: Click this option, 4 connection points will be added around the symbol.

add connection points automatically

Remove Connection Points: Click this option and all connection points on the symbols will be removed.

Connection Points Tool: Click this option, the cursor will look like a connection point, and you can choose to add connection points on any area of your symbol.

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Timestamps
00:15​ Select one shape, select mutiple shapes
01:00 Lasso select tool
01:17​ Shape data and manage data
02:00 Move a shape
02:49 Resize a shape
03:24 Rotate a shape
04:02 Replace a shape
04:27 Protect shape
05:52 Rearrange overlapping shapes
06:42 Group and ungrap shapes
07:08 Align shapes
07:43 Distribute shapes
08:10 Match shape size
08:37 Center shape

Create Your Own Library

Now, after you have made plenty of custom symbols with Edraw, you can also create your own symbol library!

To create a new symbol library, please follow the below steps:

  1. Click New Library under the Symbols tab and there will be a new blank library on the left library pane. (Rename it directly)
  2. create new library
  3. In Import Symbols dialog, you can type the symbol's name, browse and select its .ede file and icon (.png). Click OK, and the new symbol should be added into the library.
  4. You can also import images, SVG files, VSSX files and EDT/EDL files (the library that you have built in your own computer) into EdrawMax to build your symbol library.
  5. import symbol window
  6. Right-click the title of New Library and you can change its name and export the library on your local storage as edt files.
  7. When you open EdrawMax, you will see your custom symbol library on the top of the pane, so you can put your commonly-used symbols into your own library.

Alternatively, there is another simple way to add your symbols into the custom symbol library. Select the symbol, image or SVG file on the canvas, then click the Add icon on the library pane.

add symbol from canvas

Here you can add all the symbol you want into your own library easily!

create new library

Page Operation

To add pages in an Edraw document, you can

  1. Go to Insert tab and click Blank Page
  2. Prese Alt + Shift + N
  3. Click the plus icon next to the page number on the footer
  4. Right-click on the page name and choose Add Page on the context menu
  5. page context menu

To duplicate the current page in an Edraw document, you can

  1. Navigate to Insert tab > Blank Page > Duplicate This Page
  2. Right-click on the page name and choose Duplicate Page on the context menu

To rename a page in an Edraw document, you can

  1. Double-click on the page name and type a new name for it
  2. Right-click on the page name and choose Rename Page on the context menu

To delete the current page in an Edraw document, you can right-click on the page name and choose Remove Page.

To reorder pages in an Edraw document, right-click on the page name and choose Reorder Pages. There will be the Reorder Pages window, in which you can move up or down some pages. If you check Update page name automatically, EdrawMax will renumber the pages to show the new order.

reorder page window

To preview all pages in an Edraw document, you can click the preview button on the Footer, or Page Preview button under View tab, and see all the page thumbnails at the same time.

preview all pages

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Timestamps
00:10​ Add, duplicate, rename, delete, reorder, preview pages
02:08 Auto page size, customize page size
02:53​ Measure Unit
03:14 Page Number
03:44 Line Jumps
05:11 Grid
05:44 Fit to drawing
05:54 Effects
06:10 Watermark

Page Layout

Under Page Layout tab, there are various options for changing page layout settings.

page layout tab
  • Auto Size: Automatically resize the page as you draw.
  • Page Size: Where you can choose different types of page sizes, including A3 Sheet, A4 Sheet, A5 Sheet, B5 Sheet, Letter, Envelope, etc.
  • Orientation: You can change the page orientation between Portrait and Landscape.
  • Unit: When you check different units of measurement in the drop-down menu, Rulers in the workspace will alter accordingly.
  • unit option
  • Page Number: You can change the style and position of page numbers with preset options.
  • page number settings
  • Line Jumps: As more diagram elements are shown on the canvas, the connectors will inevitably intersect each other. Using line jumps can make us easy to read which connector links with which diagram element.
  • Tip: The line jumps options are available only when two connectors are overlapped.

    To change the line jumps option of a connector, select the connector, then you can

    • Go to Home tab > Line Styles and select the desired jump direction and style
    • Go to Page Layout tab > Page Setup > Connector Layout
    • Go to Page Layout tab > Page Setup > Connector Layout
    • page setup window
  • Page Setup: A shortcut button to open the page setup window
  • Grid: A shortcut button to navigate to the menu of grid options, where you can set grid styles and page margin sizes. You can show or hide gridlines by checking or unchecking the Gridlines option under View tab.
  • grid
  • Fit to Drawing: A shortcut button to fit the page size to what you have drawn on the canvas
  • Effects: A shortcut button to change the effects of the diagram on the current theme
  • Watermark: You can choose to add a pre-designed watermark on the canvas or try to customize your own. There also a quick button to remove all watermark
  • custom watermark window

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Timestamps
00:10​ Add, duplicate, rename, delete, reorder, preview pages
02:08 Auto page size, customize page size
02:53​ Measure Unit
03:14 Page Number
03:44 Line Jumps
05:11 Grid
05:44 Fit to drawing
05:54 Effects
06:10 Watermark

Page View Options

Basic View Options

page view tab
  • From Beginning: Start the slide show from the first page.
  • From Current Page: Jump right into the show from this page.
  • Normal View/Background View: You can switch between these 2 different views. The grey button means it is active.
  • Auxiliary view tools: There includes Ruler, Page Break, Guide lines, Gridlines, Action Button, Connection Points. You can use them to help you draw accurately and easily.
auxiliary view tool

Snap & Glue

Go to File tab, click Options > Snap & Glue button. Then, in the right Snap & Glue panel, you can modify the settings that specify whether snap & glue are active and to what items shapes will snap and glue.

snap and glue

Zoom Options

To adjust the view of a page, you can

  • Go to View tab, click Zoom button and choose a suitable zoom level.
  • Use the controls on the footer to change the zoom level.

Whole Page: Make the entire page fits in and fills the window.

Page Width: Make the page is as wide as the window.

Tip: When you zoom the page, EdrawMax supports to zoom in/out centering on the mouse position.

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Timestamps
00:10​ Rulers and gridlines
00:25 Page breaks
01:00 Action button
01:54 Guide lines
02:15 Quick connection mode
02:37 Snap & glue
03:00 Zoom in and zoom out

Background and Layer

Background

To add a background color on your document, you can

  • Go to Page Layout tab, click Background button and choose one color that you like.
  • background menu
  • Go to Library pane, select General, then click Backgrounds, and drag a background shape onto your page directly. Or you can click Choose Background in the drop-down menu, the background library will show on the left pane automatically.
  • background shape library

To remove the background, you can click Remove Background or just add a white background color.

Layer

EdrawMax allows to assign layers to shapes as needed. You can also create your own layers. Layers can help you deal with different groups of shapes. Open the Layer pane to modify layer settings.

To create a new layer, click New Layer. The Background is the default setting that you can’t delete. When there are only Background and Layer-1, you can’t delete Layer-1.

layers pane rightside
  • Click the pen icon, you can rename the layers and background.
  • Click the open-eye icon, the eye will be closed, which means you will not see any shapes on this layer.
  • Click the lock icon, if it is closed, the shapes in this layer will be locked and cannot be selected or operated.
  • The third icon indicates whether the layer is active or not, and it will tell you on which layer you are editing.
  • If you click the printer icon and it shows banned, the shapes in this layer will not be printed.

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Timestamps
00:10​ Background setting
01:00 Layer setting

View Your Presentation

When your diagram is done in EdrawMax, you can start the presentation and show the slides on the screen that your audience will see.

To preview your presentation from the current slide, click the Present button on the footer that is underneath the canvas, press Shift + F5, or click From Current Page button under View tab.

start from current page

To preview your presentation from the beginning, press F5 or click From Beginning button under View tab.

You can also use the controls in the presenter view. These controls are used to:

controls in present view
  • Automatically display the pages
  • Move to the previous or next page
  • Zoom in or out the page
  • Fit the page in the view of the screen
  • Close the full screen mode

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Timestamps
00:10​ How to present diagrams in EdrawMax
01:15 Export Diagrams to PowerPoint
01:35 Capture New Slides From Any Diagrams

Add Annotations

Insert Hyperlink

To insert a hyperlink in a shape, select the shape, then you can

  • Right-click on the shape and choose Insert Hyperlink in the context menu
  • Go to Insert tab and choose Hyperlink
  • Press Ctrl + Alt + H directly

In the pop-up Hyperlink window, choose to insert a hyperlink from Current Document, File or application, Internet address or Folder. Click the plus icon to add new hyperlinks and click the delete icon to delete hyperlinks.

insert hyperlink window

After you insert a hyperlink in a shape, you will see a web icon on the upper right corner of the shape.

hyperlink icon

Insert Note

To insert a note in the shape, select the shape, then you can

  • Right-click on the shape and choose Insert Note in the context menu
  • Go to Insert tab and choose Note
  • Press Ctrl + Alt + N directly

Type text in the pop-up Insert Note window and click OK

insert note window

After you insert a note in a shape, you will see a pencil icon on the upper right corner of the shape. Place the cursor on the icon, you can see the note text.

note icon

Insert Comment

To insert a comment in the shape, select the shape, then you can

  • Right-click on the shape and choose Insert Comment in the context menu
  • Go to Insert tab and choose Comment
  • Press Ctrl + Alt + C directly
  • Type text in the pop-up Insert Comment window and click Send.

Type text in the pop-up Insert Comment window and click Send.

insert comment window

After you insert a comment in shape, you will see a comment icon on the upper right corner of the shape. Place the cursor on the icon; you can see the comment text. Click the icon, and you will see the commentator’s name, content, and sending time of the comment. You can also edit and delete the comments.

comment icon

Insert Attachment

To insert an attachment in the shape, select the shape, then you can

  • Right-click on the shape and choose Insert Attachment in the context menu
  • Go to Insert tab and choose Attachment
  • Press Ctrl + Alt + A directly

Type text in the pop-up Insert Attachment window and click Send.

insert-attachment-window

After you insert an attachment file in the shape, you will see a clip icon on the upper right corner of the shape.

attachment-icon

Tips:

  1. When you add multiple annotations on a shape, EdrawMax will use a floating button to collect all icons.
  2. If you don't need the annotation, just right-click on the icon and choose Remove.

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Timestamps
00:10 Insert Hyperlink
02:00 Add Attachment
02:45 Add Note
03:22 Add Comment

Insert Picture

To insert a picture, you can

  • Go to Insert > Insert Picture From File
  • Press Ctrl + Alt + I directly
  • Navigate to the right Image pane, and click Insert Picture to insert an image from local files

Tip: If the image is over-sized, there will be a small window to let you decide whether to compress the image or not.

To customize an image, select the image, click Picture icon on the right sidebar to open Image pane. You can use the pre-defined shapes and crop the picture into the desired shape.

image pane rightside

There are 5 buttons on the Image pane for customizing an image.

  • Crop a Picture with a shape crop picture with shape button: crop the selected image to remove the unwanted area with the below pre-defined shape frames.
  • Crop to a Custom Shape crop picture with custom shape button: put a custom shape over the image, select both the shape and image, and click the button to obtain the cropped image with the special shape frame.
  • crop picture with custom shape
  • Remove a part of Image remove part from image button: put a shape on the image, select both of them, and click the button to take out a part of the image that is covered by the shape.
  • remove part from image
  • Return to original state return to original state: click this button to regain the original state of the selected image.
  • Recolor the Picture recolor picture button: click this button to choose various filter effects for the selected image.
  • recolor picture menu

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Timestamps
00:16​ Insert Table
02:00 Insert Picture
03:22 Insert Chart
05:52 Insert Container
06:36 Insert Formula
07:15 Insert Vector Text
07:52 Insert QR Codes
08:22 Insert Font Symbol

Insert Table

To insert a table on the canvas, you can

  1. Go to Insert > Table, and move the cursor over the grid until you highlight the number of columns and rows that you want.
  2. insert table menu
  3. If your table is larger than 8*10, click Insert Table, open the Insert Table window or press Ctrl + Alt + T directly.
  4. In the pop-up Insert Table window, input the desired numbers of rows and columns.
  5. insert table window
  6. Besides, when you want to see different colors shown on the title, rows and columns, check the corresponding options and choose the desired colors on the color menu.
  7. example table

To customize a table, select the table, click Table icon on the right sidebar to open Table pane.

table pane rightside

In the Table Properties pane, you can

  1. Modify Table Styles:
    • Modify the numbers of rows and columns in the corresponding number boxes
    • Change colors of the title, banded rows or columns of the table
    • Margin: Change the look of the table margin in 4 different types (No, Narrow, Normal, Wide)
    • Border: Change the look of the table borders
  2. Function: Run basic mathematical formulas
  3. Insert/Delete Rows & Columns: select a table cell, row or column, click the corresponding buttons to add rows or columns in different orientations, or delete the selected row or column
  4. Merge/Split Cells: select the table cells that you want to merge or split, click Merge Cells or Split Cells
  5. Distribute Rows & Columns: when the width of columns or the height of rows are different in a table, select the columns or rows, click Distribute Columns or Distribute Rows to make the columns or the rows distribute evenly

In the Table Data pane, you can

  • Import data: click Import to import the data file (xlsx, csv) that you need into the built-in worksheet
  • Export data: click Export to export the table into files (xlsx, csv)
  • table data pane rightside

Apart from importing data, you can also input the table data by:

  • Double-click on the cells of the table in the canvas and type numbers or text
  • Click cells of the worksheet on Table Data pane and type numbers or text

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Timestamps
00:16​ Insert Table
02:00 Insert Picture
03:22 Insert Chart
05:52 Insert Container
06:36 Insert Formula
07:15 Insert Vector Text
07:52 Insert QR Codes
08:22 Insert Font Symbol

Insert Chart

To insert a chart, you can

  1. Go to Insert > Insert Chart or click Insert Chart on the right Chart pane.
  2. In the pop-up Insert Chart window, choose the desired type of the chart.
  3. Click OK.
insert chart window

There are different types of pre-defined charts in EdrawMax:

  • Column Chart
  • Bar Chart
  • Line Chart
  • Area Chart
  • Scatter Chart
  • Radar Chart
  • Pie/Doughnut Chart
  • Gauges Chart
  • Funnel Chart

To customize a chart, select the chart, click Chart icon on the right sidebar to open Chart pane. In the Properties pane, you can click Change Chart Type button to change the type of the selected chart.

chart pane chart pane

Once you insert a chart in the canvas, the Properties pane shows up and the options will be different according to the type of the inserted chart. For example, there inserts a column chart on the canvas and the right Chart pane has shown the specific properties of this chart.

On the Properties pane, the common options are:

  • Chart Style
  • Series Setting
  • Tag Title
  • Cartesian/Radar Coordinate System
  • Data Format

In the Data pane, you can

  • Import data: click Import to import the data file (xlsx, csv) that you need into the built-in worksheet.
  • Export data: click Export to export the table into a file (xlsx, csv).
chart data pane

Apart from importing data, you can also input the chart data by double-clicking on the cells of the worksheet on the Data pane and typing numbers or text into them.

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Timestamps
00:16​ Insert Table
02:00 Insert Picture
03:22 Insert Chart
05:52 Insert Container
06:36 Insert Formula
07:15 Insert Vector Text
07:52 Insert QR Codes
08:22 Insert Font Symbol

Add Special Object

Insert Container

When there are 2 or more shapes on the canvas and you want to move them together, drag these shapes onto the container, and move this container.

To insert a container on the canvas, go to Insert > Container, or find the container symbols on the symbol library (General > Container), choose one that you like.

insert container menu

Now, when you put shapes into the container, the border will turn green to make you know what is going on.

put shapes into the container

Except for the basic containers, EdrawMax also provides image containers (General > Image Container), which will make it easy for you to make family trees and illustrate relationships between different people.

Insert QR Code

To insert a QR code, you can

  1. Go to Insert tab and choose QR Codes, or press Ctrl + Alt + Q
  2. In the pop-up Insert QR Code window, input the web URL or text, and EdrawMax will create the corresponding QR code
  3. insert qr code window
  4. Adjust the margin and code quality, and upload or remove logos optionally
  5. Click OK

Add Vector Text

To add vector text on the canvas, you can

  1. Select Insert > Vector Text
  2. Type the words on the pop-up Add Vector Text window
  3. add vector text window
  4. Modify the font style and font size, or adjust text styles
  5. Click OK

Insert Font Symbol

To insert special font symbols in the diagram, you can

  1. For basic symbols, click Insert > Font Symbol and move the cursor over the menu until you pick up the symbol you want
  2. font symbol menu
  3. For more symbols, click More Font Symbol to open the Insert Font Symbol window; Click Font to switch symbol categories
  4. insert font symbol window
  5. Find the font symbols that you want and click Insert

Create a Flowchart from a Template

You can create a flowchart in EdrawMax from one of the pre-designed templates or diagramming from basic flowchart symbols.

To access Edraw flowchart templates, click “Flowchart” in the list of template categories, and all the flowchart templates will show on the right window.

all flow chart templates

Click the template thumbnail to open the selected template in the workspace. You can then use the built-in formatting tools and shape libraries to refine the flowchart further.

open flowchart template in edraw

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Create a Flowchart from Scratch

You can create a flowchart in EdrawMax from scratch by dragging out the flowchart shapes in the shape library.

Note:

The flowchart shapes should be seen on the left library pane when you create a new blank flowchart document in EdrawMax. If it does't show up, you can search it from the library and pin them on the pane.

After dragging out the first shape on the canvas, you can add the second symbol by moving the cursor on one of the arrow keys and selecting the shape from the auto-prompt menu.

Use Swimlanes in a Flowchart

Swimlanes are used to divide your flowchart into different sections. Choose a template of Cross Functional Vertical Flowchart or Cross Functional Horizontal Flowchart in EdrawMax, you will see a pre-designed swimlane diagram in seconds.

swim lane folwchart

To add a swim lane to your flowchart,

  • Find Cross Functional Vertical/ Cross Functional Horizontal in the symbol library, drag the swimlane symbol from the library pane and drop it on the section of your flowchart.
  • swim lane symbol
  • If you already draw a swimlane diagram, select the diagram, you will see the Swimlane pane pops up on the right side of the canvas. Then you can add or delete swimlanes, change the orientation and colors as you like.

When you drag a swimlane onto the canvas from the library, you can control it to snap and glue to other lanes as you release the left mouse key.

add swimlane

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Create an Org Chart in EdrawMax

To create an org chart in EdrawMax, you can use a pre-made org chart template or build it from scratch. Click on the template thumbnail and open it in the workspace.

all org chart

Alternatively, click the big plus icon, and a new blank document will be open for you. You are able to use the pre-made org chart shape and make an organizational chart from scratch.

create org chart

To add a shape of subordinate or colleague, select the shape, you can

  • Click the floating button around the selected shape.
  • floating button
  • Click Add Subordinate and Add Colleague on Org Chart tab.
  • Press Insert key to add a colleague and press Ctrl + Insert key to add a subordinate.
  • Move an employee shape over the floating button of the selected shape, release the mouse when a red box appears, and then moved shape should be added as subordinate.
  • add as subordinate

To add a shape of assistant, select the shape, then click Add Assistant on Org Chart tab.

Tips:

  1. For the shape on the top, you can't add colleagues for it.
  2. For the shape of subordinate, you can select it and convert it to the shape of assistant. And conversely, you can convert a shape of assistant to subordinate.
  3. You can open Display Options window, check Show Photo, and replace the default photo with the real employee photo in the org chart.

Change Org Chart Layout

For the org chart in EdrawMax, you can change its layout with the built-in styles.

pre made layout

Check Auto Layout box to enable auto layout mode, and the whole diagram will be rearranged when you add or delete employee shape.

When the layout of the org chart has some changes that you don’t want, you can click the Relayout on Org Chart tab to re-arrange the org chart.

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Create an Org Chart from Data

If all the employee information of your organization is saved in a document (.txt, .csv, .xls, .xlsx), you can use EdrawMax to create an org chart from the data set.

First of all, open a new org chart document and find the Import button on Organizational Chart pane.

import data button

On the first page of the pop-up window, find the data file that contains the employee information from your local storage, and click Next.

org import wizard

Note:

The data set must include employee names and the person that the employee will report to.

On the second page, you will see how your data in the worksheet map to the data import window. If your data source provides two or more fields for names like First Name and Last Name fields, select the field of the last name, and then in the First Name box, choose the field of the first name.

org data import

On the final page, you need to select what information of employee you want to show on the shape and how the information is displayed. Besides, you can decide whether to show photos or not and choose the photo position. When it is done, click Finish.

org data import

Finally, you can get an org chart as the below picture:

create org chart

Define Field and Display Options

Click Define Field on Org Chart tab, and the Define Orgchart Field window opens. There are some preset field schemes, and you can decide which field will be added to the shapes so that you will create a custom field.

define orgchart

Click Display Options on Org Chart tab, and open the Display Options window, where you can change the position of photo, the size of the shape and the shape properties. The modifications can be applied to selected shape, current page or all pages.

display options

Watch this video to learn more. If the video doesn't play, please visit it at YouTube.

Create a Mind Map from a Template

Open EdrawMax and find the pre-designed mind map templates in the template gallery. Choose one template that you like, click on its thumbnail to preview the template in the workspace.

all mind map templates

After the template is open in Edraw editor, you are able to use the built-in formatting tools and various shapes to make your own mind map.

create mind map

Create a Mind Map from Scratch

Apart from using mind map templates, you can build a mind map from scratch with the pre-made mind map symbols. You need to drag the Main Idea shape from the library, and then start to add topics.

create mind map from scratch

To insert main topics or subtopics on the canvas, select one of the topics, and there are 4 different ways:

  • Press Enter or Ctrl + Enter key to add topics at the same level as the selected topic; press Insert key to add topics that have a lower level than the selected topic.
  • Click the Topic/Subtopic button on the Mind Map pane, where you can choose to insert a topic before the selected topic or insert a parent topic.
    add topic right pane
  • Drag the topic shape from the library and release the mouse when the orange box appears.
    add topic drag shape
  • Click the floating button of the selected topic.
    add topic floating

To insert a floating topic in a mind map, you can:

  • Click Float Topic button on Mind Map pane and hit on where you want to add a floating topic.
  • Drag a mind map shape from the library, and drop it on the canvas but don’t put too close to the connected topics.

To insert a line of relationship in a mind map, select a shape of topic, click Insert Relationship on Mind Map tab, or drag the line from library, then move the pointer onto another shape and click again.

Change Mind Map Layout

To change the layout of the whole mind map, choose the Main Idea shape, and select a layout style on Mind Map pane.

whole layout style

To change the layout of a certain branch, select the topic/subtopic, and choose a layout style on Mind Map pane.

part layout style

Change Styles of a Mind Map

If you don’t select any shape on a mind map, the right Mind Map pane will look like as below. Therefore, you can only insert floating topics on the map, change the page theme and adjust the layout.

page mind map pane

When you select a topic, you will see some new options shown on the Mind Map pane and do changes for nodes and branches.

  • Add different topics and relationship lines on a mind map.
  • Change the layout of a branch.
  • Add or remove a numbered list on the whole map or a branch.
  • Change the styles of the topic shape, like fill, line color, line weight, and corner style.
  • Change the styles of the branch, which usually includes multiple topics.
  • Add pre-made icons onto the topic.
topic mind map pane

Create a Gantt Chart in Edraw

Open Edraw Max and find the pre-designed Gantt chart templates in the template gallery. Choose a template that you like, click on its thumbnail to preview the template in the workspace.

project management template

After the selected template is open in Edraw, you can use intuitive editing tools to make your own Gantt chart.

create gantt from template

Alternatively, you can build a Gantt chart with the built-in Gantt shape. Open a document of Edraw, find the library of Gantt Chart, drag a Gantt chart from the library, and the Gantt Options window pops up. You can set various data formats for your Gantt chart.

gantt options window

Note:

Major Unit is the longer unit of time you want to use in the Gantt chart, and Minor Unit is the smaller unit of time, e.g. month/day.

When the basic Gantt chart appears on the canvas, select a task on the Gantt chart, and you will see that most of the options are available on the right Gantt Chart pane. Then you can start to add or adjust tasks in the Gantt chart.

gantt chart pane

If you need to add new columns into the Gantt chart, you can right-click on an existing column and choose Insert Column on the context menu; or, select the column and click Columns on Gantt Chart pane.

column context menu

Then the Insert Gantt Column window pops up, you can choose to add any unchecked columns into the Gantt chart and all the new columns will be put on the right of the selected column.

insert gantt column window

Create a Gantt Chart from Data

If you have your project data saved in a document (.txt, .csv, .xls, and .xlsx), and the data in the data set is arranged in a fixed format.

Open a new document, click Import on the right Gantt Chart pane. On the first page of the pop-up window, choose the file that contains the project plan data, and then click Next.

gantt data import wizard

Note:

The data set must have the columns for task name, task start date and task finish date.

On the second page of the window, confirm the date format, column name, column type and data type. There you can preview your data set in the worksheet of Task List.

gantt data import wizard

Column Name Specification
ID [Optional] Unique identifier of the task, if there is not this column in your data file, EdrawMax will add a numbered list, this unique identifier is used for Dependency.
Task Name The description of the task.
Start The date that you start to work on the task.
Finish The date that you finish working on the task.
Duration [Optional] duration time of a task, if there is not this column in your data, Edraw will calculate the duration value from Start and Finish.
Complete [Optional] The percentage value of task complete.
Task Level [Optional] Identify the task or sub-task with an integer value. Level 1 task is a sub-task of level 0 task.
Dependency [Optional] Help define relationships between tasks.
Resource [Optional] Task resource.
Cost [Optional] Task cost.
Resource [Optional] Task resource.
Hyperlink [Optional] Hyperlinks to other source files.
Priority [Optional] Indicate task priority with an integer value from 0~5.
Left Label [Optional] Text label for task.
Right Label [Optional] Text label for task.

On the third page of the window, set various data formats for your Gantt chart.

gantt data import wizard

Therefore, you will get a Gantt chart that comes from your project data.

create gantt chart from data

Edit Gantt Chart Data

You can find the following elements in a Gantt chart.

  • Tasks
  • Milestones
  • Summary Task
  • Task Links (Task dependencies)
  • Taks Label
  • Task Hyperlink(Link to the task resource)

Task

When you select a task on a Gantt chart, it will become orange, and you can press the Ctrl key and click another task to select multiple tasks. Right-click on the selected task, the context menu will pop up and you can choose to move the task or add a sub-task.

task bar context menu

The following table shows how to set the operations.

Change a task name Double-click the cell in Task Name column and type a new name.
Change task start or finish date
  • Double-click the cell in Start/Finish column, then input the new date and make sure the new data format is the same as others.
  • Click on the taskbar, drag the bar. Start date and Finish date determine the bar’s position in Gantt frame.
  • drag task bar
Change task duration Double-click the cells in Duration column, type the new value.
Change task complete percentage Click on the left margin of the task bar, hold the mouse and move to the date you want.
change task complete percentage change task complete percentage
Add a new task
  • Right-click a task and click Add Task Before/After.
  • Select a task and click Insert New Task on Gantt Chart pane.
Delete a task
  • Right-click the task and click Delete on context menu.
  • Select the task and click Delete on Gantt Chart pane.
Change task style Select a task or multiple tasks, choose the fill color on color bar of the footer or go to the Style pane.

Milestones

milestone

Transform a taskbar to a milestone Make the finish date same as start date or check Milestone on the bottom of Gantt Chart pane. A milestone can be changed back to a taskbar.
Delete a milestone Uncheck Milestone on Gantt Chart pane or delete the task.

Summary Task

summary task

Add a sub-task Select a task, click Indent on Gantt Chart pane. In the example, Task 2 and 3 are subtasks of Task 1. Task 1 is the summary task of Task 2 and 3.
Remove a sub-task Select a subordinate task, click Outdent on Gantt Chart pane.

Task Links (Task dependencies)

task link

Link tasks
  • Click on a taskbar, press the left mouse button, move it to another taskbar, release the mouse to finish linking operation. The red box means that you can start to link tasks;
  • create task link
  • Select 2 or more tasks, click Link Tasks on Gantt Chart pane.
Unlink tasks Select the linked tasks, click Unlink Tasks on Gantt Chart pane.

Task Label

task label

You can add text labels to the taskbar to have more descriptions of the task. Right-click the task, click Add Left Label or Add Right Label on the context menu. Double-click the labels to edit the text, and you can also move the label.

Task Hyperlink (Link to Task Resource)

Right-click the column name, click Insert column and check Hyperlink to add a Hyperlink column. Right-click the task, click Hyperlink on task context menu to add hyperlinks. Refer to Insert Hyperlink and see how to insert a hyperlink in the task.

Customize Smart Shapes

Drag and drop some special symbols (for example, Circular Charting Shapes) onto the canvas, select the shape, the Smart Shape icon smart shape icon will light up on the right sidebar. Therefore, you can open Smart Shape pane to change the attributes of the shape.

We name these special symbols as Smart Shapes. In addition, as you choose various kinds of smart shapes, the options shown on Smart Shape pane will be completely different

smart shape pane

To customize a smart shape on the page, you can:

  1. Select the shape;
  2. Go to Smart Shape pane;
  3. Change the style or format options to make the shape fit to your requirements.

Usually, there are a series of common options in the pane. You can compare two kinds of smart shapes and see their differences.

  • Type
  • Shape number
  • Inner Diameter
  • Interval
  • Initial Angle
  • Alignment
  • Center Shape
  • Shape Data
  • ...

Create Smart Shapes by Yourself

Except for using built-in smart shapes, EdrawMax makes it easy to create original smart shapes to enhance creativity in your diagram. Take using one basic shape for example, follow the below steps:

  1. Select a basic shape and navigate to Symbols > Create Smart Shape on the rightmost.
  2. create smart shape window
  3. Drag the selected shapes in the boxes respectively. The Repeat Element means that the circle will be used for several times. The Main Element will serve as the center in the formed smart shape.
  4. Choose a custom type for your smart shape. Here I select the fourth one - Center surround.
  5. smart shape types.png
  6. Therefore, the new smart shape will look like as the right part in the below picture:
  7. exmaple smart shape

Tip: When you finish making your own smart shape, you can save it as a symbol and put in into your own library.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Go to File tab, click Options > Shortcuts. You will get the inbuilt shortcut key list. Hit on Customize Shortcuts, and you can create custom hotkeys for your favorite or commonly-used functions.

shortcut pane

The keyboard shortcuts refer to the U.S. keyboard layout. Keys on other keyboard layouts may not correspond exactly to the keys on a U.S. keyboard.

Quick Access Toolbar

Function Shortcuts
Undo Ctrl + Z
Redo Ctrl + Y; Ctrl + Shift + Z
Create a new document Ctrl + N
Open an existing document Ctrl + O
Save the active document Ctrl + S
Print the active document Ctrl + P
Close the active document Ctrl + W

Home

Function Shortcuts
Cut Ctrl + X
Text Tool F2
Copy Ctrl + C
Paste Ctrl + V
Paste as special formats Ctrl + Alt + V
Increase font size Ctrl + Shift + .
Decrease font size Ctrl + Shift + ,
Make the selected text bold Ctrl + B
Italicize the selected text Ctrl + I
Underline the selected text Ctrl + U
Subscript Ctrl + Alt + =
Switch to Select tool Ctrl + 1
Select all shapes Ctrl + A
Add a text block Ctrl + 2
Text block adjust tool Ctrl + Shift + 2
Add right-angle connectors Ctrl + 3
Add curved connectors Ctrl + 4
Add straight connectors Ctrl + 5
Add free connectors Ctrl + Alt + 5
Oval Tool Ctrl + 6
Bezier Tool Ctrl + 7
Connection Points Tool Ctrl + 8/td>
Crop the Canvas Ctrl + 9
Bring to front Ctrl + Shift + ]
Bring forward Ctrl + ]
Send to back Ctrl + Shift + [
Send backward Ctrl + [
Group shapes Ctrl + G
Ungroup shapes Ctrl + Shift + U
Make the selected shapes in same width Ctrl + Shift + W
Make the selected shapes in same height Ctrl + Shift + H
Make the selected shapes in same angle Ctrl + Shift + A
Make the selected shapes in same size Ctrl + Shift + Z
Find & Replace Ctrl + F
Spelling check F7

Insert

Function Shortcuts
Insert a blank page Alt + Shift + N
Insert a table Ctrl + Alt + T
Insert pictures from files Ctrl + Shift + I
Insert QR codes Ctrl + Shift + Q
Capture screen Ctrl + Shift + R
Capture screen with Window hidden Ctrl + Shift + X
Add vector text Ctrl + Shift + V
Insert hyperlinks Ctrl + Alt + H
Insert attachment Ctrl + Alt + A
Insert Chart Ctrl + Alt + R
Insert Note Ctrl + Alt + N
Insert Comment Ctrl + Alt + C

Page Layout

Function Shortcuts
Page setup F6

View

Function Shortcuts
Play slides from beginning F5
Play slides from current page Shift + F5
Zoom in Ctrl + +; Ctrl + Mouse scroll wheel
Zoom out Ctrl + -; Ctrl + Mouse scroll wheel
Show or hide property dialog F4

Symbols

Function Shortcuts
Open Pencil tool Ctrl + Shift + E
Open Pen tool Ctrl + E
Open Move anchors tool Ctrl + M
Open Convert anchors tool Ctrl + Shift + M
Save the selected shape as a new symbol Ctrl + F11
Open or hide data sheet F9

Help

Function Shortcuts
Review online video tutorial F1
Show/hide Option pane Ctrl + Alt + O
Show/Hide ribbon Ctrl + F1
Show/hide Fill pane F3
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