The Flowchart (Manual) template offers an alternative to intelligent formatting and gives you more flexibility if you want to create a unique, technical diagram.
Instead of using buttons and keyboard shortcuts, with the manual template, you can add shapes by simply drawing lines.
To add a symbol drag it from the docked library to the left of your drawing area.
Once you have a shape in your drawing area, you can continue to add more shapes by drawing lines and connecting shapes to the end of the line.
To add a line and connect to a new symbol, click on one of the yellow dots at the perimeter of a selected shape already on the page, draw a line, and choose a new symbol from the auto-prompt menu of common flowchart symbols.
This menu is intelligent and will populate with the last 6 symbols you've used in your diagram, so you'll always have the right symbols at your fingertips.
Set Line Style
There are four types of lines used connect shapes: straight line, curved line, shape connector, and curved connector.
By default, the template is set to use a segmented shape connector line. You can easily change that in the SmartPanel by selecting a different option from the drop-down.
Here are what the different line styles look like when connecting shapes.
Set Line Hops
If two lines must cross in a flowchart, SmartDraw uses a "bridge" (also known as a "line hop") to show that the lines do not intersect. You can define what this line hop looks like in Line Hops dialog.
- You can show or hide line hops
- You can change the style of line hops from round to square.
- You can change the size of the line hop.
- You can also turn line hops on or off just for a selected line using the "This Line" section.
Transform Your Flowchart into a Swimlane Diagram
You'll see the controls to add swimlanes in the SmartPanel to the left of your drawing area.
Create a Vertical Swimlane Diagram
The second swimlane button will add a pool with 4 vertical swimlanes to your diagram.
You'll be able to continue adding shapes and the lanes will automatically expand vertically to accommodate your chart. Adding a shape to the right or left will not expand that swimlane. In a vertical swimlane, the swimlanes will only expand vertically downward to accommodate new shapes.
If you draw a line outside of the current area of the entire pool, a new swimlane will be automatically added.
Create a Horizontal Swimlane Diagram
The third swimlane button will add a pool with 4 horizontal swimlanes to your diagram.
You'll be able to continue adding shapes and the lanes will automatically expand horizontally to accommodate your chart. Adding a shape to the top or bottom, will not expand that swimlane. In a horizontal swimlane, the swimlanes will only expand horizontally to the right to accommodate new shapes.
Change Column Headers
Once you added your swimlane pool, you can select the existing column headers and replace them with your own copy. Click in each row or column header and select the existing "Person/Group" placeholder text and type to replace it with your own divisions.
Add and remove Swimlanes by selecting Add Lane or Remove Lane, respectively, in the SmartPanel.
Remove the Entire Swimlane Pool
If you changed your mind and you don't want to see swimlanes in your flowchart, you can remove all swimlanes without removing the rest of your flowchart by clicking the first button under Swim Lane in the SmartPanel. You'll have every shape in your flowchart without any lanes.