Open, create and save diagrams

Open in Confluence

A diagram can be created within any Confluence page, provided you have permission to edit the page. can be inserted like any other macro, using the macro browser. Click the drop down menu in the toolbar with the plus icon, then click on " diagram". If " diagram" is not directly in this menu, click on "Other macros" and enter "draw" in the search field at the top right of the dialog.

(lightbulb) You can also use the curly bracket shortcut: "{draw" (Windows: "Alt Shift" + "7", Mac: "Alt" + "8").

Template manager

The template manager is displayed, right after you placed the macro.
  • Click on the left menu item " Diagrams" then "Blank" to create a new, empty diagram.
  • Use "Search" to find existing diagrams to use as a template.
  • includes many templates by default (e.g. flowcharts, mind maps, and more). You can find these in the various categories listed on the left.

Follow one of this three points and the Editor will open.

Save a diagram

When the editor is closed using the "Save and Exit" or "Exit" buttons, the Confluence page is displayed.

The easiest way to save a diagram is using the "Save and Exit" button at the top right corner. automatically saves the state of a diagram. If you mistakenly click "Exit", you can access and restore your changes when you insert a new diagram.

Click "File" > "Save" in the menu to save a diagram without exiting

When you save a diagram for the first time, a filename for the diagram is generated.
In the current release, you can not change a diagram's filename within Confluence after it has been created.

After saving a diagram, it can be edited at any time - click on the diagram, and then click on "Edit" in the toolbar.

View mode

In view mode, you can display a larger version of the diagram by clicking on it (zoom in, zoom out).

You can change the display of the diagram when editing the Confluence page (size, border, etc.).
When you click on a diagram in edit mode, a toolbar is displayed either above or below the diagram. SERVER ONLY

The following options are available on this toolbar:

  • Change how the diagram is displayed within the Confluence page (border, toolbar, etc.)
  • Duplicate the diagram
  • Change the displayed size within the page (in the same way as images in Confluence)
  • Remove the diagram

Drawing area and toolbar

Navigation in the diagram editor

You already know how to create diagrams in Confluence.

In the next section, you will learn how to use the control panels and navigate within the editor.

The drawing area is in the middle. Everything located here is visible in the diagram on the Confluence page after saving.
The two most important navigation functions are moving the visible drawing area (panning or scrolling), and zooming in and out.

Use the mouse wheel or the scroll bars to scroll the drawing area vertically or horizontally.
Similarly, you can click and hold the right mouse button and drag the visible drawing area around.

You can zoom in and out using the magnifying glass icons on the toolbar.
Alternatively, press the "Alt" key and use the mouse wheel to zoom.
You can see the current zoom status in the toolbar.

Control panels and tools (overview)

The control panels are divided into three sections.

First is a horizontal toolbar above the drawing area.
The most important tools and the main menu are located in this top toolbar, as well as in the format panel on the right.
Which tools are available depends on the context. For example, different tools are displayed when you are working with text compared to when you are working with objects.

Similarly, the format panel contents change depending on the context. 
When you select an object, you can customize the display, the included text, or the arrangement and size in the format panel.
When nothing is selected, the drawing area itself may be customized.
The symbol library is displayed on the left hand side of the drawing area, and contains a variety of shapes organized into categories.
Simply click on a shape from the symbol library, or click and drag the shape into the diagram. 
The shapes in the symbol library are categorized. You can expand or collapse these categories as needed.

You can select multiple shapes by holding the "Shift" key and selecting the shapes you want to use. 

To delete all of the shapes you added from the symbol library. Hold the "Shift" key, select all of the shapes, then click on the trash icon in the toolbar. 
Alternatively, instead of using the toolbar to delete the selected shapes, simply press the "Delete" or "Backspace" key.

Place and edit shapes

Select and move multiple objects

To move a single object, click on the object, hold the mouse button down and move the object to its new position.

To move multiple objects, select them with a frame as described below (or with the "Shift" key), and then move them to their new position. It is important that the mouse cursor is over one of the selected objects when you move them.

When the objects are close to each other, you can select them by clicking, holding the mouse button down, and 'drawing' a frame around all of the objects. 
It is important to start in an empty space in the drawing area, and ensure that the frame completely surrounds all of the objects you want to select.

If you want to change the color of all symbols and lines, select them as above, then select the color you want to use.

(info) If you have made a mistake, you can undo your changes using the undo arrow in the toolbar at any time.


There are various ways to duplicate an object:

    • Using the menu: Edit > Copy, then Edit > Paste
    • Using the menu: Edit > Duplicate (you save a step)
    • Keyboard shortcuts: "Ctrl" + "C" then "V" for copy + paste, or "Ctrl" + "D" for duplicate

Scale & rotate

To scale an object (make it smaller or larger), you can simply move any of the 8 blue points on the object.

To proportionally resize an object, hold down the "Shift" key as you move the points. Click here to see how it works.

Click on the rotate symbol to rotate the object in the desired direction.
To more accurately scale or rotate an object, use the Shape Format panel on the right hand side when the object is selected.
Click on the "Arrange" tab, then you can alter the size, position and angle of the selected object.

If you want to change the height of a rectangle to match an earlier rectangle, copy the height value from the first rectangle to the current rectangle.
You can also rotate an object by changing its Angle or by using Flip.

Replace objects

To replace an object, drag a shape from the symbol library onto the object you want to change, until the "Replace" symbol is displayed.
To replace multiple objects, select them, then hold down the "Alt" key and select the shape you want to use from the symbol library, or drag a shape onto one of the selected objects.

Insert and edit text

Text in an object

You can insert text directly in any object. Click on the object, then enter your text. The text and the object are always grouped together. For example, you don't have to select both the object and text individually before moving the object. 
Similarly, you can add text to any connection. Double click on a connection and enter your text. 
You can also add text anywhere in the drawing area (outside of objects and connections).
Double click on an empty area, or select "Text" from the library.
Text inside of an object wraps automatically.
You can edit the text formatting using the "Text" tab on the format panel.

Text on connections

Text on connections can wrap over multiple lines.
You can also add multiple text labels on one line.
Move a text field by clicking on the yellow dot and dragging it to a new position.
You can move any text field on a connection with this method.
When you want to reposition a connection with its text, simply move the connection.
You can change the text size, font, color, and more.

Free Texts

Text can also be placed completely free (without form or line) on the surface. To do this, double-click on a free area or insert "text" from the library.

Connections and arrows

Connections from the object itself

If you hover the mouse cursor over an unselected object (without clicking), you will see multiple small crosses (connection points), and four blue arrows (connection arrows).

You need to be careful not to hover over a selected object, because then, only the blue connection arrows are displayed.

A connection can be created using one of the small crosses (connection points), or with one of the blue connection arrows.
When you hover over a connection point, it will be highlighted green, so you know you are in the right position.

Connections in the library

To insert a connector from the symbol library, click on the connection you want to use., then drag and drop it from the library into position on the drawing area.

You can then connect the ends of the connectors to the connection points on any of the objects within your diagram. 

Duplicate and connect objects

Click on the blue arrow at the bottom of an object to duplicate it and its content (shape, color, size), and automatically connect the duplicated object to the original.

If another object is nearby when you click on the blue arrow, it will not duplicate the object, but instead link the two existing objects together.
By default, a connection with an arrow is used, but you can change this or delete the arrow in the "Style" tab of the format panel. 

(info) There are several ways to duplicate shapes and work with connectors.

Revision history, import & export

Versions (revision history)

Changes to a diagram are directly saved in Confluence in the page history.
This includes the date and time of the change, as well as the user who made the change.
You can restore older versions of a diagram from the page history.

Import & export diagrams

You can see the import and export options using the "File" menu.

Import file formats 

Export file formats

  • .xml (
  • .vsdx (Visio) Beta
  • .pdf
  • .png
  • .jpg
  • .svg

(info) Importing all existing Gliffy diagrams within Confluence is easy using the Mass Import function.

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This content was last updated on 08/19/2021.

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