This article covers the following topics:
What are non-standard shapes?
Non-standard shapes in diagrams help to present data in a more visually appealing way that keeps accuracy of the information. Some ways that non-rectangle shapes can enhance design in diagrams are:
Making the design more customizable
Ability to visually separate hierarchy via shape (ex. root item is a circle and children items are rectangles)
Help visually separate groupings of associations
Mind map shapes: circle, square, rectangle, pill, octagon, and hexagon. When responding to text, the circle, square, octagon, and hexagon maintain the 1:1 ratio.
Flowchart shapes: circle, rectangle, pill, diamond, and parallelogram. When responding to text, the circle maintains the 1:1 ratio and the rest of the shapes extend in height or contract.
You can resize shapes using the side handles in diagrams. Resizing scales the shape while the contents are resized.
When changing shapes in mind maps, the size of the shape is based on the greater of the content width or height for 1-1 aspect ratio shapes and based on the content width for non 1-1 aspect ratio shapes. You have the option to resize or scale if the change results in an undesirably large shape - this maintains the desired shape and distributes the contents better.
When changing from a rectangular shape to a 1:1 shape (circle, polygon), the layout takes on a single column. The layout in a circle/non-standard shape is always center aligned by default.
For flowcharts, when changing shapes, the width is determined by the content width.
Types of item layouts in diagrams
Multiple text boxes
Single text box
Icon + text box(es)
The layout for non-standard shapes in diagrams is always centre-aligned by default.
In a rectangle mind map, the ports are available in all four directions (N, W, E, S). In a circular mind map, the ports are available around the root item. In a flowchart, the ports are available in all four directions to all items (N, W, E, S).