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Customize shapes in Diagrams, Mind Maps or Flowcharts

Renée Meloche
Renée Meloche
  • Updated

When you add a diagram or chart to your design or create a mind map or flowchart from a template, you can customize the appearance of the shapes on the design canvas. 

About diagram shapes

Diagram shapes are shapes that appear in mind maps or flowchart templates. To use them, select a mind map or flowchart template from our templates page. You can also add flowchart or mind map template pages into a design that you're working on in the Editor.

The shapes in diagrams are typically grouped shapes with text boxes that can be resized and ungrouped. Diagram shapes function to present data in a visually appealing way, while still making the information or data they contain clear and accurate, by:

  • Making the design more customizable

  • Allowing you to to visually separate hierarchy in the data via shape (e.g., using a circle for the root item, and squares for the children items)

  • Visually breaking out groupings of associations

Text that appears in diagram shapes is usually center-aligned by default. 

Resize shapes in mind maps or flowcharts

Click on the shape to select it. Use the side handles on the bounding box that appears when you select it: click and drag to resize. The contents of the shape will scale automatically as you resize the shape. 

When you resize the shape to the point that the vertical or horizontal dimensions change the shape's position in the chart, the line connecting that shape to the next diagram shape will adjust so that they stay connected.


Changing a shape in a mind map or flowchart

The size of a shape in mind maps is based on the content that takes up the most amount of space in the shape, maintaining a 1:1 ratio in the shape. This is especially the case for shapes like polygons and circles.

Resize the shape to distribute the content proportionally within the shape, maintaining that 1:1 ratio.


NOTE: When you change a rectangular/square shape to a circle, the text will stay fixed in a single, square cell at the center of the shape. When you resize the shape, the text will scale proportionally, but the lines of text won't collapse or redistribute like they would if you were resizing a long rectangle into a tall, narrow rectangle. 


Types of item layouts in diagrams

  • Multiple text boxes

  • Single text box

  • Single icon

  • Icon + text box(es)

Change the color of a diagram shape or shape border

Change the text in a diagram shape

Font face, size, styling and color

Double-click into the text in the diagram shape to select it. Change the font face, size, styling (Bold, Italic, Underline) and color using the font tools in the top toolbar. You can also link the text or create a numbered or bullet list with text in a diagram shape. 

Alignment and Line Height

Text in a diagram shape is center aligned by default. To change the alignment or line height, double-click on the text in the shape, and use the font tools in the top toolbar to change the Alignment, or the Line Height. Click on the drop-down menus to open them and select the setting. 

Mind map or flowchart ports

In flowcharts and mind maps, the ports are available in all four directions (N, W, E, S) in addition to a central port.

Connecting lines

The lines in all diagrams can be changed using the Line Type drop-down. 

Stepped, curved, and straight sines can be customized further with arrow ends.

Click on the Edge Type drop-down menu to change the line type. 


Change the color of lines with the Color Tool in the top toolbar, using the color widget to customize the line's appearance. 

The feature(s) discussed in this article is available on the following Venngage subscription plans: Free, Premium, Business and Enterprise.

Curious about upgrading? Compare our plan features side by side.

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