Colors and styles – Format


Colors, styles, format (Free) & Themes (Pro Feature)

You can change the formatting, the color and style of the objects (shapes, lines, fonts, backgrounds) on a diagram. You can change line types and styles; click to see separate article including details of how to create ERD (Entity Relationship Diagrams).

Note: Unless you are in a Pro space (using Themes), you can only change the style of 1 object at a time. If you select multiple objects, the right panel will switch back to displaying diagram details/comments.

Scroll down to understand how to apply Themes as an editor, or create and edit Themes as an admin

Activity Style, Line Style, Free Text Style

First you need to open up the right panel and select an object (activity box, line, free text), and move the Override selected theme style slider to access the color settings.You can then change any styling on the object.   

Override selected theme toggle

If you select a line, you can then select  Line form” in the right panel and select the line Shape, Type and Start and End Point styles.


Line Form Example

This will also allow you to create and manage basic Entity Relationship Diagrams (ERD). See complete article on using Elements for ERD mapping

Copy – Paste style to clipboard

The COPY THEME, PASTE THEME allows you to take the style of one object onto the clipboard and apply it to another.

The style you have copied stays in the clipboard even if you go to other diagrams, other maps. If you then select ‘paste theme’ it will remember what you had copied there and will automatically toggle that object to “Override selected theme” on.

Note, this is a setting for that given object. If you are applying Themes (as below) across all objects, Elements will overwrite any object which has NOT had “Override selected theme” toggled on.

Override selected theme - in RH Panel


Selecting and Applying Themes (Pro Feature)

Once Themes have been created and Published by Space Admins (see below if you have those rights), then any editor can use Themes when creating a new map, applying to their current diagram, or to current diagram and lower levels.

In a Pro Space, the Diagram Details (right panel), shows the currently selected ‘Diagram Theme’. If you haven’t applied a theme before, it will be ‘Default’ as below. If you click on the drop-down and select a new Theme, the settings for colors and styles of that object will be applied as the ‘Current Theme’ to the selected scope of Diagrams. It will overwrite the format of any object that has not been explicitly set to “Override selected theme” in the right panel.

Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 16.33.24

You can have any number of Themes. If you want to find out who can setup a theme for you, click on Spaces, select the Space and then click on the ‘Manage space’ button in the right panel and you will see a list of people who have Space Admin rights who can setup the Themes for you.


Creating and Editing Themes (Pro Feature) – Prerequisites: Pro Space and Space Admin rights

If you click on Spaces in the left Panel, you can see if the Space you want to create and apply themes to is a Pro space by selecting the space as it has a green ‘PRO’ label as below.

Pro Space - highlighted bar

Assuming that is the case, and that you have Space Admin when you click on the ‘Manage Space’ button in the right panel , you will see the “Themes” button on the left panel.

Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 15.46.37



once you are in the Themes window, you clickCREATE THEME button


Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 15.45.04and then enter a name, description and select an existing theme to base your new theme on.

Typically, clients create a standard theme based on the corporate color palette, and then create variations on this theme to apply for certain situations.

Once you create the theme, it exists in the list, but you now need to click on Edit to setup the specific objects across the theme.

If you look at the top of the window, once the theme is selected, if you have Space Admin rights, you can then click on EDIT. Note: once you have edited the theme, you will need to click on PUBLISH to make it visible and usable by editors on their Diagrams in the Space.

Theme Tab with buttons

Useful tip 1: You can pick colours from the color chart, but if you have specific colors you are looking to match, you can manually enter the hex code for the color. If you only have the RGB numbers, you can convert using any number of free utilities and browser extensions to ‘convert RGB to Hex’ or use a free color pipette/color dropper to pick up the hex of a given on screen color.
Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 16.58.06

Useful tip 2: The scroll bar only appears when you use a mouse wheel or scroll on a pad, or hover over it. This is good to know as you will need to scroll down to edit all aspects of an object at times. e.g. here the top shows the flowline text font, whereas the format of the flowline is lower down in the window. (see long grey vertical line to the right of ‘Flowline’ in the image below).

Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 16.13.49

Once again, remember that once you have edited the theme, you will need to click on PUBLISH to make it visible and usable to editors in the Space.

When you do, you will get a warning that it will overwrite this published theme everywhere it has been used… to make sure that is your intention 🙂


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