Designer

Learn how to use Lexchart's Designer to create your organizational chart. The documentation includes the Menu, the Toolbar, Action Buttons, Search Panel, and Canvas.

8 months ago   •   10 min read

By The Lexchart Team
Lexchart Designer for Creating Company Charts
Table of contents

The Designer page in Lexchart is the place you create or edit a chart. You work with charts that you own or are shared with you as an editor.

The Designer page has six areas:

There are three windows with special features: the chart window, the card window, and the link window.

Home

To return to your list of charts (your Home), either:

  • Select the Lexchart logo in the upper left, or
  • Choose My Charts from the Account icon
Lexchart Designer Account Charts
Lexchart Designer Account Charts

The Menu gives you access to features related to your chart. Each menu item contains a description of the feature.

File

Lexchart Designer File Menu
Lexchart Designer File Menu

The File menu allows you to:

  • create a New chart,
  • Copy the current chart,
  • Share the current chart,
  • Download the chart in a variety of file formats, and
  • Delete the current chart.

Edit

Lexchart Designer Edit Menu
Lexchart Designer Edit Menu

The Edit menu allows you to select and control elements of the chart.

  • Undo reverses recent actions in order,
  • Redo reverses any Undo actions in order,
  • Edit selected opens the Card window or the Link window as appropriate,
  • Delete selected deletes the chosen elements,
  • Select all selects all elements of a type: cards, links, link notes, or text boxes, and
  • Layout switches the chart between auto mode and manual mode.

Insert

Lexchart Designer Insert Menu
Lexchart Designer Insert Menu

The Insert menu allows you to add the major elements to a chart: cards, links, and text boxes.

The Add or edit cards and links option opens the Chart window. The Chart window is a special feature of Lexchart. It allows you to create cards and links quickly.

Select Add card to place a new company or person on the chart. This menu will option the Card window. The Key Concepts documentation explains cards in detail.

Select Add link to create a new link between two cards. A link establishes a hierarchical relationship between two cards: parent company –> subsidiary or manager –> employee, for example.

The Add text box option allows you to draw a text box on the chart. Your mouse pointer will change to a +. Click and drag down and to the right to draw a text box.

Format

Lexchart Designer Format Menu
Lexchart Designer Format Menu

The Format menu controls the styling of the chart and the elements.

Choose to increase or decrease the vertical and horizontal spacing between cards with Chart gap.

You can change the Link style of the connection lines. The two options are: elbow and curved.

Curved line style is great solution when many lines overlap into a single card. Use Curved line style in combination with increasing the Chart gap to make the chart more readable.

Line style, not to be confused with Link style, allows you to choose between solid, dashed, and dotted lines. The Line style can apply to a link and a card border.

Line Style
Line Style | solid, dashed, or dotted

With the Format text menu option, you can change the following properties of any selected text:

  • Text color
  • Bold
  • Underline
  • Italic
  • X-Small
  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large
  • X-Large

Fill color controls the color of the body of card or text box. You can select carefully chosen colors in our color picker. The color picker accepts any HEX or RGBA value. Line color performs the same function for lines. You can color link lines, card borders, and text boxes.

Text layout includes two types of changes to text in cards, link notes, and text boxes. The easy one first: alignment. Choose Align left, Align center, and Align right to change the alignment of text.

The second Text layout option is called position. There are two position options: Vertical and Horizontal. Position applies to labels and data in a card and to link notes. Vertical places the data label above the data. Select Vertical a second time to place the label below the data.

Horizontal position returns a Vertical position to side by side. Horizontal position reverses the label and data position when they are already side-by-side.

More detail is available about cards.

View

Lexchart Designer View Menu
Lexchart Designer View Menu

The first option is to enter the Viewer. The Viewer is the presentation mode of your chart.

Zoom in and Zoom out enlarge or shrink the chart relative to the canvas. Both buttons will change the dimensions incrementally. You can use a mouse wheel or track pad to zoom continuously.

Fit to screen is a great feature to bring the chart back into the center of the screen after panning and zooming. If you lose track of a card or a text box, select Fit to screen.

Action buttons

The Action buttons are located in the upper right corner of the Designer page. There are three action buttons.

Lexchart Action Buttons
Lexchart Action Buttons

Share

You can share charts with people who have a Lexchart account.

To share a Lexchart:

  1. Enter the person's email
  2. Select their rights to the chart: viewer, editor, co-owner.
  3. If you do not know if they have an account, copy the link to the chart and send them the link. Lexchart does not send a notification email.

When the person signs into Lexchart, your shared chart will appear on their home. It will have a shared tag and your name. You can read more about sharing in Lexchart.

Download

Lexchart Download
Lexchart Download

The Download button allows you to save a copy of the chart in your files. There are four available formats:

  • PDF
  • JPEG
  • PNG
  • Scalable Vector Graphic (SVG)

Account

Lexchart Account Action Button
Lexchart Account Action Button

The Account button provides access to your account details and allows you to sign out of Lexchart.

Help

Lexchart Help menu
Lexchart Help menu

The Help action button gives you access to tutorials, documentation, and support.

Toolbar

Lexchart Toolbar
Toolbar

Chart toolbar

The chart toolbar in Lexchart gives you quick access to many of the features described in the Menu. The chart toolbar covers from Search to Link Style. It relates to the layout of the chart.

Chart Toolbar
Chart Toolbar

The Search button opens the search panel on the left side of the canvas. The search panel is covered in more detail below.

Undo reverses recent actions in sequence. Redo repeats actions previously undo in reverse order.

The Chart button opens the Chart window.

The Add New buttons:

  • open the Card window to add a new Card,
  • open the Link window to create a new connection between cards, and
  • insert a new text box on the chart.

The Edit button will open the window or turn on the options to edit the item selected. The Delete button permanently removes an item from the chart.

The Select button allows you to select all cards, links, link notes, or text boxes. Once selected you can format or delete those items.

There are Layout buttons: one for auto mode; the other for manual mode.

The Zoom and Fit buttons provide an easy to adjust the size of the chart. Unlike Zoom and Fit, the Chart Gap buttons change the vertical and horizontal spacing between cards, while preserving the size of the cards and text.

Link Style buttons switch between elbow and curved charts.

Format toolbar

The remaining buttons all concern formatting are in the format toolbar.

Format Toolbar
Format Toolbar

The Line Style button changes card borders, link lines, and text box borders to solid, dashed, and dotted lines.

The Font buttons bold, underline and italicize selected text. The font size button allows you to select from five relative sizes: extra small, small, medium, large, and extra large. These options are available for all text.

Color buttons open a color picker to modify the color of selected text, item background, or line.

Alignment buttons align text elements left, center, or right. The Position buttons change the vertical and horizontal relative position of Card label and data and Link note label and data.

Canvas

The canvas is the space under the toolbar where your chart appears. The canvas expands to meet the needs of your chart. It expands outside the visible area.

Lexchart Canvas and Chart Name
Lexchart Canvas and Chart Name

The tab at the top of the chart is the Name of your chart. You may change the name of the chart any time.

You can pan around the chart. To move the chart in any direction, simple select the canvas and drag the chart to move its position.

Zoom in or out of the chart to alter your perspective. The canvas will respond to zoom depending on your device.

Auto mode causes the canvas to layout the chart based on the algorithmic rules. Read more about auto mode in Key Concepts.

In Manual mode, the canvas will preserve the last auto mode layout until you manually adjust the chart. You can move cards anywhere on the canvas in manual mode. The canvas preserves the link lines. Switching to Auto mode after making changes in Manual mode will lose those changes.

If you switch to Auto mode and want to get back to your changes in Manual mode, use the Undo button.

Text boxes can be moved in both manual and auto mode.

Search panel

Lexchart has powerful search abilities to help you make the most of your chart. To access search, select the Search button on the toolbar. This will toggle the Search panel open and closed.

Lexchart Search Panel
Lexchart Search Panel

The Search panel will display all cards, links, and text boxes on the chart when it opens. Enter search terms in the search field. Results will appear as you type.

Search results are grouped across three tabs: cards, links, and text boxes. Lexchart will perform your search in all three elements. Choose the tab you want to see those specific results.

From the search results, you can select any item and then use any of the toolbar actions for that item. You can select more than one item to apply toolbar actions to more than one element.

Chart window

Chart window
Chart window

The Chart window is the quickest way to add new cards (companies or people) and links. The chart window starts with three empty cards in a column. Start in the middle card. You can search for an existing entity or add a new one.

Cards immediately above and below the card in the middle will appear. To remove a link, click the x in the card.

You can navigate the entire chart from the chart window. Select a card from the top or bottom row to move it to the center. Lexchart will display the cards immediately above and below the new card in the center.

Changes made in the chart window save automatically. You can undo changes right in the chart window. Select the chart button to return to the chart to see your changes.

Card window

The Card window gives you access to all the data and design features for a single Card. Lexchart allows you to create unlimited data about a company or person. You can then design the appearance of that card.

The Card window contains two sections: Data and Design.

Card Data

The Data section contains the card's name and the data about the card. To start, the Card window shows one label and one data field. A new row appears automatically once the first is filled. Labels and data are optional.

Card Labels and Data
Card Labels and Data

Lexchart will remember existing labels from other cards on the chart. Select an existing label or enter a new one. New labels are then available to all other cards.

Card Design

The Design section contains a representation of the current card's appearance. You can interact with the design to change the appearance.

You can select specific elements inside the card. For example, select one of the labels to change the design of all the labels. You can change the position of labels and data to vertical or horizontal, and reverse those positions.

Select Save to save your changes.

The Link window gives you access to the data and design of Link notes. Lexchart allows you to create unlimited data about a link between two cards. You can then design the appearance of the link notes.

The Data section contains data about the link between the two displayed cards. To start, the Link window shows one label and one data field. A new row appears automatically once the first is filled. Labels and data are optional.

Link Note Labels and Data
Link Note Labels and Data

Lexchart will remember existing labels from other links on the chart. Select an existing label or enter a new one. New labels are then available to all other links.

The Design section contains a representation of the current link's appearance. You can interact with the design to change the appearance.

Link Labels and Data Design
Link Labels and Data Design

You can select specific elements inside the card. For example, select one of the labels to change the design of all the labels. You can change the position of labels and data to vertical or horizontal, and reverse those positions.

Select Save to save your changes.

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