Gliffy – Online Diagram and Flowchart Software

By Kerry Wisdom, Technology Resource Checkout Graduate Assistant

Gliffy was founded in May 2005 by Clint Dickson and Chris Kohlhardt in San Francisco, and is a free web-based diagram editor which is use to create and share flowcharts, network diagrams, floor plans, user interface designs and other drawings online. You do not have to sign up for an account to start Gliffy; all you need to do is start to use this online tool.

Gliffy provides a reasonable collection of shapes and icons for all of these diagram types, which you can simply drag and drop on to your canvas. This online tool offers the typical editor capabilities such as copy, paste, cut, delete and undo. provides export to JPEG, PNG and SVG formats.

Gliffy makes it easier to communicate and make decisions. You use this just like a desktop application and even create a file to work in. The workspace has a grid which makes lining items up much easier. It is then just a matter of clicking and dragging items onto the workspace and then connecting them with lines to create your diagram. This produces very professional results very quickly and very easily.

One major advantage of using Gliffy is that it allows you to share your charts with third parties. Therefore, if you need to make your diagrams available to colleagues or students, it is entirely possible.  You can even let those who access your diagrams edit them in case this is necessary. As a result, this web application is a convenient platform for students and colleagues that work together to develop projects that require the use of diagrams.

Share and Collaborate
Gliffy offers share and collaboration feature by specifying e-mail addresses – a user can add collaborators to their diagram. Collaboration enables others to see and edit your work by simply entering their email address. You can also publish your diagrams as images or URL and embedded your diagrams as dynamic content within your blog or website. Also, Gliffy makes available a WordPress plugin that you can use to add your diagrams to your blog. A backup utility is offered as well, and you can use it to ensure that you will never lose any of the charts you create.

Gliffy Tech Tip

By Kerry Wisdom, Technology Resource Checkout Graduate Assistant

1.     Open on browser of your choice. Click “Get Started Now”.  When using Gliffy you do not need to sign up to create a document.

2.     Choose a template of your choice then  double click or select  “create document”

3.     To save a document that you have created, click File>Save

4.     When you click Save you will be prompted to sign up for an account or login if you have an existing account.

Enter a name you want to save you document as then click Save.

5.     To open a document you already created, click File>Open. This will once again prompt you to either sign up for an account or login to an existing account.

6.     You can rename an existing document. To do so click File > Rename. Rename the document using appropriate name of your choice then click OK.

7.     The Menu Bar gives you access to the basic commands you’ll need to save, share, and print your documents. The File Menu lets you open documents, save, export your work in SVG, PNG, JPG or Gliffy XML format and print (including changing your printer setup, printing documents to a single page and printing to PDF). The Edit Menu contains standard copy and paste commands, all of which have keyboard shortcuts.

8.     Clicking on the individual tabs within the Library expands that chosen section so you can browse the shapes contained within. Some more dense tabs are broken into subsections so you can navigate through these using the drop-down menus.

9.     You can enter text by selecting the A icon from the Toolbar. This allows you to draw a text box so you can immediately start typing in text. Text will automatically wrap at the end of a line to remain within the box you have drawn.

10.  You can edit the properties of selected text in the Properties Bar. If you select a text box, the text properties section will show up in the Properties Bar.

11.  You can print your document,  to do so click File > Print.

Here you have the ability to print your document to a single page, print in portrait or landscape, set the document to various page sizes (including: 8.5in x11 in (Letter), 8.5 in. x 14 in (Legal), 11 in x 17 (Ledger), 297 mm x 420 mm (A3) and 210 mm x 297 mm (A4), print gridlines, print to a PDF or print directly from Gliffy.

12.  You can share you document by collaborating with others and also publishing it online. To collaborate, click Share > collaborate. You can then enter the person(s) email you wish to collaborate with and click Submit.

To publish, click Share > publish. Choose whether or not you want your document to be private or public. If you choose public, the software will give a embed code that will show public on your webpage. Click close.

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