User Manual for Gliffy JIRA Plugin

Gliffy is designed to make it easy and intuitive for you to create professional quality flowcharts, diagrams, floor plans, technical drawings and more. While it’s easy to figure out Gliffy on your own, this guide addresses the basics of using Gliffy and will also help you use some of our more advanced features.


Table of Contents

Installing the Gliffy JIRA Plugin

Getting Started

The Gliffy Editor

Gliffy Basics

Working with Shapes and Lines

Working with Text


Installing the Gliffy JIRA Plugin

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Automated Installation

  1. In the upper right corner of JIRA, open the JIRA Administration Menu->Add-Ons
  2. Login with your JIRA credentials
  3. Search the Marketplace for Gliffy
  4. Click on the Gliffy listing to expand it
  5. Click on "Free Trial" to start a free 30 day trial of Gliffy for JIRA to purchase a license. Both of these will download Gliffy for JIRA to your instance.
  6. If you have already purchased a license, go to Manage-Add-Ons and locate the Gliffy Add-On after it has been installed. Click on the license key area and paste your license from the Atlassian Marketplace, then click "Update" to activate your license.


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Manual Installation

1. Download the Gliffy JIRA Plugin JAR/OBR file from the Atlassian Marketplace listing:

2. Open the Administration menu and select Add-ons


3. Log in with your JIRA Admin credentials.

4. In the sidebar, select Manage Add-ons.

5. Select Upload Add-on

6. Click on Choose File and browse your computer for the Gliffy JIRA Plugin file you downloaded in step 1 and click Upload.

7. The plugin will be uploaded to JIRA and will be automatically installed. Check the Manage Add-ons screen to ensure that the plugin is available and to manage your license. 

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Updating the Gliffy JIRA Plugin

As long as you have an active Gliffy license and Admin rights, you can update the Plugin any time from the Universal Plugin Manager (UPM)*

1. Open the Administration menu and select Add-ons

2. Log in with your JIRA Admin credentials.

3. In the sidebar, select Manage Add-ons.

4. Scroll down and locate Gliffy Diagrams for JIRA. If an update is available, you will see an Update button. Click to update the plugin to the latest version. 

If your Gliffy license has expired, you will need to renew your license before you can install the update.

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Getting Started

In Gliffy for JIRA v4.0 and up, Gliffy is now in HTML5! Please see browser requirements for using Gliffy in HTML5 here:

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Creating Diagrams

To create a new Gliffy diagram:

1. Create an issue or Open an existing issue in JIRA (please see Atlassian guide on how to start an issue)

2. Go into JIRA issue and click More

3Click Add Gliffy Diagram


4. You will be launched into the Gliffy Start Screen. Here you can choose what type of diagram you want to start, or choose from our vast template library. 


5. You can also Import a diagram if it is in .gxml, .gon.gliffy, or .vdx (Visio)* formats. 

*.vdx imports available in Gliffy for JIRA v4.2 and above


6. Once your diagram has been created/imported, go to File->Save to name your diagram


7. Name the diagram and click Save


8. Once the diagram is saved and named, click Exit in the upper right corner to be taken back to JIRA



9. Your Gliffy Diagram will now be attached to your JIRA issue


If you have an existing diagram already attached to an issue in JIRA, that will activate an Add Diagram button in the Gliffy Diagram area of your issue. You can click on the Add Diagram button to add additional diagrams to it. 

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Import Diagrams

If you have a file ready, you can import an existing Gliffy diagram that has been saved in .gon, .gliffy or .gxml format, or Visio diagrams that have been saved as .vdx files or .vsdx (Gliffy for JIRA v4.5 and above).

1. Go to More->Add Gliffy Diagram



2. Select Import a Diagram



3. Click "Choose File/Browse" to locate your file on your desktop. Double-click on your file to select it. You will then be launched into the Gliffy Editor. 


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Editing Diagrams

If you have an existing diagram attached to a JIRA issue, you can edit it by clicking on the small pencil icon in the thumbnail. Clicking on the pencil icon will open the diagram in the Gliffy Editor, where you can make your changes and edits. 

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Viewing Diagrams

If you have a Gliffy Diagram attached to a JIRA issue, you can view it a couple different ways.

1. Clicking on the thumbnail attached to the issue will open up a larger thumbnail version for you to view. Click on the "X" in the upper right to close it. 


2. Hovering over the diagram will show the preview pane. Clicking on the expand arrows will open the thumbnail in a full-size preview where you can do various actions

  1. Edit diagram (will launch you into Gliffy Editor)
  2. Fit to Page
  3. Show/Hide Pop-up Notes
  4. Zoom bar
  5. Close thumbnail (will take you back to JIRA issue)


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Delete Diagrams

You can delete a diagram from a JIRA issue by hovering over the thumbnail until the preview pane appears. Click on the trashcan icon to delete the diagram. It will ask you "Are you sure you want to delete this diagram?" Click Delete again to confirm your deletion. 

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The Gliffy Editor

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Drawing Canvas

The Drawing Canvas is where you build your diagrams. Drag shapes from the symbol libraries or create elements using the toolbar to create flowcharts, diagrams, schematics, wireframes, floor plans, or whatever else you desire.

The bottom and side scroll bars help you move around in larger documents. Holding down the spacebar while you click and drag lets you pan around the canvas. And, if you have a mouse with a scroll wheel, you can use that, too!

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The Toolbar

  1. Undo/Redo
  2. Group/Ungroup
  3. Bring to Front/Send to Back
  4. Hyperlink Tool
  5. Pop-up Notes Tool (v4.2 and above)
  6. Copy Style Tool (v4.4 and above)
  7. Free Text Tool
  8. Ellipse/Rectangle Tool
  9. Connector/Straight Line Tool
  10. Pointer
  11. Pan
  12. Zoom Level
  13. Zoom in/Zoom out
  14. Drawing Guides
  15. Show Grid
  16. Snap to Grid
  17. Diagram Themes 
  18. Layers (v4.4 and above)

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The Menu Bar

The Menu Bar provides access to the File and Edit menu commands needed to save, edit, and export your documents.


The File Menu lets you Save, Save and Close, Close, Export your diagram in SVG, Gliffy, JPG, or PNG format, view Revision History, access Document Properties, Page Setup, and Print.


The Edit Menu contains standard copy and paste commands, all of which have keyboard shortcuts. Copy and paste are also accessible using the context menu by right-clicking or control+click. You should also take note of the Group and UnGroup commands found here. These commands allow you to combine text boxes, shapes and lines into clusters that can be manipulated as a single object.

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Shape Libraries

Depending on the type of diagram you started, there will be different shape libraries loaded on the left hand side automatically. For example, if you start a Flow Chart diagram, it will load the Flow Chart shape library and other relevant libraries for you. You can always access all libraries at anytime in Gliffy by clicking on the More Shapes button at the bottom of the shape libraries.

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Customizing and Managing the Shape Libraries

Clicking on More Shapes will open up the More Shapes dialog which will allow you to customize your shape library. 

Clicking on the individual shape library names expands that chosen section to allow browsing the shapes it contains. You can click and select or de-select libraries you want to add or remove.

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Search Shape Libraries

In Gliffy for JIRA v4.2 and up, you can search the shape library for keywords to help locate shapes. 

The "Search Shapes" field is located in the upper left corner of the drawing canvas above the Shape Libraries: 


You can search for any shape in any of the Gliffy shape libraries in this field. The shape library does not have to be showing on the left side for results to pull up. 

To search, type in your search parameters and hit "Enter" on your keyboard. 

Any results that match your entry will appear below the search box. You can then drag and drop any of these shapes on to your canvas. 

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Gliffy Basics

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Adding Elements to the Drawing Canvas

You can drag out any shape from the shape libraries on to your canvas. 

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Library Symbols

Select a shape from any symbol library, then drag and drop that shape onto the Drawing Canvas. To add text, start typing. To change the style settings, click the shape and open the blue properties menu.


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If you want to add images to your diagram, you can drag and drop JPG, PNG, GIF and SVG files directly to the canvas. (image size restrictions are dependent on max attachment size in JIRA)

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Text Tool

Click the Text Tool button in the toolbar. Click anywhere on the Drawing Canvas and start typing. To define the width of your text box, select the Text Tool from the toolbar and draw the box anywhere on the Drawing Canvas with a click-drag-release, then start typing. Text box height expands automatically as you type. To change text style settings, click the text box and open the blue properties menu.

Text boxes behave like any other Gliffy element, and can be easily moved, resized, and rotated.

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Ellipse and Rectangle Tools

Click the appropriate Ellipse or Rectangle button in the toolbar. Click anywhere on the Drawing Canvas and draw your shape with a click-drag-release. To change the style settings, click the shape and open the blue properties menu.

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Connector Tool

The Connector Tool is most valuable when you already have other elements on the Drawing Canvas. Click the Connector button in the toolbar and connection points will appear on any symbols on the Drawing Canvas. Connect any two of these connection points with a click-drag, release. To change the style settings, click the connector and open the blue properties menu.

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Straight Line Tool

Unlike the Connector tool, the Straight Line Tool will only draw a perfectly straight line, with no bends or corners. But you can still use it to link connection points on symbols, if a perfectly straight line is appropriate for your diagram. Click the Straight Line Tool button in the toolbar and draw a line with a click-drag, release. You can also connect any two connection points with a click-drag, release. To change the style settings, click the line and open the blue properties menu.

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Moving and Manipulating Elements

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Moving Shapes and Symbols

To move any element or group of elements, click it, then drag and drop it anywhere you like on the Drawing Canvas. While you’re moving the shape, you will see a bounding box and a display of the XY coordinates of the upper left corner of that object or group of objects. If you have snap-to-grid placement enabled, objects will automatically move in increments of 10 pixels. If you have drawing guides enabled, green lines will help you align the shape you are moving to the edges of other objects and red lines help you align the shape you are moving to the center of other objects.

You can also specify an exact location for any shape or group of shapes:

  1. Select the shape or group of shapes.
  2. Open the blue properties menu.
  3. In the X field, set the X coordinate for the upper left corner of the shape or group.
  4. In the Y field, set the Y coordinate for the upper left corner of the shape or group.

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Moving Lines and Connectors

Instead of boundary boxes, lines and connectors have small circles defining each endpoint and, in the case of connectors with more than two segments, one to control each middle segment. If you click on the line or connector anywhere but on these circles, you’ll move the entire line without changing its shape. Clicking and dragging the circles will move only that end of the line or connector. If you move the shape that a line or connector is linked to, the line or connector will adjust to maintain the connection.

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Resizing Elements

To resize any element or group of elements, select it so that the bounding box appears. Click any corner of the bounding box and drag it until the shape or group of shapes is the correct size. While you’re resizing the shape, you will see a display of the dimensions of the object. If you have snap-to-grid placement enabled, objects will automatically resize to increments of 10 pixels. If you have drawing guides enabled, green lines will help you resize the shape in alignment to the edges of other objects and red lines help you resize the shape in alignment to the center of other objects.

You can also specify exact dimensions for any shape or group of shapes:

  1. Select the shape or group of shapes.
  2. Open the blue properties menu.
  3. In the W field, define the width, in pixels.
  4. In the H field, define the height, in pixels.

Certain shapes, particularly complex Network or Floorplan symbols, have a locked aspect ratio, which will affect how they resize. You can easily lock or unlock the aspect ratio for any shape:

  1. Select the shape.
  2. Open the blue properties menu.
  3. Check or uncheck the Lock Aspect Ratio box.

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Rotating Elements

To rotate any element or group of elements, select the shape or group of shapes. A bounding box will appear with a rotation icon at the top. Click the rotation icon, drag it into the correct orientation, then release. While you are rotating the element, you will see a display of the rotation in degrees. If you have snap-to-grid placement enabled, objects will automatically rotate in increments of 5 degrees.

You can also specify exact rotation for any shape or group of shapes:

  1. Select the shape or group of shapes.
  2. Open the blue properties menu.
  3. In the Rotation field, define the exact rotation in degrees clockwise.

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If you have carefully positioned an element and want to be sure that you don’t accidently move it while you edit the rest of your diagram, you want to lock that element:

  1. Select the shape.
  2. Open the blue properties menu.
  3. Check (or uncheck) the Lock Shape box.

Note that if you select a locked and unlocked shape in the same group, you will be able to move both shapes together as if they were an unlocked group. When the group is released, the locked object will be locked to its new position.

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If you have carefully positioned several elements in relation to each other, and you want to be able to move and manipulate them as if they were a single object, you can add them to a Group:

  1. Select the shapes.
  2. Click the Group button in the toolbar.

To break up the group and treat each element as an individual object again, select the group and click the Ungroup button.

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Bring to Front / Send to Back

If you have positioned an element correctly, but it overlaps with other objects in a way you don’t like, you can move any object into the foreground or background:

  1. Select the shape or shapes.
  2. Click the Bring to Front or Send to Back button in the toolbar.

This feature is especially helpful if you are using shapes or images as a background for your diagram.

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Evenly Distributed Shapes

You can align and evenly distribute a group of shapes on your diagram. To do so, select the shapes you’re working with, click the blue properties menu that appears next to your shapes, and then use the various Align and Distribute buttons to make them distributed the way you want. 


Align Options

  1. Align left
  2. Align center
  3. Align right
  4. Align top
  5. Align middle
  6. Align bottom

Aligning takes all the selected shapes and aligns them with the shape that is furthest to the left, center, right, etc. depending on what you select. 


Distribute Options

  1. Distribute vertical center
  2. Distribute horizontal center

Distributing takes all the selected shapes and distrubtes them evenly either vertically or horizontally depending on what you select. 

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You can choose to apply color themes to your diagram for quick and easy styling. Clicking the Diagram Themes button from the Toolbar will open up the Themes box on the right side of your diagram. 


This moveable box can be moved anywhere on your canvas. 


Hovering over each theme creates a preview of it applied to the diagram on your drawing canvas. Clicking on the theme applies it to your diagram. To undo an applied theme, select Edit->Undo, or Ctrl+Z.

Completed diagram with no theme: 


Diagram Theme applied: 

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Changing Element Styles

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Shapes and Symbols

To change the style of any shape or symbol, select it then click the blue button to open the properties menu. You can make the following adjustments (some options are not available on all elements):

  • Change the Shape Color. (On some of the more complex shapes, such a Network symbols, only part of the object has a customizable color.)
  • Change the Border Color.
  • Change the Border Thickness.
  • Change the Border Pattern
  • Toggle the Gradient on and off.
  • Toggle the Drop Shadow on and off.
  • Adjust the Shape Opacity
  • Set the X/Y coordinates of the upper left corner of the element.
  • Set the Width and Height of the element.
  • Specify a Rotation for the element.
  • Lock or unlock the element Aspect Ratio.
  • Lock or Unlock the element position.

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Lines and Connectors

To change to style of any line or connector, select it then click the blue button to open the line properties menu. You can make the following adjustments:

  • Set the Beginning Arrow style.
  • Set the End Arrow style.
  • Change the Line Color.
  • Change the Line Thickness.
  • Change the Line Style to dotted, dashed, or solid.
  • Change the Line Type to straight line, sharp corners, rounded corners, or smooth curves.

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You can add text to almost any element: shapes, symbols, lines, and connectors. To add text, just select the element and start typing. Once an element has text associated with it, you will be able to modify the text style.

To change the text style for an entire element, select that element (or group of elements) then click the blue button to open the text properties menu. If you only want to change a single letter, word, or phrase within an element, double-click the element to enter Text Edit mode, then highlight the words you want to modify. You can make the following adjustments:

  • Set the text to BoldItalic, or Underline.
  • Change the text Alignment to left, center, or right.
  • Change the Font Family.
  • Change the Font Size.
  • Insert or remove a Hyperlink.
  • Change the Font Color.

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Context Menu

Another way to work faster with Gliffy is to use the Context Menu. The Context Menu provides access to the most commonly used commands with the click of your mouse. To access the Context Menu, right-click your mouse (for Mac users, control+click will perform the same function). The Context Menu varies based on what shapes/lines you have selected:

No shapes selected or not mousing over a shape: Option to Paste Here, Select All Objects, and Zoom

One Shape selected and mouse is over a shape: Option to Cut, Copy, Paste, Delete, Lock Selection, Bring to Front, and Send to Back

If more than one shape is selected and mouse is over a shape: You will have the options above and the option to Group or Ungroup

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Copy Styles

In Gliffy for JIRA v4.4 and above, you can copy a style from one shape or connector to other shapes and connectors. 

Start by setting a style for a shape or connector, then click on the shape to activate the Copy Style paintbrush icon in the Toolbar. 


Clicking on the paintbrush will copy the style of the shape or connector you selected and your pointer will show as a paintbrush. 


Click on the shape or connector you want to paste the style to and this will then make them have the same styles. 


If you want to paste styles to multiple shapes:, click the shape you want to copy and click the Copy Style icon. 

Circle the shapes/connectors you want to apply the style to with your mouse. 


Once you release your mouse it will change all the shapes in the selected area. 

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Viewing and Managing the Diagram Canvas

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Document Properties

Selecting File->Document Properties will open up the Document Properties panel for the diagram you are in. By default, the Width and Height of the staging area are set to 5000 x 5000 pixels and is the maximum size for a diagram. You can set the limits for your diagram size here. 

You can also choose to export the border of your diagram and set your background color here. 

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Transparent Background

You can change the background on your diagram to be transparent. You can set this under File->Document Properties. 

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By default, snap-to-grid placement is enabled on your diagrams so that you move or place objects in increments of 10 pixels. You can easily toggle snap-to-grid off and on again in the Toolbar

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Drawing Guides

If you have drawing guides enabled, green lines will help you move or resize shapes in alignment to the edges of other objects and red lines help you move or resize shapes in alignment to the center of other objects.

You can easily toggle drawing guides on and off again with the Drawing Guides button in the toolbar.

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If you want to get a closer (or wider) look at your diagram, you can use the Zoom dropdown in the toolbar to set the zoom.

The + Zoom and - Zoom buttons give you a tool that allows you to zoom in (or out) on a specific area of the diagram by clicking the Drawing Canvas.

You can also zoom in a very specific are by selecting the + Zoom tool and drawing a rectangle around that area with a click-drag-release.

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If you want to move around a large diagram without using the browser’s scroll bars, the Pan tool lets you pan through the visible area of your Drawing Canvas: just click, drag, and release.

If you want a quick shortcut, holding down the space bar on your keyboard automatically switches your cursor to the pan tool.

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Saving and Returning to JIRA

The Save button in the upper right corner will let you save the diagram. If this is the first time you’re saving the diagram, you will be prompted to enter a name.

The Exit link in the upper right corner will return you to your Confluence page. If you have not already saved the diagram, you will receive a warning asking to confirm the navigation. If you leave without saving, your most recent edits may be lost.


You can also go to File->Save and Close to leave the Gliffy Editor. 

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Revision History

Every time you save a diagram, Gliffy keeps a record of that version. At any time, you can revert to an earlier saved version of your diagram:

  1. Go to File->Revision History.
  2. Select the version you would like to recover and click Okay.
  3. If you have not saved the currently active version of the diagram, you will be asked to confirm. You can choose to Continue Working on the current unsaved diagram, or you can Open Revision to discard the active diagram and restore the earlier version.

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Printing Diagrams

Printing directly from the Gliffy Editor is available in Gliffy for JIRA v4.4 and above

To print your diagram, go to File->Print



Some browsers have different behaviors when printing. 

Chrome Browser: In Chrome, you will need to set your margins to "None" in the print system dialog that comes up after you click "Next". 




For all browsers you will need to also make sure you have your Paper Size and Page Orientation set correctly in the print dialog screen that comes up after you click "Next". 

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Page Setup

Under File->Page Setup, you can select the Paper Size for your diagram, set the paper orientation to Portrait or Landscape, and Display Page Breaks to show within the drawing canvas to show how your diagram will print. 


Paper Size options:


Display Page Breaks


 Once you have this setup the way you want, click "Close" to exit the Page Setup modal. 

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Exporting Diagrams

Gliffy allows you to export your diagram in several formats. To export your diagram, go to File->Export. 



If you select PNG or JPG you will have the option to set the resolution up to 400% (available in Gliffy for JIRA v4.3 and above)



The SVG and Gliffy file options have one standard. 

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Working with Shapes and Lines

You can add shapes to the Drawing Stage in two ways:

  • Draw them with the Ellipse or Rectangle Tool or
  • Drag them in from the Shape Library

You can draw connectors and lines using the Connector Tool and the Line Tool.

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Using the Ellipse and Rectangle Tools

The most basic way to draw shapes is using the Ellipse and Rectangle Tools in the Toolbar . These tools work identically; one draws a shape with rounded corners and the other draws a shape with right angle corners.

There’s no trick to using either tool. Just select the tool you want from the Toolbar and draw by clicking, dragging and releasing. The first place on the Drawing Stage that you click defines the first corner of the shape’s boundary box. As you drag your mouse with the button depressed, the box grows. When you release the mouse button, the ellipse or rectangle is created to fill the boundary box you’ve drawn.

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Using the Shape Library

If you’re using shapes from the Shape Library, it’s even easier. First find the shape you want. Next click it then drag it onto the Drawing Stage and drop it at the destination.

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Moving and Manipulating Shapes

Any shape can be resized, rotated or moved once it’s been placed upon the Drawing Stage. You can use the little squares that appear in any selected shape’s boundary box’s corners or midpoints to extend the dimensions of the shape. Just click and drag them. To rotate a shape, click and drag the curled arrow that you’ll see above the selected shape.

Also worth noting is the ability to lock a shape to its current dimensions. To do this mark the “Lock Shape” box in the shape’s Properties Panel that appears to the right of the shape after clicking on it.

When you lock a shape, the little squares around the boundary box turn red to indicate the shape is fixed. You will not be able to change the dimensions, or other properties, of the shape until you unlock the shape.

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Setting Shape Properties

When you select a shape, you can edit its properties using the Properties Panel . At the top of the shape properties section, you will see several icons that control the shape’s appearance.

  • Shape Color
  • Border Color
  • Border Thickness
  • Line Pattern
  • Gradient
  • Drop Shadow
  • Shape Opacity


The   icon lets you choose what color fill you want the selected shape to have.


The  icon controls the color of the shape’s border.


The  icon determines how thick the shape’s border is, or whether it has a border at all.


The  icon determines what type of pattern the border of the shape will have. 


The  icon allows you to turn the gradient on or off and the fill color will transition from lighter to darker from top to bottom.  


The  icon allows you to add shadows to your shapes that suggest depth. 


The  icon allows you to add opacity to Basic and Flowchart shapes. 


If you find your mouse isn’t giving you the level of control you want, you can also use the Size, Position and Rotation properties to specify the exact dimensions, location and angle of rotation of the selected shape. The position coordinates correspond to the position of the upper left corner of the shape’s boundary box.

On the right side of the Properties Panel, you’ll also see check boxes for “Aspect Ratio" and ”Lock Shape”. Marking the “Aspect Ratio” box forces the selected shape to retain its current shape, but not its size. You can still make an ellipse or rectangle larger or smaller, but it will hold its aspect ratio. “Lock Shape” not only secures the aspect ratio, but also secures the size, color and other properties of the selected shape. 

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Shape Opacity

You can control the opacity of Basic and Flowchart shapes. Click into the blue shape properties box that appears next to the shape and you will see a Shape Opacity icon. 


You can manually type in a value or use the scroll bar to adjust the opacity on your shape. 

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Linking Shapes

In the Gliffy for JIRA plugin v4.3 and higher, you can hyperlink entire shapes instead of just text. *please note, this feature is not available on multi-part shapes, such as swimlanes, certain UML shapes, tables, etc. More linkable shapes will be coming in the future 

To link a shape, click once on it so it is highlighted, then click the "Create Link" button in the Toolbar. 


After clicking the "Create Link" button, a modal will open to allow you to enter a URL.


After entering the link to the URL you want, click "Insert" to add it.  


After inserting the link, your shape will show an icon in the lower right corner. This indicates that the shape is linked. 


If you want to remove the shape link icon, check the "Hide Link Icon" box when setting up your link. 


Clicking on the shape will show the URL it is linked to. You can Go to the link, Edit the link, or Unlink from this menu. 

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Drawing Guides

Gliffy provides guides to help you line up your shapes with other shapes. To turn on theDrawing Guides, click on the  button in the Toolbar. Now, when you drag a shape from somewhere on the stage or from the shape library, it will detect if another shape in it’s vicinity has a matching edge or center point. If there is a matching edge, the shape you are dragging will “snap” to the other shapes edge, and a green line will appear to show the alignment. The same goes with a center point, except the line will be red. See the image below as an example of a left edge and center point alignment on the X axis.

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Using the Connector and Line Tools

The Connector and Line Tools work identically to each other. 

The Connector Tool lets you draw a line forced to turn at right angles where necessary and the Line Tool draws a straight line between whichever endpoints you select, with no turns. To draw either a connector or a line, select the appropriate tool from the Toolbar, place your cursor where you want your connector or line to start and click and drag to your desired endpoint.

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Moving and Locking Lines and Connectors

Once you’ve drawn a line or connector you’ll notice a characteristic about each endpoint: if it’s a connector with more than two segments, each middle segment has a little circle. These circles work like the squares around the boundary boxes of shapes. If you click and drag on one of the circles, you’ll only adjust that segment of the line/connector. If you click anywhere else, you’ll move the whole line.


Frequently, you’ll want to connect the end of a line to a shape so that if the shape moves, the line will stick to the shape. When you select a line, you’ll see that all the shapes in your diagram become flanked with little ‘ + ‘ symbols. There should be one in the middle of each shape as well. These ‘ + ‘ symbols are standard connection points. If you drag the endpoint of a line or connector to one, you’ll see the little circle turn green. That indicates the line is locked to the connection point. From then on, if you move the shape, the line will remain connected.

When initially drawing a line or connector, you can start off on a connection point—if the connection point shows a green circle, your line will be locked to it.

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Setting Line and Connector Properties

When you select a line or connector, you can change its properties using the Properties Panel (just click the blue button next to the line end, see image below). You can change:

  • Line endings (arrow types)
  • Line Color
  • Line Weight
  • Line Style
  • Line Type

If you select any number of lines or connectors at one time, you can set properties for all of them at once.


The  and icons allow you to add directionality to your line (for most lines). For specific shapes, like UML, ERD, BPMN, etc., you will get a selection of line end types specific to that shape type. The direction the arrows in this menu point translates as ‘left = line start point’ and ‘right = line end point’. So if you drew your line from right to left, and select the arrow that points to the right, you’ll see your line will get an arrow pointing to the left! If you consistently draw your lines/connectors from start to end, this will make adding arrows much easier.

The  icon allow you to select a color for your connector or line. 

The  icon allow you to change how thick your lines are in pixels. 

The  icon lets you choose from a selection of different patterns for the selected line, from finely dotted to solid.


The   icon allows you to select a type of line or connector. The first choice is a straight line. The next three are connectors: right angle, rounded corner,and Bezier Curve. 

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UML Cardinality

You can add cardinality to your UML lines. If you drag a UML connector line onto the canvas, you will notice some cardinality boxes appear on each side. You can then use these to add cardinality to your UML diagram. 

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UML Arrows

UML connectors have additional arrow ends you can use by clicking into the connector property box. 

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Entity-Relationship arrows

You can adjust your Entity-Relationship arrow ends to make the appropriate shape for your needs. 

If you don't see a pre-made ER arrow you would like to use, pull any of them onto the canvas then click into the blue, shape properties box. 

Click into the line properties and you will see a drop-down for both arrow ends. You can choose from here what type of shape you want to create. 

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Bring to Front / Send to Back

As your document becomes more complex, you may find you need to control which elements are in the foreground and which are in the background. You can do this by selecting the desired element *be it a shape, a line, or a text box) and using the  icon to bring the selected element to the front or the  icon to send it to the back. In Gliffy Online, you can also send elements to the front or back by selecting them and right clicking to select these options in the context menu. 

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Pop-up Notes

Please note this is an initial release for Pop-up Notes. Additional features and capabilities will be coming in the future. If you have feedback or additional requests for the notes feature, please add your comments here:

In Gliffy for JIRA v4.0 and above, the 
Pop-Up Note command button can be found in the Toolbar. The pop-up note can only be selected if an applicable shape is selected/clicked (Please note this feature is currently limited to Basic and Flowchart shapes only. More shapes will be added in the future). The pop-up button will show as inactive if you do not have a shape selected first. 


Once you have selected the shape you want to add a note to and click on the pop-up button, the Add Note modal will appear. 

You can type your note/comment in and when finished, click Done to add your note. Click Cancel to back out and cancel the note (there is a 250 character limit). 


Once you have clicked Done, you will see a note icon in the corner of the shape. If you hover over the shape, the note will pop-up. 


Your pop-up notes will appear if you click on the Expand arrows in the preview pane. 

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In Gliffy for JIRA v4.2 and up, you can add tables to your diagram by going into More Shapes->Website and UI->Tables. This will open the tables section in your shape library. 


Once you have pulled a table on to the diagram, you can click on a cell to select it. Shift + Click to select multiple cells. A cell is highlighted orange if currently selected. 


Selected cell: 


Multiple Selected cells: 


If you want to Add/Remove columns or rows, click into the edit custom properties widget


If you have the entire table selected, you will see these options: 

  • Add Column
  • Remove Column
  • Add Row
  • Delete Row

This will insert or delete the column or row at the end.


If you have an individual cell selected, you will see these options: 

  • Add Column
  • Remove Column
  • Add Row
  • Delete Row
  • Insert Column
  • Remove Selected Column
  • Insert Row
  • Remove Selected Row

This will add/remove/insert/remove columns or rows from the cell selected. 


If you have a single cell or multiple cells selected, you can change the properties of these by clicking into the blue properties bar.


If you have the entire table selected and click into the shape properties, you can select the border color and thickness of your lines. 

Border Color: 


Border Thickness: 


If you click into the shape properties area, you can adjust the color of your selected cells. 


 *Please note: the X,Y coordinates and the Width/Height control the entire table, not an individual cell


You can adjust the width and height of individual colums or rows by scrolling your mouse on the border lines between them. The cursor will change and you can then move the colums or rows to make them smaller or larger. 


Using these features you should be able to create extensive, colorful tables in your diagrams. 




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Layers are available in the Gliffy for JIRA Plugin v4.4 and above. 

Layers can be added by clicking the Layers button in the Toolbar. This will pop-up the Layers modal on the right side of the drawing canvas. 


Adding Layers:



Hiding Layers: 



Changing Layer Order: 


Locking Layer:



Duplicate Layer: 


Moving and Deleting Layer: 

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Mind Maps

Mind Maps are available in the Gliffy for JIRA Plugin v4.5 and above. 

Mind Maps are drawn differently than flowcharts. A flowchart shows the flow of information and has a beginning and an end; a Mind Map shows information in clusters. Because Mind Maps are a brainstorming tool, they have their own set of shortcuts, making it possible for you to map as fast as your ideas flow.



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How to Start a Mind Map

You can start and create a Mindmap template by doing one of the following:

1. From the Gliffy Start Screen, select "Create From a Template" and then click the Mind Map folder. Click once on the Mind Map template and click "Open" or double-click to load the template and start working. 


2. From any other page, go to File -> New and then click the Mind Maps folder and template. 


This will open up a Mindmaps template with a main topic and tips for creating your mindmap.

The Main Topic shape is the template anchor, so any nodes most come off of this. If this shape is removed or deleted, the Mind Map functionality and commands will not work. Mind Map commands only work on shapes in the Mind Map template. 


To add a subtopic - Click an arrow or enter the CMD/CTRL + Arrow keys

To add a topic at the same level as the current topic - enter the TAB + Arrow keys

To navigate around your mindmap, use the arrow keys on your keyboard

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How to Hide & Show Subtopics

To hide a node's subtopics, click the "Collapse" button. To show the subtopics, click the "Expand" button.

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How to Tidy Up Your Mind Map

Creating mindmaps can be messy! To make sure your nodes aren't overlapping when you're done, click the "Layout" button in the Properties panel and then "Fit to Screen." Voila! Your mindmap is all tidy now.

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The Swimlane shapes can have up to 12 lanes added to them. You can add additional swimlanes by dragging a swimlane shape out to the editor, then click the blue custom properties box: 

Once you click into the shape properties, you can select the "Number of swimlanes" drop-down menu and select how many lanes you want it to have up to 12. 

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Working with Text

There are two ways to add text to your document. Using the Text Tool lets you create text boxes, which can be moved and resized independently from other document elements. You can also enter text directly into elements which is easier, but offers less control.

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The Text Tool

Selecting the  icon from the Toolbar 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’ve drawn. If you enter more lines than will fit in the box, the text will extend above and below the borders of the text box.

When you’re done entering text, you can move, resize or rotate a text box just as you would any other shape. If you want to edit the text inside the text box, just double-click on it, you’ll notice a flashing cursor indicating you can edit the text.

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Text Position in a Shape

You can move text in a shape to various areas in/around the shape. Clicking into the text properties area will show a Text Position button. 


Clicking on Text Position will give you 5 options:

  • Text Inside
  • Text Above
  • Text Below
  • Text Left
  • Text Right


Text Inside: 


Text Above: 


Text Below: 


Text Left: 


Text Right: 


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Vertical Alignment

When setting the text position in a shape, you can also use the Vertical Align tool to align the text. You can access this also from the text properties menu. 

Vertical Align Top: 

Vertical Align Middle: 

Vertical Align Bottom: 


 *currently available on Basic/Flowchart shapes

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Move Text On a Line

You can move text anywhere you want along a line. 

If you add text to the middle of a connector and then click on it, you should see it highlighted green. This means it can be moved all around the line. 


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Multiple Text on a Line

You can enter multiple text areas on a line. You can click anywhere on a connector line to add text and enter as many different boxes as you like. 

If you add text to a connector and then click on it, you should see it highlighted green. This means it can be moved all around the line. 

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Linking text

To add a hyperlink, double click on the text and highlight the words you want to turn into an active link. Click the  icon in the text properties box and enter the desired URL, then click "Insert Link". 


You can also highlight the text you want to hyperlink and click the "Create Link" button in the Toolbar: 


Clicking on the hyperlinked text will show a hyperlink editing box while in Edit mode. You can Go to the link, Edit the link, or Unlink from this menu. 


Hyperlinks will remain active if viewed as a full-size image in JIRA or exported as an SVG. 

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Entering Text in Elements

Sometimes you’ll want to enter text directly into a shape or over a line. 

To enter text this way, just select the element you want, by double-clicking, and start typing. You can edit this text at any time by double clicking on the element. To completely remove text from an element, double click the element, highlight the text and click delete.

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Setting Text Properties

Regardless of how you’ve entered text, you can edit the properties of selected text in the Properties Panel . If you select a text box, an element with text typed over it, or any combination of the two, the text properties section will show up in the Properties Panel.

Here, you can choose between the 15 current available fonts (additional fonts available in Gliffy for JIRA v4.2 or above):

  • Arial
  • Verdana
  • Helvetica
  • Courier
  • Times
  • Roboto
  • Oswald
  • Open Sans Condensed
  • Roboto Slab
  • Droid Serif
  • Roboto Condensed
  • Raleway
  • Bangers
  • Permanent Marker
  • Droid Sans Mono

You also can change the font size and color, make text bold, italic and/or underlined, and change the alignment of the text. You can also add hyperlinks to text (not available in the Gliffy Plugin for JIRA).

You can set different sections of text to have different properties within the same text box or element. For example, one word in a sentence can be bold and in a larger font size. All that's needed is to select the words you want to change the properties for and make your changes.

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