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Adding Lines, Arrows and Linked Connectors

13th December 2022

Jacob Woolcock


Organising your thoughts and ideas in Freeform is made incredibly easy with a wide selection of customisable connecting lines, arrows and links. These can be completely customised to make them thicker, thinner, dotted, dashed, straight, curved, arrow-headed or pretty much anything else! But what’s more is that these connecting lines can dynamically move and adapt as the content on your Freeform Board changes. In this short and easy-to-follow tutorial I’ll show you exactly how they all work!

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Our Freeform board is starting to take shape now, but what I want to do is start grouping things together by using connecting lines. If I tap onto my shapes button at the bottom, there are actually three different options I can use for this purpose: there’s a straight line, there’s an arrow, and there’s a curved line. Now, the straight line and arrow both behave in the same way, so let’s grab one of those.

When you tap on the shape, you can use the floating toolbar to increase the thickness of the line, and you can have a dotted, dashed, or hand-drawn style line as well. Another nice touch is that I can customise what I have at the start and the end of that line. So, at the moment, there’s an arrowhead at one end, but I could change that to be a double-ended arrow, no arrow at all, or I can have circular markers, straight lines—quite a few different options to really customise what I want.

As I grab one end of that line, I can position it on my page, but as soon as I move something else, that line stays in place—it’s just there by itself, which really isn’t ideal. So, I’m going to get rid of that line by pressing the delete button, and this time, I’m going to add that third type, which is the curved line.

Just like before, we can change how the line looks by making it thicker or thinner, dotted or dashed, changing the colour, and changing the ends. I can even change if I want it to be a straight line, a curved line, or a zigzag line. But the difference now is that when I move one of those blue dots that I’ve rendered, it will actually kind of clip onto the object I’ve moved it to, whether that be a text box, a photograph, or a shape—pretty much anything in Freeform. It will join onto this.

This special line really comes into its own when your Freeform board starts evolving, and you start moving things around. For example, if I move that camera symbol, you’ll notice that the line automatically moves, following that content, and the connection remains intact. This works no matter how many connecting lines you have, and I think it makes organising these boards so much easier.

So, for me, I’m always going to use this curved connection line. Another nice touch is that I can use that green dot in the middle to change where the line actually falls. Do I want it to be more curved or less? Do I want to move it above or below the content? All those sort of things. And of course, when I duplicate that line, I can then connect it to any other object I like, which means I can quickly and efficiently build up even more links on this board. In fact, I’m going to go ahead and do that now.

Meanwhile, hopefully, you’ll join me in the next video, where we’re going to look at adding rich hyperlinks to websites and other sorts of documents and media onto your Freeform board. I’ll see you there.

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