Creating custom libraries
Although draw.io provides an extensive set of default libraries, there may be times when you would like to use symbols that are not provided. Provided you are able to locate and use the relevant symbols, you can incorporate them into a custom library, which can then be used in the same way as any of the existing default libraries. This page will explain how to do this.
When creating a new library, the first decision to make is where it will be saved. You have usual five three storage options to choose from. For this example, we have created a diagram on OneDrive, but would now like to create a custom library, and store it locally, in our browser. First we select File -> New library -> Browser> Storage Option.
This brings up a custom library screen. In the Filename field we can choose the name of our library. The main part of the screen is blank; this is where our library symbols will be displayed as we add them.
There are four main ways to add a new symbol to the library:
- Drag an image or URL associated with an image onto the blank window pane.
- Add an image by browsing your local file system (Device storage).
- Add an image from a web page URL.
- Search for and select from online images.
Let's go through each of these methods in turn.
Dragging an image onto symbol pane
This is simply a case of dragging a symbol from another location (such as a directory on your local file system) and onto the symbol pane. The symbol then appears, indicating that it has joined the library.
Here we have done this to add our first library symbol, a left facing black arrow.
Add image by browsing local file system
Clicking Add images brings up the file picker for your local file system (Device storage).
You can browse this in the usual way, selecting one or more files, and they will appear as new symbols in your library.
Here we have done this to add a second library symbol, a right facing red arrow.
Add an image from a web page URL.
From the custom library screen, click on Add image URL. This brings up a new screen where you can type in or copy a URL.
Here we have copied in a URL linking to the draw.io logo symbol. Clicking Apply then adds the logo to our library.
Search online images
The previous method works fine if you already have a URL to use. But if you want to search for an appropriate image, you can also do this. From the custom library screen, click on Add image URL.
This time, instead of using a URL in the Add image URL field, click Search instead. This will bring up a Google search window. Entering search terms into the search field will cause images to appear. You can filter these images by type or color content, using the options beneath the search field. Let's zoom in on this part of the page in order to see what filters are available.
There is an image filter drop-down menu on the far left, which defaults to Any type, but can be set to only show images of a certain type. After that, there are a row of color content filters. The default is Full color, but you can select monochrome or various single colors instead.
Once we have located a suitable image, we click on it, and it wil be outlined in blue to indicate that it has been selected.
Only select images that you have confirmed you have the license to use.
Click Select at the bottom left to return to the previous screen, but now with the URL for the selected image in the Add image URL field.
Clicking Apply then adds the latest symbol to our library. We have also given the library a name prior to saving it
We now have four symbols in our new library. Not that each symbol has a small black cross in its top right hand corner. If want to remove any symbol from the library, we can simply click the cross. We can save the library by clicking Save.
The new library appears at the top of the library symbol on the left hand side of draw.io.
Opening a custom library
Having created our custom library, we can load it into another session of draw.io. Below we created a new diagram in Google Drive. Let us now add the custom library we created in the previous section.
Select File -> Open library from -> Browser (since we saved the library in local Browser storage).
The Browser file picker appears, and we can see our custom library file.
Clicking the file causes the library symbol menu to appear.