How to Make Confluence Charts and Diagrams.
Updated: Jun 18, 2020
The Most Popular Diagram and Charting Tools for Confluence are:
1.) Draw.Io Flowchart & Diagram Maker for Confluence
2.) Gliffy Diagrams for Confluence
3.) Lucidchart for Confluence Diagramming
4.) SmartDraw for Automatic Diagramming in Confluence
Confluence helps diverse teams collaborate; from watercooler conversations to customer-facing documentation, Confluence templates, structured projects, image editing, diagramming, and charting in Confluence make communication clear, easy, and fun.
A picture may speak a thousand words, but with the right add-ons, your Confluence can help everyone communicate easily, making and sharing beautiful diagrams with whoever needs to see them. Here’s a helpful guide to all the best Confluence Apps for making and sharing charts and diagrams in Confluence.
Draw.io Flowchart & Diagram Maker for Confluence.
What Draw.io does well:
Draw.io makes it very quick to set up flowcharts with an intuitive click and play UX.
They’re very reasonably priced (a 1/10th of the price of some of the other options here).
They proudly advertise that they don’t use third-party servers for your data:
“Saving/loading diagrams is directly between your browser and Atlassian's servers, no storage or transit through third-party servers.”
and they’ve made it very easy to import your own shape libraries (if you're the sort of person that has shape libraries).
Gliffy Diagrams for Confluence,
The biggest, and most popular Confluence diagramming app since 2005 with 20,000 installs, and 15 million users, but few supported integrations.
What Gliffy does well.
Gliffy linked diagrams allow you to change something in one place and automatically update its links everywhere else.
The fact that diagram text is fully searchable makes for a very useful feature when you’re trying to find something across a big instance.
Lucidchart: Integrated Cross-Platform Confluence Charts.
Lucidchart’s dramatic ascent to being adopted by 99% of the Fortune 500 can be credited to their great marketing, UX, and vast number of integrations.
What Lucidchart does well.
Lucidchart is the best choice if you want multiple users concurrently editing a diagram on any device, across multiple platforms. It's more of a stand-alone app, where Confluence is one of many places you can share your diagrams.
You can also automatically chart from data imported from Excel, Zapier, Salesforce, or LinkedIn Sales Navigator. There are some clever integrations with Google Docs, Drive & Sheets; Powerpoint, and Dropbox Paper to take your diagrams wherever you want them.
SmartDraw for Automating Diagrams in Confluence.
Smart Draw has some wicked smart autoformatting, so whether you’re clicking or using the keyboard shortcuts, it’s very quick to make, adjust, and reformat different types of diagrams in Confluence. They’re also very reasonably priced and keep your chart data on your Confluence.
Which Confluence Diagramming Add-On is the Best?
All of these options let you import charts from other tools (such as Microsoft Visio, and each other), so it should be easy enough to migrate your charts if you change your mind later.
Each tool specializes in making certain types of charts better, if you're happy with basic charts, then the ability to import data, integrate with other tools, or share with external users might be the deciding factor.
Sharing Diagrams Outside of Confluence.
Sharing Confluence Diagrams with External Users
Whatever diagrams you’re sharing in Confluence, you have many options to expand the collaboration beyond Confluence itself, to wherever it’s needed, and for whoever needs to see it. An important point to consider with externally sharing diagrams is how to share the supporting and surrounding text. Diagrams are a crucial part of documentation you're sharing, but if the text, and other Confluence macros are how you communicate the bigger picture, you need more than a diagram building tool in isolation. If you're looking to externally share your diagrams beyond Confluence, there are a few considerations that will inform the best option, based on who you're sharing with, for how long, and for what purpose.
Using Confluence Diagrams in Public-Facing Documentation.
It's fairly straightforward to set up an individual Confluence space as a public-facing wiki for everyone to read.
To enable anonymous access to your Confluence:
Go to Settings > General Configuration > Global permissions. Choose Edit Permissions. In the Anonymous Access section, select the Can use checkbox. You can also choose whether to allow anonymous users to see user profiles. Choose Save All to apply the changes.
To make your space public:
Go to the space and choose Space tools > Permissions from the bottom of the sidebar. Choose Edit Permissions. Scroll down to the Anonymous Access section and select the specific permissions you'd like anonymous users to have. Save All to apply the changes.
Congratulations, you've made a read-only knowledge base for your customers and fans!
Here's our External Share for Confluence Customer Documentation:
This is great if you want to share read-only access to not just your diagrams, but all of the text, images, and macros on your Confluence spaces with everyone, The only limitation is they won't be able to comment, upload their own diagrams as attachments, nor make their own pages. If you're looking to give someone more access for deeper collaboration, the best option is to:
Give them Full Access to Your Confluence
I don't really have a paragraph to write here, just buy them a Confluence license and give them the right access based on the permission schemes you've set up in Confluence.
Give External Users Secure Access to View, Comment and Add Attachments to Individual Confluence Pages.
If you want external users to view specific Confluence Pages, and all the beautiful diagrams hosted there, consider External Share for Confluence. Invite anyone to contribute by adding comments and attachments, share all your charts and diagrams (whatever Confluence add-on you made them with) without the need to give anyone full access, nor the administrative burden of setting up individual permission schemes for every user.
Then you can share the links privately, limit the time before links expire, password protect them, and turn them off and back on again whenever you need to.
No need to buy a license, no need to give full access, no need to make sure everyone is using permission schemes properly across your Confluence Space.
So if you're using Charts and Diagrams in your Confluence, and would like to share them with external users, you have three options:
1.) Give them read-only access,
2.) Give them a Confluence license.
3.) Use External Share for Confluence.
So check out External Share for Confluence on the Atlassian Marketplace today to start an evaluation, and see why it's an Atlassian Staff Pick for 2020.