Part 3: Advanced tips for network diagrams

Network Diagrams Guide

Tips for making perfect network diagrams

Use commonly accepted symbols and icons.

Like most technical diagrams, there are commonly used shapes and icons people have come to expect when viewing a network diagram. Using shapes like the ones available in Cacoo, you ensure that your audience will easily understand your diagram. While it may be tempting to get overly creative with your diagram, the risk is usually not worth the reward.

Don’t let lines cross one another.

It becomes difficult to decipher paths of information when lines cross. Always create enough room in your diagram so that lines never have to cross.

Align objects.

Using the grid background option in Cacoo along with the dotted guidelines that pop up when moving objects, it’s easy to properly align objects for consistency.

Use different colors for different connections.

You can use different colors for your connection lines to help viewers more easily decipher connection types.

Always direct arrows left to right.

Your diagrams should flow in one direction, left to right, to keep the flow of your diagram clear.

Make sure there is only one start event and one end event.

If you are trying to represent more than one, try creating a separate diagram instead, so each one clearly only depicts one start and end.

Errors to avoid

There are a few common formatting errors you should always avoid.

  1. Looping. Your elements should never form an endless loop in the network diagram. All information should go from start event to end event, without getting trapped in a loop.Looping Error
  2. Dangling. You should also never have one element that is disconnected from all the other activities. If information enters this event, no activity will emerge from it.
    Dangling Error
  3. Dummies. People sometimes use dummy elements for connections that don’t exist or are imaginary. Usually these elements are represented by a dotted arrow.
    Dummy Error

Why choose Cacoo for creating network diagrams?

You need the right tool at the right time to make great designs. That’s why it’s important to consider how diagramming tools fulfill your specific needs, rather than just reviewing an exhaustive list of features.

Cacoo is simple to use, easy to learn, and accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. Cloud-based diagramming allows you and your team to collaborate on diagrams in real-time, and share them with important stakeholders without them needing to download any programs or even sign up for an account.

You can create diagrams in minutes; not just network diagrams, but flowcharts, mind maps, sitemaps, UML diagrams, wireframes, and more.

Cacoo can help organize your workflow. With our Team plan, you can save diagrams into individual Projects, share diagrams automatically with groups, and get feedback in comments right in the app.

You’ll also get:

  • Advanced exporting options (PNG, PDF, PPT, PostScript, or SVG)
  • Revision history (see what changes were made and when)
  • In-app chat (and commenting)
  • Easy sharing (no downloading needed)
  • Diagram embedding (embed diagrams into any webpage)
  • Team management (invite people to your Organization, create groups, and assign roles)
  • Advanced security (manage access to diagrams, so you know exactly who’s seeing it)

Try it out for yourself with our free 14-day trial. You can create diagrams, invite your team, and see if Cacoo is the right tool for you. No credit card required. No risk involved.

We also offer a Plus plan for those who don’t need our collaboration features but are still interested in the joining the 2.5 million users who depend on Cacoo for their diagramming needs.

Additional Cacoo Resources:

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