Tips for Effective Network Diagrams

Here are six tips for creating network diagrams that communicate in a clear and effective way.

1. Color-Code Connecting Lines

To illustrate different protocols or cable types, color-code the connecting lines.

Color-code lines

2. Differentiate LANs

Differentiate among separate LANs, departments, or divisions using colored backgrounds behind each division.

Differentiate LANs

3. Enlarge Symbols for a Detailed View

The vendor specific equipment included with SmartDraw is extremely detailed. You can enlarge the device image to get a close up view of its ports and features.

Once a server symbol is enlarged, you can add detailed notes about specific ports and connections.

Detailed view of network eqiupment

4. Link Multiple Network Diagrams

For large organizations, you might need to create more than one network design diagram. SmartDraw allows you to link multiple diagrams, so the viewer can drill down into your diagram for more detail. For example, you could represent a branch office with a single shape in your main network diagram, and clicking on that shape opens the detailed network diagram for the branch office.

Link documents

5. Share Your Diagram

Make sure everyone is on the same page. SmartDraw makes it easy to share your network design diagram with others in a business presentation or on the web.

Share your network design in a variety of common graphics formats such as a PDF, PNG, or SVG. Export it to any Office®¬†application in one click. SmartDraw works with popular services such as Dropbox®, Google Drive, and OneDrive®.

Examples of common exporting formats:

  • Export as PDF, PNG or SVG for the web
  • Export as HTML with working hyperlinks
  • Copy & Paste into PowerPoint® or other Office® Suite programs

When you paste your diagram into another program (such as PowerPoint®), you can edit it by simply double-clicking on the diagram in the other program. This automatically opens the diagram in SmartDraw for editing, and your changes will be updated in the other program automatically.

6. Draw for your audience.

Draw a detailed chart for your technical staff, but a more general chart for upper management. You can even include both charts in the same drawing by using layers. Move all the technical information to a separate layer and hide it when you present the chart to management.

Take SmartDraw with you, too. Create a network diagram online using your Mac® or PC laptop. You can also use SmartDraw on your tablet or smartphone running iOS®, Android®, or any other platform.

Office integration