Each shape in an entity relationship diagram is a container composed of many parts – the shape, text with formatting and of course these are connected.

You don’t want to have to enter so much data into each shape as you build your diagram.

draw.io - selected container in an ERD

One selected container shape and its connection – a complex group of shapes!

Use the scratchpad

The scratchpad in the left-hand panel makes it easy to copy groups of shapes and paste them, like a template container shape, into your diagram.

Add a group of shapes to the scratchpad

draw.io - Add to scratchpadSimply select the container shape or group of shapes you want to copy – make sure you select everything within the shape and its connector, and add it to the scratch pad by clicking the little + icon in the scratchpad’s toolbar.

Alternatively, you can drag your selection onto the scratch pad.

Inserting shapes from the scratchpad

Simply drag the group of shapes or container shape from the scratchpad, hover over the shape in the diagram until you see the blue connection arrow, and release the mouse over the connection arrow in the direction you want to paste the shapes. Your container shape will be automatically linked.

Try working with our example entity relationship diagram in draw.io online to get the hang of using the scratchpad to easily insert complex groups of shapes.


Further information