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Google Drawings has handy connector points on most shapes. But sometimes there aren't connectors where I want, and complex drawings become really hard to work with as I'm resizing and moving things around.

Connector between shapes in Google Drawings

Is it possible to add a connector point to a shape so that it stays fixed at an arbitrary coordinate on that shape no matter how it's resized, moved, or rotated?

4 Answers 4

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You can draw a transparent shape over any other shape and group them together. This will give you some additional connectors, not ideal, but it works for me.

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  • So ingenious! Works perfectly! I just make a large rectangle and stick a bunch of small transparent rectangles all around it, offset as I desire. I order the main one on top, group them, and now I have dozens of connection points to make a nice UML sequence chart diagram for software design! Mar 22, 2022 at 23:52
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To expound upon @bavo's excellent approach, here is what that looks like:

This is a long yellow rectangle with a bunch of little transparent rectangles on top of it. I left their outlines so you can see them. I intentionally split the top-most and bottom-most little rectangles half on the yellow rectangle and half hanging off so that their middle point will be exactly on the corners of the yellow rectangle, thereby allowing a connection point to the corners, which normally do not have connection points.

enter image description here

Once I make all the little rectangles fully transparent, and group the whole thing, you get this effect. Notice the 4 purple connection points that pop up, one on the corner of the yellow rectangle, due to that hidden little square underneath:

enter image description here

Here is the final diagram with this principle applied:

enter image description here

Edit this Sequence Diagram yourself on Google Docs here:

See my "Diagrams" folder and README in my eRCaGuy_dotfiles repo for this diagram template and more, as I add them.

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At this time it's not possible to add a connector points to a shape.

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As a second expound upon @bavo's excellent approach, here is what I did specifically for rectangular shapes that I use in architectural diagrams that use many interconnected rectangles. Basically, I created a modified rectangle shape with 12 additional connectors. So 16 connectors in total, evenly spaced across the sides. With a bit of creativity, the approach can be repeated for arbitrary shapes.

I shared a link to a slide containing the rectangle. Feel free to use it: Shape with 16 connectors

The rectangle can be created as follows:

  • Start with a large rectangular shape with a transparent fill and a black border. I started with 2,5" x 2,5".
  • Insert a transparent rectangle shape with a red border of size 0,1" x0,1". This color is temporary so you can easily see their placement. The size of the little shapes will approximate the thickness of the large rectangles' border. This helps with precise placement.
  • Move the red shape to the left top corner of the large rectangle
  • Copy the red shape and move to the bottom left corner. Use the arrange function for precise placement. Note that you can quickly select the desired shapes by dragging a box to encompass all shapes and then deselecting unwanted shapes by shift-clicking them. In this process, you will repeatedly want to deselect the large rectangle.
  • Copy, place and left-align 3 additional red shapes on the left side of the large rectangle. Now you should have 5 little shapes on the left side. Select them all and select arrange/distribute/vertically. Don't forget to deselect the large rectangle otherwise the distribution will be messed up.
  • Now remove the middle red shape. It is not needed, since it coincides with the existing red shape.
  • Repeat for all sides
  • Select the large rectangle, right-click and select order/send to back. This ensure all small shapes are on top of the large rectangle in the Z-order. This is needed so they will show their connection markers when connecting to them.
  • Now select all red shapes and make the line color transparent. This will make the connection points invisible when not in the process of connecting to them.
  • Keep them selected and add the large shape to the selection by shift-clicking it.
  • Right-click and select group.

You should now have a shape with 16 connectors that is reusable and resizable. You can easily copy between presentations.

This is what the rectangle looks like during the above process: enter image description here

When connecting a line, it will show the connecting points: enter image description here

When moving a rectangle, the connections are nicely retained: enter image description here

I personally use it to do stuff like this: enter image description here

and not having to redo the connector placement after moving the shapes.

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