Dia is a GTK+ based multi-platform diagram creation program. Dia is similar to the Visio program for Windows.
In this article, let us review how to create a simple flow chart using Dia.
Step 1. Select Flow Chart in the diagram tools window
Select the flow chart in diagram tools window as shown below.
Fig. Select Flow Chart Menu Item from Dia for Linux
This will show the flow charting tools in the window.
- Process/Auxillary Operation
- Transaction file
- Off Page Connector
- Manual Operation
- Manual Input
- Predefined Process
- and so on..
Fig: Flow Chart Panel Selected in the Dia for UNIX
Step 2. Select and draw using tools
Select the flow chart tool and start drawing. In the following example, I started with the ‘Start’ flow-chart component.
Fig: “Start” Flow Chart Component in the Dia Program
In the following example, I quickly drew 5 flow chart components — Start, Get Input, Process, Display Output, and Stop. At this stage, these flow chart components are not aligned properly.
Fig: All Flow Chart Components in Dia UnAligned
Step 3. Align and Spread out the components
At this stage the flowchart may not look neat, as the components are neither aligned nor spread-out properly.
Before aligning and spreading-out the components, select all the flow-chart components on the screen using the mouse as shown below.
Fig: Select all Dia Flow Chart Components Using Mouse
Align all the components to center
Click on Object Menu -> Align -> Center to center all the selected components. You can also use Shift+Alt+C short-cut key to align the objects.
Spread Out all the components to center
When you draw the flow chart, each component will have a different distance from the other component. To make all the spaces equivalent use the spread out option.
Click on Object Menu -> Align -> Spread Out Vertically. You can also use Shift+Alt+V short-cut key to spread out all the selected components vertically.
Fig: Dia Flow Chart after Spread Out Vertically
Step 4. Connect Flow Chart Components Using Arrows
Select the arrow from general tools window, and then connect the components one by one. You can also change the arrow type, and the thickness in the tools window.
Fig: Dia Flow Chart with the Arrows
Step 5. Export the Flow Chart as an Image
Finally you can export the flow chart to an image file using the export option.
Click on File Menu -> Export -> Select the file type as png, or as what ever you wanted -> Click export after specifying the file name.
Fig: Final Flow Chart Image Export from Dia