Every now and then I need to draw a diagram for a solution or platform architecture, and enjoy doing that! I usually spend more time on them then planned 🙄. There are lots of tools to create these diagrams, and lately I have been primarily using draw.io and I love it 🤩. Want to know how I make sure I have the latest Azure icons to work with? Read on!
Before I continue, did you know that the open source draw.io will be rebranded to diagrams.net? It’s because of the .io domain. You can find a link to more info on the ins-and-outs at the end of this blog post.
It always takes more time to get a diagram correct then I want it to. I search way too long for icons. Sometimes I even end up creating them myself. There are some collections available online, but I can’t always see when they have been updated, and usually they are incomplete, so my search continues…
But recently I stumbled upon an online 💎: the largest single collection of Azure icons available (or at least that I could find)! The collection combines multiple online sources into a single collection. You can browse through it online and download individual icons or the whole shebang. And the best thing is it’s up-to-date and will hopefully continue to be so (you never know of course)! It’s created by Ben Coleman, and you can find the web interface here: https://code.benco.io/icon-collection/. His repo with the icons and even the tools used to create and manage this collection are available on GitHub: https://github.com/benc-uk/icon-collection.
How to use the icon collection in draw.io (diagrams.net)
I’ve made it easy for you: I’ve created a couple of custom libraries with all the icons! I’ve uploaded them to my GitHub, and you can use them in a couple of ways.
The first and most simple option is to just start the diagrams.net app with an URL with the correct libraries included as URL parameters:
- Click here to open app.diagrams.net with the essential libraries.
- Click here to open app.diagrams.net with all 9 libraries
(this will take a minute to load in the app, give it some time!).
Alternatively, you can open draw.io (diagrams.net) and follow these steps to include the libraries manually.
First, go to my GitHub repo README, check the list of URLs for the libraries, and copy the URL of the library you want to use:
Then, click on the ‘File’ menu. Click on ‘Open Library from’. Click on ‘URL…’.
Navigate to ‘open library from url’ dialog.
Then, past in the URL of the library and click ‘Open’:
Paste the ULR and click Open.
And, after a few seconds (depending on your bandwidth), the library is ready to use:
(if you know how to display the library name correctly using this approach, please share it in a reply)
Repeat this for all the libraries that you want to include.