Zapier Canvas quick start guide

Beta

Zapier Canvas is a beta product/feature. It’s available for use, but still in active development and may change.

Canvas is a tool that helps you visualize and organize full business processes. You can structure both manual and automated steps, with Zaps, Chatbots, Tables and Interfaces, and many other apps. You can also share processes and invite team members to collaborate.

 

Create a canvas

From the Canvas dashboard:

  1. Click + Create.
  2. The first step will be displayed on the screen. Click the step to open the Step details sidebar.

A canvas with a new step, and the sidebar open showing blank fields.

 

Change the canvas name

You can change the canvas name by clicking the name or the edit icon at the top of the screen.

You can also add a description for your canvas:

  1. On the top right corner of the screen, click Options.
  2. In the dialog box, enter a description of the process in the Description field.
  3. Click Save changes.

 

Add more steps

Once you've created your first step, hover over the step box to see the plus icon on the right side of the step. Click the plus icon to:

  • Add a new step: Create the next step in your process.
  • Split path: Create two different steps to represent different scenarios, depending on the contents or results of the previous step. Learn more about split paths.

You can also add steps by clicking any of the options in the Basic menu and then clicking an empty area of the canvas.

Learn about the different step types in Canvas.

 

Connect steps

You can connect existing steps with the Connector tool, which appears at the bottom of the canvas screen. When you click on this tool, you'll see small dots appearing on each side of all steps. Click any dot and drag it to a dot on another step to connect them with arrows.

 

Move steps

You can move steps by clicking on the step border, using either the Select or Hand tool. When you move it to a new position, any connector lines will move with the step.

 

Add text

You can add boxes with text anywhere on your canvas, with the Text tool. To add a new text box:

  1. Click the Text icon at the bottom of the canvas.
  2. Click anywhere on the canvas to place the box.
  3. Enter the text.

The text size changes with the box size. You can make text larger or smaller by dragging the corners of the text box in or out.

Tip

You can also add comments and mention other users in your canvas.

 

Zoom 

You can use the zoom controls at the top left of the screen to zoom in and out and to fit the process to the page, or use the keyboard shortcuts:

  • Zoom out: 
    • Mac: ⌘ Cmd -
    • Windows: Ctrl -
  • Zoom in: 
    • Mac: ⌘ Cmd +
    • Windows: Ctrl +
  • Fit to page:
    • Mac: ⌥ Option 1
    • Windows: Alt 1

You can see the full list of keyboard shortcuts by clicking on the Help icon on the top right of your canvas screen.

 

Clean up the layout

You can automatically organize existing steps with the Clean up layout button. This button will straighten connectors and put steps in order based on how they are connected and the process' starting point.

You can also select specific steps for clean-up by using the Select tool and dragging the cursor over the steps you want to organize.

Note

Comments and text boxes will not be moved when you use the Clean up layout button.

 

Recommendations

Once you start building your process, Canvas can recommend steps that could be automated.

To see the recommendations, click on the canvas background to display the summary panel on the left side of the screen. 

When you click Get recommendations, Canvas will review the existing steps and suggest Zaps that could automate parts of the process. After it runs, it will display the title of each recommendation on the summary panel. 

  • Click on the recommendation's title to see details of the workflow.
  • Click Create this Zap to automatically create the Zap. 

 

Share and collaborate on processes

With Zapier Canvas, you can share the structure of your process with anyone, as a PNG file. You can also give other Zapier account team members access to collaborate on developing the process. Learn how to share and collaborate.

 

Delete a step

To delete a step:

  1. Click the step.
  2. A sidebar will open. Scroll to the bottom of the sidebar and click Delete step.

Only the selected step is deleted. Any steps that were attached to it will be attached to another step. 

Tip

You can also select a step, or multiple steps, and then use the delete or backspace keyboard key to delete.

 

Delete a canvas

To delete a canvas:

  1. On the top right corner of the screen, click Options.
  2. In the dialog box, type the name of the canvas in the Delete canvas field.
  3. Click Delete.
  4. You'll be redirected to the Canvas dashboard.

 

Data retention

Zapier's Data Retention, deletion, and export practices vary depending on the product. Learn more about the specific guidelines for the product you're using.

 

Provide feedback and get help

You can request a feature, provide feedback on the product, and get help from the Canvas team.

 

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