Diagrams are where you map and edit processes.

You can have multiple processes in the one diagram or spread them over multiple diagrams to avoid oversized processes that are difficult to read.

Tour the Design page

Before you start, it’s worthwhile getting to know the layout of the BPMN Design page. The Design page is where you map and edit processes.

Cardanit BPMN editor home

  1. The header shows you the environment you’re in — BPMN or DMN. It displays the name of the process and your Cardanit avatar which gives you access to your account page.

Click to return to the Home page.

Click to learn more about Cardanit and what’s new.

  1. The Tab Menu opens on the Design page. From here you access the XML page where you can view the process in XML format and the Report page where you can view and download the process report.

  2. The tools on the left of the toolbar are for editing and downloading the BPMN model and diagram screenshots.

    The tools on the right enable you to go to full screen mode and hide the header.

    There’s also a list of useful keyboard shortcuts.

  3. The Element Palette shows the elements you can use in the diagram.

  4. Use to expand the element palette or to collapse it.

  5. The diagram tab bar at the bottom of the screen is where you manage diagrams.

  6. A diagram is where you create, map and edit your processes.

  7. In the Panel menu you can share your process with others and view the history of the process and save a specific version.

    The Panel menu gives you access to the process structure, process definitions and element attributes. From here you can customize the appearance of your process, access documentation, see what’s new in Cardanit and send feedback.

  8. Zoom in and zoom out or reset visualization.

Manage diagrams

You can add, rename and delete diagrams and move diagram tabs in the sequence you prefer.

You perform these actions in the diagram tab menu at the bottom of the diagram.

managing BPMN and DMN diagrams

Add a diagram

To add a diagram:

  • In the diagram tab bar, click .

    This places the diagram at the end.

You can also choose where to add a diagram: at the start, at the end, right or left.

  • In the diagram tab bar, click and select an option.

Rename a diagram

  1. Click , then click Rename.

  2. In the dialog box that opens, give a name to the diagram, then click Ok.

Delete a diagram

If you delete a diagram it can’t be restored.

  • Click , then click Delete.

Move diagram tabs

You can move diagram tabs in the sequence you prefer: left,right, to the start or end.

Click , then click Move right, Move left, Move to start or Move to end.

Format diagrams

You can customize the appearance of elements, connecting elements and labels to make your diagram clearer and easier to read.

To customize the style of an item in your diagram:

  • Select the item, then click Style in the Panel Menu.

    formatting diagrams

If you don’t like your style changes, click Reset to return to the default style.

To select multiple items of the same type — for example, all the tasks in the diagram:

  • Press Shift, then select all the items you want to format.

In the Style panel that opens, depending on the type of element you want to change, you have these formatting options:


Format the color of elements.

Fill: color the inside of an element.

Outline: color the outline of an element.


Format label text and paragraph styles.

Text: change the font type, font size, color and text style, and align text and position.


Format the appearance of Sequence Flows, Message Flows and Data Associations.

Color: Color the line.

Style: Choose between straight and elbow.

Radius: Change the curve radius.

Configure process definitions

Definitions is the root container for all the processes and elements in a BPMN model. It’s where you define the parts of a process that don’t have a graphical representation — Elements are graphical representations, a Resource, for example, isn’t.

Cardanit automatically detects and lists all the Process Definitions in the BPMN model.

You add, edit and remove Definitions in the Definitions panel. Alternatively, you can configure Definitions using shortcuts in the Attributes panel of certain Elements.

The panel is divided into tabs.

configuring process definitions in a BPMN model

The Definitions you can define for a process are:

Definition Description
Process Rename the process, add a description (optional). You can also define the process as executable by selecting the Is executable check box.
Item The types of data you can use in a BPMN model.
Message The messages that are sent or received by a participant at the start, end or during or a process.
Resource The resources that perform or are responsible for the activity.
Signal Signals that are broadcast to everyone involved in the process.
Escalation Escalations that a process might need to react to.
Error The possible errors that can occur in the process.
Data Store The data stores that are visualized by Activities in the process.
Open Definitions
  • Click anywhere in the diagram and in the Panel Menu, click Attributes.
Add a definition

This action is applicable to all Definitions except for Attributes.

  1. Open the tab of the Definition you want to add, then click Add.

  2. Select the Definition and complete the Definition fields.

Edit a definition
  • Select the Definition and edit the Definition fields.
Remove a definition

This action is applicable to all Definitions except for Attributes.

  1. Open the tab of the Definition you want to remove.

  2. Select the Definition, then click Remove.

Explore process structure

The Structure panel displays all the aspects of a diagram in alphabetical order in a real time, synchronized tree structure.

When you add something to a diagram, the Structure panel updates in real time to reflect what you see in the diagram.

When you select an element in the diagram, the element is highlighted in the tree. Once you’ve selected an element you can open the Attributes panel to define its attributes.

Use Search to explore the structure and find a specific item in the diagram.

Structure Panel in Cardanit

View the process report

Cardanit generates a comprehensive process report that enables you to analyze processes offline in a familiar format.

The report is generated in real time and contains all the diagrams in the process. It includes everything from Attributes and Definitions to diagram graphics and images.

Preview and download the process report on the Report page. You can download the process report in Microsoft Word DOCX and Adobe PDF format.

To download the report:

  • In the Toolbar, click for DOCX or for PDF.

viewing process reports in Cardanit

Download BPMN files

You can download diagrams as a BPMN 2.0 XML file to back up your work or to use with other BPMN-compatible software.

You download BPMN 2.0 XML files on the Design and XML pages.

  • In the Toolbar, click .

Download diagram image

You can download an image of a single diagram or multiple diagrams as a PDF or PNG file.

You download diagram images on the Design page.

  1. In the Toolbar, click .

  2. In the dialog box that opens, select which images to download, the file format and show or hide project information and the watermark, then click Download.

download BPMN and DMN diagram images

View process as XML file

The BPMN standard includes an Extensible Markup Language (XML) notation which enables the platform-independent exchange of BPMN 2.0 diagrams.

You can view the XML file of the process on the XML page.

It provides detailed information on all the elements in the BPMN model, including information you don’t see in the diagram — for example, element IDs.

It’s also useful for checking that all element attributes are correct.

You can download the BPMN 2.0 XML file to back up your work or to use with BPMN-compatible software.

Download BPMN 2.0 XML file
  • In the Toolbar, click .

    You can also download the file on the Design page.

BPMN 2.0 XML file