How do I change the shape of an element?

Kumu supports circles and rectangles for your element shapes—your map will default to either all circles or all rectangles, depending on which template you pick:

  • The SNA and Geo templates default to all rectangles (squares, to be precise!)
  • All other templates default to all circles

Change from circles to rectangles

There are two ways to change from circles to rectangles. The first way is to use your default view settings to change quality from best to low/fast. The downside of this approach is that, since it uses our fast renderer, you won't be able to add images to any elements, add arrows to connections, use curved connections, or customize the width & height of your rectangles.

If those downsides are dealbreakers for you, it's possible to use the Advanced Editor to change circles to rectangles instead, with this code:

@settings {
  element-shape: rectangle;

This setting will change all elements to rectangles, which will have square dimensions by default. To customize width and height of rectangles, you can use the element-width and element-height properties, like so:

@settings {
  element-shape: rectangle;
  element-width: 40;
  element-height: 20;

To change only specific elements to squares, you can write a selector in the Advanced Editor to tell Kumu which elements to change. Then, you'll use the shape, width, and height properties to tell Kumu how to style each element. Here's an example that selects all elements with the element type "Person" and makes them rectangles with auto width (expands to fit the Label text) and a height of 20:

person {
  shape: rectangle;
  width: auto;
  height: 20;

Change rectangles/squares to circles

Likewise, there are two ways to change from rectangles/squares to circles. If your map has squares by default, you're likely using the SNA or Geo templates. To make all those elements circles instead, you can add this snippet of code in your Advanced Editor:

@settings {
  renderer: canvas;

Alternatively, on the SNA template, you can use your default view settings to change quality from low/fast to best. (This change won't affect the Geo template.)

If you're using canvas as the renderer, and your quality is set to best, but you're still not seeing circles, you can add this snippet of code to the very bottom of your Advanced Editor:

@settings {
  element-shape: circle;

Or, you can use a selector to be more specific:

person {
  shape: circle;

Use shapes that are not circles or squares

While Kumu doesn't support other shapes officially, there's a workaround that allows you to use any shape for your elements. Here's a step-by-step:

  1. Outside of Kumu, find or create an image of the shape you want to use. Make sure the image has a transparent background and square dimensions—see examples below. (Google Drawings and Figma are both free tools that you can use to create these images.)
  2. Use the element decoration builder to upload your image as a decoration for a selection of elements.
  3. Use the decoration builder to set the color of your custom-shaped elements to match the background color of your map. If you're using the light theme (default on all templates except SNA), this color is #fcfcfa. If you're using the dark theme (default on the SNA template), this color is #252525.
  4. Click Save at the bottom of the settings panel to save your changes.

Note that the colors you add in Step 3 will make it look like your elements have transparent backgrounds, but it will not actually make them transparent. To make your elements' background colors truly transparent, you can adapt this snippet of code in your Advanced Editor:

element {
  color: transparent;

Replace element with a selector that matches the elements you want to decorate. (element will select all elements on the map and make them transparent).

Sample shapes





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