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Building your flow on the canvas

Building your flow on the canvas

When we're in the Builder, we can interact with all of our steps visually. That means instead of locating the specific cell formula in an overly complex spreadsheet, we just click on the step that's live on the canvas. The canvas is what we call the gridded section of the builder, where we build and arrange our flow.

In this video, we'll cover four aspects of the canvas:

1. Panning
2. Zooming
3. Moving steps
4. Notes
To learn more about how the steps actually work, watch our tutorial on steps.

Let's look at the canvas and talk about panning.

The canvas is far larger than our screen, so we need to pan around it and get to all the steps. I can click and hold on to the canvas and then move my mouse to move the canvas. The other way to pan is to scroll. When using a trackpad, place two fingers on the trackpad and move them around. The canvas moves as I move my fingers. When using a mouse, use the scroll wheel. Spinning a scroll wheel will pan the canvas up and down. Holding the shift key and spinning the wheel will scroll horizontally left and right. That's panning.

Zooming naturally comes next.

I can zoom in and out of the canvas to adjust my view. Click on the slider in the bottom right and drag the dot left and right to decrease or increase the zoom level. When using a trackpad, zoom in and out by pinching in and out. When using a mouse with a scroll wheel, hold the command or the Apple key and then scroll the wheel to zoom in and out. That's zooming. It's good to note that the zoom uses the middle of the canvas as its point of reference so combining panning and zooming is a great way to effectively move around the canvas.

Next let's talk about moving steps around the canvas.

Steps live on the canvas as do the arrows that connect them. If we want to move a step, we just click down on it and drag it around. It's that easy. Notice that the arrows adjust themselves. Moving a step does not affect its connections. Moving steps around the canvas is useful when organizing a flow. Holding shift, I can include additional steps by clicking on them. I can grab multiple steps to move by holding shift and then dragging to select all the steps that I want and then moving them. That's all there is to moving steps.

Finally, we have notes.

Notes are useful for writing down what a flow does, things I need to add to the flow, and troubleshooting tips for other teammates who might use this flow. To add a note to the canvas, right-click on any empty spot and click "Add Note." For those of us on a trackpad, that's a two-finger click. Notes can be resized and they can be moved. Position notes near parts of a flow to add useful information or to do lists.

So we have a canvas where steps live, I can pan around it, zoom in and out, move steps around, and add notes. That's interacting with the canvas in the builder.

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