Land Surveyors accumulate thousands of hand drawn diagrams over their career.  Have you ever wondered if there was an easy way to convert all of your drawings from surveying fieldbooks into digital diagrams?  There is!

ShakyDraw is a free website to turn text into hand drawn diagrams. You just have to write some plain text and it will be then automatically converted to a diagram, as shown in the screenshot below. This auto-generated diagram from text can also be downloaded as a PNG image. Well, you can also copy and paste text onto this free text to diagram converter from external sources. So, you can also write the text in any of your favorite notepad and then paste it in ShakyDraw to draw a diagram. However, if you choose to use its main interface to write the text, then you can also see a live preview of the diagram being generated while you are typing. I must say that the diagrams look very beautiful and appear as if they are hand drawn.

How Surveyors can use this free website to turn text into hand drawn diagrams:

ShakyDraw is pretty easy to use and there is nothing much to do. Simply visit the website from the link at the end. You will see 2 main sections: on the left there is a text editor with some default text. On the right you will see the preview of the diagram. Simply type text in its text editor or paste from external sources and you will then see the real-time preview of the diagram generated based on the typed text. The only tricky part here is to creatively format text to draw a meaningful diagram. Special symbols can be used to format text. Basically, you have to draw the boxes and connect with them with arrows. These boxes and arrows formatted within the text are then transformed into boxes and arrows in the diagram as well. To add labels to boxes, you can use the alphabets; type a word below or inside a box formatted with special symbols and it will appear as label in the diagram, as you can see in the screenshot below.

Let’s see different types of text symbols that you can use to form boxes and arrows:

  • Box:
    • “-“: Use it to form the horizontal line of the box.
    • “|”: Use it to form the vertical line of the box.
    • “+”: Use it to define corners of the boxes.
  • Arrow:
    • “*”: Use it to draw a connecting point between boxes.
    • ” v “: Use it to draw the arrow of the connecting point.

After you have drawn the diagram by formatting the text click on the “Download”button to save the diagram as a PNG file.


ShakyDraw is a free website to turn text into diagrams. I will definitely recommend this website if you want to draw some beautiful hand drawn diagrams from the text. Also, you can try it for fun and see if you can create a cool diagram or not.

I think surveyors will love ShakyDraw

This Content Originally Published by a land surveyor to Land Surveyors United Network

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