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ER diagrams

An entity relationship diagram or ERD lets you illustrate how people, objects, and concepts relate to each other in your database. Visualize them easily for free with Canva’s ER diagram maker.
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ER diagram maker features

Present how connected your data is to one another with Canva’s online ER diagram maker for free. Choose a template from our collection of ER diagram examples and personalize it to suit your database. Easily look for symbols from our library to visualize entity relationships and do it with help from your team as you collaborate in real-time.

More than 20 professional types of graphs to choose from

Professionally designed templates to fast-track your workflow

Data visualization made easy – no complicated software to learn

Publish, share or download your high-resolution graph

Embed your ER diagram in presentations, reports, and more with no fuss

Easy drag-and-drop tools, made with the non-designer in mind

How to make an ER diagram

How to make an ER diagram
Create an ER diagram

Create an ER diagram

What is an ER diagram?

An entity relationship diagram or ERD helps different industries to visualize and find connections between objects and concepts to set up and structure their databases. It is vital in engineering, information systems, education, and research, where entity relationship modeling helps identify logic or design flaws that make production seamless and smoother. ER diagram designs also depend on the level of detail and scope of your data.

The history of ER diagrams

ER diagrams history

In his search for a unified framework for database modeling, Peter Chen proposed an improved way of visualizing a database through entity relationship models. Before his 1976 paper titled "The Entity-Relationship Model: Toward a Unified View of Data," there were three data models: network, relational, and entity. He merged these existing models and solved the vagueness into ER diagrams or ERDs.

Chen’s entity relationship diagram became the foundation of the IE notation by James Martin in the 1980s and later advances in information systems like the Unified Modeling Language or UML.

Components of an ER diagram



It can be objects or concepts that collect information—often labeled as common and proper nouns.


It depicts how two entities are connected to the same information in a database—often represented as a verb.


An aspect or information that’s unique to an entity that can be multivalued or derivative—often an adjective for entities and adverbs for relationships.

Weak entity

An entity with a key relationship with another entity that is yet to be uniquely identified.

Connecting lines

It connects everything in the diagram and establishes the relationships between entities and their attributes.


It figures how many attributes are in a relationship between entities. It can be one-to-one, many-to-one, or many-to-many.

Establish good relationships

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ER diagrams thrive on the level of detail and scope. Support all the data you need to showcase using our ER diagram creator. You can identify as many entity relationships as possible with a seamless brainstorming canvas or make an ERD with just the right size for your presentation or infographic. Cover as many details so your team can analyze your process or flow better.

Illustrate with design elements

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Visualize each component of your ER diagram well. Our free online ER diagram tool has plenty of lines and shapes that you can use to represent an entity, connect concepts, and display attributes. Use our extensive media library not only as mere symbols but also to set a theme. Backgrounds and vectors are available when you need a tech, business, or abstract feel to your ER diagram.

Relate with colors and fonts

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Identify and label your ER diagram properly. Use colors to direct attention to important aspects of your diagram. Need a bright scheme to go with your tropical food store database? Select beautiful color combinations to represent your theme and make texts pop. Choose fonts from our library that’ll help your ER diagram become legible and readable to anyone.

Collaborate and connect easily

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Complete your ER diagram with your team. Share a link to your design and give editing access to your members. Work simultaneously by applying changes and leaving comments. Draw your ER diagram online to document your database, troubleshoot your information system, or map out your diagram through brainstorming. Then, send it via email, embed it on your websites, or print it as a report.

ER diagram templates

Visualize entity relationships quickly with free ER diagram templates you can choose from our collection. Canva has countless ready-made layouts you can personalize to match your data and design taste. Select an ER diagram example below to start customizing.
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“When it came to design reports, Canva had a wide variety of simple easy to use templates that allowed me to easily plug in my graphs and information, and helped me to focus on the actual content instead of spending hours and hours on design.”

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Show entity relationships with ER diagrams