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Macro plugin to embed diagrams into Redmine wiki pages
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embed2js.patch new: usr: added configuration of server (implements #12) Jan 15, 2017

Redmine plugin is free online diagramming tool.

This plugin will allow embedding diagrams into Redmine wiki pages, issues descriptions and issue notes.

A note

Before submit an issue please read carefully the file (this page): many of those that seem defects are instead the expected behavior for the macros, so read it before you start using this plugin and whenever you find unusual behaviors.


  • Requires Redmine v2.6+. Tested with Redmine v3.1.4, v3.2.4, v3.3.3 and v3.4.0 as well as Easy Redmine 2016.05.07.


  • install redmine_drawio plugin:

    cd $REDMINE_HOME/plugins
    git clone
  • restart Redmine to load the new plugin

  • for macro drawio_attach make sure to enable Rest API of Redmine

  • for macro drawio_dmsf make sure to install the DMSF plugin and to enable the module for the project

  • if you have troubles with the embedded editor using Internet Explorer, try a more recent version (Internet Explorer 11 should work fine) or, better, use another browser, such as Firefox or Chrome.


The plugin can be configured by the Redmine administrator via the Redmine interface, Administration -> Plugins -> Redmine Drawio Plugin -> Configure.

In the configuration form you can set the Drawio server url; the default is //, to use the default internet installation regardless of the protocol. The value can be changed to use a private drawio editor installation (see more later).

In this form you can also enable the mathematical symbol support for SVG diagrams. The default is disabled because enabling this adds about 170k of Javascript to download, so enable only if you really need it.


There are three macros that can be used to embed diagrams in wiki pages/issues; use what best fits your needs.

drawio macro

This macro draws diagrams saved in attachments. This is for compatibility with 0.1.x versions of the plugin and is now a bit obsolete. To use it:

  • save your diagram locally and upload it as attachment to a Wiki or issue page.

  • in Wiki (or issue) pages use the drawio macro to load the widget, specifying the name of the attachment. For example:

    {{drawio(activity.xml, options)}}
  • the following macro options are available (default values are shown):

    • lightbox=false : enable lightbox usage
    • resize=false : enable zoom control box
    • zoom=100 : initial zoom of diagram (percentage of original diagram)
    • fit=true : fit page width (only if resize=false)
    • hilight=#0000ff : color to hilight hyperlinks

With this macro diagrams are drawn using SVG (or maybe Canvas) so they are interactive: they are navigable, they respond to over and click actions. Hyperlinks can be used to navigate to other items.

This macro render diagrams as SVG, so diagrams are interactive and navigable (link can be used to navigate to other pages).

This macro is now obsolete: you can now use SVG diagrams with the other two macros (drawio_attach and drawio_dmsf) but you must import the the diagram in the editor and then export as SVG with an included copy of the diagram (see the Export as SVG function of the editor).

drawio_attach macro

This macro handles diagrams saved as attachments of issues or wiki pages.

With this macro the attachments are in PNG+XML, a special format consisting in an PNG image of the diagram plus the XML diagram source embeded as a field of the image.

With an.svg attachment name extension the image format is handled as SVG+XML; like the PNG+XML, this is an SVG image with an embedded XML source of the diagram (the diagram must be created with the editor, normal SVG are displayed but cannot be edited).

Usage is very simple:

  • make sure REST API are enabled in Redmine global settings; this is need to be able to save diagrams as attachments

  • in Wiki or issue pages use the drawio_attach macro to specify the name of attachment containing the diagram. For example:


    If the diagram doesn't exists, a predefined diagram will be used as a placeholder, like this:

    Diagram placeholder

    Double click on the diagram to start editing with the embedded editor. When you save the the diagram the editor will close, the diagram will be saved in a new attachment and the reference in the wiki/issue page is updated.

    The diagram attachments are versioned by suffixing the name with a counter. This is necessary because is not possible to update an existing attachment. Moreover, is not possible to delete attachments throught rest API (seems to be possible from Redmine 3.3.0, but I need to experiment), so the old versions of an attachment must be explicitly (manually) deleted from the Redmine web interface.

  • the following macro options are available (default values are shown):

    • size=number : force image width, in pixels (default, show in original size)

In the toolbar editor there is a button with icon drawio_attach icon that opens a dialog that can be used to insert a macro for a new diagram to be saved as attachment (for lazy people).

The dialog can be used also for modifying a macro: simply place the caret (the cursor in the editing area) somewhere in the body of the macro, click the corresponding button in the toolbar, and the dialog will open with fields pre-filled with values from the macro source. When confirming new values, the macro source will be updated.

drawio_dmsf macro

This macro handles diagrams saved in the DMSF repository as PNG+XML or SVG+XML images. The DMSF module must be enabled for the project to be able to use this macro. Usage is very simple:

  • enable the WebDAV functionality of the DMSF plugin in Read/Write mode; this is necessary to be able to save the diagram from the embedded editor. If you prefer you can disable WebDAV after all editings are done.

  • in Wiki or issue pages use the drawio_dmsf macro to specify the path of the diagram, relative to the DMSF documents of the current project. For example:


    The path is optional, but if specified then it must exists in the DMSF managed repository. If the diagram doesn't exists a predefined diagram will be used as a placeholder, like this:

    Diagram placeholder

    Double click on the diagram to start editing with the embedded editor. When you save the the diagram the editor will close, the diagram will be saved (versioned) in the specified DMSF documents path for the current project, and the diagram will be automatically updated.

  • the following macro options are available (default values are shown):

    • size=number : force image width, in pixels (default, show in original size)

Like for the drawio_attach macro, in the toolbar editor there is a button with icon drawio_attach icon that opens a dialog that can be used to insert a macro for a new diagram to be saved as DMSF document.

As for the drawio_attach macro, the dialog can be used for updating a macro simply by positioning the editing cursor in the right place and clicking the button.

Some note on the drawio editor

Someone can be concerned about security in sending own diagrams to the site.

The diagrams aren't sent to for editing/rendering, but all the operations are done by the browser using only Javascript and HTML5. The only things loaded externally are the scripts and the editor page, when the diagram editor is opened. The diagram source remains local to browser/redmine site.

Using a personal installation of

If you like, you can configure this plugin to use your own installation of the site.

The build of the war file is a bit problematic because the drawio macro needs a script dynamically produced by the EmbedServlet2 servlet, which is deployed in the site but not built from the default sources.

This servlet is excluded from build because of a missing library from Google, maybe because of copyright issues.

If you are planning to use only the drawio_attach and drawio_dmsf macros you can use the source as is without troubles, but if you want/need the drawio macro it is necessary to apply the embed2js.patch patch (included in this plugin sources).

The build steps are:

  git clone
  patch -p1 < PATH_TO_DRAWIO_PLUGIN/embed2js.patch
  cd etc/build
  ant war
  cd ../../build

If the build ends without errors, in the build directory you should find a working version of the war file that you can deploy in your favourite servlet container (like Tomcat); be sure to enable the HTTPS protocol because is is required.

Then enter your Redmine installation, go to Administration -> Plugins -> Redmine Drawio plugin, click on the Configure link and then specify your address for the site.

Local MathJax installation

The MathJax library is used to render mathematical symbols in SVG diagrams.

Once enabled from the Redmine Drawio plugin settings it is loaded from internet every time a wiki page is rendered.

This can be slow (it's a big library) and maybe not doable behind a proxy or without an internet connection.

However it is possible to use a local installation of the library following these steps:

  1. install the MathJax library locally (through zip, svn, git, npm, ecc.) in a web server; for detailed instructions see here
  2. go to Administration -> Plugins -> Redmine Drawio plugin, click on the Configure link and:
    1. select the SVG mathemathics support
    2. fill the MathJax library URL with the URL of the installation, for example //my.server/mathjax/MathJax.js

Once updated the settings, go to a wiki page with a mathematical SVG diagram and you should see the diagram exactly as before. You can check from where the library is downloaded using the browser developer tools.

Known issues

  • Diagrams are rendered on the browser so they aren't visible inside a PDF export. As workaround you can print the web page as PDF document (easy with Linux, a bit more problematic in Windows), or export the diagram in PNG format and include it as image.

  • There can be a browser limit on the embedded diagram size. For example Opera 11 limits Data URIs size to 65000 characters. If the diagram is too big, use the drawio macro to render the diagram from an XML source.

  • The drawio_attach macro doesn't completly work with issue notes: Redmine APIs allow to create new issue notes, but not to change them, so the issue note must be changed manually. As alternative use the drawio and drawio_dmsf macros, which work fine.


  • Allow specify diagrams from other other sources:

    • use a file managed by the DMSF plugin
    • embed diagram as macro body
    • use GoogleDrive, Dropbox and OneDrive as possible diagram sources.
    • implement tests
    • make diagram images exportable in PDF
    • CKEditor widgets: this is a bit complicated but it would be cool. Problems:
      • first image: how to setup the initial placeholder and let be replaced when saved?
      • how to save diagrams when the wiki/issue content is new and not already saved? A "document" is needed to attach an attachment
      • url of image: the url is generated by the macro (from attachment or DMSF), using in a widget may require an AJAX call

Other works

If you are using to create Entity Relationship database schemas, you may be interested to the [schema2script].

This is a Ruby command line tool that parses a ER diagram and produces a DDL script to initialize a database schema.

For now only H2 and Oracle SQL dialects are supported, but it will grow in the future.

Related to [schema2script] is the [sboot] project, that helps to create a skeleton Java application based on Spring boot. It creates entities, repositories (Hibernate based for now), DTOs, services, REST interfaces, up to a simple CRUD web interface based on Thymeleaf or Angular2. It also creates some tests, which can be used as a starting point for other, more specific tests.

It is in early state but it is promising; with the current version you can create a complete skeleton application starting from an ER schema, which may be a good starting point for more complex applications.


Any code contribution is well accepted. There are only a few rules that I would like to be respected to easy merging:

  • work on develop branch and leave the master branch untouched. This is importat to keep the released versions stable.
  • I would prefer comments in the style used by gitchangelog; this will simplify generation of the It isn't fundamental, I can edit comments and insert prefixes, or edit manually the, but it would be nice if you can help me.
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