Building Diagram Documents

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To Start building diagram documents let’s set up a project and add a new Generic Flow.

This is not specific for that logic document type and the same techniques are also applied for Decision Graphs and Information Requirements Diagrams.

Generic Flow document type open showing the drawing canvas and Toolbox options

Using drag and drop techniques, add three nodes to the Diagram:

  1. Start
  2. Action
  3. End
Toolbox menu showing a Start node selected

And build the following Diagram model:

Updating Nodes

Hover and Select Nodes

When you hover (going over) any node on the diagram, you will see that a couple of small red circles will appear on that element.

Multiple Nodes Selection

To select multiple nodes, you can just press your left mouse button on an empty space, hold the mouse button down and drag your mouse until you cover all the nodes you want to select by the transparent blue selection guild

and then release your mouse button

You will see multiple selected items having small white and gray rectangles around them.

Move Nodes

To move one or more nodes in a Diagram, you need to select them and then move your mouse to the center of a node over the white or gray rectangle. Then hold down your left mouse button and drag it.

After you have positioned the node in the new location, release your mouse button. If you select multiple nodes, you can move them all together.

Grid and Target alignment

Each visual logic documents drawing canvas includes a grid that allows the user to align nodes and elements to the grid so creating clean and ordered documents.

Addition to the grid is a Target alignment option where red indicator lines show the alignment of a node with others as the user moves the node around the canvas. This is helpful to also to create clean and ordered documents.

Visual decision diagram canvas showing three nodes. One node is selected and during moving it displays a red connector line that shows alignment to another node.

Resize Nodes

For resizing a node, you do the same, but instead of pointing your mouse at the center of the node, you go over the corner rectangles. Then you press the left mouse button, hold and drag it.

An Example activity node with the resize tool active of the top left corner of the shape

And when it is the size you want, release your mouse button. You can resize nodes in any direction you want by using all the edges controlling the white rectangles.

Adding Text

You can add display text to nodes on a diagram. To add a text you need to hover on the node and then double click on that node. When you do that, a text editor will appear.

An Example activity node with the text tool active and text entered within the shape

And once you have finished editing the text, click somewhere outside of that text editor.

An Example activity node with the final text added within the node shape

Please note that in the in-place text editor ‘Enter’ goes to the next line, which is useful if you need to add multiple lines of text.

Resize and Relocate Text

From version 8 of FlexRule Designer, you will have the ability to move and resize the nodes’ labels.

For example, below is an Activity node.

An Example activity node with the final text added within the node shape

If you click on the node, you will see the anchor points to resize or move.

An Example activity node with the final text added within the node shape

If you click on the node while pressing the ALT button on the keyboard you will see the anchor points around the labels.

An Example activity node with text and the Node selected using ATL select to display the anchor points around the node shape

It gives you the ability to resize and move the labels.

An Example activity node with the final text added below the node.

Oversized Model

If you have an oversized model that does not fit into your screen, the scroll bars will let you scroll to the model and view different parts of it.

Top menu showing the zoom tools highlighted which allow easy viewing of long or large diagrams

You also can use tools for an oversized model that lets you manage a big model.

Overview: This loads the smaller version of the diagram in a separate window.

Overview modal showing the summarized version of a diagram.

Then you can select what part of the diagram comes to the current view by moving the active area on the overview window.

Zooms:

  • The Plus magnifying glass zooms the model in.
  • The minus magnifying glass zooms the model out, so that it will fit on your screen.
  • The clear magnifying glass sets the zoom option in the normal view.

Connecting Nodes

To connect nodes, you need to first select the type of connection from your toolbox

Connections options from the Toolbox showing Straight, Bezier and Right angle connectors

and then:

Hovering a node shows the control handles of each corner indicating the node is active to make connections

Hover on the source node that you want to connect to a destination node. Please note when a connection is selected in the toolbox, by hovering on a node, your mouse icon becomes like a small hand.

Connecting two nodes showing the connector from one node and hovering the second node

Press the left mouse button and drag it to the other element you want to connect to

Final connection of the nodes showing the two nodes connected with a straight line connector

And release the mouse button – the connection will be created

Connection Types

You have different types of connection shapes in your toolbox:

  1. Straight
  2. Bezier
  3. Right Angle

And you can change an existing connection to another type. First, you need to:

Showing a selected Bezier connector between two nodes

Select a connection

The change connector button from the top menu selected

Click on the Change button on the toolbar.

The change connector button from the top menu selected and the three connector types shown in the dropdown menu

Press the small arrow-down to open the menu on the toolbar and select the connection type you like. The icon of the button will be changed.

Showing original two nodes now connected  with a straight connector after the change

The connection type is changed.

Updated on December 19, 2023

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