Please note : This help page is for an older version of Enteprise Archtiect. The latest help can be found here.

Chain Diagram Layouts

Each of the diagram layout formats has a specific effect on the layout and appearance of a diagram. These effects can be combined by chaining certain layouts in a sequence, to further improve the final appearance of the diagram. Enterprise Architect provides a selection of standard 'chains' for your use, and you can quickly and easily set up chains of your own.

The system does not restrict the way in which you combine the layouts, but in practice some layouts complement each other better than others, or are more logically executed in a certain order. You therefore need to consider the effect of each layout on the diagram - or part of the diagram - as you develop the chain. You also provide parameters for each layout, so you would set the parameters for each format to complement those for the other formats in the chain, using the Layout Chains dialog.

The available formats could be grouped by impact on the diagram:

Circle, Ellipse, Box, Per Page, Digraph and Spring each adjust element positions completely, so would destroy the effects of any other layout if used after it in a chain; one of these would therefore be the first layout to apply in the chain
Fan Relations operates on a specific element, so you might not want to further adjust the diagram layout; if you did, you would only use these next layouts
Converge/Diverge could be used after some of the above layouts, to broaden or narrow the final layout
Neaten is a logical successor to the previous types, adjusting positions to provide more uniform separation
Auto-route is the best final layout, to adjust connectors to the clearest routes without changing element positions

In creating a chain of layouts, you might consider these suggestions in selecting which layouts to use and in which sequence.

Access     Diagram | Diagram Layout: Edit Layout Chains
Right-click on main toolbar | Diagram Layout

Set up a chain

On the Layout Chains dialog:



See also



Click on the New Chain button and type in a new chain name (and click on the OK button) or
Click on the drop-down arrow and select the name of an existing chain to edit

If you want to delete the existing chain you have selected, click on the Delete Chain button.

If you want to rename the existing chain, click on the ChainName button and overtype the existing name with the new name (and click on the OK button).




In the Existing Layouts field, click on the first layout to execute in the chain, then click on the AddLay  button to add it to the chain.

Repeat this step to add further layouts to the chain.




If you do not want to include a layout that is currently in the chain, click on it and click on the remlay button.

If you want to move a layout in the chain to a different point in the sequence, click on it and click on the upgreenarrow or downgreenarrow button as appropriate.




If you want to change the name of a layout, click once on the name in the chain list and overtype it.

To set the parameters of each layout, double-click on the layout name in the chain list. The appropriate parameter dialog for the layout displays; complete the fields as appropriate and click on the OK button.

These are the parameters that will be applied whenever you execute this layout chain, regardless of the settings in any other use of the layout.



Circular/Elliptical Layout

Box Layout

Per Page Layout

Digraph Layout

Spring Layout

Neaten Layout

Converge/Diverge Layout

Fan Relations Layout

Auto Route Layout



Click on the Save Chains button to save your changes, then click on the OK button.

(If you have not saved your changes, an error message displays; click on the Yes button.)



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