Connector Styles

Connectors come in a number of different routing styles. Additionally, if one solid-line connector crosses another, the second one 'jumps' over the first (unless the 'Enable Connector line jumps' option is deselected on the 'Options' dialog). You can also bend a connector to quickly and easily route connectors in the required layout.

Styles

Style

Description

See also

Direct

A straight line from element A to element B.

You can move the line (back and forward, up and down) to a limited degree.

Auto Routing

A vertical and horizontal route from A to B with 90-degree bends.

You can move the line to improve the route, but the location and number of bends are not configurable.

Bezier

A smooth curved line from A to B.

Bezier style is directly available for Data Flow diagram connectors, Mind Mapping connectors, State Flows, State Transitions, Object Flows, and Control Flows.

Custom Line

The most flexible option; you can add one or more line points and bend and push the line into virtually any shape, using the 'Toggle Line Point at Cursor' option.

Tree Style - Vertical
Tree Style - Horizontal

A line from element A to B with two right-angle bends, and the end points fixed to selected locations on the elements (Vertical or Horizontal).

Lateral - Vertical
Lateral - Horizontal

A line from element A to B with a single right-angle bend, and the end points fixed to selected locations on the elements (Vertical or Horizontal).

Orthogonal - Square
Orthogonal - Rounded

You can add one or more line points and bend and push the line into a variety of shapes, using the 'Toggle Line Point at Cursor' option.

All line segments thus created are either vertical or horizontal.

Set the Connector Style

Step

Action

See also

1

Right-click on the connector to change.

The context menu displays.

2

Select the 'Line Style' option.

3

From the submenu, select the required style:

  • Direct
  • Auto Routing
  • Custom
  • Tree
  • Lateral, or
  • Orthogonal
  • (or Bezier, where appropriate)

Set the Connector Style (alternative method)

Step

Action

See also

1

Select the connector to change.

2

Press these keys to change the style:

  • Ctrl+Shift+D for Direct
  • Ctrl+Shift+A for Auto Routing
  • Ctrl+Shift+C for Custom
  • Ctrl+Shift+Z for Bezier (where appropriate)

Bend a connector

Step

Action

See also

1

Right-click on the connector.

The context menu displays.

2

Set the line style to 'Custom Line' (Ctrl+Shift+C); this enables the 'Bend Line at Cursor' option in the context menu.

3

Click on the 'Bend Line at Cursor' option to add a line point.

Right-clicking a line point displays the 'Straighten Line at Cursor' option, which you can use to remove the line point.

4

Using the mouse, drag the line point to the required position.

Bend a connector (alternative method)

Step

Action

See also

1

Hold down Ctrl or Shift and click on a point on the connector to create a line point.

Ctrl+click also removes a line point.

2

Using the mouse, drag the line point to the required position.

Tidy line angles (custom connector)

Step

Action

See also

1

Right-click on the connector.

The context menu displays.

2

Click on the 'Tidy Line Angles' menu option; this nudges the custom line in horizontal and vertical increments, saving you the time of trying to get a good layout manually.

You can set the 'Tidy Line Angles' option to operate by default; click on the 'Tools | Options' menu option to display the 'Options' dialog, and select the 'Diagram Behavior' page.

Suppress individual line segments

Step

Action

See also

1

Right-click on the connector.

The context menu displays.

2

Set the line style to 'Custom Line' - press Ctrl+Shift+C.

This enables the 'Suppress Line Segment' option in the context menu.

3

Click on the 'Suppress Line Segment' option to suppress a line between two bend points.

The segment you right-clicked on is suppressed.

4

To show the segment again, right-click on the line and click on the 'Show All Line Segments' option.

One application for this is to represent the continuation of flow when your diagram crosses the page boundary marker in the Diagram View.

When you suppress the line segment that crosses the boundary, the link name (connector properties) displays at both ends of the hidden segment; when you print the diagram on multiple pages, the link name identifies the connection apparently broken by the page boundary.