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Layout Diagrams

As you develop a model diagram and add more elements and connectors to it, you can apply one of a number of formats to automatically lay out specific areas or sets of elements in the diagram in a structured arrangement. If the diagram is very simple, you could even use this facility to lay out the entire diagram.

Additionally, you can provide filters and parameters for two or three types of layout and then 'chain' the layouts so that they are executed in sequence to result in a more refined layout. You can select a system-defined chain, or one that you have created yourself.



Layout > Tools > Diagram Layout > Open Diagram Layout Tools

Context Menu

Right-click a selected element on a diagram | Layout Selected Elements (available only when multiple elements are selected)


Right-click on any toolbar | Diagram Layout Tool : Select a Layout | Arrow Right Fat GreenApply Layout

Lay out elements on a diagram



See also


Select the elements to lay out on the currently-active diagram - hold Shift or Ctrl while you click on each required element, or hold the mouse button down while you sweep over the area containing the required elements.

If no elements are selected on the active diagram, then all elements on the diagram are laid out (except where otherwise documented).


Click on the drop-down arrow on the top left field of the Layout Tools window, and select the required layout type:

  • Circle/Ellipse
  • Box
  • Per Page
  • Digraph
  • Spring
  • Neaten
  • Converge/Diverge
  • Fan Relations
  • Auto Route

The layout type determines the fields presented in the window, therefore the appropriate fields are described separately for each layout type.

If you want to apply a sequence or chain of diagram layouts to a diagram, select either:

  • The appropriate system-defined chain name, or
  • The name of a chain you have created yourself

You can create and modify a 'Layout Chain' by clicking on the Edit Layout Chains icon button in the dialog toolbar.

Circular/Elliptical Layout Box Layout Per Page Layout Digraph Layout Spring Layout Neaten Layout Converge/Diverge Layout Fan Relations Layout Auto Route Layout Chain Diagram Layouts


When you have completed the fields, click on the Layout button button.

The selected elements are reorganized into the pattern format you have selected and according to the options you have chosen.


If you do not want to work with the new layout, click on the Undo button in the toolbar (Undo).


  • If you have adjusted the settings for a layout, you can automatically apply those settings to another diagram by selecting the 'Layout > Tools > Diagram Layout > <layout name>' ribbon option when you have opened the diagram
  • You can also automatically lay out an entire diagram, without specifying any format or filters, using the alternative Layout Diagram facility
  • Nested elements will remain within their parent element when applying a layout

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