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Mr Ben Constable, Senior Analyst at Sparx Systems, shares helpful tips on preparing Enterprise Architect diagrams for presentation in your specification documents, technical standards, reports and other publications.
In this webinar you will learn how to:
Great tips on rapid visual modeling and creation of diagrams
An effective approach to tidying diagrams - including those imported from other tools or even machine-generated
How to choose the best diagram options and image formats to suit your needs
Don't miss this opportunity to learn more about Enterprise Architect
Select multiple elements in the diagram, right-click and select from the context menu: Space Evenly | Across or Down
Individual diagram images can be exported using the menu option: Diagram | Save as Image
All diagrams below a selected package can be exported to an RTF document using: Project | Documentation | Diagrams Only Report. (Diagrams will be exported in a raster graphics format.)
The sample model provided on this page also provides a custom RTF template for generating a Diagrams Only report. This report uses a vector graphics format for the diagrams.
Select Project | Publish Model. Tick "Generate Diagram Images" and select the desired format. This will export the package to XMI, but at the same time will also output all diagrams as images.
Write a script which loops all diagrams and calls the Project.PutDiagramImageToFile method.
You can do this using the menu option: Tools | Options | Links | Default Style | Routing. This applies to all new connectors. Although not all line styles are currently available from this option, we hope to improve this in a future release.
Sparx Systems does not support the Adobe Flash File format, as the format has been been banned from many leading Browsers due to security concerns.
Support for Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) has been introduced with Enterprise Architect 16.1. SVG provides a scalable and high quality graphic format for exporting UML diagrams. These high quality images can be used across different resolutions and sizes and can be easily added to documents, books, presentations and reports as required.
Yes. You can make a connector always draw to a specific feature on the element, such as an attribute or operation, by using the Link to Element Feature command.
You can also pin connector ends in a specific location. Right-click a connector and choose from the "Pin End(s)" options.
The last element in the selection that was clicked, as indicated by the hatched border. This is also true of the other align and resize functions.
Alternatively, you can left-click any one of your selected elements to make that the reference element for the align/resize function. An example of this is shown in the presentation, where the in-place format bar was used to resize two Enumeration elements.
Thanks for the request. We will raise this with the development team.
Drag and drop an external image from a file explorer window directly onto your Enterprise Architect diagram and choose "Insert". Once you have inserted the image into the diagram, you can copy it within your diagram view and paste it onto other diagrams as required.
Yes. In the presentation we showed only filtering of connectors, as there were multiple types of connectors that matched the criteria. The same can be done for elements - see the controls in the top-right of the Insert Related Elements dialog.
Yes. You can use Enterprise Architect's Diagram Hyperlink element to link to other diagrams. When generating HTML documentation from your model, these will link to the relevant diagram, provided that the target diagram is also included in the generated report.
The RunHTMLReport API is available from the Project interface and allows you to generate the model in HTML format via a script. You can identify a starting Package via the first parameter.
Connectors are not supported using the built-in CSV Import/Export Specifications, however there are scripting libraries available which can assist with defining your own customized CSV Import/Export processes. In Enterprise Architect, these libraries can be accessed via the menu: View | Scripting | EAScriptLib | JScript-CSV.
The Circle, Ellipse and Spring layouts may get part of the way toward a horse shoe pattern. Try it by selecting clusters of elements rather than operating on every element on a complex diagram.
You should also look at the "Lateral Tree Style - Vertical' routing. We've found this can give a suitable result when you have a class with a very large set of child elements. Especially for an A4 page with a portrait layout, you can align the child elements vertically down the page, as shown below. Remember the Align tools and the "Space Evenly Down" command from the context menu.
Yes. There are numerous ways to do this. Here's one of them:
Select the package of interest in the Project Browser.
Invoke the RTF Generator (Right-click | Documentation | Rich Text Format Report.)
Create a new template under the "Templates" tab. (Copy one of the built-in templates, such as "basic template".)
In the Template Editor, invoke the Properties dialog (top-left of the editor window via "hand" icon.)
In the "Elements Filters" tab, use the "Add Filter" button to create a new Filter.
Leave the "Search On" field as "Element" and check the ObjectType row.
Set the appropriate conditions, such as "One of...", with a value of "Requirement".
Check the Required column.
Generate the document and confirm you only have Requirement elements included in the report. (The "Generate" and "View" buttons are also in the RTF Template Editor's toolbar.)
Not currently, but this will be raised with the development team.
Yes. The Format toolbar shown in the presentation lets you do this. It only changes the appearance of elements on the current diagram.
To move the selected element(s), hold the Shift key, then use the left or right arrow. Otherwise, the left and right keyboard arrows will change the selected element on the diagram.
As of Enterprise Architect version 10, you can 'tear off' diagrams from the main tab view. So just click the diagram label at the bottom of screen and drag it wherever you like. You can also dock the diagram to any of the positions that are highlighted as you drag the diagram around the screen.
If you are interested in comparing changes to a diagram over time, the Enterprise Architect Enterprise Architect User Guide describes a useful diagram compare utility.
This has been implemented for a future release of Enterprise Architect. You will have various options to control what is displayed for a Diagram Frame (border, no border, label, no label etc.)
Note: As brought out in the presentation, you can already hide Diagram Frames from saved, printed and clipboard images via the menu: Tools | Options | Diagram
Currently, this would require a script, such as the one used in the presentation to change the connector styles for all elements on the diagram.
Enterprise Architect's Model Search capability can locate "orphaned" elements for you - whether they are BPMN or other element types:
Open the Model Search view via the menu: Edit | Find in Project
Select the built-in search named "Find Orphans", then click the Run button.
Yes. Right-click the connector and choose from the context menu: Line Style | Orthogonal Round.
You could adapt the script provided in the resources section of this page to change the connector styles en masse. There is currently no option to make this the default style for all State Chart connectors though.
Enterprise Architect's Legend element can define colors for connectors - when you open the Legend properties there are two tabs beside the Up/Down ('hand') icons. If you choose the Line tab, you can define symbols for your connectors. Note: the Legend is not automatically added by Enterprise Architect. For brevity, we omitted the steps to create each symbol of the legend in the demonstration. Automating that process - at least extracting the colors and assigning some default labels - is a nice suggestion though.
Yes. Use the Metafile option available from the menu: Tools | Options | General | Clipboard.
This connector style - Orthogonal Round - is the default for BPMN 2 diagrams as used in the presentation. As mentioned for State Machine diagrams, you can apply this style in other diagrams. Right-click a connector and select from the context menu option: Line Style | Orthogonal Round.
Yes. The simple example used in the presentation only adjusted the background fill color for elements using the Diagram Format toolbar. If you adjust the font size and color of an element, then save its style, the font settings will be included when you apply that style to other elements.