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Diagram and display properties

You can change how your model diagram looks by formatting labels and text, adjusting the layout, zooming, and reshaping connector lines.

Diagram properties

Model layout and routing can be changed using diagram properties on the ModelBuilder > Diagram ribbon tab. These properties are automatically applied to the diagram as you change them. The following table describes the properties:

PropertyDescription

Spacing > Element

The distance between tools, variables, connectors and groups.

For elements in a group, this property can be applied by right-clicking the group and selecting Auto Layout.

Spacing > Level

The distance between stacked tools, variables, and groups in the same graph.

For elements in a group, this property can be applied by right-clicking the group and selecting Auto Layout.

Spacing > Sub-Graph

The distance between unconnected graphs.

For elements in a group, this property can be applied by right-clicking the group and selecting Auto Layout.

Links > Link Shape

The shape of the connector used while drawing or after using the Auto Layout command.

  • Bezier—The connector segments will be Bézier curves.
  • Cascading—The connector segments will be horizontal and vertical lines, each one orthogonal to its adjacent segments.
  • Polyline—The connector segments will be straight lines.
  • Spline—The connector segments will be curves forming an interpolating spline that passes through all control points.

Links > Enforce Link Flow

When checked, the layout attempts to force all links to point the same direction. If the arranged graph contains cycles, some of the links will continue to point the other direction. This property is checked on by default.

Links > Straighten Long Links

When checked, the layout strives to straighten links that cross more than one layer of the graph. Because of the additional horizontal alignment constraints, the arranged graph usually occupies a larger area than when this property is unchecked. This property is checked on by default.

Links > Orthogonal Links

The connectors will follow orthogonal routes. This property is checked off by default.

Orientation > Flip Orientation

Determines whether the model orientation should be changed from horizontal (unchecked) to vertical (checked).

Use this property with Reverse Directionto obtain a model with the direction and orientation described as follows:

  • Left to Right (default)—Flip Orientation unchecked and Reverse Direction unchecked
  • Top to Bottom—Flip Orientation checked and Reverse Direction unchecked
  • Right to Left—Flip Orientation unchecked and Reverse Direction checked
  • Bottom to Top—Flip Orientation checked and Reverse Direction checked

For elements in a group, this property can be applied by right-clicking the group and selecting Auto Layout.

Orientation > Reverse Direction

Determines if the model direction should be reversed.

Use this property with Flip Orientationto obtain a model with the direction and orientation described as follows:

  • Left to Right (default)—Flip Orientation unchecked and Reverse Direction unchecked
  • Top to Bottom—Flip Orientation checked and Reverse Direction unchecked
  • Right to Left—Flip Orientation unchecked and Reverse Direction checked
  • Bottom to Top—Flip Orientation checked and Reverse Direction checked

For elements in a group, this property can be applied by right-clicking the group and selecting Auto Layout.

Orientation > Flip Flow Direction

Determines the reading pattern of the model. Use this property if you want your model to be specific to left-to-right or right-to-left languages.

  • Unchecked—The model's flow and text direction will be set to a left-to-right reading pattern. This is the default.
  • Checked—The model's flow and text direction will be set to a right-to-left reading pattern.

Layout > Sub-Graph

The layout of independent graphs in a model. This does not affect the elements inside a group.

Layout > Group-Graph

The layout of independent graphs in a group in a model.

For elements in a group, this property can be applied by right-clicking the group and selecting Auto Layout.

Routing > Use Grid Router

Determines whether the model will use a grid router to arrange model elements. Model drawing and interaction performance may be impacted depending on the number of elements in the model.

  • Unchecked—Use a quick router instead of the grid router. This is the default.
  • Checked—Use the grid router.

Routing > Show Grid

Determines whether the model will display a reference grid of points.

Routing > Grid Settings > Grid Size

The size of the routing grid. A smaller grid size will generate better results but may slow layout performance depending on the number of elements in the model.

Routing > Grid Settings > Length Cost

The additional cost to add to long connectors. Routing aims to find paths that have a minimal cost, so assigning a larger value results in the model using shorter paths.

Routing > Grid Settings > Turn Cost

The additional cost to add to turns along connectors. Routing aims to find paths that have a minimal cost, so assigning a larger value results in the model using connectors with fewer turns.

Routing > Grid Settings > Crossing Cost

The additional cost to add when connectors cross each other. Routing aims to find paths that have a minimal cost, so assigning a larger value results in the model using connectors that cross less frequently.

Routing > Grid Settings > Node Vicinity Cost

The additional cost to add when connectors pass very near other elements. Routing aims to find paths that have a minimal cost, so assigning a larger value results in the model using connectors that do not pass near other elements.

The size of the area around other elements in which passing connectors incur an additional cost is set using the Node Vicinity Size.

Routing > Grid Settings > Node Vicinity Size

The size of the area around other elements in which passing connectors incur an additional cost.

Format text and labels

By default, all elements in the model have the same font type and size: Arial size 12, colored black. You can change the font of any selected elements or labels using the ModelBuilder > Diagram > Text controls.

To change the font of all text in your model and set the font for all elements added to the model in the future, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure no model elements are selected.
  2. Use the ModelBuilder > Diagram > Text controls to select a font, size, color, bold, underline, italic, and text justification.

To change the font of selected elements in your model, follow these steps:

  1. Select one or more elements or labels in the model diagram.
  2. Use the ModelBuilder > Diagram > Text controls to select a font, size, color, bold, underline, italic, and text justification to apply to the text for the selected elements.

Layout

The elements in a model can be arranged manually by moving the elements to the desired location or automatically using the Auto Layout button Auto Layout on the ModelBuilder ribbon tab. To automatically arrange elements inside a group, right-click the group and select Auto Layout.

You can lock elements on your model diagram so they are not affected by Auto Layout as follows:

  1. Select one or more elements or labels in the model diagram.
  2. To lock the selected elements, click the Lock Element button Lock Element in the View group on the ModelBuilder ribbon tab. To unlock the selected elements, click the Unlock Element button Unlock Element.

Zooming

There are three methods you can use to zoom in your model diagram:

  • Scroll the mouse wheel to zoom in to or out from the cursor position.
  • Adjust the zoom control at the bottom of the model view.
  • Click the Zoom in or Zoom out buttons on the ModelBuilder ribbon tab

You can move between previous and next zoom levels and model diagram extents using the Previous Extent and Next Extent buttons.

To change the zoom level of your model so that all model elements are visible within the current extent of the view, click the Fit To Window button Fit To Window.

Connector lines

The connector lines between elements can be reshaped by clicking the connector line and dragging to the desired place. This creates a vertex on the line that can be moved so the connector line follows a custom path.

Reshaping a connector line
Reshaping a connector line by adding a vertex and moving it