FAQ: How To
Frequently Asked Questions:
- How can I control the amount of space between text
and the edges of shapes?
- How can I fit more text in diamond (decision)
- How do I create a new page? How do I create a
large diagram that doesn't fit on one page?
- How do I change to landscape page orientation,
or to a different paper size?
- How do I save my diagram in a different format?
- How do I change how an object looks in my diagram
without affecting how future diagrams will look?
- How do I tell between a 'property' and a 'style'?
- What does "bind" mean? How do I bind objects to styles?
- Why when I import a JPEG image, doesn't it look as good
as I like when it scales?
- I want a shape that is not included. How can I create
it or obtain it?
- How do I make a connector that is a double line?
- How can I improve program performance?
- How do I change fonts or something else throughout
my entire diagram?
1. How can I control the amount of space between text
and the edges of shapes?
Every shape has default internal margin spacing built into it.
However, most shapes also support adjustable internal margins.
You can control the width of the internal margin by selecting a
fixed margin width from the diagram's properties dialog box (general
tab). This width determines the amount of space between the text and
the edge of the shape throughout your diagram. For a simple
rectangular shape, the result is obvious. Irregular
shapes handle margins as best they can, but some extreme examples
simply stick to the original definition regardless of the margin.
The diamond-shaped symbols are a special case described in the
2. How can I fit more text in diamond (decision) shapes?
Diamond shapes are very irregular compared to the text area. The
text area must be rectangular and must fit completely within the
symbol's bounds. Therefore an adjustable internal margin does little
good and has not been implemented. Instead, a more common frustration
arises with diamonds. Rather than wanting additional margin space,
you will more likely find it difficult to fit enough text within the
text area without making the shape unmanageably large.
A special option has been added to allow you to override the text
boundary in diamonds and control exactly how you would like to fit
your text within the shape. By checking the 'Disable text margin
limits for decision (diamond) symbols' option in the diagram properties
dialog box (general tab), you can release the internal text area
and instead use the entire bounds of the symbol. If you use this
option, you can fit as much text as possible into the diamond.
The catch is that you have to take responsibility for formatting
it such that it remains within the bounds of the symbol.
The option described above is enabled by default. However, there are
cases when you may want to dsiable it. One such case is when you want
to use justification other than centered. Another is if you prefer to
use the four 'point' text areas to include condition indicators 'y',
'n' etc. (These are still supported but have been largely replaced
by flow labels.)
3. How do I create a new page? How do I create a large diagram
that doesn't fit on one page?
You have many options. You can work with a diagram as one large 'sheet',
possibly using page set-up to create an oversized virtual page or
divide the sheet into a grid of pages.
As of version 6.2, you can also simply add mulitple sheets to your diagram
in the same way you add pages to a document.
And there are other techniques that may also be helpful:
- Use a larger page. If you have access to a printer or plotter that
can print a bigger page, this program can probably handle it.
Use Print Setup to select a different page size for your diagram.
- Break the diagram into smaller parts and store each part in a
different diagram file. For convenience you can use the diagram
linking feature to connect diagrams. One way to link diagrams is
to create a figure in diagram A that has the text "Click here to
view diagram B", then link the figure to diagram B. Another way
is to use hierarchical diagram linking. For example, create a
simple high-level flowchart and link each figure to a lower-level
chart that expands the meaning of the figure. The downside of the
linking approach is that the separate files have to be moved around
together, saved together, and printed separately. Note, only EDGE
Diagrammer has this feature.
- Use the Postering feature. With this feature you can lay out your
diagram on a grid of pages. The usual intent is to tape the pages
together to build a large wall poster of your diagram. However, you
may also split your diagram up into several pages and use the grid
to manage and print the pages separately.
- Finally, if you really require a multi-page book-type diagram, you
can create it in a word processor and use OLE to insert diagrams
onto each page. For example, use MS Word to create a multi-page
document. On each page, use Insert Object to embed or link a
4. How do I change to landscape page orientation,
or to a different paper size?
Page set-up including orientation and paper size is controlled
through Print Set-up. Use Print Set-up to adjust page layout and
the layout will be saved within the diagram.
5. How do I save my diagram in a different format?
You can export to different graphics formats using Export from the
Tools menu (not located in the SaveAs menu).
We currently do not support saving files in other editable
diagramming formats such as Microsoft Visio.
6. How do I change how an object looks in my diagram without
affecting how future diagrams will look?
When you create a diagram, that diagram contains a "copy" of all
the styles that were in the diagram template you selected. Therefore,
changes to styles in your diagram affect only that diagram UNLESS you
intentionally edit the diagram template file. For example, suppose
you create a flowchart but for this particular flowchart, you want
all the shapes to have thicker borders than usual. After you do the
New to create the diagram, go into Figures Styles and select each
shape and change its border width, then make your diagram and save it.
If you wanted this change to apply for all future flowcharts you
create, open the diagram template file and make the change there.
Better yet, create a new template of your own so that the next time
you update the program you won't lose it - future upgrades will
overwrite the current template files.
7. How do I tell between a 'property' and a 'style'?
A style is like a model or template for creating new objects.
When you create an object, that object's style determines its
initial properties. Properties are specific to a particular object.
8. What does "bind" mean? How do I bind objects to styles?
Every object you create begins with a style. The style determines
certain things about how that object will look, its color is a good
example. When an object is bound to its style, it automatically
updates if you update the style. For example, if you change the
Process style color from white to red, all process boxes that you've
added to your diagram will become red, except those that are not
bound. You can change whether an object is bound to its style by
changing the Bind checkbox in the object's properties. It gets a
little tricky when you discover that each style also has a Bind
checkbox. The bind field in a style just determines the default
bind state for objects created with the style.
9. Why when I import a JPEG image, doesn't it look as good as
I like when it scales?
JPEG graphics are converted to bitmaps for internal usage.
Therefore when you resize the image in your diagram it becomes
distorted as with all raster graphics. Often JPEG images are
photographic quality and this distortion is very noticeable.
If you import it and do not resize it, it will not distort
(even though it may look distorted because of your zoom settings).
If you want to scale a JPEG image so it does not distort as
badly, do so with a drawing tool such as LViewPro before you
10. I want a shape that is not included. How can I create
it or obtain it?
There are several options. The simplest way is to create
it as a bitmap with a paint program and then import it as the
shape in a new figure style. However, this method will leave
the shape rather limited in functionality unlike the built-in shapes.
For the technically inclined with some programming experience,
you might want to try to create your own shapes using the built-in
macro language. If it's a simple change to an existing shape,
this is quite easy - just open the SYMBOLS\*.EDE files with a
text editor to see the format. You can obtain a document
describing the format and how to use it from the Accessories
area (under Product, Downloads).
You can also choose to contact us to request custom symbols be
created for you. You will need to provide drawings of the symbols
you want and there will be a charge that will vary depending on
how complicated the symbols are.
11. How do I make a connector that is a double line?
You can't actually do this outright, but you can use an
alternative method. Create a connector and add flow symbols
to it (the one that looks like a double line). Position the
flow symbols close enough together so that they overlap, for
example use a size of 5 pts and a spacing of 4 pts. The
result will be a rough but usable double line.
12. How can I improve program performance?
In most cases, you'll find the program performance to be
very fast. However, users of older computers with slower CPUs
may find it useful to check the following.
First, make sure your computer has adequate memory.
It's also important to know what parts of diagrams are
the slowest to process so you can avoid them unless necessary.
First of all the overall complexity of the diagram is very
important, such as the number of figures and connectors.
You can increase performance by breaking a large complex diagram
into multiple smaller ones. Avoid excessive imported graphics.
They require a large number of steps to draw. Also slower are
(in order of most to least slow) (a) Curved connectors,
especially smoothed (b) Connectors with thick and/or patterned
lines (dashed or dotted) (c) Connectors with flow symbols -
these can really slow down redraws.
13. How do I change fonts or something else throughout
my entire diagram?
Fonts and initial object properties are determined by styles.
To change the font used for a particular figure style (for example),
enter Figure Styles, select the Text tab and set the font. Repeat
this for each style that you want to save and save your diagram.
If you want your changes to be present for new diagrams, update the
corresponding diagram template(s) accordingly.