Useful functions when creating diagrams: Explanation with SysML diagram examples
Hello, this is Danappa, a system engineer.
In this post, I will explain some useful functions to know when creating diagrams.
As in previous posts, this time I will explain using the SysML diagram taxonomy bdd as an example. If you make good use of these useful functions when creating diagrams, you will be able to create more efficient and clear diagrams.
Insert Related Element
The Insert Related Element function is used to find other elements that are associated with (i.e. related to) an element and add them to the diagram. To try out this feature, let’s create a new diagram other than taxonomy. First, add the ‘Structure Diagram’ block from your browser by dragging it to a new diagram. After that, click ‘Structure Diagram’ on the diagram and right-click → select ‘Insert Related Elements’ (or Design → Element → Add Element → Related Element). This will open the “Insert Related Elements” window.
In this window, you can select the ‘Structure Diagram’ block and other elements connected by connectors to add them to the diagram. This feature provides several filter functions including Connector type, Element type, etc. Additionally, one particularly interesting feature is the ability to set the ‘Connector’s Depth (levels)’. This allows you to choose how many levels down to display elements in the diagram. This feature is very useful when visualizing complex networks of relationships and allows users to control the complexity and scope of the diagram.
The Find function is useful for quickly finding specific elements while working on a diagram. To use this function, select the desired element on the diagram and right-click. The Find function mainly has two options: “In Project Browser” and “Find in all Diagrams”.
1. In Project Browser: This option finds the selected element within the project browser. This allows users to easily locate specific elements even in complex project structures.
2. Find in all Diagrams: This option finds all diagrams containing the selected element. This feature can be especially useful as your model becomes more complex. This allows users to quickly determine which diagram the element is used in and also helps understand the overall structure of the model.
This function is used when expressing a specific element as an image. After selecting the element you want to express as an image, right-click the mouse → select ‘Select a Default Image…’ in the Appearance menu. ‘, ‘Select an Alternate Image… ‘, ‘Select an Image Asset… You can change it to an image by selecting one of the options. Here are the differences between these three options:
1. Select a Default Image: Use the selected image as the default image for the element. This displays the element in the selected image not only on this diagram, but also on other diagrams.
2. Select an Alternate Image: Displays the element with the selected image only in that diagram. Other diagrams may display the default image or a different image.
3. Select an Image Asset: This option does not express the element as a selected image, but registers the image itself as an element of the model. In other words, the image is added as an element in the browser and used as part of the model. These Image functions allow you to express diagrams more visually and enhance the delivery of information. Each function can be used differently depending on the user’s needs and can contribute to improving the clarity and understanding of the diagram.
Diagram Legend is a very useful feature for adding a legend to your diagram to clarify the meaning and properties of each element. You can add it to your diagram by selecting ‘Diagram Legend’ from the ‘Common Elements’ section of the Toolbox. When you double-click the added legend, a window to edit the legend opens.
In this window, ‘Name’ sets the name of what the legend represents, and you can add legends for elements and connectors. In ‘Item Details’ you can enter ‘Value’ and ‘Display Version’ to determine how it will appear on the diagram.
One of the more useful features is the ‘Apply auto color’ option. Checking this option automatically colors the elements in the diagram according to the style specified in the legend. For example, if you check ‘Apply auto color’ and select ‘Element → Version’ in ‘Filter’ and click ‘OK’, the color will change according to the version of the element. In the picture below, yellow represents version 1.0 and green represents version 2.0. The version can be modified in the ‘Properties’ window after clicking on the corresponding element.
Ability to immediately load a specific diagram when opening a project
If you select a specific diagram on the browser and click Start → Collaborate → Model Home → Manage → Set Current as Default, the diagram will be immediately displayed on the canvas when you open the project.
In this post, we looked at additional useful functions for creating diagrams.
A detailed understanding and use of the various features of Eclipse Architecture (EA) can greatly reduce the effort in the modeling process. These features increase modeling efficiency and allow you to create clearer, more professional diagrams.
In the next post, we will learn about EA’s Browser, Inspector, and Focus windows.