Overview

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Below is a screenshot of the Diagram Editor with all the relevant areas, you can click the areas for an explanation.

Diagram Editor

 

The following areas are available:

1.File and Diagram Tools Toolbar
2.Zoom and Display Toolbar
3.Diagram Toolbox Toolbar
4.Color Toolbar
5.Order and Alignment Toolbar
6.Diagram Pages
7.Diagram Explorer & Navigator
8.Editor Canvas
9.Status bar

 

Below is an explanation of each area.

 

File and Diagram Tools Toolbar

On this toolbar are buttons to Load and Save your diagram from and to a file, export it as an image for use in other products or print your diagram. When loading or saving your diagram, any sub-diagrams are included. Viewing properties like zoom factor, horizontal and vertical position are saved as well.

 

There's also a New Diagram button that lets you choose your model type (conceptual or physical) or to add a sub-diagram.

 

The Model Options button or context menu option Options in the workspace can be used to view and edit the model options.

 

The Validate Model button can be used to validate a model for correctness.

 

But this toolbar also holds other important items under the Tools drop down button:

Attach to Session and Reverse Engineer allow you to make your physical model part of an existing database session and import all objects into the Editor Workspace. For more information, see Connections and a Physical Data Model.

 

The Automatic Layout drop down button shows different automatic layout options. Using these will re-arrange the objects in your diagram according to different algorithms. Depending on the diagram, one might be more suitable than the other. This functionality is especially useful after reverse engineering your database to get a starting layout before rearranging items yourself.

 

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Zoom and Display Toolbar

This toolbar has a drop down box that allows you to select a zoom percentage and displays the current zoom percentage of the Editor Workspace. There are two "magifying glass" buttons to select the previous or next stage in zooming, you can also use the numeric keypad + and - buttons to adjust the zooming.

 

For entities and tables (and views) in a model, there are three displaying modes:

1.View Full - displays the object name and all it's attributes or columns.
2.View Identifiers - displays the object name and it's identifying attributes or primary key constraint columns.
3.View Titles - displays only the object name.

 

Switching between these viewing modes can be useful to get a better overview of your model. The statusbar displays the current viewing mode slightly to the right of its middle.

 

Viewing Modes Screenshots, click to expand
Viewing Modes Screenshots

 

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Diagram Toolbox Toolbar

The buttons on this toolbar let you switch between the normal selection arrow, a "pan" hand and allow you to add or delete objects from the model.

 

The Toolbox has different items depending on whether you're editing a conceptual data model or a physical data model.

 

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Color Toolbar

With the Color Toolbar you can easily set the color of the items in your diagram. This toolbar holds 3 special drop down buttons, simply clicking them will change the color of all selected items to the "current color" of the button. This color is visible in the button image itself. If you click the drop down arrow, you can select a different color and you will see the button image change as to reflect the new color. If you have an item selected while changing the current color, the items will change color as well.

 

Modifying item colors is also possible by using the Format option in the item context menu.

 

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Order and Alignment Toolbar

The first two button on this toolbar control the item z-order. By using the Bring to Front button, you can bring an item "on top" of other items and by using the Send to Back button you can put an item "behind" other items. Using this functionality only has effect when items are stacked on top of eachother. A Region cannot be brought to front and is always behind items inside it.

 

The alignment buttons make it easy to get multiple items at the same left, top, right or bottom positions, or on the same horizontal or vertical axis. The first item you select is the item the other selected items get aligned to.

 

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Diagram Pages

When adding sub-diagrams, this area will show the sub-diagram pages. You can switch to and from these sub-diagrams by selecting a different page or selecting a diagram from the Diagram Explorer.

 

You can use the context menu to create a new sub-diagram or to delete or rename an existing one.

 

Sub-diagrams have their own set of viewing properties.

 

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Diagram Explorer & Navigator

The Diagram Explorer area gives you a lists of the available diagrams (the main diagram and optional sub-diagrams), Entities and Domains or Tables, Views and Domains as available in the different model types.

 

You can drag items from the Diagram Explorer to the Workspace.

 

Deleting an item from the Workspace might not delete it from the Diagram Explorer, depending on your actions. This means that you can have different visual items in your diagram than available items. This is especially useful with sub-diagrams and diagrams for existing databases.

 

Below the tree view in the Diagram Explorer, you can find the Object Info pane, which lists properties of the selected object in the tree view.

 

And even below that, is the Diagram Navigator, which holds a small overview of the diagram so you can quickly browse the diagram and go to a particular section of your diagram.

 

See also:

Using Sub-Diagrams

 

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Editor Canvas

The Editor Canvas is the area where you visualize your diagram. It can contain objects (entities, tables and views), links (relationships, foreign key constraints and documentation links), comment boxes and background regions.

 

 

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Status bar

At the bottom of the Diagram Editor, there's a status bar displaying the following:

object viewing mode

number of selected items

 

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Next: Using the Diagram Editor