System Architect provides various ways for you to create notes about diagrams, symbols and definitions.

This week's tip describes some of the options available to you. Using Diagram 'Documentation' Symbols Documentation symbols (Text, Rectangle, Page Connector, and Doc Block) are used directly on System Architect diagrams. They are universal across most diagram types in System Architect, as shown on the Physical Data Model toolbar below.

Here's a brief description of how these symbols are generally used:

• • • •

Text - places a block of text in the diagram. The text can be up to 1,000 characters in length and can include multiple lines. Rectangle - places a rectangle in the diagram for documentation purposes. The size and shape of the rectangle can be changed. Rectangles are usually used to enclose text, such as the title of a diagram, but can be used to enclose any symbol or group of symbols Page Connector - inserts a page connector symbol in the diagram. These page connectors are used for documentation purposes only. Doc Block - adds a rectangular Documentation Block symbol to the diagram that provides a time stamp of when the diagram was created. You may add comments about the diagram in the Doc Block's definition.

Using Note Symbols on UML Diagrams In addition to the 'Documentation' symbols above, every UML diagram also comes equipped with a Note symbol. You may choose this symbol from the toolbar or Draw menu (as you would any of the above) and place it on the diagram workspace. A rectangular note symbol is drawn on the diagram for documentation purposes. Using the Graphic Comment Field of a Symbol You may provide a graphic comment for every symbol on any diagram. The Graphic Comment field is part of a symbol's 'Symbol' properties. It is accessed via the Symbol tab of a symbol's definition dialog (ie, double-click on a symbol to open its definition, then click on the Symbol tab to find the Graphic Comment field). Text that you enter in the Graphic Comment field only applies to the instance of a symbol on one particular diagram.In other words, if you draw another symbol of the same name and type on another (or the same) diagram, you will see the same definition information underneath, but the symbol information (including any text you enter in the Graphic Comment field) will be independent and different. By default, the number of characters you can type in a Graphic Comment field is 4074. However, by editing the USRPROPS.TXT file, you can increase that number, and increase it to as many as 32767 characters. For example to increase the Graphic Comment field for a "Note" symbol on a UML Sequence diagram to 6040 characters, enter the syntax below in the USRPROPS.TXT file (and reopen your encyclopedia): Symbol "Note" IN "UML Sequence" { Property "Description" { EDIT Text LENGTH 6040 } } You can choose whether or not to display a Graphic Comment on a diagram by right-mouse clicking on the symbol, and toggling on or off Graphic Comment. You can choose to position the graphic comment inside a symbol or outside it by selecting the symbol, and choosing Format, Symbol Style, Text Position, and toggling on or off the Position Outside, Graphic Comment choice.

and are in the process Phone: of drawing symbols on the diagram.TXT (and reopen your encyclopedia): Definition "Object" { Property "Description" { EDIT Text LENGTH 6040 DISPLAY { FORMAT String }} } Displaying the Description field of a Note symbol requires a bit of extra USRPROPS. but rather is shown within a note symbol attached to the symbol by a line. or you have selected a Support particular symbol from the toolbar. even though you think you've lost the ability to draw symbols on diagrams. enter the syntax below in the USRPROPS.TXT file.Graphic Comments for UML Symbols Note that UML symbols are handled differently than most other symbols within System Architect when it comes to displaying text in the Graphic Comment field. +81 (3) 5427 8940 Status .TXT file (and reopen your encyclopedia): Definition "Note" { Property "Description" { EDIT Text LENGTH 6040 } } To have text that you have entered in a Descriptionfield displayed on a diagram. without ever having to change drawing modes by going to the toolbar. you must use make a change to the USRPROPS. You must first establish a definition for the Note in USRPROPS.However. Here is the reason for Simultaneous Select Draw -when you are drawing. The image below shows a typical Description field.closed 9:30 am .TXT work. you can increase that number up to 32767 characters.6:00 pm . Text that you enter in a description field appears in all instances of the definition. This is per UML specifications. which is for a Processor symbol on a Network Concept diagram. This mode often confuses users to think that System Architect is not working. which enables you to Email: Product select symbols and move them. This topic will be covered in a future Tip of the Week. For example to increase the Description field for a "Note" symbol on a UML Sequence diagram to 6040 characters. text in this field is not by default shown imbedded in the symbol. It is working. Using the Description Field The Description field is part of a definition. For example. or select and open the definition dialog of symbols. One of the interesting drawing modes you can put System Architect in is Simultaneous Select Draw. By default. You've actually gained the ability to draw symbols. you are generally in either of two states -. by editing the USRPROPS. regardless of the diagram in which it is used.TXT (since it does not have a default definition type). enter the following in USRPROPS.TXT file.you are in cursor mode. to make text entered into the Description field of an object symbol display on the symbol itself. the number of characters you can type in a Description field is 4074. For UML symbols. and it is working better than ever. using the Display function and specifying what definition you wish to make the Description displayable for.

then left-click on the diagram to draw it. but you spend a lot of time going back to the drawing toolbar. Every time you left-click on the diagram workspace. ideally you'd like to be able to draw symbols of a particular type. In the IBM/Rational Rose tool. select a Telelogic DOORS Telelogic TAU Telelogic SYNERGY Telelogic DocExpress Telelogic Enterprise Architecture for DoDAF Telelogic Dashboard Integrations . you are always in 'select mode'. and toggle on Simultaneous select/draw. In the diagram you are drawing on. Again. You do this by either selecting the cursor symbol on the Draw toolbar.GMT +9 Reach for Your Symbol and Draw Each drawing or modeling tool on the market differs in how it allows you to change back and forth between 'select mode' and 'drawing symbol mode'. 2.perhaps to open its definition dialog -. you continuously are going back and forth to the toolbar. In System Architect. you select it from the drawing toolbar. Every time you want to draw a symbol. In Microsoft Visio. This is what Simultaneous Select Draw enables you to do. Simultaneous Select Draw Gives You Double-Weapon Action To be quick on the draw. This eliminates that annoyance. for example. you are in 'drawing symbol mode'. To turn on Simultaneous Select Draw. you draw a symbol of that type. This is fine. Preferences. Let's take a look: 1. and go to the toolbar each time you want to draw a symbol. or select and open the definition of symbols on the diagram workspace without ever having to go to the toolbar. but the drawback is that if you want to select a symbol while drawing -. a bit of an annoyance if you are drawing many symbols of the same ilk during a brainstorm session.you have to get out of 'drawing symbol' mode and get your cursor back. No need to go back and forth to the toolbar. select Tools. or hitting your ESC key. Your cursor changes shape so that it has the image of a pen next to it. and drag it onto the diagram. when you select a symbol the first time from the toolbar. you are also always in 'select mode'. You select the symbol type.

notice that nothing happens. we have a class diagram open. you can select symbols on the diagram. so that you get the drawing cursor. . Left click on the diagram workspace to draw the class symbol -.symbol from the toolbar. and that System Architect isn't working. It seems like you can't draw a symbol. The Simultaneous Select Draw choice is enabled for your instance of System Architect -. We select the class symbol from the toolbar and get the drawing cursor. Try it out with one of the symbols on the diagram. 4.even though you have a drawing cursor (a cursor with a pen next to it). 3. After drawing the symbol. In our example.you don't have to worry about turning it off so that another user gets confounded by it. The one thing you cannot do is select a symbol and move it. You have just mastered the Simultaneous Select Draw technique. The symbol is drawn on the diagram. There'll be no faster modeler on the draw then you. try selecting a symbol -. even double click on them to open their definition dialog. Bonus points if you call up our technical support and say you can't draw and see how long it takes them to figure it out. This is not true. Left-mouse click again but hold the click down for 2 or more seconds.

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