Various operations can be performed on the objects you add for the purpose of modeling. You can also edit the objects, for example to change their appearance. Below is an overview of the possibilities.
On this page:
Individual objects can be resized horizontally and vertically. You can do this by selecting the object, and then clicking one of the squares on the edge of the object and dragging it in a direction.
When resizing, mind the following:
- Any existing contents of the object retains its scale.
- Do not make the object so small that its contents (partly) disappears.
- There should be enough space around the objects to scale them. They must not overlap something else.
You can make objects replicated by means of the properties replication and replication number. By making an object replicated, you add information on the number of instances of this object. Replicated objects are visualized in a diagram or view as depicted below:
Aligning and scaling objects
You can align objects using the Align buttonin the Layout group on the Home ribbon tab. This way you can for example place actions on the same line or aligning them to the same height.
In order to align objects, you first select the object the other objects must be aligned to and then select the other objects. You will notice that the selection color of the first selected object is different from the selection color of the other selected objects. That way you will always know the "target" object of your aligning. Next, click the arrow in the Align button and then click the desired type of alignment.
If you want to select all other objects in the model similar to the first, right-click the first object and click Select > Select Similar. After that, you click the type of alignment.
In the ribbon tab, the last chosen alignment function will remain visible on the Align button and can easily be used again by clicking the button instead of selecting the alignment in the button menu over and over again. Enterprise Studio remembers the alignment type that was last used.
Scaling sub-processes in Amber models
Sub-processes in Amber models can also be scaled. First select the sub-process. Then, select one of the blocks on the border of the sub-process, and drag it to the desired direction. The sub-process can be scaled independently in both directions (horizontally and vertically). The content of the sub-process keeps its scale. The sub-process can not be made smaller than its contents.
Setting object properties
Now you have drawn some objects, you can add properties. The easiest way to do this is by double-clicking these elements. The Properties window appears. Example:
Object fill color and line color
Objects can be given their own fill color and line color. With the fill color, you give the object's surface a different color, with the line color you change the color of the border of the object.
In order to set a fill color for the object, select the object in the diagram or view and click Home > Fill Color in the ribbon. Select the desired color in the appearing window.
By default, objects have a plain color. At the General options, you can specify whether objects must be colored with gradient or plain filling with the Use gradient color when filling objects check box, and the gradient of coloring in Gradient to color.
The line color for an object can only be set if the Derive line color from fill color check box at the Graphics options is clear. If this check box is selected, the line color automatically gets a color that is derived from the fill color.
If the line color is not derived from the fill color, the border of an object is black by default. To change the line color, select the object in the diagram or view and click Home > Line color in the ribbon. Select the desired color in the appearing window. Setting the line color does not apply to node graphics (like junctions).
Below are two examples of color settings. The objects have their default color, the fill color is not adjusted.
Plain fill color + fixed line color (left), gradient filling + derived line color (right)
Object line style and line width
The Line Width and Line Style commands in the Markup group on the Home tab of the ribbon can be used to change the width and style of the border of an object.
You can change colors, fonts and other graphical properties of multiple objects simultaneously by selecting these objects in the diagram or view with Ctrl+A or Ctrl+E and then click the button for that property.
Copying the object format
The Format Painter command in the Clipboard group of the Home ribbon tab can be used to copy one object's graphical properties (like background color and line style) to other objects.
First, select the source object (that has the graphical properties to copy), then click Format Painter. After that, select the destination objects and click Format Painter again. Now, the graphical properties of the source object are applied to the destination objects.
Resetting the graphical attributes of an object
You can reset the assigned graphical attributes of an object to their default value. To do this, select the relevant objects in the diagram or view and click Resetin the Markup group on the Home ribbon tab.
Adding an image to an object
It is possible to add images to objects. Images can, for example, represent the type of a model element. To add an image, select the object in the diagram or view and click Home > Image in the ribbon. In the window that appears you can select the image that you want to add.
The image can be resized. The position of the image can be changed by clicking the image and dragging it to the desired place in the object, or elsewhere in the diagram or view.
Added images are not saved with the model. Whenever you copy a model, you must also copy the self-added images.
Formatting an object name label
Object name labels can be formatted and rotated. Rotating can be used to vertically position text, which can be useful for rotated objects.
Labels can be formatted by means of the commands in the Font group of the Home ribbon tab.
Positioning an object name label
Labels on arrows and names of objects can be fixed on a certain position with respect to the arrows or the object (left, center, outside, etc.). The label stays on the same relative position when moving the object.
To position a label, select the object with the label in the diagram or view, click Home > Attach Label and click the desired label position.
Positioning label to the middle
You always reposition a label by selecting it and clicking the desired label position. You can also position multiple (name) labels at the same time by right-clicking one specific object with label and then clicking Select > Select similar. All similar objects are selected. Click Home > Attach Label and click the desired label position. The labels of all selected objects are changed.
If you want to position the label outside of an object, you first need to select a side position (top, bottom, left, right) and then select the Attach Outside position.