Formatting diagrams

After adding and connecting elements of a diagram, you may want to format it to gain a more clear-cut picture and to adapt it your organization’s design standards. The Signavio Process Manager provides the possibility to re-align and resize elements and to change their color, size, title, border and background style.

Arranging Elements

In some cases it is helpful to re-arrange elements to achieve a well-ordered and structured element distribution.

The corresponding button set in the toolbar simplifies this process.

This section explains the behavior of these functions using the following starting point:

Select the elements you want to re-distribute and open the respective menu in the toolbar.

Select the elements you want to rearrange and open the respective menu in the toolbar.

  • Alignment middle:
Alignment middle.

Alignment middle.

The alignment middle button aligns all selected elements in a horizontal row:
Elements are aligned.

Elements are aligned.

  • Alignment Center:
Alignment center

Alignment center

The Alignment Center button aligns all selected elements in a vertical row:
Elements are aligned

Elements are aligned

  • Distribute elements horizontally:
Distribute elements

Distribute elements

The Distribute elements horizontally button equalizes the horizontal distances between elements:
Elements are distributed

Elements are distributed

  • Distribute elements vertically:
Distribute elements

Distribute elements

The Distribute elements vertically button equalizes the vertical distances between elements:

Elements are rearranged

Elements are rearranged

Selecting all elements of one type

When editing complex diagrams, it can be useful to select all elements of a certain type in order to edit one or more of their attributes at once.

To do so, select one element and press Ctrl + I on your keyboard. All elements of the same type will now be selected and you can easily adjust their attributes, e.g. their color:

Select all elements of the type *Task* using **Ctrl + I** and change their color.

Select all elements of the type “task” using ‘Ctrl + I’ and change their color.

If elements of different types have been selected, Ctrl + I will select all elements of these types.

Formatting elements

Element design

You can change an element’s attribute values in the attribute panel to alter its appearance:

  • You can change the label, either by clicking the element or the attribute name.
  • You can alter the background color and the border color of an element by choosing a new color in the corresponding attribute value or by manually altering the hexadecimal value. As seen in the previous section, you can also change an element’s color in the Editor’s toolbar.
Change the color of an element.

Change the color of an element.

  • In the section More attributes, you can check or uncheck the box flat design to remove the color gradient of an element.
The difference between a task with color gradient and in flat design.

The difference between a task with color gradient and in flat design.

You can also reshape elements by changing their size and their shape by stretching or staunching them into different directions, as described in the following section.

Resizing elements

All elements that contain labels or other elements, like Tasks or Swimlanes, can be resized. Other elements, like Gateways or Events, cannot be resized. To resize an element, proceed as follows:

  • Select the modeling element you want to resize.
  • Click and drag the three blue dots at the lower right corner of the modeling element.
Resize elements

Resize elements.

By selecting multiple modeling elements and clicking the Same Size button in the toolbar, all modeling elements can be resized to the size of the biggest of the selected elements.

Align the size of elements.

Align the size of elements.

Dotted orientation lines simplify the alignment of diagram elements on other element sizes during resizing.

Dotted orientation lines help adjusting element sizes.

Dotted orientation lines help adjusting element sizes.

Pressing certain key combinations while resizing an element affects the functionality:

  • Alt: Resize without automatic snapping and orientation lines
  • Ctrl: Resize to every direction
  • Shift: Keep the aspect ratio while resizing

It is possible to combine these functions.

Removing formatting

Element styles can be easily removed from an element, so it returns to its default style. Select the element and click the Remove formatting button:

Removing formatting to restore the default style.

Remove formatting to restore the default style.

Copying formatting

If an existing diagram was edited, e.g. if an element was added, you may want to adapt its style. This can easily be done via the Copy formatting button:

The task 'Check purchase requisition' was added and is supposed to adapt the unified style.

The task ‘Check purchase requisition’ was added and is supposed to adapt the unified style.

Choose an element to copy the style from and click the Copy formatting button. The next element you click will adapt the style immediately.

The style was adapted.

The style was adapted.

Formatting labels using the Editor’s toolbar

The corresponding formatting tools can be found on an additional toolbar, which is expanded by clicking the Formatting options button:

The toggle button in the Editor toolbar opens or closes the label editor.

The toggle button in the Editor toolbar opens or closes the label editor.

Click this button again to hide the formatting toolbar.

Hint: The attribute editor on the right and the shape repository on the left are not required for this ‘fine-tuning’. Hide them by clicking the corresponding arrow to create more space on the canvas.

The examples of this chapter only consider labels of task elements. Title, border- and background color of other element types are edited in the same way.

Select one or more elements and open the formatting options toolbar.

Change the appearance of all selected elements.

Change the appearance of all selected elements.

Click the corresponding tool symbol to edit the label:

  • Change size

    ../../_images/richtextsizebutton_en.png
    ../../_images/richtextsize_en.png
  • Bold print

    ../../_images/richtextboldbutton_en.png
    ../../_images/richtextbold_en.png
  • Italic print

    ../../_images/richtextitalicbutton_en.png
    ../../_images/richtextitalic_en.png
  • Text color

    ../../_images/richtextcolorbutton_en.png
    ../../_images/richtextcolor_en.png
  • Border and icon color

    ../../_images/richtextborderbutton_en.png
    ../../_images/richtextborder_en.png
  • Background color

    ../../_images/richtextbackgroundbutton_en.png
    ../../_images/richtextbackground_en.png

To undo or redo, use the corresponding toolbar buttons, the key combination Ctrl + Z or Ctrl + Y or click the corresponding formatting button again.