3.3 Adding Shapes and Lines

The Layout view provides a full set of drawing tools. These tools function much the same way as features found in other drawing products. Add text, colored shapes and imported clipart to provide additional information and enhance the appearance of a drawing.

In Edit mode, drawing tools display along the bottom of the Layout view:

Figure 3-2 Drawing Toolbar

Each tool button has a roll-over tooltip. Place the mouse over a button and a tooltip displays the button name.

A few buttons on the toolbar enable freehand drawing of lines or shapes, depending on whether you select a fill color.

Table 3-1

Adding Text

(Add Text)

Click on the drawing and enter your text. Use options in the Properties and Text panes to change color or font.

To automatically update the text with element name or attribute, see Section 5.2.1, Creating an Element Name Heading.

Adding Shapes


(Add Rectangle)

(Add Circle)

(Add Ellipse)

(Add Polygon)

(Add Triangle)

(Add Diamond)

Click and drag the outline of the shape anyplace in the drawing. Later, click and drag any of the shape’s endpoints to modify the size or dimensions of the shape.Change almost any feature of a shape using the Properties palette: the line and fill colors, line shapes and width, shape shadows, and so on.

To automatically update the fill color based on element condition color, see Section 5.2.3, Dynamically Updating a Shape’s Color based on Element Condition.

Drawing Lines and Arrows


(Add Line)

Click and drag to draw the line.Change line color and thickness using the Properties palette.

To modify the line angle, simply click and drag one of the end points.To snap the line in 15 degree increments, press Shift while drawing the line end points.Move the line by clicking and dragging its midpoint.

(Add Connection)

Connect two drawing objects.Position the mouse over an element to display blue “x” s at the connection points. Click one blue “x” to start the line, and drag the line over to click the blue “x” on a different object.

(Add Block Arrow)

Click and drag to draw the arrow.

Drawing Freehand Shapes and Lines

(Add Polyline)

(Add Simple Curve)

(Add Complex Curve)

  1. Click to start the line, then drag to draw the first line segment. Click once to mark the end of the line segment.

  2. Drag to draw the next segment. Click once to mark the end the line segment.

    HINT:To snap a polyline in 15 degree increments to create curves, press Shift while drawing.

  3. When finished drawing all segments, double-click to finish the line.

  4. To fill the shape drawn by the line, select a fill color.