Glossary of Terms

ambient node style

Changes the node style for all elements currently using the system default node style. Drop a node style on the drawing background to quickly change multiple nodes at once.

automatic binding

The process of automatically linking child elements to a Layout drawing associated with their parents.

automatic layout

The system default layout drawing, which uses the default Gradient Bubble node style and a traditional tree layout style.


The process of linking an element condition or property to a component of a drawing. Changes made to the element automatically update the linked drawing component. See also color binding and content binding, and automatic binding and manual binding.

color binding

A feature that links an element condition color to the fill or line color of a drawing shape. The fill/line color updates automatically when the element condition changes.

content binding

A feature that links an element property (name, DName, attribute) to text in a drawing. If the property changes, the text updates automatically.

custom graphic

A graphic specified in the Element Graphic drawing channel is used to represent an element in a drawing.

drawing component

Any item displayed in the Layout view that was added using the drawing toolbar (shapes, arrows, text, and so on), or is an imported graphic or clipart, or was added by binding an element to the drawing.

drawing properties

Each drawing component has a set of properties displayed as a set of panes in the Palette.

editing channel

Enables switching between the Layout drawing for an element and other default drawing-related settings for the element: Element Graphic, Element Node Style, or Element Drawing Template.

element graphic

An element in a drawing can have a custom graphic defined. This graphic is specified in the element’s Element Graphic editing channel. This graphic could have been created by a user in v4.0, or results from a conversion from v3.5.x.


Combines multiple elements into a single element. Grouping is useful when rearranging or managing many elements in a drawing.

manual binding

The action of dragging and dropping an element to the Layout drawing, and optionally linking, copying, or moving the element to the element associated with the drawing.


Component of the Layout view that preserves a “bird’s eye” view of the drawing as you zoom and move.

node style

The graphic representation of an element in a Layout drawing. Node styles display under Administration > Graphics > Nodes in the Explorer pane.


A Layout view component that displays editable properties of the item currently selected in the drawing. These property panes include line widths and colors, text fonts, and binding settings.


Applies a set of node styles and layout pattern to the current drawing. Templates can save time when there is a need to create the same type of layout multiple times. Templates display under Administration > Graphics in the Explorer pane.


Separates a drawing component into the original components (before the Group command was used), such as countries in a continent map. Useful when you need to edit a portion of the drawing.