Learn how to efficiently navigate through any diagram in Innoslate.
Innoslate offers 25 different types of diagrams. With this many diagrams available and Innoslate's easeness to open up into many different Diagrams views, it is essential for users to have a solid understanding of how to navigate and modify these diagrams in order to effectively interact with and make changes to them. This ensures that users can easily work with any diagram they are using. Below we'll go over the main areas of diagrams view and expected behavior when in them.
There are 3 different areas to note when in a diagram:
- Left Sidebar- Blue box in image below.
- Toolbar Frame- The border in red.
- Canvas- The white space provided within the toolbar frame.
The above image is when a user has started a new Action Diagram. When a user drags and drops a construct from the left sidebar to the canvas, the user has created a new entity and Innoslate will automatically focus on that entity and present options on the left sidebar and the top toolbar to modify it. An example of this is below, where there is a serial construct that was dragged and dropped from the left sidebar to the canvas. The entity is highlighted with a blue line around it, this indicator from Innoslate signifies that is the focused entity. The left sidebar has changed and provides options to review and modify the selected entity's metadata, attributes and it's relationships (the 3 tabs on the left sidebar, circled in red) . The circled area on the top of the toolbar frame provides options to modify the entity, mostly to edit it's appearance, on the canvas.
When a user clicks anywhere on the white space of the canvas, outside of the focused entity, Innoslate will shift the focus back to the entire diagram. At this point, the left sidebar and the top of the toolbar frame will also return to being focused on the root entity. However, it is important to note that if any modifications were made, Innoslate will recognize this and display a green 'Save' button. From here, users can continue making additional modifications to the diagram or choose to save their changes. It is worth mentioning that clicking on 'Save' will redirect users to the project's Diagrams Dashboard.
Left Sidebar- No Entity Selected
When no construct is selected on the canvas, the left sidebar displays 3 tabs: New, Existing, and Comments.
The 'New' tab enables users to create new entities by simply dragging and dropping a construct from the tab to the canvas. The available constructs in this tab will vary depending on the specific diagram being used. In the image above, users can select from 8 different constructs for their Action Diagram.
Some diagrams allow for multiple classes of entity types. The new tab in these diagrams will have a dropdown right below the constructs to select the desired class for the entity/construct, as shown in the below image.
Lastly under the new tab, users can modify the root entity name, number and description info when users select the name on the left sidebar.
The 'Existing' tab is for bringing in already existing entities from the project to the diagram. The available entities Innoslate pulls up in the dropdown will depend on the diagram the user is in. Users may type in the field (red box in image below) to find a certain entity by number or name (you can type name: or number:).
When a user selects an entity or entities, they will appear in the left sidebar behind the dropdown as shown in the image below (to view the entities under the dropdown, simply click anywhere in the left sidebar outside of the dropdown).
Users can easily drag and drop the existing entities onto the canvas, as demonstrated in the accompanying video.
This gear icon next to the dropdown field allows for users to recall another project to bring in their entities. We call this Cross Project Relationships. Upon selecting entities from other projects, the constructs will appear and users can drag and drop these entities as shown in the video above.
This icon also allows users to change the limit of entities to display in this dropdown:
The final tab from the left sidebar is for commenting. Since there is no construct selected on the canvas, so these comments will be placed on the root entity of the diagram.
Left Sidebar- Entity Selected
When an entity is selected on the canvas, the left sidebar will provide 3 tabs to modify it. The 3 tabs from left to right are 'Metadata', 'Attributes' and 'Relationships'.
The Metadata Tab provides the entity's metadata such as Global ID, Project ID, Entity Class, Created and Modified information, and labels that are or can be associated with it.
The Attributes Tab allows users to modify the entity's attributes. Attributes depend on the Entity Class and can be modified in the Schema Editor.
The Relationships Tab allows users to see the entity's traceability to other entities in the project.
The frame, highlighted in red above, surrounding the white canvas is the toolbar frame. This toolbar frame gives users more features to utilize in their diagrams. The toolbar frame options will vary based on the diagram type and change depending on the selected construct in the canvas. For example, if users select a specific construct on the canvas, the top of the toolbar frame will change to allow for more modifications. In the image below, you can see that 'Launch Payload to Orbit' has been selected. Innoslate indicates this selection with a blue frame.
Again, depending on what the user selects on the diagram, the options in the top of the toolbar frame will reflect the applicable options for that selected construct. Another example of this is when a line is selected, the options on the top change to reflect modifications available for that line as shown below (the blue line marked as 'continue ops' indicates that is the selected construct). The line itself is not an existing entity in the database, so only the top toolbar in this case changes and provides options to change it's color, reset to default or change the line option.
Moving to the top right corner of the toolbar frame, there is a wrench icon as indicated below in the red square.This icon remains fixed on all diagrams and does not change even if a user selects a construct on the canvas.
The wrench icon in the top right corner of the toolbar frame is a dropdown menu that provides additional features and settings to utilize. The features available are applicable to the diagram that the user is currently working with. The image below are the options available in this dropdown for the Action Diagram. The dropdown may provide users with options such as hiding certain constructs of the diagram, how many levels can be viewed, generate another view, and/or show/hide indicators. Users can also auto number, reset the diagram and layout the diagram. Lastly, there is always a help button to direct the user to the corresponding diagram's help page.
⚠️We strongly recommend exploring the wrench icon in every diagram as users familiarize themselves with Innoslate's diagrams. The wrench icon provides users with a wide range of valuable features that can greatly enhance their experience.
Bottom of Toolbar Frame
The bottom of the toolbar frame allows users to zoom in and out of the canvas space of the diagram with the '-' and '+' on the lower right of the frame. Users may also use the auto placement option by selecting the 4 arrow icon all the way on the right. In the Asset Diagram only, users will see the 'Change Background' option as shown in the image above.
Left Toolbar Frame- Hide Sidebar
Lastly, note the left of the toolbar frame also contains a hide sidebar button. If users are not seeing their left sidebar, use this button to expand the left side bar.
The Canvas provides users the space to create their diagrams via drag and drop, make entities connect to each other (creates relationships) and select multiple entities for modification. Below we'll cover this behavior.
Users may connect entities from one to another on the canvas when there is a green dot on the side of the entity when its selected and the new entity it connects to turns green. In the below example, the New Action on the bottom right is selected by selecting the green dot and dragging a line to connect to 1.3 New Action. Connecting one entity to another like this will create a relationship between them. Depending on the diagram type and entity class, the relationship created in the canvas follows the Lifecycle Modeling Language. The image below is connecting two entities to each other in a Spider Diagram.
When multiple entities are selected, as indicated in the blue frame in the image below, the top toolbar frame will provide many options to modify the selected entities. Users may modify their text and coloring, align vertically or horizontally, clone, group apply attributes, turn them into a child diagram (decompose) or delete them.
Users can see a lot of the action explained in the article above with the video below: