10.7. The Arrange Menu

This menu provides a range of functions to help in the alignment of artifacts on diagrams within the editing pane. In general the menu function invoked is applied to any artifact or artifacts currently selected in the editing pane.

10.7.1. Align

This sub-menu aligns the selected items. There are seven alignment options provided.

  • Align Tops. Aligns the selected artifacts by their top edges.

  • Align Bottoms. Aligns the selected artifacts by their bottom edges.

  • Align Rights (Shortcut Ctrl-R). Aligns the selected artifacts by their right edges.

  • Align Lefts (Shortcut Ctrl-L). Aligns the selected artifacts by their left edges.

  • Align Horizontal Centers. Aligns the selected artifacts so their horizontal centers are in a vertical line.

  • Align Vertical Centers. Aligns the selected artifacts so their vertical centers are in a horizontal line.

  • Align To Grid. Aligns the selected artifacts so their top and right edges are on the grid snap boundary (see Section 10.5.5, “Adjust Grid Snap” ) edge.

    [Tip]Tip

    The alignment is to the current grid snap setting, which may be smaller, larger or the same as the displayed grid. Since items are aligned to the grid snap boundary any way when you place them, this menu entry has no effect unless you have either changed the grid snap to a larger value or used one of the other Arrange menu entries to push items off their initial positions.

10.7.2. Distribute

This sub-menu distributes the selected items. There are four distribution options provided.

  • Distribute Horizontal Spacing. The leftmost and rightmost selected artifacts are not moved. The others are adjusted horizontally until the horizontal space (i.e. from the right edge of the left artifact to the left edge of the right artifact) is the same for all of the selected items

  • Distribute Horizontal Centers. The leftmost and rightmost selected artifacts are not moved. The others are adjusted horizontally until the distance between the horizontal centers of all the selected items is the same.

  • Distribute Vertical Spacing. The top and bottom selected artifacts are not moved. The others are adjusted vertically until the vertical space (i.e. from the bottom edge of the top artifact to the top edge of the bottom artifact) is the same for all of the selected items

  • Distribute Vertical Centers. The top and bottom selected artifacts are not moved. The others are adjusted vertically until the distance between the vertical centers of all the selected items is the same.

10.7.3. Reorder

This sub-menu adjusts the ordering of overlapping items. There are four reorder options provided.

  • Forward. The selected artifacts are moved one step forward in the ordering hierarchy with respect to other artifacts they overlap.

  • Backward. The selected artifacts are moved one step back in the ordering hierarchy with respect to other artifacts they overlap.

  • To Front. The selected artifacts are moved to the front of any other artifacts they overlap.

  • To Back. The selected artifacts are moved to the back of any other artifacts they overlap.

10.7.4. Nudge

This sub-menu provides fine adjustment to the positioning of selected artifacts. There are four nudge options provided.

  • Nudge Left. The selected artifacts are moved one pixel to the left.

  • Nudge Right. The selected artifacts are moved one pixel to the right.

  • Nudge Up. The selected artifacts are moved up one pixel.

  • Nudge Down. The selected artifacts are moved up one pixel.

10.7.5. Set Preferred Size

This menu-item acts on all selected items on the current diagram. It resets all sizes of all artifacts to its “preferred” size, i.e. the minimum size for which all text fits inside.

10.7.6. Toggle Auto Resizing

This menu-item is a checkbox that currently does not do anything.

10.7.7. Layout

This menu-item provides an automatic diagram layout function, i.e. when activating this menu-item, all items on the current class diagram are rearranged according a certain layout algorithm.

This function currently only works for classdiagrams. For all other types of diagrams, the menu-item is downlighted.