Block Connectors

In this article, we will explore the functionality and applications of Block Connectors in Software Ideas Modeler. Block Connectors are versatile tools that enable users to link any two elements within various types of diagrams. Whether you are working on flowcharts, UML diagrams, or any other graphical representation, understanding how to use Block Connectors will enhance your diagramming experience.

What are Block Connectors?

Block Connectors are universal connecting lines found in the Drawing group of Software Ideas Modeler. They are designed to create links or relationships between different diagram elements. Unlike specialized connectors that are tailored for specific diagram types, Block Connectors offer flexibility and can be used across different diagramming contexts.

Using Block Connectors in Diagrams

Adding a Block Connector

  • To use a Block Connector, first locate it in the Drawing group on the Software Ideas Modeler interface.
  • Select the Block Connector tool and then click on the first element you wish to connect.
  • Drag the cursor to the second element and release to establish the connection.

Customizing the Connector

  • Block Connectors initially appear as simple lines (connector kind: arrow). However, they can be customized to better suit the diagram's context.
  • To customize a connector, select it and open the Properties sidebar.
  • Within the Properties sidebar, you can change the connector kind to options such as:
    • None
    • General Line
    • Arrow
    • Bidirectional Arrow
    • Chevron
    • Striped Arrow
    • Triangle
  • Additionally, you can adjust the thickness, color, and other visual aspects of the connector.

Adjusting Connector Size and Shape

  • Software Ideas Modeler provides orange diamond grips on the connector line. These grips allow for easy adjustment of the connector's size and shape.
  • Simply click and drag these grips to modify the connector's appearance and fit it precisely within your diagram.
  • The grips can be used to adjust properties such as:
    • Offset from Source Element: Adjust the distance between the connector and the source element it originates from.
    • Offset from Target Element: Modify the gap between the connector and the target element it connects to.
    • Arrow Width: If your connector includes an arrow, you can change its width for better visibility and impact.
    • Arrow Height: Also for connectors with arrows, alter the height to suit the scale and style of your diagram.
Block Connector
Block Connector

Applications of Block Connectors

Block Connectors are especially useful in scenarios where standard connectors are not sufficient. For example, in a flowchart, you might want to connect a process step to an additional element that doesn't follow the standard flow. Block Connectors provide the flexibility to make such connections without disrupting the overall structure of the diagram.

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