Day 5: Exporting Your Work for Others
The diagrams and models you created may be presented to the outside world in standard format files. You may get different output from your Software Ideas Modeler Project. The diagrams may be exported to various imaging formats – bitmap and also vector formats:
- Bitmap formats – JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP, TIFF
- Vector formats: SVG, WMF, EMF
- Document formats: PDF
Copy & Paste
The easiest way how to share diagrams and parts of your project is by using the clipboard. You may copy the selection and paste the image into another application, e.g. text processor. If you want to copy only the image of the current selection, you may use one of the dedicated items in the drop-down menu Copy, accessible from the Clipboard group on the Home ribbon tab:
- Copy as Bitmap (Home/Clipboard/Copy) – copies a bitmap representation of the selected elements to the clipboard
- Copy as Metafile (Home/Clipboard/Copy) – copies a vector representation of the selected elements to the clipboard
If you want to copy the whole diagram, you can do it using dedicated items in the drop-down menu Copy, accessible from Process group on the Diagram ribbon tab:
- Copy Diagram As Bitmap (Diagram/Process/Copy) – copies a bitmap representation of the whole diagram to the clipboard
- Copy Diagram As Metafile (Diagram/Process/Copy) – copies a vector representation of the whole diagram to the clipboard
The quickest way how to create a bitmap from a diagram is to right-click on a space in the diagram and choose “Export Diagram…” from the shown context menu.
This option is available also in the ribbon, on the Diagram tab, in the Process group, under the Export drop-down button. This drop-down menu offers also another option – PDF. It allows you to save the current diagram to PDF file.
The export dialog offers the following settings:
- Image Format
- Export Content
- Export Only Active Layer
- Export Hidden Layers
- Width (Absolute/Relative)
- Height (Absolute/Relative)
- Color 1
- Color 2
- Output folder
You do not need to export the diagram one by one. Software Ideas Modeler also offers Batch Export feature. It allows you to choose which diagrams from the open project you want to export. The export is available from the ribbon File menu / Export / Export to Image. You may find it in a similar place when using the classic menu interface – File / Export / Image…
You can set the size of exported diagrams, in percent - relatively to their defined sizes or in pixels – define absolute dimensions. It is possible to set the style of the diagram background and adjust what layers will be exported (only active ones, including/excluding hidden ones). Except for these settings which are also available for the single diagram export, the batch export offers other specific options that allow you to set the naming rules for the created files and the rules for folder hierarchy creation. You may choose in which way should be solved the conflicts with existing files.
There is also a detailed tutorial about Batch Exporting.
Export to Standard Model Formats (XMI, BPMN XML)
If you need to share the created models with your colleagues who use other modeling tools instead of Software Ideas Modeler it is possible for UML, SysML and BPMN models. These languages provide a standardized format for model interchange and Software Ideas Modeler supports them.
The export features are available from the ribbon menu File / Export:
- Export to XMI – exports the UML and SysML models from the open project to XMI format
- Export to BPMN XML – exports the BPMN models from the open project to BPMN XML format
You may create documentation yourself in an external text processor and paste the pictures exported for each diagram or its part from the Software Ideas Modeler project. However, the easier option is to generate the whole documentation for the project by a template. The software will generate the pictures of diagrams, create a structured document with diagram and element names. The associated descriptions and partial documentation of each element and diagram in the project will also be included in the proper place in the document. Then you choose the file format for the final documentation and in a moment, you have the result. The documentation may be generated using the ribbon button Documentation – (Process tab/ Generation group)
The supported documentation file formats are:
Except for a standard document, Software Ideas Modeler supports also the generation of Interactive Documentation. It is a series of structured HTML pages that are hyperlinked. The interactive documentation may be generated using the ribbon button Interactive Documentation (Process tab / Generation group).
Send by E-mail
Sometimes you may need to send the project file quickly by email. This option is available in the ribbon menu File / Send By Email. It opens a new message window in your system email client and attaches the project file as an attachment. The subject will be set to the project name.
It is possible to manage all the work with the project, model and diagrams in the digital form but the old good paper is irreplaceable sometimes. For that purpose, there is the Print feature. It will turn your diagrams into the physical form. The Print panel provides many settings – it allows you to choose which diagrams you want to print. If there are diagrams too big to fit a page in a readable scale, it is no problem. Software Ideas Modeler can divide a diagram into multiple pages and you can set to how many pages horizontally and vertically.
The Print panel shows after clicking the Print item in the File ribbon menu. The classic menu interface offers the Print dialog under the menu File / Print.
You can also print the current diagram without any long settings – just open the Diagram tab in the ribbon and click on the Print button in the Process group.