Selection in Diagram Editor and Project Tree

To effectively interact with elements you wish to manipulate, it's essential to utilize the Selection tool to identify and choose them. This tool enables you to select either a single element or multiple elements at once

The Selection tool is prominently located as the first tool in the toolbox's Common group. Whenever you switch from using any other tool that isn't locked, the Selection tool automatically becomes active.

Activating the Selection Tool

To activate the Selection tool when it's inactive, simply click its icon in the toolbox (1). Initiate your selection by clicking and holding the left mouse button over an empty area of the diagram from where you want to start (2). As you move the cursor, a blue semi-transparent rectangle will appear, indicating the selection area. During this process, the coordinates of the selection area are displayed in the status bar (3). Release the mouse button once every element you wish to select has at least a portion within the selection bounds (4).

How to select
How to select

Understanding Selections

Upon releasing the mouse button, elements within the selection bounds are selected. In Software Ideas Modeler, selected elements are highlighted with a blue outline (1).

The active element is distinguished by a hatched border (2). It serves as the focal point for various operations that require either a single selected element or when it acts as the source element for operations involving all selected elements. For example, copying the dimensions of the active element to all other selected elements is one such operation.

The software defaults to a partial containment selection method, where elements are selected if they intersect with the selection bounds.

The number of selected elements is displayed in the status bar, providing immediate feedback on the scope of your selection (3).

Description of selection
Description of selection

Full Containment Selection

For cases where you need to select elements fully contained within the selection bounds, hold down the Alt key while making your selection. This method does not require starting the selection in an empty space and is particularly useful for selecting elements within a container, such as a package. Additionally, the Selection tool settings offer an option to toggle between full and partial containment selection methods. The settings are available from the tool context menu - right click on the Selection tool button in the toolbox and navigate to Selection Settings.

Full containment selection
Full containment selection

Partial Containment Selection

Partial containment selection
Partial containment selection

Selection Settings

The Selection Settings in the software offer users enhanced control over how selections are made within their diagrams. These settings can be accessed by right-clicking on the Selection tool button located in the toolbox and navigating to "Selection Settings." This section provides users with a variety of options to customize their selection behavior according to their specific needs and preferences.

  • Ignore Labels: When this option is enabled, the software will not consider the labels of connectors as part of the element. Consequently, connectors will not be selected when their labels intersect with or are contained within the selection area. This setting is particularly useful for users who wish to focus on selecting the elements themselves without including the labels in the selection process inadvertently.
  • Smart Field Selection: This setting allows the software to intelligently evaluate user actions to determine when they aim to select fields (such as attributes, operations, etc.) within an element. When activated, this feature enhances the selection process by automatically including relevant fields based on the user's selection context, providing a more intuitive interaction with diagram components.
  • Always Select Fields: When enabled, this option ensures that fields are always selected along with elements whenever they are included within the selection area. This setting is beneficial for users who frequently work with both elements and their associated fields, as it simplifies the process by automatically including fields in the selection without requiring separate actions.
  • Never Select Fields: Activating this option ensures that fields cannot be selected. This setting is ideal for users who prefer to select only the elements themselves without unintentionally selecting their associated fields. It offers a clearer distinction between selecting elements and their fields, allowing for more precise control over the selection process.
Selection settings
Selection settings

Smart Keys for Selection

The F3 key toggles the Selection tool and marks elements on the active diagram with numbers (0-9). Pressing a corresponding numeric key selects the element associated with that number, simplifying the selection process.

Selection using the Smart Keys feature
Selection using the Smart Keys feature

Modifying Selections

To deselect elements, click on an empty diagram space. To add elements to your selection, press CTRL or SHIFT while clicking on unselected elements. Conversely, clicking on a selected element while holding CTRL or SHIFT removes it from the selection. Holding these keys and selecting a new area will update the selection accordingly. Elements within this area that are not currently selected will be selected, while those already selected will be removed from the selection

Project Tree and Selection

The integration of selection functionality within the Project Tree enhances the user experience by providing a cohesive view of selected elements across different components of a project. This feature ensures that users can easily identify and manage their selections both within the diagrams and the structural hierarchy of the project tree.

Highlighting Selected Elements

When elements are selected within a diagram, they are automatically highlighted in the project tree. This visual indication bridges the gap between the diagrammatic representation and the project's structural organization, allowing users to quickly locate selected elements within the broader context of their project.

Selecting Elements in the Project Tree

The project tree supports advanced selection mechanisms akin to those found within the diagrams:

  • CTRL Selection: Holding the CTRL key while clicking on elements in the project tree allows for individual selections. This method provides the flexibility to select multiple, non-consecutive elements within the tree, enabling users to precisely target specific components of their project.
  • SHIFT Selection: The SHIFT key facilitates the selection of a range of consecutive elements within the project tree. By clicking on an element while holding the SHIFT key, all elements from the last selected item to the current click target are selected. This feature is particularly useful for quickly selecting a sequence of elements.

Cross-Diagram Selection - An important aspect of the project tree selection functionality is its ability to accommodate selections across multiple diagrams. This capability ensures that users can manage and manipulate elements that are distributed throughout various parts of the project, reflecting a truly integrated approach to project organization and element management.

Selection in the project tree
Selection in the project tree

Selection Commands

The Edit menu offers commands to modify the current selection:

  • Select All (CTRL+A): Selects every element in the active diagram.
  • Select All of Same Type (CTRL+T): Selects all elements of the same type as the active element. For example, selecting all classes if a class is the active element.
  • Invert Selection: Switches the selection state of all elements in the diagram, deselecting currently selected elements and selecting all others.
  • Select Whole Graph: This command selects the entire graph, encompassing all connected elements in a complex diagram, facilitating operations on interconnected components.
  • Select Parent Container: Targets and selects the parent container of the currently selected element(s), useful for hierarchical navigation and manipulation within nested structures.
  • Select Nested Elements: Selects the first-level nested elements within a container, excluding the container itself. This command is particularly valuable for focusing on the contents of a specific grouping without altering the container.
  • Select All Nested Elements: Chooses all nested elements recursively within a container, ensuring comprehensive selection of all components within nested layers, ideal for exhaustive operations within complex structures.

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