Orthogonality

Knut Jetlund edited this page Jan 20, 2015 · 8 revisions

Back to diagram design


This page is inspired by rule three in Geert Bellkeens' blog post 5 rules for better UML diagrams.

A tidy diagram is easier to understand then a messy one. Aligning the elements horizontally and vertically, and using right angled connector lines is a simple step to improve readability.

In the first figure bellow, the elements have been automaticaly arranged, with direct connector lines. In the next one, the elements are arranged horisontally and vertically, evenly spaced and with harmonized sizes, and the connector lines are orthogonal. The last diagram is much more tidy and easier to understand.

Messy: Orthogonality - messy


Tidy: Orthogonality - tidy

Tools for alligning elements and setting heigth and with is accessible by selecting one or more elements and right-click. Line styles are set by selectinging a line, right-click and select Line Style. The line style in the example above is Tree style - Vertical. This style can be used because all three result classes have the same relationship to DQ_Result: Generalization (subclasses). If one of them had an aggregate relationship, this one would have to be shown with a separate line.

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