Like many other modelling tools, PowerDesigner provides tools to help you control the layout of the symbols on your diagrams. For example, I would probably want to align these three sub-type entities in my diagram using the top edge:
By the way, these are not standard entity symbols, I’ve customised the display to show the name of the super-type entity, and the Generate property. I’ll probably show you how to display these properties in another blog post.
The alignment commands are available from the Symbol menu. All I need to do is select the three symbols, then click on the Align Top tool on the menu:
I prefer to use the toolbar to do things like this, probably because it needs fewer clicks. Unfortunately, the required toolbar (the ‘Layout’ toolbar) isn’t always visible, it’s often hidden. Exactly how well hidden it is depends on your version of PowerDesigner. I’ll start with the current situation, which probably applies to most PowerDesigner users.
Here are the toolbars you’re most likely to see when you start PowerDesigner (they’re usually in a long strip – I’ve moved them around for this image).
The layout toolbar is not visible, here’s how to change that:
- right-click on a blank area to the right of the visible toolbars
- choose a toolbar to show or hide
That’s it, nice and simple.
Some of you will be saying to yourselves, “Hang on, the toolbar I’m looking for isn’t listed!”. That’ll be because you’re using an older version of PowerDesigner than the one I’m using today. In PowerDesigner 16.1, Sybase decided to make several toolbars optional. By default, the Layout, Check, Format, Window and Repository toolbars were not visible; they did not appear in the list of available toolbars. You needed to use one of the customisation features of PowerDesigner to enable the missing toolbars.
On the Tools menu, select Customize Menus and Tools, select the Toolbars tab, click on the word Toolbars, then click on Add Command and select the toolbar you want to use. Repeat this action for each toolbar you want to enable.