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SAP Power Designer auto-layout

Hello, fellows.

Could someone, please, comment diagram auto-layout feature of Power Designer. I load Conceptual data model from Excel and then activate organic (as well other) auto-layouts from context menu. The results are terrible even for quite simple graph with ~40 vertices and ~40 edges. Are there any nuances? Am I doing something wrong? The good presentation of Conceptual model is quite crucial for me. Without it there is no reason to use Power Designer at all.

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    Posted on Oct 15, 2019 at 08:55 AM

    I wish we had more control over the rules used by each of the layouts, though I have used one tool that gave you a lot of options without explaining what effect they had :)

    Have you enabled 'snap to grid' in Display Preferences? That will make symbols line up better. You can also change the grid size, which hhas some impact on the spaciing of symbols.

    If you have a lot of crossed lines then consider changing the line style to include right-angled corners; also consider using Graphical Synonyms if you have an Entity that has a lot of relationships (select the Entity symbol, press Ctrl+M, then drag relationship ends onto the new symbol).

    You might have to apply auto-layout to groups of symbols, instead of the whole diagram. I rarely auto-layout a whole diagram more than once unless it's a small one - I put symbols roughly where I want them, then use the other options on the Layout toolbar to organise them. If I have a hierarchy I want to sort out, I'll probably auto-layout that part of the diagram.

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  • Posted on Oct 15, 2019 at 03:42 PM

    Thank you, George, for extended answer. I will try to play with options you have described.

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