‘Palette’ Tool Window

This tool window provides samples of both predefined as well as user-defined visual representations for nodes and edges. Moreover, it displays representations for the different kinds of nodes and edges in the current graph.

Working with the Palette

Drag and Drop for Nodes
Any of the sample node representations from the Palette tool window can be dragged into the active editor window (using a mouse drag gesture) to create a new node that uses this visual representation.
Drag and Drop for Edges
Dragging a sample edge representation onto a node in the active editor window starts creating an edge of the corresponding kind at that node.
Setting Defaults
Default representations for the nodes or edges of a graph can be defined by double-clicking a respective sample in any of the sections of the palette. When a new node or edge is created in the editor window, the currently active default representation is used to define the visual characteristics of the graph element. The defaults for closed groups and for open groups can be set in the same way.

The context menus for the sample representations in predefined and user-defined palette sections, respectively in the section ‘Current Elements’, provide further actions.

The Palette Sections

The palette tool window consists of several sections with predefined or user-defined templates for visual representations of nodes and edges.

Sections with Predefined Representations

These sections provide several representations for nodes and edges:

‘Shape Nodes’
geometric shapes (rectangle, circle, diamond, triangle, …)
‘Modern Nodes’
rectangular shapes (with/without rounded corners) with different gradients and shadows
‘Edge Types’
“Polyline,” “Arc,” “Bezier,” “Quadratic Curve,” and “Spline” edges
‘Group Nodes’
different representations for open and closed group nodes; group nodes can contain other nodes (including other group nodes), thereby creating a hierarchical organization; also, open group nodes can be closed and their contained nodes are no longer rendered, which leads to clearer diagrams
‘Swimlane Nodes and Table Nodes’
specific representations for group nodes as used in 1-dimensional (horizontal and vertical orientation) and 2-dimensional Swimlane diagrams;a description of the features and properties of swimlane nodes and table nodes, respectively, is in Support for Swimlane Diagrams
stylized representations for persons; the available representations are (SVG) vector graphics that are appropriately scaled when zoomed in/out
‘Computer Network’
representations for computer hardware and network devices; the available representations are (SVG) vector graphics that are appropriately scaled when zoomed in/out
specific representations for elements as used in UML diagrams
specific representations for elements as used in flowchart diagrams
specific representations for elements as used in BPMN diagrams
‘Entity Relationship’
specific representations for elements as used in Entity Relationship diagrams; in particular, edge representations support Crow’s Foot notation

The context menu for predefined sample representations contains the following entries.

Allows you to apply the sample node (edge) representation to the currently selected nodes (edges) from the active editor window. This effectively changes both type and attributes of the selected elements to that of the sample. Applying a group (table) node representation to a normal node will change the selected node into a group (table) node. Similarly, applying a normal node representation to a group (table) node will change the selected node into a normal node. When changing an open group (table) node into a normal node, the contents of the changed node will be assigned to its parent node. When changing a closed group node into a normal node, the contents of the changed node will be discarded and lost.
Apply Type
Unlike “Apply” the type of the selection changes according to the sample, but the other attributes remain mostly unchanged. Whereas “Apply” for example applies the fill color of the sample with “Apply Type” a selected node keeps its own fill color. What actually changes is the type of a selected node or edge. You can transform a modern node to a geometric node or an edge with bends to a rolling one without changing the color or line type at the same time. If “Apply Type” is applied to a geometric node with a geometric node sample only the shape of the selected node changes. Group and table nodes are treated as with “Apply”.
As Default
Sets this sample representation as the default for graph element creation of the respective kind. A visual feedback is used to indicate the current default sample.Note: Setting the default sample can also be achieved by simply double-clicking on the sample.

Section ‘Current Elements’

This section dynamically displays sample representations for the different kinds of nodes and edges in the current graph. The distinctive features used for computing these representations (e.g. fill color of a node or target arrow of an edge) are configurable using the context menu as described below.

The maximum number of displayed sample representations is limited. The limit can be configured.

The context menu for this section provides the following entries in addition to the entries for predefined sample representations.

Select Matching Graph Elements
Sets the selection of the current graph to the elements which match the entry under the mouse.
Configure Distinctive Features…
Opens a dialog for configuring the distinctive features used for computing the representations in the section ‘Current Elements’. While the dialog is open, the effect of the current selection of distinctive features can be tested by pressing the ‘Apply’ button. The ‘Reset’ button allows you to reset the set of distinctive features to those which were active when the dialog was opened.

User-defined Sections

Aside from the aforementioned predefined sections, a user may create and manage custom palette sections using yEd’s Palette Manager. All user-defined sections are saved on application exit and are available when yEd starts up again.

Additionally, the context menu that is displayed when right-clicking on the title bar of a section provides convenient access to most of the palette manager’s functions.

Hide Section
Removes the clicked-upon section from use in yEd. A removed section can be added for use again in the palette manager.
Import Symbols…
Imports image or SVG files from the local hard disk into the clicked-upon section. Importing symbols is only available for user-defined palette sections.
Convert to Document
Converts the clicked-upon section into a new document for editing. The document is opened as a new editor window, which becomes the active editor window.See Editing Palette Sections for more information.
Adopt from Document
Replaces the elements in the clicked-upon section with the elements in the currently active document. Adopting the contents of a document is only available for user-defined palette sections.
New Section…
Creates a new palette section. New sections can be created as empty sections, as copies of existing sections, or as sections containing the diagram elements of the currently active document.
Import Section…
Creates a new palette section from a GraphML file.
Export Section…
Stores the clicked-upon section as a GraphML file.
Manage Palette…
Opens the Palette Manager dialog.

Adding Sample Representations to User-defined Palette Sections

Sample representations of nodes and edges can be added to user-defined palette sections as follows.

From the active editor window
The current selection of nodes or edges from the active editor window can be added to the sample representations of user-defined sections in the Palette tool window by choosing ‘Add to Palette’ from the editor’s context menu.
From the file system
The Import Symbols… menu entry in the context menu of user-defined palette sections and the Import Symbols… button in the Palette Manager dialog can be used to load image and SVG files which are added to the corresponding palette section.