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User guide

Sorry, the user guide is still in construction.

First recommendations for a better use

First of all, somes recommendations about how to use your mouse with Violet.

  • Note that you can use your mouse scroll button to change the current UML tool
  • On the drawing area, right-click to switch to the "select" tool
  • Don't try to drag'n'drop UML elements from the tool bar to the drawing panel. Instead, select the element that you want from the tool bar, then click on the drawing panel to insert it. Once inserted, UML elements are fully draggable on the drawing panel.


Create a diagram and understand Violet's user interface

When the program starts, pick a diagram type from the File→New menu. The following types are currently available:

  • Use case diagrams
  • Class diagrams
  • Object diagrams
  • State diagrams
  • Activity diagrams
  • Sequence diagrams


Discover your new playground

[insert an image here with an exploded panel]

Each diagram has its own panel with its own side bar on the right and its own status bar on the bottom. Panels are organized in tabs, so you can open several diagrams at the same time.

Let's look at the side bar (on the right). Side bar has tools ordered by category. The first category concerns 'basic" tools such as undo/redo, zoom in/zoom out and delete. The second category concerns UML tools corresponding to the current diagram. This group is different for each diagram. The first tool button (with the four “grabbers”) is the “Select” tool. The other tool buttons let you add nodes and edges to the diagram. Mouse over each node and read the tool tips to see what they do. Tools in the third group are useful to print the current diagram or export it to the clipboard. Then you can simply paste it in your favorite word processor to make illustrated documents.

Your first diagram (so cool!)

Now, let's look at diagrams. A diagram is composed of nodes (for example, classes or objects) and edges (for example, inheritance arrows or call arrows). To add a node, first click on the matching UML tool on the side bar (on the right), then click anywhere on the diagram to add it. You can also use your mouse scroll button to select another UML tool. To connect two nodes with an edge, first select an edge tool. Then click on the first node and hold down the left mouse button. Drag the mouse to the second node and release the mouse button. The edge is inserted between the two nodes. There is one exception : You can insert a “note connector” edge simply by dragging from a “note” node to anywhere on the diagram.

What? Violet refuses to connect two nodes? It's probably normal. We added some rules to keep your diagram coherent. So, if Violet refuses it, it's because it considers that you are doing something not "UML friendly".

[insert a video here to show how to insert nodes and edges]

Playing with nodes and edges (selecting / editing  / moving / deleting)

You use the select tool (with the four “grabbers”) whenever you want to select an existing object (node or edge) There are three reasons why you would want to do that:

  • to move a node (by dragging it to the new position)
  • to delete a node or edge (by hitting DELETE, selecting Edit→Delete from the menu, or using the convenient icon on the side bar)
  • to change the properties of a node or edge (by right-clicking or double-clicking on it, or by hitting CTRL+ENTER or by selecting Edit→Preferences from the menu or by using the convenient icon on the side bar).

When you edit the properties of a node or edge, a property popup appears. It lists the properties of the objects in a table. Each property has a name and a value. For example, the Note node has a property whose name is “color” and whose value is a color value. When you edit the value field, the value in the diagram is instantly updated.

Yes, we encourage you to save your diagrams!

When you are done with a diagram, save it with the "File→Save", "File→Save as" menu option or even by hitting CTRL+S. You can give it any name you like, but we recommend you keep an extension .violet. Each diagram file has it's own file extension. This allows you to recognize which kind of diagram corresponds to which file. So, we have :

  • .ucase.violet for use case diagrams
  • .class.violet for class diagrams
  • .object.violet for object diagrams
  • .state.violet for state diagrams
  • .activity.violet for activity diagrams
  • .seq.violet for sequence diagrams

Export diagrams to your favorite word processor

To include a diagram in a document, export to the clipboard with the "File→To clipboard" menu or by using the camera tool on the side bar. You can also export your diagrams to PNG or JPEG format with the "File→Export Image" menu.


Add colors to you text

By using basic HTML tags, you can
<font color="#9370DB">color the  text,</font>
use <b>bold</b> and <i>italic</i> modifiers
or even <u>underline it</u> if you like

Zoom feature

If you use Violet in a classroom setting, you may want to use the View→Zoom menu option. You can zoom in or out of the diagram. Zooming only affects the diagram display, not the size of saved images.


Thanks you for having spending a few minutes on this user guide.

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