When you open a model from the service panel, a second tab will open, displaying the model on the diagram pane. This is where you design your BPMN model.

The diagram pane consists of different areas:

  1. Diagram Pane
  2. Model Toolbar
  3. Elements Toolbar
  4. Designer Panels

Customizing the Diagram Pane

You have several options to adjust the diagram pane. When you open the pane for the first time, the default view is displayed:

  • The Diagram Pane is displayed in the centre at the top
    (see chapter Modeling BPMN for further information)
  • The Execution Pane is displayed below the diagram pane
    (see chapter Modeling Execution for further information)
  • Four Designer Panels are shown in the left sidebar
    • The Service Panel
    • The Controls Panel
    • The Attributes Panel
    • The Validation Panel

Go to Customizing Editors and Panels for detailed information about panel management in general.

Modeling on the Diagram Pane

While modeling, some general functionalities help you to browse through your model, and to adjust your working location within the model. Refer to Customizing Editors and Panels for more details.

In addition to the standard features, you can use the Overview panel () in the BPMN editor.

You can use the Overview Panel to navigate in your BPMN model.

The panel displays your model and a blue frame, representing the content shown on the diagram pane. If you wan to quickly change your working location in large models, you can move the frame to change the visible part of the model.

You can use the Overview panel to zoom in or out of the model.

Hover over the right bottom corner of the blue frame. The cursor changes and you can resize the frame.

The Toolbars

Two toolbars are available for work on the diagram pane:

The Model Toolbar

The model toolbar assists you during modeling on the diagram pane:

The following table explains the available tools:

Tool IconTool NameDescription

ExportUse this icon to export your BPMN model in JSON format.

 

ReportClick the Report icon to print your model. You have two options: You can send your model directly to a printer or save it as a Word document. See page Creating Diagram Reports for details.

 

ShareIf you click the Share icon, the URL of your BPMN model is copied to the clipboard and you can paste it elsewhere, for example in an email.

Hide Execution PaneUse this icon to hide the execution pane. This allows to gain more space during modeling.

 

Toggle grid

Use this icon to enable or disable the grid on the diagram pane. The grid supports you during modeling: If the grid is enabled, elements snap to the grid points.

Show invalid

Activate the icon to highlight all invalid elements.

Insert/Remove horizontal space

Use this icon if you need more or less space on the diagram pane. Click on the pane to display the start line, the second click marks the end line and defines the size of the area to be added. To add space, click from left to right to define the area. If you want to delete a horizontal space, click from right to left to define the area

Insert/Remove vertical space

Use this icon if you need more or less space on the diagram pane. Click on the pane to display the start line, the second click marks the end line and defines the size of the area to be added. To add space, click from top to bottom to define the area. If you want to delete a vertical space, click from bottom to top to define the area.

UndoIf you want to cancel your last action on the diagram pane, use this icon.

RedoUse this icon to restore the action that you had previously undone.

The Elements Toolbar

The elements toolbar contains all BPMN elements that you can create on the diagram pane.

By default, the elements toolbar only displays the icons of the available BPMN elements.

But you can also expand the toolbar by using the icon.

In its expanded version, the names of all elements are also displayed.

In chapter Supported BPMN Elements all elements and their specific properties are described.

Drag the element you want to create from the toolbar and drop it on the diagram pane.

Another way to create a form element is to click on the element in the toolbar, switch to the editor and click again.

To cancel the operation, press the Esc key.

The Diagram Context Menus

Various context menus support the user during modeling on the diagram pane:

Elements Context Menu

If you click on an element, the element context menu opens. You can use it to create new elements instead of using the elements toolbar.

Choose one of the icons to create the corresponding element:

If you create a new element using the context menu, the relation to the current element is drawn automatically.

Tools Context Menu

If you right click on an element, the tools context menu opens. Use it to edit the current element.

The following options are available:

IconDescription

Delete the element.

Copy the element.

Cut the element.

Paste format of the element.

Bring the element to the front.

Send the element to the background.

Extended Tools Context Menu

If you have selected more than one element on the pane, the tools context menu is enhanced with additional options:

IconDescription
Align left
Align right
Align center
Align top
Align bottom
Align middle
Auto layout
Distribute horizontally
Distribute vertically
Align relation

The number of displayed options depends on your selection on the diagram pane.

Relation Context Menu

Right-click a relation to open the relation context menu. Only the following options are applicable to relations:

IconDescription

Delete the relation.

Paste format of the relation.

Bring the relation to the front.

Send the relation to the background.

Align the relation.

Diagram Context Menu

With a right-click on the diagram pane itself, you open the diagram context menu:

IconDescription

Paste a copied element.

Shortcuts

You can also use shortcuts on the diagram pane. The following list of shortcuts can be searched. Enter your search term in the Global Filter field.

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ShortcutDescription
Arrow downMoves the selected element(s) downwards by increments of one gridline. If no elements are selected, the whole diagram pane is moved downwards.
Arrow leftMoves the selected element(s) to the left by increments of one gridline. If no elements are selected, the whole diagram pane is moved to the left.
Arrow rightMoves the selected element(s) to the right by increments of one gridline. If no elements are selected, the whole diagram pane is moved to the right.
Arrow upMoves the selected element(s) upwards by increments of one gridline. If no elements are selected, the whole diagram pane is moved upwards.
Ctrl + 1, 2, 3 ... 9

Opens the tab corresponding to the chosen number. The first nine opened models are offered for activation. Press a number to activate the corresponding model and bring it to the foreground.

Ctrl + A
Selects all elements on the diagram pane.
Ctrl + Arrow downMoves the selected element(s) downwards by increments of one pixel.
Ctrl + Arrow left
Moves the selected element(s) to the left by increments of one pixel.
Ctrl + Arrow rightMoves the selected element(s) to the right by increments of one pixel.
Ctrl + Arrow upMoves the selected element(s) upwards by increments of one pixel.
Ctrl + C

Copies the selected element(s) to the clipboard.

Ctrl + D
Closes the active model window.
Ctrl + left mouse button

Allows you to add or remove individual elements from the selection one by one.

Ctrl + Mouse WheelReduces (scrolling down) or enlarges (scrolling up) the zoom factor of the model.
Ctrl + Shift + DCloses all tabs and switches to explorer tab.
Ctrl + VGenerates copies of the selected element(s).
Ctrl + XCuts the selected element(s) and copies them to the clipboard.
Ctrl + Y
Repeats editing steps that have been undone.
Ctrl + Z
Undoes previous editing steps.
DelPress Del to remove selected elements from the diagram pane.
Esc

Pressing the Esc key aborts the following processes:

  • adding a new element
  • closing a dialog
  • drawing a relation
  • moving elements
  • reattaching a relation
  • changing the relation path
  • creating an image
  • changing the name of an element
Mouse WheelMoves the model up or down.
Shift + Mouse WheelMoves the model to the right (scrolling up) or left (scrolling down).
Shift + Page downSwitches to the next tab from left to right.
Shift + Page up
Switches to the next tab from right to left.