Color in influence diagrams

Color can greatly improve the clarity and appeal of diagrams. The diagram’s background and its nodes have light colors by default. You can change the colors to meet your preferences.

Use colors judiciously: Light colors work best because its easier to see the black arrows and text over light backgrounds. Analytica’s default colors provide a light neutral color for the background and a slightly stronger color for the nodes.

Garish or uncoordinated colors can be distracting. It generally looks messy to have nodes in many different colors. Sometimes it’s useful to use color coding beyond the default colors by class of node. For example, you might want to color all input nodes to identify them clearly.

Recoloring nodes or background: To apply colors to nodes or the background:

  1. In edit mode, select Show Color Palette from the Diagram menu.
    Color palette.png
  2. Select the node or nodes you want to recolor, or to recolor the background, just click the background. The current color of the node(s) or background appears in the single square at the top of the color palette.
  3. Click a color square to apply the new color to the nodes or background.

For a wider range of colors, click Other to display a full color chart.

Grouping nodes with a text box: It often improves the look and clarity of a user interface to group related nodes in rectangular boxes with a contrasting color, white in this case.

Chapter6 12.png

To create a grouping rectangle using a text box:

  1. With the diagram in edit mode, create a text node by dragging from Chapter6 13.png on the node toolbar onto the diagram.
  2. Type a title into the text node, or leave it blank as desired.
  3. Move and resize the node to enclose the group of inputs or outputs. You might find it convenient to deselect the Resize centered option from the Diagram menu.
  4. With the node selected, open the Set Node Style dialog from the Diagram menu, check the Border and Fill color options (and Bevel, if you like), and click OK.
  5. Select the Color palette from the Diagram menu, and click the preferred color for the node, e.g., white.

Usually, text nodes appear behind all other nodes, which is what you want for organizing groups. But if a node is not in the back and is obscuring other items, you can select Send to Back from the right-click button menu.

The background color of a diagram also applies to the background color of any modules contained in the diagram — unless you explicitly override the default by setting a different background color for each submodule. Similarly, the color you apply to a module node also applies to any submodule nodes inside the module — unless you override the default by recoloring any submodule node(s).

See Also


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