A text object is simply a way to place arbitrary text on your diagram. Text nodes are useful for adding instructions or other documentation into a diagram to supplement the other node types. Modelers often use text nodes to clarify a complex diagram or user interface by putting a white (or other colored) text node around a group of user inputs, outputs, or other nodes.
Creating a text node
The most obvious way to create a text node is from the Toolbar (in edit mode). Simply drag from the Text node on the Toolbar to where you want it on a diagram.
Another simple way to make a text node is to:
- copy some text from any application (including the current Analytica model)
- in edit mode, click the background of the diagram where you want to place the text
- select paste from the Edit menu or press ctrl+v
By default, a new text node has no border or fill, so you'll just see the text, and a dashed border visible in Edit mode. If you want to change those defaults -- for example to have a border and white fill -- select the node, and select Set node style... from the Diagram menu or right-click menu.
Title and Description
When you create a text node by dragging from the toolbar, you start by editing the bold Title text. If you don't want a bold title click the small t pop-up control above the node -- or press the TAB key -- to move to the description. When editing a description, and want to edit the Title, click the large T pop-up control above the mode or press Shift+TAB.
A title should usually be brief and fit on a single line. A description may contain many lines. A long title may result in the new node being very wide, because the auto-sizing method tries to keep the title on one line.
New to Analytica 5.0
In edit mode, several hover icons appear over text nodes. The icon changes Description text into a bold Title, and appears when there is Description text but no Title. The changes bold Title text into normal Description text.
Text nodes for grouping
It's often useful to organize a large user interface by using Text nodes to group user inputs, outputs, and other nodes inside a titled text box. This example uses four text nodes to clarify a user interface:
By default when you create a text node, its fill and border styles are off. To use it for visual groupings, select it and then go to the Node Style dialog and check the Show Label and Show Border check boxes. You can also change the fill color or font color from the Color palette.
Text nodes are created at the bottom of the z-order, which means they appear behind other objects initially. Occasionally you may want to alter the z-order. Use the Send to Back or Send to Front options on the Right mouse button menu.