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Swimlanes

Swimlanes are vertical or horizontal bands in a diagram that divide the diagram into logical areas or partitions. You can apply them to all Enterprise Architect diagram types. Activities relating to particular entities within the model (such as the User, or the back end Repository) can be placed within the same Swimlane to indicate their association. You set up the Swimlanes using the 'Swimlanes and Matrix' tab of the docked Diagram Properties window.

Having created a Swimlane, you can divide it into sublanes using context menu options.

Access

Ribbon

Design > Diagram > Edit > Swimlanes > Swimlanes and Matrix > Swimlanes

Layout > Diagram > Swimlanes > Swimlanes and Matrix > Swimlanes

Context Menu

Right-click on diagram background | Swimlanes and Matrix > Swimlanes

Keyboard

(On a diagram) Alt+1 > Swimlanes and Matrix > Swimlanes

Options

Option

Action

See also

Active

Select this checkbox to make the Swimlane facilities active on the diagram, as opposed to the Matrix facilities.

Swimlanes Matrix Kanban Facilities

Orientation

Click on the drop-down arrow and select the orientation of the Swimlanes: Vertical or Horizontal.

Line Color

Click on the drop-down arrow and select the color in which to display all Swimlane borders.

If the color you require is not shown, click on the More Colors button and either select from a wider range of standard colors or define a custom color.

Create Custom Colors

Font Color

Click on the drop-down arrow and select the color in which to display all Swimlane text.

If the color you require is not shown, click on the More Colors button and either select from a wider range of standard colors or define a custom color.

A

Click on this button to display the 'Font' dialog, on which you can define the type, style, size and effects of the font used for text on all Swimlanes in the diagram.

If you also change the text color here, it overrides the setting of the 'Font Color' field.

Set Element Font

Line Width

Click on the drop-down arrow and select the line width of all Swimlane borders - either 1 (thinnest), 2 or 3 (thickest).

Locked

Select this checkbox to prevent the Swimlanes in the diagram from being made narrower or wider.

Show Names in Title Bar

(If the 'Orientation' field is set to 'Vertical'.)  Select this checkbox to display each Swimlane name in the title bar, above the Swimlane.

Bold Font

Select this checkbox to display all Swimlane text in bold.

Bind Width to Lane

Select this checkbox to bind the width of the elements in the diagram to the width of the swimlane or sublane holding them, so that if you change the width of any lane you do not have to manually adjust the width of each element it contains. If non-rectangular elements (such as Use Cases) are not bound to the lane width, make sure that the 'Allow elongated Use Cases' option is selected on the 'Preferences' dialog 'Objects' page.

Object Display Options

Hide Classifier

Select this checkbox to block all Swimlane classifier names from being shown on the diagram.

Hide Names

Select this checkbox to block all Swimlanes names from being displayed on the diagram.

Hide Lines

If the 'Bind Width to Lane' checkbox is selected, you can select this checkbox to hide the body of each swimlane (and, if appropriate, sublane), so that only the header cell is shown on the diagram. The element width and lane width remain bound

New

Click on this button to begin defining a new Swimlane for the diagram.

The 'Swimlane Details' dialog displays, on which you provide the name, classifier and background color of the Swimlane.

Swimlane Details

Swimlanes

This panel lists the currently defined Swimlanes, in the sequence (top to bottom) in which they are displayed on the diagram (left to right, or top to bottom).

To create sub-lanes within a Swimlane, right-click on the Swimlane name and select the 'Create sub lane' option. You can also copy sub-lanes from another Swimlane and paste them into the current Swimlane.

The context menu also provides options to:

  • Edit the Swimlane properties - displays the 'Swimlane Details' dialog, on which you can change the Swimlane name, Classifier and fill color
  • Delete the Swimlane - prompts you to confirm deletion of the Swimlane before removing it from the list
Creating Sub-lanes

Modify

Click on this button to change the name, classifier or background color of a selected Swimlane.

The 'Swimlane Details' dialog displays.

Swimlane Details

Hand (Up)

Click on this button to move a selected Swimlane one position up in the Swimlanes list.

Hand (Down)

Click on this button to move a selected Swimlane one position down in the Swimlanes list.

Delete

Click on this button to delete a selected Swimlane from the Swimlanes list and from the diagram. A prompt displays for you to confirm the deletion.

Notes

  • All changes you make on or through the 'Diagram Properties' dialog must be saved by clicking on the Save icon in order to render those changes on the diagram
  • If you set a background color for a Swimlane, it takes on the same shading profile as the main diagram background
  • You can adjust the width or height of a Swimlane by dragging the border, whilst sub-lanes are automatically adjusted to take up the appropriate fraction of the Swimlane; for example, two sub-lanes take up half of the Swimlane each, three take up a third of the Swimlane each, and so on