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Layout of Sequence Diagrams

Offset the vertical separation of Sequence messages



See also


Select the appropriate message in a Sequence diagram.


Use the mouse to drag the message up or down as required.

As you drag a message up or down a lifeline, any messages or fragments below that message are shifted up or down the same amount.

If the 'Reorder Messages' option is enabled, as you drag a message up or down past the next or previous message, the messages swap positions, rather than simply moving position. Alternatively, press and hold the Shift key as you move the message, to achieve the same result. Under Windows (but not under Linux or a Virtual Machine), you can also use the Alt key in the same way.

As you move one Message past another, a tool-tip displays to remind you to 'Enable Reorder Messages from Layout | Helpers to reorder messages', regardless of whether or not the option is enabled. You can hide this tool-tip by deselecting the 'Enable Tooltips when reordering messages' checkbox on the 'Diagram > Sequence' page of the 'Preferences' dialog.

Sequence Diagram Options

Example Diagram

This example shows an economical use of space in a Sequence diagram.

A Sequence Diagram example using Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect.