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Grouping Diagram Window Objects


Graphic objects can be drawn on the Diagram Window and Child Diagram windows using the drawing tools on the toolbar palette or pasted using the clipboard from other drawing applications.  Text items can be created using the text tool on the toolbar palette.  


In Development mode, two or more items in a Diagram window can be grouped.  The group can consist of graphic items (.e.g, lines, boxes, polygons, etc.), textbuttons, check boxes and/or radio buttons.  To group the items, first select them by clicking on each item with the Shift key depressed.  Alternatively, you can use a selection rectangle to select items by holding the left mouse button down while dragging the mouse to form a rectangle that encloses the items.  Then, click the Group button on the toolbar.  Grouped items are identified by green handles (i.e., small boxes at the corners of  the item.)


Clicking on any member of the group will select all of the members of the group.  The selection will be identified by the green handles.  If any member of the group is moved, all of the group member move with it.  A group can be copied and pasted.  However, when pasted, the group members are shown selected, but not grouped.  If you wish to have the pasted group members be in a group, click the Group button.  Deleting a group deletes all member in the group.


It is not possible to directly add a new item to an existing group.  However, it is easy to do this in a two-step process.  Select the group by clicking on one of its members.  Then click the UnGroup button on the toolbar. The group will be ungrouped, but all of its members will be selected.  Next, press and hold the Shift key down while selecting the additional items that you wish to add to the group.  When all are selected, click the Group button to form the group.


Groups have three attributes that may be useful.  To access the attributes, either double-click on a group or click the right-mouse button and select Properties from the pop-up menu.  Either method will bring up the Group Attributes dialog.



Checking the Locked check box will lock all items in the group, so that they cannot be moved.  This attributed prevents accidental movement of the group once it is positioned in the desired location.


Checking the Hide check box will cause all of the items in the group to be hidden in Application mode.  The items are always visible in Development mode


The Hide attribute can be controlled programmatically using the Group Name.  If a legal EES variable name is provided in the Group Name edit box, EES will create a variable with name 'NAME.hide', where Name is the text provided in the Group Name edit box. Then an equation of the form  NAME.hide=true#  will cause all members in the group to be hidden when the equation is executed.  Name.hide=false# will cause all of the group members to be visible.  The equation can appear in the main body of the Equations window or in a Diagram window control, such as a Drop-down list, Check box, or Radio Group.   Note that, as a shorthand, EES will also except Name.hide and in place of NAME.hide=true# and NAME.hide=false#.  Setting the hide attribute with a Name overrides the setting in the Hide check box.


The programmatic control of the hide attribute is useful for animated Diagram windows in which it is necessary to hide several Diagram window items depending on a choice made by the user in a Diagram window control.  Using a group, it is not necessary to specifically hide or show each group member.


The capability to group graphical items in this manner is available in Professional versions 9.260 and later.