Configuring Graphs

All of Understand’s graphs can be configured in a myriad of ways. Graph options can be accessed by right clicking on an empty part of the graph. The options vary for each graph.

graph options right click


Graphs can also be copied to the clipboard, saved as an image, saved as a vector image or saved directly to Visio for further editing. Printing can be to a single sheet or divided among N sheets that are then pieced together (poster printing). These exporting and print options are all available from the graph toolbar at the top of the graph window.

graph toolbar

All graphs can also be generated automatically via scripts permitting easy update of “As Built” documentation.



Have you ever wanted a cluster graph to be just a little bit different? Take, for example, this simple architecture internal dependency graph:


Wouldn’t it be nice if files and architectures looked a little different? They’re both 3d boxes now. With the new custom graph styler, you can change that and even more! First, go to Tools->Options->Graphs. Now you have this window.



Notice that the Expandable Architectures and Expandable Files both have exactly the same style. You change that! For example, you can make Expandable Files have an oval shape. (Click here for a list of available shapes). Clicking apply, you’d get the graph below!


That’s cool, but maybe you wanted something more specific. For example, suppose you wanted to know which nodes are functions (as opposed to data, classes, etc). There wasn’t an option in the table for that. This is where the most powerful part of the graph styles comes in. You can add a new style for only the kinds of nodes you care about. Clicking the new button next to the node style table gives this dialog:


Here you can name your new style, determine the types of nodes it applies to, and give a kindstring. What are kindstrings? They are comma separated lists of the kind of entity you want it to apply to. You can see an entity’s kind at the top of the info browser.


You can type in your own kindstring (click here for a complete list of kinds), or pick one already built in. For functions, you can use the built in kindstring “function,procedure,subroutine” that appears in the drop-down. Clicking OK, adds the style to the table. Now, you can change functions to have a green line color and light green fill, and get this graph:



So far you’ve only played with nodes, but there’s a whole table for edges too. On edges, you can change the color and the arrow heads and tails (click here for a list of arrow shapes). Like nodes, you can make your own custom style, but the kindstring this time is for kinds of references. For example, here’s the settings for a new Uses style:


Once you’ve added the style you can make any edge that contains a use reference green to get this graph:


But what happens when an edge has many different kinds of references so multiple styles match? The graph will show multiple lines, one in each color that applies. For example, here’s the same graph with types (kindstring “typed,typedby”) orange, uses green, and includes purple:


Now that’s cool!