10 Time-Saving BiZZdesign Architect Shortcuts

Jul 24, 2021
Written by
George Pang
George Pang

10 Time-Saving BiZZdesign Architect Shortcuts

Architects, Analysts, Modelers, and Managers are busy people, any time-saving methods are always welcome. Here are ten essential BiZZdesign Architect shortcuts that you may not know about, but could end up saving you precious time.

1. Select Similar

Ever drawn a number of relationships, and then realised you selected the wrong type, or wanted to bulk update some properties for, say, all Application Components in a layer or in a view? The Select Similar shortcut helps you to select all of the same ‘type’ based on an initial selection.

For example, select one Application Component on a view that has a number of Application Components on it, hit CTRL and E, and all the Application Components will be selected. It also works in the Model Packages browser!

Application Components view 1

Select similar objects or relationships


2. Generate View

As everyone should know, Views are central to communicating with stakeholders – but they don’t always have to be created manually. With a consistent Model, a view can be generated by selecting a source (whether a single object, a number of objects, or a layer in the model), and pressing CTRL and G on the keyboard.

If used in conjunction with ‘select similar’, the generation of views is more focused and even quicker.

communicating with stakeholders view

Generate a View

3. Full Screen

Do you have a small screen, or find the different panels confusing? If modeling is your focus, then you need as much space allocated to the drawing canvas as possible. Simply press F11, and all ribbon options, properties panels and other windows will be hidden, leaving you with an expanded drawing canvas.

EA canvas

Full screen editing

4. Make Space
ALT + Click and drag

Very rarely are views made perfect first time (though there are always exceptions to the rule). What happens if we have modelled “A” and “C” on a page, nicely laid out, but there was a “B” meant to be in between the two. In conventional ‘drawing’ tools, your only option is to drag and select a number of elements on the page, then click and drag to move them away, then carry on, adding more elements.

With the ‘Make Space’ shortcut, simply hold down the keyboard ALT key, perform a left mouse-click, and drag to add some space horizontal, vertically, or both.

making space EA diagram

Making space on a diagram

5. Add Bend to Line

By default, when drawing relationships, the lines appear straight, which can be fine in some cases, but could prove messy especially when the lines cross.

It is possible to add a bend to the line whilst drawing, and this is done by holding the CTRL key before connecting up to the target object. Naturally, bends can also be added manually just by clicking and dragging any point along the line.

6. Auto Layout Options

New to Architect 4.7 is the ability to choose the layout ‘type’ before performing an auto-layout. For more information on the new auto-layout functionality, refer to my previous blog https://old.bizzdesign.com/about/press-releases/bizzdesign-named-a-leader-in-2018-gartner-magic-quadrant-for-enterprise-architecture-tools/.

automatic layout EA diagram

Automatic Layout settings

7. Relationship Layout

Also new to Architect 4.7 is the ability to change the relationship format. The tool remembers what was applied previously, and by pressing F7, it repeats the relationship layout. The specific layout type is set via the Edit (ribbon) > Relation Layout button.

Relationship Layout types

8. Display Properties

Whether working with standard or basic properties/attributes, we use the ‘Properties panel’ to view or edit either document, object, or relationship properties. Usually if any of the panels are hidden away or un-docked, we go to the Options ribbon and check them there.

Properties, however, can be displayed just by pressing ALT and the ENTER key.

Viewing properties (of the CRM System)

9. Add Hyperlink

Hyperlinks can be added to any documentation field, just by typing in a URL within the field. However, hyperlinks can also be added to the documentation using the CTRL and K shortcut.

This will display the Add link box, where you can link to files, webpages, and even insert email links.

Add Hyperlink

10. High Resolution Copy
CTRL + C: Resolution 96 dpi (standard resolution)
CTRL + SHIFT + C: Resolution 200 dpi
CTRL + ALT + C: Resolution 600 dpi
CTRL + Shift + ALT + C: Resolution 72 dpi

Did you know that you can copy views/diagrams from BiZZdesign Architect, and paste them as images in any common document (PowerPoint, Word, etc.)? After copying from the modelling canvas using a standard CTRL + C, the standard resolution will be 96dpi which is fine for the usual publication mechanisms.

However, if more detail is required, try some of the other resolutions.

More Suggestions?

There are a plethora of other features and functions within the toolset, which can be essential for everyday architecture work. It can be time consuming, especially if you aren’t a frequent user, to execute some of the functionality through the standard menus, which is why shortcuts are so useful.

Have your own favourite shortcuts, or tips for other members of the BiZZdesign community? Please leave a comment and share your wisdom!