The Paintbrush

The purpose of the Paintbrush is to add color to model elements. With it, you can color building blocks, objects, backgrounds, and output from your model. The process of coloring your model is straightforward. Begin by choosing a color. Then, color!

Choosing colors

The first step in coloring anything is to decide which color you wish to use. To select a color, click-and-hold on the Paintbrush. A palette containing 2, 4, 16, or 256 color squares will drop-down (the number depends upon how many colors your computer allows, as well as the video driver you're using under Windows, or the setting you've made in the Monitors Control Panel on the Macintosh). Drag down and select a color. When you release your click, the palette will retract, and the Paintbrush will sport the color you have chosen. Click on the model element you'd like to color or drag-select multiple diagram elements which are to be the same color. The Paintbrush will remain selected until you click on a building block, tool, object, or surface. Be careful not to click on a surface such as the Diagram, unless you wish the surface to turn the color indicated by your current Paintbrush setting! When changing the color of the diagram surface, use a fast click.

Changing Palette Colors

If you want to tear off the palette (so as to keep it in view for subsequent color selection), click-and-hold on the Paintbrush, then drag down until the cursor runs off the bottom of the palette. A transparent image of the palette will follow your cursor. Once you've positioned this image where you'd like the palette to sit, release your click. To put the palette away, click on its close box.

If you would like to substitute new colors for the ones in the palette, hold down the alt key (Windows) or option key (Macintosh), then click-and-hold on the Paintbrush. Drag down to a square whose color you would like to change. This square should be one of those located below the first row of colors. Then release your click. A dialog will appear, with the color that you have selected from the color palette. You then can create any new color by adjusting the hue, saturation, and brightness, or the red, green, and blue density.

Once you have chosen a color, the next task is... yes, to colorize. Figure 5-2 summarizes the coloring options available to you within the software.


Figure 5-2
Paintbrush Operations

To colorize this.... this with the Paintbrush


Process Frame

Click within the border


Bundled Flow

Click on the flow


Bundled Connector

Click on the connector


Loop Pad Page

Click anywhere within the page except on Label


Loop Pad Page Variables

Click on Label (R or C)



Click within its borders



Click on the flow regulator

color of attached clouds will change


Click within its borders



Click on its take-off button (circle end)



Click on cloud

will change cloud's color only

Sector Frame

Click along Sector border or within its header


Text Block and Enclosed Text

Click along Block border

if clicked where there is no text, color will spill to diagram

Graphics Frame

Click within the border


Graph Pad/Loop Pad/Table Pad Icon

Click on Pad icon


Graph Pad/Table Pad Page Background

Click anywhere within page except variable name


Graph Pad/Table Pad Page Variables

Click on the variable's name

data associated with variable will be colored

Scatter Plot Trace

Click on Legend (e.g. "X vs. Y") at top of page


Button, Graphical Input Device (GID), Knob, List Input Device (LID), Numeric Display, Slider, Switch, Warning Device

Click anywhere on object


Decision Process Diamond / Sub-model

Click within its borders or background of open space


Layer Background

Click on surface in unused location


Equation icons in Equations level

Click on equation

color will also change on diagram

Multiple Items on Diagram

Select color, then drag-select items


Default Colors for Building Blocks/Object Icons on Toolbar

Select color, then hold Alt key (Windows) or option key (Macintosh) and click on the item on the toolbar


The Eyedropper

Helpful Hint: There are times you would like to duplicate the color of an entity but you are not sure which shade you used. To identify the color of an entity, select the paintbrush; do a control-shift (Windows) or command-shift (Macintosh), and the Eyedropper will appear. Click on the entity and the paint brush will take on the color of that entity. Now you can color your model as before.

See Also