Connect lines together orthogonally

I’d like to connect lines to other lines orthogonally. Here’s the idea.

I’ve been playing around with orthogonal lines and adding midpoints, but I haven’t found a combination that produces the desired result yet.

Hi @Logger

It is not possible to connect lines together like you’ve done but have the connecting lines remain stationary when lengthening the line they are connected to. I think the best alternative approach based on the example you’ve shared of what you want, would be to not actually connect these lines together.

For this I would recommend selecting the main vertical line you are currently connecting to, and in the Properties > Connections Inspector turn off the option “Allow connections from lines”. You can now re-position these other lines so they appear as though they are connected without actually doing so. Using a ruler guide can be helpful when doing this to get the “connecting” ends of the lines all aligned properly. Now when you need to lengthen the main vertical line, these other lines will stay in place.

Another option would be to draw multiple connecting lines from the one object to each of the connecting objects that overlap. This can give the same appearance of a single line that then has multiple connections coming off of it. The downside to this approach is you wouldn’t be able to have the different line endings shown in your example where the lines connect together. Instead you’d need to add those line endings to the end that connects to the objects.

I hope that info helps!

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No problem in OG 5, works exactly the way I (and you) want it to. I have dozens of wiring diagrams that I do precisely that in.

  • Aside. I have a done a few UML diagrams for customers who demand it (I provide standard-compliant diagrams only. UML is totally broken, and not a standard, therefore I do not provide it unless it is demanded). The reason I mention it is, what you doing is not UML … everyone who uses the dog has to add some notation, in order to communicate what they want, which makes the diagram non-standard. If you are not familiar with genuine Standards, let me assure you that a thing with just one symbol and a million unpublished notations is not a Standard.
  • I was forced to purchase OG 6, but could not use it due to features and functions being removed, and the degradation in the UI. I haven’t tried OG 7, and I won’t, because, from the problems listed in this forum, that degradation has continued, and I am quite attached to the functions and features in OG 5.

Therefore, these are the steps required in OG 5, see what you can achieve in OG 6; 7; 8; etc.

(1) The first thing is to select and use a decent Grid. Always. For a thousand reasons.

  • I am using 2cm major, 10 steps minor; SnapToGrid.

(2) Draw the line, placing the MidPoints where you want them on the Canvas.

  • Click once to “drop” a MidPoint at that location on the Canvas, double-click to end the line.

  • Understand that the MidPoints is related to the canvas (relative to the Canvas), not to the “starting” shape, and not to the subordinate shapes.

  • a point in the line which has no specified position is the proportionate distance from the StartPoint or tail of the line.

    • Thus if you connect another line to the subject line, that point in the line is the position of the connection.

    • if you want more than one object (shape or line) to recognise a common point, you need to make that reference point on the only fixed thing that each object understands: the Grid.

  • Of course, at least for starters, the MidPoints will be where you expect the Head End of the lines from the subordinate shapes to intersect, but that may change later, as you move one or the other subordinate around.

(3) Set the subject line to AllowConnectionsFromLines.

(4) Connect the line from each subordinate to its corresponding MidPoint on the subject line.

(5) Grab the Head of the line, and drag it to its new position.

(6) The lines from the three connected subordinates remain, attached to the Midpoints on the canvas.

  • That fourth subordinate is not connected (just to show you what valyria may have been suggesting).

  • Create a MidPoint where you want that fourth connection to be, and connect the line from the fourth subordinate shape.

(7) The demonstration uses an Orthogonal lineType in the demonstration, and this works with all LineTypes.

(8) Note that if you do not use MidPoints, and you simply connect the lines from the subordinates to the subject line, OG 5 remembers the proportionate position on the subject line (which is a Good Thing).

  • In that case, when you move the Head of the subject line, all the lines from the subordinates will move (as depicted in your undesired result)

(9) One can grab a bunch of shapes as a group (or Group them) and move the selected set, as one pleases, the effect is as expected.

  • Here I have grabbed the three subordinates and the subject line as a group, and moved them. The Midpoints in the subject line move because I selected the line, the MidPoints travel with the line.

  • Here I have grabbed the four subordinates, excluding the subject line as a group, and moved them. The Midpoints in the subject line did not move.