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The Zoom, and alignment bars.
Figure 1

State of the Art Diagram Manipulation and Presentation

The zoom and the alignment tool-bars screen shot at the right shows the user interface for diagram manipulation and presentation. In addition to the toolbar, the scroll wheel on the mouse will zoom the diagram in or out. And pressing the center button (or the scroll wheel) will allow panning the diagram.

Unfortunately, the Mac has a one button mouse. So, we have added control (command on the Mac) left click and hold to pan the diagram too. Pan mode can be selected from the toolbar (the hand).

Zoom levels can be selected in the zoom combo box and through the lasso. Just lasso what you want, let go, and it fills the diagram area. Then with the scroll wheel you can make it any size you want. And with pan you can center your point of interest on the screen.

As I have been doing a lot a Database design work. I found that I spent a lot of time looking at the ER diagrams and thinking about the system. The ability to position things just right, to assign colors to a table or group of tables. To selectively show all the details of an Entity or just name and Keys all had a great impact my ability to design good data models, and subsequently good application. This is why we have put an extreme amount of effort in the diagram manipulation and presentation of ER-Designer. All software tools, are just aid to our thinking. It is the little things (and in some cases not so little things) that make the difference in our productivity work flow. And anything to make our tools transparent to our intention offers a significant boost to our creativity and thought processes.

I hope your enjoy using ER-Designer as much as I have developing it, and using it in the process of it's own development.