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Default connectors to "send to back"

asked 2020-08-20 20:59:02 +0200

Snotnose gravatar image

My drawings are a bunch of boxes connected by, well, connectors. Think of a network topology. I make new connectors via copy/paste, but that doesn't copy the connector attributes. So for every connector I have to right click the connector, arrange->send to back. Needless to say, this gets old about the 20th time I do it.

Is there any way to either have my connectors default to "send to back", or to select all my connectors (yes, all) and send them all to back at once?

I'm using LibreOffice Draw, think I'm 1 version back from the latest.

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True shape attributes are indeed copied. "Send to back" is related to Z-order of the shapes, i.e. roughly to order of shape creation until you play with "Send to ...". This is not an intrinsic property of the shape and cannot be preserved through copy/paste.

Now why would you "send to back" a connector? What effect do you expect? Edit your question or add a comment below to explain what you're trying to achieve. Usually, we arrange connectors so that they are drawn around other shapes, not through them. Then the Z-order does not matter.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2020-08-20 21:32:25 +0200 )edit

To send to back an object it is easier to press Ctrl+Shift+-.

Related questions about select all:

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LeroyG gravatar imageLeroyG ( 2020-08-20 21:48:35 +0200 )edit

Why would I send to back a connector? Keep in mind the network map was an example, not what I'm doing. All connectors go the the center of objects they connect to. That is, as "the network" (it ain't a network) grows things get moved around as discovery happens. A lot. So a node that might have had a connection point on the top a month ago might now have it on the bottom this month. I solved this problem by making all connections point be the center of the object, and sending them to back.

For example, today you have 2 nodes represented as boxes, A and B. B is south of A so you connect the top of B to the bottom of A. Then things change, now B is north of A. Move things around, the connector lines really mess things up. I solved that ...(plus)

Snotnose gravatar imageSnotnose ( 2020-08-20 23:35:24 +0200 )edit

If I understand your purpose, you attach your connectors to a "universal" hook and want to simulate the usual border hook through z-order to hide the part of the connector inside the shape. What you want in fact is an "auto-adaptative" attachment of the connector.

Although your goal is legitimate, I vaguely feel your workaround is faulty.

When you move your boxes, only a few of them will have a not-optimal connecting point. Wouldn't it be faster to reattach the connector(s) to another glue point rather than to systematically send all connectors to back?

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2020-08-21 08:01:45 +0200 )edit

Reattaching connectors when I moved boxes is what I used to do, what I do now (hook everything to the center of the square and send the connector to the back) is much easier and faster.

Keep in mind that for the first few months I'm spending more time re-arranging boxes trying to get a neat layout, than I do adding new nodes and connectors.

My application is a game, where I spend the first several turns discovering nodes and connections. After 4-6 turns I can start to look for a pattern in the map.

Snotnose gravatar imageSnotnose ( 2020-08-21 16:11:46 +0200 )edit

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answered 2020-08-22 08:03:20 +0200

ajlittoz gravatar image

As I already commented, Z-index is not a shape property. A new object is created over all existing ones. By default, the oldest object is in the back and the most recent at top. You can use the Arrange commands to modify this default order in a relative way (relative to a group of selected objects; you can't send an object to the absolute 17th slot).

From experiment, a copy of a group of objects keeps the relative order of creation. Consequently, there is an obvious imperfect workaround. It works if you copy boxes with their connectors.

The group must be created in this order:

  • draw the connectors first

    It does not matter if the connectors are not attached, you'll do this later. The important point is the Z-index of the connectors.

  • draw the boxes and add the center glue points

  • select the connectors one by one and attach them to their glue points on the boxes

This is imperfect because you'll likely need to add another connector between the group copy and the rest of the graph. This extra connector will need to be manually sent to back. However, this may decrease the number of manual steps.

To show the community your question has been answered, click the ✓ next to the correct answer, and "upvote" by clicking on the ^ arrow of any helpful answers. These are the mechanisms for communicating the quality of the Q&A on this site. Thanks!

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To summarize, there is no way to have copy/paste retain the z-axis, nor is there a way such that a connector will automagically move to the edge of the box that is closest to what the connector is connecting to.

And template, galleries, and such won't solve my problem.

Snotnose gravatar imageSnotnose ( 2020-08-23 22:50:53 +0200 )edit
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answered 2020-08-21 00:28:49 +0200

Snotnose gravatar image

updated 2020-08-21 23:49:18 +0200

Understood. Is there any way to make a defaut z-order via templates or whatever? Or select multiple connectors and set their z-order at the same time?

I want every connector on my drawing to be "send to back", doing it one by one is tedious. Suggestions?

And yeah, I mean every. I don't have a single connector that I want to be anything but "send to back".

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Three axes: X horizontal, Y vertical, Z altitude.

LeroyG gravatar imageLeroyG ( 2020-08-21 00:52:02 +0200 )edit

Please, repost that as a comment. To do that, hover on "more" (just above these lines), and press "repost as comment under question".

Add Answer is reserved for solutions. Thanks.

LeroyG gravatar imageLeroyG ( 2020-08-21 00:53:05 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2020-08-20 20:59:02 +0200

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Last updated: Aug 22 '20