Introduction to Graph Mode


In this  tutorial you will learn:

  • about different Modes in FlowModeler
  • to navigate in Graph-Mode
  • about object dependency and object status


In order to follow this tutorial please download the Rectangle.flowProject file and open it in FlowModeler. The Project contains a Line defined on a begin and end Point and a surface extruded from the Line.

Modes in FlowModeler

FlowModeler offers different Modes it can operate in when a Project is loaded. These are:

  • Geometry-Mode: to create and edit the Project geometry (this is the current Mode after the Project has been loaded)
  • Graph-Mode: to view and manipulate the dependencies between objects

Modes can be switched either in the Menubar with Project/Modes or with the Modes-Toolbar shown in the image below.

 The Modes Toolbar

Please activate the Graph-Mode now.

Graph Mode

After Graph-Mode has been activated you see that the Viewer changed its background color and nothing in the viewer.

Hint: if you find the background color too similar to the background color for the Geometry-Mode then you are able to change it in Preferences/Graph.

The next thing is too load some objects into the Graph. Therefore do a Right-Mouse-Button-Click on, Line.1 in the Tree and choose Show in Graph. The following item is now visible in the Viewer:

 Graph Item

The item contains the following information:

  • It shows the symbol and the Name of the object that is also shown in the Tree
  • on the left it shows the number 2 which means that the object depends on 2 parents
  • on the right it shows the number 1 which means that the object has 1 child that depends on it

 If you do a Right-Mouse-Button-Click on the Graph-item the following Menu show up:

Graph Item Context Menu

As the object has parents and a child choose Load Parents and Children from the Menu. This will load PointXYZ.1, PointXYZ.2 and Line.1/Edge.1 into the Graph. The objects show a connection between them if they are a direct parent and child. Graph items can be rearranged by selecting the item with the Left-Mouse-Button and moving it to a new position while the Mouse-Button is pressed.The view can be changed with the Mouse in the following ways:

  • Middle-Mouse-Button or Right-Mouse-Button + Mouse-Motion: Pan the view
  • Mousewheel or Middle- + Right-Mouse-Button + Mouse-Motion: Zoom the view towards or away from the current center position.

Please load all remaining objects into the Graph. The view should look like this now:

Complete Graph

Status of an Object

Objects can be in one of the following states:

  • Valid: The object is up to date with its inputs and does not have any errors
  • Outdated: at least one of its parents has been modified, the object needs to be recomputed (updated)
  • Invalid: Some error occured either in the object itself while updating or in one of its parents

The different stated are communicated by the coloring in the Tree, the Graph and the 3D-Viewer. Outdated objects are shown in green, invalid objects in red. Valid objects will be shown in their default coloring.

To see the effects edit the value of Length.1. To do so you can either Double-Left-Mouse-Button-Click on the Length.1 item in the Graph or use the context menu of the item and choose Edit. Give Length.1 a new value of 50 and submit the Dialog with OK. The Graph now shows that all children of Length.1 are outdated.

Graph with outdaed objects The objects can now be recomputed with the Update buttotn in the Edit-Toolbar or Edit/Update in the Menubar.

 The Edit-Toolbar

In order to provoke an error change the value of Lenth.7 to 0 so the computation of Extrusion.1 fails. When you now Update the Project an error message is displayed and Extrusion.1 and all its children are colored in red.

graph with invalid items

You may also switch to Geometry-Mode to see the effects there.


You are now able to manage object dependencies with the Graph-Mode and have been introduced to the different states objects can have.

Graph-Mode is designed to dynamically load and unload objects, that way only the objects of interest can be inspected.