RFFlow 5 Professional Flowcharting

Professional Flowcharting Software

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New Features of RFFlow 5

This page covers the differences between RFFlow 5 and earlier versions of RFFlow. For a description of the features and capabilities of RFFlow 5, see the Overview and Tutorial.

A New User Interface
The user interface in RFFlow 5 has been completely redesigned. Each step in drawing a chart has been optimized. The Windows interface standards have been followed. Although users of RFFlow 1, 2, 3, and 4 may experience some unfamiliarity with using RFFlow 5 at first, they should quickly adapt to the new user interface and find that it increases their productivity.

Previous versions of RFFlow were highly modal. A user would click on a command button and then could do one operation. For example, in RFFlow 4, you clicked on the Select button and then any object you clicked on would be selected. You could also draw a selection rectangle around objects at this time. While in the selection mode, the only thing you could do was select objects. This selection mode continued until you clicked on another command button.

In RFFlow 5, there is no Select button. You can just draw a selection rectangle around the shapes you want selected. You can also click on one object to select it or press down the SHIFT key or the CTRL key and click on several objects to select them. Selection in RFFlow 5 is now like selecting files in Windows. Another example to show the difference between the modality of previous RFFlow versions and the new user interface of RFFlow 5 is in sizing a shape. In RFFlow 4, you clicked on the Size button and then clicked on a shape. The shape would then show handles that you dragged to size the shape. After sizing the shape you clicked the OK button and then you could click on another shape to size it. But all you could do is size shapes until you clicked on another command button.

In RFFlow 5, there is no Size button. You just click on a shape and handles are displayed. Drag the handles to size the shape and then click outside the shape when you are done.

Green handles used to size a shape
The new user interface in RFFlow 5 eliminates most of the modes that were in previous versions. Two useful modes are still present. When you click on a line in a stencil, you enter a line drawing mode. You can now drag the mouse to draw lines and you can draw as many as you like, but you can only draw lines. It's convenient to use the line drawing mode if you place all the shapes in your chart first and then connect them with lines all at once. You exit this mode by clicking a button or drawing another shape. You can avoid the line drawing mode by dragging a line from a stencil into your chart. If you like to draw a shape and then a line, and so forth, you should drag each line into your chart.

The other mode in RFFlow 5 is auto connection. You click the The Autoconnect Button button. Then you can click on two shapes to connect them. This allows you to quickly connect all the shapes in a flowchart.

The user interface of RFFlow 5 has been improved by making it less modal than earlier versions of RFFlow. This lets you draw a chart in less time.

Consistent Operations
In RFFlow 5, when you right-click on an object and choose Properties, the Shape Properties dialog box shown below appears. This lets you change the properties of the shape. When you select a group of objects, right-click on any of the selected objects, and choose Properties, you will also get the Shape Properties dialog box. Changing the properties of several objects is identical to changing the properties of one object. This consistency makes the program easier to learn. If you know how to fill one shape with color, you can also fill a group of selected shapes with color.
Shape Properties Dialog Box

Float Over Highlight
When the mouse cursor moves over a shape or line in RFFlow 5, that object will change color so you know which shape will be selected when you click. This helps you pick out objects that are close together.
Pictures showing that the shape turns blue when the cursor is over it

Right-click Menus
In RFFlow 5, right-clicking on a shape or group of selected shapes brings up a menu that lets you quickly duplicate, delete, change properties, edit text, and add shapes to a stencil.

Moving Shapes
To move an object in RFFlow 5, just drag it. If you want to move several objects, select them and drag any of the selected objects.

Drawing Shapes
In RFFlow 5, click on a shape, type in the text, and click OK. The shape will show up in the center of the screen and be selected. Drag it to position it. Another way to draw a shape is to just drag a shape from a stencil into your chart.

Drawing Curves
Click on a curve or drag it from a stencil into your chart. Drag the center of the curve to move it and drag the handles to change its curvature. There is no more clicking on 4 points as in RFFlow 3 and 4.
A curve with handles to edit it

In RFFlow 4, you clicked the Duplicate button to be in that mode and then dragged objects to duplicate them. In RFFlow 5, you do the same thing without entering a mode. Just drag an object or group of selected objects with the CTRL key down and you will be dragging duplicates. You can also right-click on an object or group of selected objects in RFFlow 5 and choose Duplicate. Alternatively, you can select a group of objects and click the Duplicate button.

To delete objects in RFFlow 5, right-click on a shape or group of selected shapes and choose Delete. You can also select the shapes and click the Delete button or the Delete key on the keyboard.

No Toolbars Needed
In RFFlow 5, you can do all the drawing and editing of charts without any toolbars displayed. This frees up more space on the screen for your chart. Just follow these hints:
Since the modal commands have been removed in RFFlow 5, the toolbars are no longer needed.

Disable Selection for Background Shapes
You may want to make a large background rectangle filled with color or a gradient and then draw a chart on top of that background. The large background rectangle should be placed on a stacking order of 8 so it is behind all other objects. This is done by right-clicking on the rectangle, choosing Properties, and going to the Layers tab.

Center the background rectangle on your paper by clicking the The Center Button button.

Then right-click on the rectangle, choose Properties, and go to the Disable tab. Check Disable selecting and moving of this object and click OK.

This allows you to draw selection rectangles inside the background rectangle without moving the background rectangle itself. It basically makes the background rectangle fixed in position. If you need to change it later, right-click and choose Properties.
A Circle Spoke Chart

Documentation on the Web
The Web site for RFFlow 5 has a Web page devoted to the printed documentation. The documentation includes:
Upgrade to RFFlow 5
Users of RFFlow 1, 2, 3, or 4 can upgrade to RFFlow Version 5 at low upgrade prices. Once you purchase the upgrade to RFFlow 5, all upgrades within RFFlow 5 (5.0X) will be free for you to download when they become available.

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