How to Draw a Sequence Diagram in Visio

Written by tommy charles
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How to Draw a Sequence Diagram in Visio
(Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Microsoft Visio is a software application that allows users to create diagrams with vector images. These images, known as 'stencils,' are representative of various components within a system. Among the many types of diagrams that Visio can create is the sequence diagram. This diagram shows the flow of communication between two parties. Time in the sequence diagram is represented by vertical lines that descend beneath each object. Messages are then shown flowing between them. Creating a sequence diagram in Visio is a straight forward process.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Microsoft Windows
  • Microsoft Visio

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Click on "File" and then on "New."

  2. 2

    Point the mouse cursor to "Software and Database." Click on "UML Model (UIS Units)."

  3. 3

    Click on the "UML Sequence" template, located in the "Shapes" menu.

  4. 4

    Click on the "Object" stencil, located in the list of shapes that opens under the "Shapes" menu. Hold the click and drag the stencil into the work area.

  5. 5

    Click on the "Object" stencil again and drag a second stencil into the work area.

  6. 6

    Click on the first stencil and delete "Object 1" from the dialogue box that opens. Click inside the box and type "Patient." Click on "OK."

  7. 7

    Click on the second stencil and delete "Object 2" from the dialogue box that opens. Click inside the box and type "System." Click on "OK."

  8. 8

    Click on the "Activation Bar" Stencil and drag it onto the vertical line that descends below "Patient." Release the mouse click when the Activation Bar becomes red.

  9. 9

    Click on the "Activation Bar" stencil and drag it onto the vertical line that descends below "System." Release the mouse click when the Activation Bar becomes red.

  10. 10

    Click on the "Message" Stencil and drag it into the work space. Click on the arrow's "head" and drag it to the Activation Bar that is attached to "System." Click on its "tail" and drag it to the Activation Bar that is attached to "Patient."

  11. 11

    Click on the horizontal message arrow that is now connected to both "Object" and "System" and drag it as close to the top of the stencils as possible.

  12. 12

    Click on the "Message" Stencil and drag it into the work space. Click on the arrow's "head" and drag it to the Activation Bar that is attached to "Object." Click on its "tail" and drag it to the Activation Bar that is attached to "System."

  13. 13

    Click on the horizontal message arrow that you just created and drag it so that it is below the first message.

  14. 14

    Click on the higher of the two messages. Delete "Message1" from the dialogue box that opens and type "To System." Click on "OK."

  15. 15

    Click on the lower of the two messages. Delete "Message2" from the dialogue box that opens and type "To Patient." Click on "OK."

Tips and warnings

  • The vertical line that descends from the "Object" stencil is known as the "Life Line." You can make this line longer by clicking on the stencil and the clicking on the yellow diamond that appears. You may need to make it longer if your sequence contains many messages.
  • Replace the words "Patient" and "System" with descriptions that fit your needs.

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