Working with Blocks

Learn about modifying parameters and properties, positioning and searching for blocks.

Modify Parameters in the Block Dialog

Every block includes a set of parameters that controls the block’s behavior and options. You can modify these parameters in the block dialog as required for your model.

  1. Locate a block in a diagram that you want to modify and double-click the block.
    A block dialog appears containing the parameters for the model.
  2. Enter the parameter values as required for your model.
The following dialog shows you the parameters you can set for a SineWaveGenerator block. For example, you can set an exact numerical value for the amplitude:

You can further parameterize the block by setting the Magnitude to M and the Frequency to F, where both M and F are model parameters that can be defined in the model context.



Tip: To get information on all the parameters for a block, select the block and press F1 to see the block's help page.

Modify Properties in the Property Editor

Use the Property Editor to modify the name and other display properties of a block.

  1. From the ribbon, select View > Property Editor.
  2. Select a block in a model that you want to modify.
    The Property Editor displays the properties available for the selected block.


  3. In the Property Editor, define the properties that are applicable for your block.
    General Property Description
    Name Enter a block name. The name is displayed below the block.
    Name Font Enter a font family and size for the block name.
    Text Enter a description, which is displayed inside the block.
    Text Font Enter a font family and size for the block description.
    Port Label Font Enter a font size for the port lable. Note that the port name is defined in the block dialog that you access by double-clicking on the block.
    Appearance Property Description
    Flip Flip the block and its associated links 180 degrees.
    Show Name Display the block name in the model.
    Background Color Set the color of the block image.
    Transparency Set the color transparency of the block image.
    Frame Visiblity Toggle the block frame on or off.
    Image Property Description
    Preserve Aspect Maintain the length-width aspect ratio when modifying the block size.
    Tip: You can also modify a number of properties through the block dialog and context menu. To access a block dialog, double-click a block. To access a context menu, right-click on a block.

Enable External Activation

Enable a block to receive an activation signal through an external activation port.

  1. Double-click a block that you would like to connect to an Activation block.
  2. On the dialog that appears, select the External Activation box.
    Turning on External Activation exposes a red input port that can accept a link from an Activation block. The Scope block in the following diagram shows this port:


Position Blocks

Switch, rotate, flip, align and center a block in a diagram.

Rotating and Flipping Blocks

You can change the orientation of blocks and links inside of a diagram through the Orient tool group or the context menu.

  1. Select a block that you want to reposition.
  2. On the ribbon, from the Orient tool group

    select to flip a block to the left or right , or rotate a block to the left or right . Alternatively, right-click and select from the options on the context menu:


    The links between the selected blocks automatically flip or rotate as specified.

Aligning Blocks

Adjust link segments or points on link segments to align blocks in a diagram.

  • To align blocks manually, on a link segment or a point on a link segment, left-click, and then position the link with the mouse.
  • To align blocks automatically, cross-select the blocks you want to align. Then on the ribbon from the Alignment tool group:

    select the tool to align to the left , right , top or bottom . Alternatively, right-click and select from the align options on the context menu:

    The link segments between the selected blocks automatically move to align the blocks as specified.

Centering Blocks in a Diagram

Move link segments or link points to center blocks in a diagram.

  • To center blocks manually, on a link segment or a point on a link segment, left-click, and position the link with the mouse.
  • To center blocks automatically, cross-select the blocks you want to work with on your diagram. Then on the ribbon from the Center tool group,

    select the tool to center vertically or horizontally . Alternatively, right-click and select from the options on the context menu.
    The link segments between the selected blocks automatically move to center the blocks as specified.

Switching Two Blocks

Switch the placement of two blocks in a diagram.

  1. Select two blocks that you want to reposition in a diagram:

  2. Press Ctrl+T, or right-click, and from the context menu, select Switch.
    The blocks swap places in the diagram:
The following figure shows the switching of two blocks in a model. The software automatically reconnects the blocks in the diagram within the limits of compatibility of the ports on the blocks. Once the blocks are switched, you can adjust the links as needed.

Search for Blocks

Locate a block in a particular palette, or search for a block or palette throughout a library.

In the Palette Browser, click the Search Palette icon, and then enter a term in the search field. All found blocks are displayed.