Build a Shape Library

CaseComplete’s diagramming and drawing tools come with several toolboxes for use case diagrams, flow charting and general shapes. Each of the toolboxes contains shapes that you can drag onto the diagram and tailor to your particular need, and because the shapes are pre-assembled, they save you time by not having to create the shape from primitive text, line and geometric elements. CaseComplete also lets you create your own custom toolboxes using “shape libraries.” Shape libraries are files that contain the definitions of shapes you can use from a toolbox. This article steps you through the process of creating your own custom shape library.

To demonstrate how to do this, I’m going to create a shape library for statechart diagrams. If you’re not familiar with statechart diagrams, please check out visualizing business rules with statecharts. The notation for statecharts is pretty simple, so this shape library will be quick and easy to create. There are only a handful of shapes we need for statecharts:








directed arrow with text label




Start State


filled circle

start state


Stop State


filled circle with concentric unfilled circle

stop state




rounded rectangle with inner label



Guard condition



label text within braces




To get started, create an empty project in CaseComplete. Next, create a new diagram in that project. Use the diagram surface to design the statechart shapes. After they’re complete, we’ll add them to a new shape library.

Create the Transition shape by drawing a directed arrow shape. Find the Connector Shapes library in the toolbox and drag a Line Connector to the drawing surface (Figure 1). Select the newly drawn connector and start typing to give it a name.

figure 1

Figure 1. Assemble new shape from existing shapes

Create the rest of the statechart shapes by following the same process. Draw the parts of each shape by building it from existing shapes. If the new shape is composed from more than one shape, then group those parts together. Grouping the parts together will ensure that when you drag a shape around on a diagram, all of the pieces will stay together. Use a filled circle for the start state shape, and set the fill color to black from the context menu. The stop state is one filled circle atop a larger unfilled circle. Use a rounded rectangle shape for the state shape, and a simple text label for the guard condition. Set the line and fill colors, fonts and shape sizes. If you are having a hard time getting the shape parts to align, you can use the arrow keys on your keyboard to nudge them in tiny increments. When you are done, you should have five shapes on your diagram (Figure 2).

figure 2

Figure 2. Statechart shapes

Now that all of the shapes are assembled, it’s time to create a new shape library. Click the icon for a new shape library (Figure 3).

figure 3

Figure 3. New shape library

CaseComplete will prompt you for a name for the new shape library. Enter a name and click OK. CaseComplete will create an empty toolbox. Drag each shape from the diagram onto the empty toolbox, and give each shape a name as you are prompted to do so. When you are done, you should have a toolbox that contains five statechart shapes. Click the Save Shape Library icon (directly above the shape library’s title; see Figure 4) to save your shape library. Since the shape library is saved as a file, you can easily share them. To open an existing shape library, click the Open Shape Library icon adjacent to the New Shape Library icon (Figure 3). This library will automatically be opened each time you start CaseComplete. Tip: Don’t save your shape libraries in the CaseComplete installation folder – keep them in a separate location where they won’t accidently get erased when you install a new version of CaseComplete.

figure 4

Figure 4. Save Shape Library with Statechart Shapes

You can now use your shape library in new diagrams.

Download the shape library from this article


Have more questions? Submit a request
Was this article helpful?
2 out of 2 found this helpful


  • Avatar
    Jacobus Coetzee

    I created an iPhone Mockup library. I have attached it here.



  • Avatar
    Shawn D. McDonald

    Thanks for sharing the iPhone Mockup library!

  • Avatar
    Doug Earl

    Thanks for sharing the iPhone mockup library (which apparently didn't get transferred when we updated our help desk system). Just wanted to let everyone know that CaseComplete now comes with a built-in library for mobile shapes. Check out this sample

Powered by Zendesk