PlantUML Pleasantness: Check If PlantUML Is Up To Date

With the command line option -checkversion we can see if we have the latest PlantUML version. The command prints to the console our current PlantUML version and latest version that is available. Inside a PlantUML definition we can use the command checkversion and generate for example a PNG image with information about our PlantUML version and the latest version that can be downloaded.

First we use the command line option -checkversion for an out-of-date version:

We update our PlantUML and run the command again:

Now we use a PlantUML definition so we can generate a graphical representation of the information.

First we use the older version of PlantUML to generate a PNG image:

Next we use the latest version that is available:

Written with PlantUML 8051.

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PlantUML Pleasantness: Generate Graphical Version Information

If we want to know which version of PlantUML we are using we can use the command line option -version. PlantUML will print the version and also some extra information like the machine name, memory and more. But we can also create a PlantUML definition with the command version and we can transform it to a graphical presentation like a PNG image. This can be handy if we use PlantUML in an environment like Asciidoctor with diagram support and we want to know which version of PlantUML is used.

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PlantUML Pleasantness: Create A Sudoku :)

PlantUML has a fun command to create a Sudoku puzzle. We must use sudoku in our PlantUML definition and a random puzzle is generated. We can even give a seed value for a given Sudoku so it is generated again.

In the following example PlantUML definition we use the sudoku command:

We create a PNG file with PlantUML and we get the following result:

To regenerate the same Sudoku we must use the seed value cinnld556e0o:

Written with PlantUML 8048.

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PlantUML Pleasantness: Include Partial Content From Files

With PlantUML we can include external files in our definition with the !include directive. We specify the file name and the content is included in our PlantUML definition. The included file can also have multiple @startuml ... @enduml sections and we can refer to individual sections with the !include directive. We must append to the include file name an exclamation mark (!) followed by either a number or identifier. If we use a number we specify which section we want to include, where section are numbered starting from 0. So to get the second section from a file commons.puml we would write !include commons.puml!1. Alternatively we can use identifiers in the include file. We append to @startuml an identifier as (id=idValue). Then from the definition that is including the file we refer to the identifier after an exclamation mark (!). If our included file commons.puml has a section with id user then we would include it as !include commons.puml!user.

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PlantUML Pleasantness: Customize Stereotype Styling

To change the styling of our generated diagrams with PlantUML we can use the skinparam command. We can set for example font size, style, color, background colors and much more. We can change the style for a specific element or for the whole diagram. We can even set specific styling options for stereotypes. The settings for the stereotype are then applied to all elements in our diagram with that stereotype. We must append <<stereotype name>> to the skin parameter name.

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PlantUML Pleasantness: Keeping Elements Together

When we write a PlantUML definition the generated graphical diagram is laid out by PlantUML. In a previous post we learned how to move elements using the length of the connection. But we can also use a together block with all elements that should be at the same level. PlantUML will try to keep the elements together when the diagram is drawn.

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PlantUML Pleasantness: Align Elements With Line Length

Drawing diagrams with PlantUML is fun and easy. We use text to describe the diagram and the we get a graphical representation. Especially in combination with Asciidoctor with PlantUML integration we have a winning combination to write technical documentation. Because our text is transformed into a graphical format like PNG we don’t have much influence on the layout. There are options to indicate positions of elements, but we can also use the length of lines to influence the position of elements.

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