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I want to sketch a sequence diagram including callbacks. Poorly Visio 2013 transforms my arrows / messages in dashed return messages. How can I disable this behavior?

Here is a minimal example. All Messages are inserted as Messages, two of them were transformed to return messages, but only one correctly. Selecting the wrong arrow and change it to non-dashed line style has no effect.


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up vote 2 down vote accepted

The problem is that the default Message shapes inside UML Sequence stencil have a special User-defined value that transforms them to Return messages if they go from right to left.

An elegant solution is to right click on the "UML Sequence" stencil and select Save As. Name it something like "UML Sequence Fixed". Open the newly created stencil. Go to File->Options->Advanced->General and check Run in developer mode.

Now right click on the Message shape and select Edit Master->Edit Master Shape (you might need to right click on the stencil title in the list and select Edit Stencil. Now click on the arrow image that opened in the new split to select it. In the ribbon go to the Developer menu click on Show ShapeSheet->Shape there in User-defined Cells you will find a property called User.IsReturn (its value is EndX<BeginX). Change that to 0. Close the opened splits (visio will ask you whether to save the shape and you should choose yes).

Now do the same operation for Asynchronous Message and Return Message (except choose 1 for the value in the case of the Return Message).

With your new stencil you will be able to create both left-to-right and right-to-left messages.

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It is not possible to edit neither the stencil nor the Shape when it is (or part of) the UML Sequence stencil. One have to add it to a new stencil, which can be edited. I used right-click on UML Sequence stencil and Save Under to have a full copy. Thank you. – user2135069 Mar 27 '14 at 7:01

If the diagram is small take a look at creating it in PowerPoint. Sadly I've found the diagramming tools there to be easier to use and create better looking results.

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Sadly the diagram is not small. Furthermore PowerPoint has no model View support. – user2135069 Mar 8 '13 at 11:00

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