What is a data format?

A data format is the arrangement of data fields for a specific shape. After you arrange data fields on a shape, you can save the data format as default or custom.

Save a default data format

A default data format is the arrangement of data for a specific shape type. In a process map, you can save a default data format for the following shapes:
  • Decision shapes
  • Process shapes
  • Default shapes (all other shapes)

After you save a default data format for a specific shape type, the next time you add a new shape of the same type, it has the default data format.

How to save a default data format for a process shape

Suppose you want process shapes to always display the names of X variables above the shape and the names of Y variables below the shapes. The following steps show you how.

  1. Select a process shape.
  2. Format the shape to display X Variable Name above the shape and Y Variable Name below the shape. For information about how to format a shape to display data, go to Display data on a process map.
  3. Right-click the process shape you just formatted, and choose Shape Data > Set as Process Shape Default.
  4. Insert a new process shape.
    When you add values for X Variable Name and Y Variable Name, they appear beside the shape.

Apply a default data format

You can apply default data formats to existing shapes.

  1. Select the shape to apply the data format to.
  2. Choose Map > Data Display, and then under Apply a Data Format, choose the default data format to apply.

Save a custom data format

After you create a data format, you can save it as a custom data format that you can apply to other shapes.

  1. Right-click the shape that has the format you want to save, and choose Shape Data > Save as a Custom Data Format.
  2. In the New Data Format dialog box, enter a name for the format.
    The custom data format appears in the Data Display menu.
    A custom data format

Apply a custom data format

When you apply a custom data format to a shape, it copies the data format from the custom data format to the selected shape.

  1. Select the shape to apply the data format to.
  2. Choose Map > Data Display, and then under Apply a Custom Data Format, choose the custom data format to apply.
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