Advanced hotkeys – 4 ways to get faster in BowTieXP

Are you still right-clicking your mouse to add and remove most things in BowTieXP? Get ready to live in the fast lane and start using these 4 advanced hotkeys in BowTieXP!

For maximum learning, please open your instance of the software next to this blog and click alongside the tips and tricks.

1 – Navigating and editing the treeview

Navigating: Having trouble clicking the small plus buttons in the Tree view to collapse or expand containers? Use your keyboard arrow-keys instead! It uses the same logic Windows uses in for example Explorer.

  • Right arrow key: Expand the selected parent container and its children underneath.
  • Left arrow key: Collapse the selected child underneath the parent container or the selected parent container itself.
  • Up & down key: Select the container above or below the previous one.

Figure 1. In this example, we started at ‘BowTie Groups’ and used the right arrow key 6 times to get to the lowest level

Editing: Press the ‘Insert’ button on your keyboard whilst selecting a parent container to add, for example, a new barrier type. This has the same effect as right-clicking on barrier types and selecting add new barrier type.

Figure 2. Pressing ‘Insert’ whilst selecting a parent container such as ‘Barrier Types’ will open a window that lets you add a new barrier type.

2 – Editing entities

If you just want to change the name, either double-click the text box or press F2.

Figure 3. Double-clicking the text box or pressing F2, will allow you to quickly change the text of any shape in the bowtie diagram.

If you want to edit metadata as well, left-click the pen-icon in any shape on the bowtie diagram. Sometimes though, the small size of the pen-icon might make it hard to click on. Instead, you can double-click the shape or press F4.

Figure 4. Left-clicking this pen-icon, double-clicking the shape or pressing F4 will open an editing window.

Note: F2 and F4 differ within the bowtie-diagram window, but perform the same function within the Tree view and will always open an editing window.

Figure 5. Pressing F2 or F4 in the Tree view will both open an editing window.

Multi-editing entities: Sometimes you might want to edit multiple entities at the same time. You can do this by holding CTRL or SHIFT on your keyboard and left-clicking the shapes you want to edit, and then pressing either F2 or F4, both perform the same function in this case.

3 – Quickly open the Scrapbook

If you are using BowTieXp Advanced, then you can make use of the Scrapbook to quickly merge multiple bowtie files into one. Using the combination of Ctrl+Shift+S will immediately open the Scrapbook.

4 – Navigate within and between your bowtie diagrams

Within: By holding SHIFT and using your scroll wheel, you can scroll horizontally through your diagrams.

Between: Sometimes, you may want to show multiple bowties in quick succession, but you don’t want to showcase the entire diagram every time. As you may already know, you can use these buttons to do that: 

What you may not know, however, is that by holding SHIFT and clicking on e.g. the 1st level, that all future opened bowties will now open at this 1st level, rather than the lowest level. Use this to your advantage!