5.2.4 Workspace window

This section describes the Workspace window, which displays editable representations of the system.

Source view

The Source view displays the LISA source code of components. It can also display other text files.

The source text editor features:

  • Similar operation to common Microsoft Windows text editors.

  • Standard copy and paste operations on selected text, including with an external text editor.

  • Undo/redo operations. Text changes can be undone by using Ctrl-Z or Edit > Undo. Repeat text changes with Ctrl-Y or Edit > Redo.

  • Syntax highlighting for LISA, C++, HTML, Makefiles, project (*.sgproj) and repository (*.sgrepo) files.

  • Auto-indenting and brace matching. Indenting uses four spaces not single tab characters.

  • Auto-completion for LISA source. If you type a delimiter such as “.” or “:”, a list box with appropriate components, ports, or behaviors appears. Icons indicate master and slave ports.

  • Call hint functionality. If you type a delimiter such as “(“, a tooltip appears with either a component constructor or behavior prototype, depending on the context. Enable call hints by enabling tooltips in the Appearance pane of the Preferences dialog.


Every time System Canvas parses a LISA file, it updates lexical information for auto-completion and call hint functionality. This occurs, for example, when switching between the views.

Source view context menu

The Source view context menu lists text operations.


Undo the last change.


Undo the last undo.


Cut the selected text.


Copy the selected text.


Paste text from the global clipboard.


Delete the selected text.

Select All

Selects all of the text in the window.

Block Diagram view

The Block Diagram view displays a graphical representation of components. It enables the addition of components, connections, ports and labels to the system.

This view supports copy and paste operations on selected components, connections, labels, and self ports:

  • Use the cursor to draw a bounding rectangle around the box.

  • Press and hold shift while clicking on the components to copy.

Copied components will have different names. To copy connections, select both ends of the connection.


Changes made in one view immediately affect the other view.

Open files have a named workspace tab at the top of the Workspace window. An asterisk after the name indicates unsaved changes. A question mark means that the file is not part of the project.

Click the right mouse button in the workspace to open the context menu for the view.

Displaying the block diagram fails if:

  • The file is not a LISA file.

  • The syntax of the LISA file is incorrect.

  • The LISA file contains more than one component.

  • The LISA file contains a protocol.

Block Diagram view context menu

The Block Diagram view context menu lists object operations.

Open Component

Open a new workspace tab for the selected component.


Delete the object under the mouse pointer.

Add Port...

Add a port to the component.

Mirror Self Port

Mirror the port image.

Expand Port
For a port array, display all of the individual port elements.
Collapse Port

For a port array, hide the individual port elements.

Hide Port

Disable the selected port and make it invisible.

Hide All Unconnected Ports

Hide all ports that are not connected to a component.

Show/Hide Ports of Protocol Types...

Hide all ports that use a specified protocol.

Show All Ports

Show all ports of the component.

Autoroute connection

Redraw the selected connection.


Open the documentation for the selected component.

Object Properties

Open the object properties dialog.

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