Can I use calculations/Formulas on a Flowchart?

C W. shared this question 8 days ago
Answered

The information does not seem to be passed through from one block to another. (I have tried parent/ancestors/etc.) Or is there some other type of relationship on a flowchart?

It is is possible to do it on a normal radial map.

Replies (1)

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Could you post an example or screenshot of the issue? Formulas don't follow the relationships on any topic (floating, flowchart or otherwise) to derive data. They only use relative connections (e.g. child topics) for topics in a tree.

Flowchart topics are floating topics connected by relationships, with additional constraints on the topic itself (e.g. flowchart topics don't have subtopics, while regular floating topics can).

You may be better off drawing flowcharts using regular floating topics and connecting them by hand, rather than starting with the flowchart template or using the flowchart layout for floating topics. This takes a little longer but you have more flexibility. You could then use subtopics on topics in your flowchart nodes and use formulas local to a node.

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Thanks for your answer. I have added in a screenshot. My original flowchart is more complicated but I did a simple example when trying to understand, I have added the screenshot of this basic example I am just trying to see if the information is passed through with the formula [Requirement]=Parent[Requirement].

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If I understand your answer, it sounds like Flowchart topics cannot fundamentally be used with formulas. Although I thought if they are a child topic why can they not have a parent?

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Thanks for the screen shot. Flowchart topics are connected to each other with relationships (with arrowheads on them), not with lines like the parent-child connections in a tree. Despite their physical layout on the page they don't have "parent" or "child" topics.

I have not tested but I would expect formulas to work if they only reference global data, such as all the topics in a map. They can't reference anything that relies on location in a tree.

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Thanks again for the response.


I already built the flowchart, the idea was that the numbers would change depending upon the decision so you saw what the end result. To work with reference global data would mean that I would have to make 1 or 2 properties per topic which seems to be somewhat cumbersome. I will try your first suggestion of using floating topics. Do you know if there is any way to quickly change everything to a floating topic?

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It's probably worth testing in a copy of your map first. Changing to floating topics will not itself solve the issue that formulas don't understand relationships. To change flowchart topics to floating topics:

  • Select all the flowchart topics with Ctrl+Click (a lasso does not work, because this also selects relationships)
  • Right-click on one of them and click on "Format Topic..."
  • In the "Subtopics Layout" tab, click on anything except "Flowchart". Choosing "Map" will set the floating topics to the usual automatic left or right layout depending on which side of the central topic they are.

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Thanks

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One option is to use the ability to nominate a property on a specific topic in a formula, as in the example below. This appears to work regardless of the map layout.

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