Each shape in a diagram can contain metadata or custom properties - extra information about those shapes.


These custom properties can also be used to define placeholder values, acting like variables in a computer program. Placeholders can be used in shape labels and tooltips to show the value of the custom property of that shape, the container shape it is inside, or an ancestor in a multi-group shape.


See how to work with placeholders in labels and tooltips.


Predefined placeholders

In addition to using property names as placeholders, you can use the following predefined placeholders.

  • %id%: Prints the ID of a shape or connector.
  • %date%: Prints the current date using the system locale.
  • %time%: Prints the current time using the system locale.
  • %timestamp%: Prints a timestamp using the system locale.
  • %date{format}%: Prints a timestamp using a custom format, details below.
  • %pagenumber%: Prints the page number of the current page.
  • %pagecount%: Prints the total number of pages.
  • %page%: Prints the title of the current page.
  • %filename%: Prints the name of the file.


Notes:


  • To print some text between % characters without the text being replaced, use two % characters. For example, %%name% prints %name% even if a property called name exists.
  • If a shape and its ancestor have a property with the same name, the value of the child shape’s property is used (this overrides the ancestor property). Likewise, if multiple ancestors have a common property, the value of the closest ancestor’s property is used. In this way, placeholder labels respect scope.


Custom timestamp formats

The following custom formats for timestamps are defined (e.g. %date{dddd, mmmm d, yyyy}%)

Timestamp formatDescription
dDay of the month as digits; no leading zero for single-digit days.
ddDay of the month as digits; leading zero for single-digit days.
dddDay of the week as a three-letter abbreviation.
ddddDay of the week as its full name.
mMonth as digits; no leading zero for single-digit months.
mmMonth as digits; leading zero for single-digit months.
mmmMonth as a three-letter abbreviation.
mmmmMonth as its full name.
yyYear as last two digits; leading zero for years less than 10.
yyyyYear represented by four digits.
hHours; no leading zero for single-digit hours (12-hour clock).
hhHours; leading zero for single-digit hours (12-hour clock).
HHours; no leading zero for single-digit hours (24-hour clock).
HHHours; leading zero for single-digit hours (24-hour clock).
MMinutes; no leading zero for single-digit minutes.
Uppercase M unlike CF timeFormat's m to avoid conflict with months.
MMMinutes; leading zero for single-digit minutes.
Uppercase MM unlike CF timeFormat's mm to avoid conflict with months.
sSeconds; no leading zero for single-digit seconds.
ssSeconds; leading zero for single-digit seconds.
or LMilliseconds. l prints 3 digits. L prints 2 digits.
tLowercase, single-character time marker string: a or p.
No equivalent in CF.
ttLowercase, two-character time marker string: am or pm.
No equivalent in CF.
TUppercase, single-character time marker string: A or P.
Uppercase T unlike CF's t to allow for user-specified casing.
TTUppercase, two-character time marker string: AM or PM.
Uppercase TT unlike CF's tt to allow for user-specified casing.
ZUS timezone abbreviation, e.g. EST or MDT. With non-US timezones or in the Opera browser, the GMT/UTC offset is returned, e.g. GMT-0500
No equivalent in CF.
oGMT/UTC timezone offset, e.g. -0500 or +0230.
No equivalent in CF.
SThe date's ordinal suffix (st, nd, rd, or th). Works well with d.
No equivalent in CF.
'…'or "…"Literal character sequence. Surrounding quotes are removed.
No equivalent in CF.
UTC:Must be the first four characters of the mask. Converts the date from local time to UTC/GMT/Zulu time before applying the time format. The "UTC:" prefix is removed.
No equivalent in CF.


Predefined timestamp formats

There are several predefined timestamp formats that you can use.

NameTimestamp formatExample
defaultddd mmm dd yyyy HH:MM:ssSat Jun 09 2007 17:46:21
shortDatem/d/yy6/9/07
mediumDatemmm d, yyyyJun 9, 2007
longDatemmmm d, yyyyJune 9, 2007
fullDatedddd, mmmm d, yyyySaturday, June 9, 2007
shortTimeh:MM TT5:46 PM
mediumTimeh:MM:ss TT5:46:21 PM
longTimeh:MM:ss TT Z5:46:21 PM EST
isoDateyyyy-mm-dd2007-06-09
isoTimeHH:MM:ss17:46:21
isoDateTimeyyyy-mm-dd'T'HH:MM:ss2007-06-09T17:46:21
isoUtcDateTimeUTC:yyyy-mm-dd'T'HH:MM:ss'Z'2007-06-09T22:46:21Z


Note: Full and short names for days and months are currently only available in English.