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How to lay out diagrams in SSIS packages to look neat
Arrows in your Integrated Services packages can go all over the place - learn how to control them in this short blog on formatting SSIS diagrams.

Posted by Andy Brown on 04 September 2015

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Making SSIS diagrams neater (for those with OCD)

If (like me) you're a bit anal about getting your control or data flow diagrams to line up properly, help is at hand!

The diagrams below come from SSIS 2012, but the menus are identical in 2008 R2.

So let's say that you have a diagram which looks unpleasant (and not just because of all the red crosses showing that this lazy blogger hasn't validated his tasks):

Messy diagram

A messy control flow diagram.

A good first step might be to auto-format it:


Choose this option from the Visual Studio menu.


The results may or may not be seen as an improvement:

Better diagram

Auto layout tidies up your diagram - usually.

Alternatively, you can align and space things.  For the above diagrams, the final two tasks should have the same height and be aligned.  To achieve this, first select them:

Selecting 2 tasks

Click and drag to draw a rectangle touching or enclosing the tasks you want to select.


You can also use the CTRL key to add tasks to the current selection.

You can now make them the same height (and align them) using these menu options.  First make the selected tasks the same height:

Same height

Choose this to make two or more selected tasks all have the height of the tallest.

Now you can align the tasks by their top edges:

Top align

Choose this option to align the tasks by their top edges.


The results - if you're a tad anal - is task perfection:

Aligned tasks

Much better!


There are various other options you can explore on the Format menu, to make your diagrams line up to your satisfaction!

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