User Interface, Tools and Productivity Boosters

Part of the "Enterprise Architect in 30 minutes" tour

Enterprise Architect's user interface consists of a range of high-impact windows, menus and toolbars that you can arrange to suit your work methods.

The Browser

The Browser in Enterprise Architect displays model artifacts and features in a range of contexts to reflect the structure and contents of your model. Access functionality to create, select, reorganize, copy and manage model content.

View model content by project hierarchy, current context, diagram and access model resources such as technologies, UML profiles and document publishing.

The Diagram Toolbox

The Diagram Toolbox provides an efficient means of creating appropriate model elements or connectors and which is context-sensitive to the diagram being edited. It is also possible to switch toolsets quickly in the browser using the Perspectives function.


Use Perspectives to change modeling roles and refine Enterprise Architect's toolset and user interface to hide irrelevant features and only display the ones defined for that Perspective.

Perspectives are completely configurable, allowing users to distill the user interface and offer fine-grained control across the entire model, security groups or individuals.

Context Menus

Context menus provide options specific to the type of object and its environment.

Simply right click anywhere on a diagram and it's contents to access context-sensitive functionality.

Alternative Diagram View

Inspect and give dimension to diagram data with Diagram Views. Views preserve the integrity of underlying model data, while making it possible to:

  • Display diagrams in 'Hand-drawn' and 'Whiteboard' styles to denote draft status and encourage feedback
  • Edit multiple views concurrently, easily transferring elements between several open diagrams
  • Stylize and color connectors and elements for enhanced presentation and identification
  • View elements in tabular or list format, browse search results, trace seamlessly between visual representations and underlying source code, and more
  • Manage projects and view diagrams as a Gantt charts
  • Arrange diagram artifacts into a Grid, for a spreadsheet-style overlay

Floating diagram and docking views

It is often useful to see multiple views simultaneously to compare and edit related diagrams as well as refer to downstream representations of a given model. Enterprise Architect allows you to open several diagrams at once and dock these anywhere on screen.

You can do the same for other views, such as:

  • Model Search
  • Linked Document Editor
  • Source Code Editor
  • State Table
  • Element List

This means, for example, you can edit a diagram with all its related views immediately visible. Easily move or copy elements between open diagrams and can take advantage of large or multiple monitors. Maintain context and continuity between editing sessions simply by saving your window layouts and open views to a Working Set in Enterprise Architect.

Working Sets

Save a set of windows, diagrams and views so that on opening Enterprise Architect, your preferred working set is opened and ready. Easily create and switch between sets as your work progresses to quickly adapt your preferred work environment.

Quick Access Toolbar

Save a list of frequently used commands from the toolbar. Right click on commands in the Ribbon or select from a list dialogue in the Quick Access Toolbar. The toolbar displays your favorite commands regardless of your context in the toolbar display.


Quickly build diagrams using the Quickliner arrow on Elements to drag to a new element's position and select from a list of common connectors defined in the Quick Linker Definition Format CSV file.

Add to or replace default Quick Linker definitions with your own definitions in the Quick Linker Definition Format CSV file.

Model and application patterns

Enterprise Architect ships with over one thousand predefined model and application patterns to assist in the creation of new projects and models.

Each pattern contains useful notes, references and starter elements that together provide a framework on which you can build your model. For example, Enterprise Architect includes Java and .NET application patterns that get you started with a basic implementation model, generated code and appropriate scripts to build, run and debug your application.

In-line editing of diagram elements

Enterprise Architect enables fast editing of element properties directly from the diagram. Using in-place edit commands, you can rapidly add and update element features such as attributes, operations and parameters, all without leaving the Diagram View. Rapid editing of diagram elements is further enhanced by numerous keyboard shortcuts for creating and connecting elements.

  • Export diagrams to a range of image formats (.bmp, .jpg, .png, .gif, .emf and .wmf)
  • Swimlanes enable logical partitioning of diagrams
  • Pan and Zoom window provides a preview and easy navigation of complex diagrams
  • Diagram Filters dynamically compare 'as-is' and 'to-be' architectures or highlight changes
  • Compare and merge diagram baselines visually and roll-back changes between revisions
  • Locks on diagrams prevent accidental modification
  • Shape Scripts customize rendering of elements and support alternative modeling notations
  • Alternative Images can be superimposed on elements, to replace the standard image.

Model validation

Model validation checks UML and SysML models against known rules from the specification, as well as any constraints defined within the model using the Object Constraint Language (OCL). Add to system-provided validation rules using an Add-In or MDG Technology (such as BPMN) containing its own rules.

You can perform model validation against a single UML element, a diagram or an entire package. The Model validation capability is therefore a powerful tool during your model review review process.