Please note : This help page is not for the latest version of Enterprise Architect. The latest help can be found here.

Add Stereotypes and Metaclasses

When you are extending the UML to develop a domain-specific toolset, you start by creating a Profile package for the stereotypes you intend to customize. This package has at least one child Class diagram, and it is on this child diagram that you specify:

The types of object that you are extending, represented by Metaclass elements, and
The way in which each object is extended, represented by Stereotype elements


You can qualify the effect of a Stereotype on a Metaclass using a range of other tools, including:

Shape Scripts in the Stereotype
Tagged Values, defined by attributes in the Stereotype element
Structured Tagged Value Classes, defined using attributes in the Stereotype element
Enumerations, defined using attributes in the Stereotype element
Tagged Value connectors, to identify possible values for a Tagged Value in an element generated with a Stereotype
Constraints on the Stereotype element
Special attributes, that define specific default behavior of stereotyped elements, such as the initial size and color of the element
Modifying the default appearance of the Stereotype element

Add Metaclasses and Stereotypes to a Profile



See also


Open the child diagram of the Profile Package.


Create a Profile Package


Drag the Metaclass element from the Profile page of the Toolbox onto the diagram.

The Create New Metaclass dialog displays, listing the types of element, connector and (within those two lists) feature that you can extend.




Scroll through the Element and/or Connector lists and tick one or more object types that you want to extend.




Click on the OK button.

For each checkbox that you have selected, a new Metaclass element is created on the diagram.




Drag a Stereotype element from the Toolbox onto the diagram.

If the Properties dialog does not display, double-click on the element on the diagram.




In the Name field, type a name for the stereotype.




Click on the OK button.




Click on the Extension relationship in the Toolbox and drag the connection from the Stereotype element to the Metaclass element that it will extend.




Your diagram now resembles the one shown below:





Optionally, you can now add to your Stereotype element:

Stereotype tags
Enumeration tags
Structured Tagged Values
Tagged Value connectors
Special attributes
Constraints and/or
Shape Scripts


You can also define the default appearance of the element or connector as required.

Define Stereotype Tagged Values

Add An Enumeration to a Stereotype

Define a Structured Tagged Value

Use the Tagged Value Connector

Special Attributes

Define Stereotype Constraints

Add Shape Scripts

Set Default Appearance



If you intend to extend a large number of model elements, rather than putting all of them on one diagram you can create additional child Class diagrams under the Profile package and add different types of Metaclass elements to different diagrams; in this case you save the package as the Profile, not the individual diagrams
If you want to have a stereotype extending more than one metaclass, create one Stereotype element with an Extension connector to each of the Metaclass elements, as shown below:
Stereotype elements must have unique names, but Metaclass elements can have the same name (for example, there can be several Action Metaclasses, each with a different ActionKind attribute)

Learn more

Learning Center topics

(Alt+F1) | Modeling Languages | Build a Profile | Create a New Stereotype