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

Using the Image Manager

When you add an element to a diagram, it is rendered according to the standard UML notation. However, you can replace that representation with an image. For example, you could add a custom background image to a diagram, or display an image of a Router or PC on a UML element. You import, store and select these alternative images using the Image Manager.

Access     Right-click on an element within a diagram | Appearance | Select Alternate Image (Ctrl+Shift+W)

To locate and display an image, click on individual image filenames, or press ( # ) and ( $ ) to scroll through the list of images. As you highlight each image filename, the Preview panel changes to reflect the image. Double-click on the required image filename to display the image in full size.

Image Manager Options

On the Image Manager dialog, the following buttons are available:




See also


Display the selected image in full size.





Display the Element Usage dialog, which lists the diagrams in which the selected image is used.



Element Usage


Change the filename of the selected image.

The option first warns you that the change would impact the other elements that use this image, and prompts you to confirm that you want to go ahead with the name change.

If you continue, a prompt displays for you to enter the new filename.



Changing Element Appearance

Add New

Browse appropriate directories to search for and import new images.

You can import images in .BMP, .PNG, .EMF, .WMF, .TGA, .PCX or .JPG format.

Internally, the images are stored in .PNG or metafile format to conserve space.

You can also add images by:

Importing a library of alternative images from the Sparx Systems website
Copying the Image Library from another model using the Export and Import Reference Data facilities, and
Capturing images from other sources into the clipboard and importing them into the Image Library (these are autonamed when they are added to the Image Library)


If necessary, you can change the file name using the Rename option (above).







Import Image Library

Export Reference Data

Import Reference Data

Appearance Menu Section

Update Selected

Refresh the selected image; for example, after it has been modified.





(Not available for an image from a deployed MDG technology.)

Delete the selected image.

A message displays to indicate how many elements use the image. Click on the Continue button to delete information about the image from those elements, which then revert to their previous appearance.





Close the Image Manager dialog.





Confirm selection of the alternative image for the element selected in the diagram.





For elements with lifelines, such as those used on Sequence diagrams, the Lifeline must remain intact to enable messages to be created between the elements; therefore such elements cannot have alternative images
In the Corporate, Business and Software Engineering, Systems Engineering and Ultimate editions of Enterprise Architect, if security is enabled you must have Configure Images permission to configure alternative element images
There are two categories of image available through the Image Manager:
Images that have been imported into the model and are stored in the model
Images that are incorporated into a deployed MDG technology, which are not copied into the current model but are held in memory; the technology images can be identified by the technology name followed by the image file name, such as MDGFrame::ovalshape.emf, but can also be accessed by their short form (the name minus the technology name)
If you are creating many elements of the same type that have a particular image, you should use a custom stereotype with an associated metafile
You can transport image files between models, using the Export Reference Data and Import Reference Data options

Learn more