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

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Create and Manage Attributes

The 'Features' dialog has a page each for the attributes and operations that you create in an element. When you display the 'Attributes' page, you can create and manage attributes using the panels and tabs of the page, and a context menu on the main panel.



Design > Element > Attributes

Context Menu

Right-click element in diagram | Features and Properties | Attributes  or

Right-click element in Project Browser | Attributes

Keyboard Shortcuts


Create a New Attribute


  • Click on the New Attribute... text and type a name for the new attribute
  • Right-click on the top panel and select 'Add New' (or press Ctrl+N) or
  • Right-click on an existing attribute and select 'Copy as New' (or press Ctrl+C), provide a new name for the attribute and click on the OK button

A new attribute entry displays in the list.

Edit Attribute Properties



See also


If you want to change the attribute name, click on the field and overtype it with the new name.


Defaults to 'int'. To change this, overtype the field or click on the drop-down arrow and click on:

  • The required type or
  • '<none>' for no type, or
  • 'Select Type' and browse for the appropriate attribute classifier (you can add a new one if there are no classifiers that suit)

The type can be defined by the code language (data type) or by a classifier element; when you click on the drop-down arrow, the set of values in the list provides the data types, and the 'Select Type' browser provides the possible classifiers.

To add new code language data types that can be displayed in this list, see the Data Types topic.

Data Types Select Dialog


Define the attribute as Public, Protected, Private or Package; if necessary, click on the drop-down arrow and select a different scope.


(Optional) Define one or more stereotypes for the attribute; either:

  • Type a stereotype name, or
  • Click on the button and select the stereotype from the 'Stereotype Selector' dialog
Stereotype Selector


(Optional) Type an alternative name or reference for the attribute.

Initial Value

(Optional) Either:

  • Type in a simple initial value, or
  • Click on the button and construct a more complex value on the Default Initial Value window

Attribute <name> panel

In the fields of this panel, define the detailed properties of the selected attribute.

Attribute Details

Notes Tab

Enter any comments and discussion you want to record on the attribute; you can format the notes text using the Notes toolbar at the top of the field.

You can also perform a range of operations on the Notes text, using the 'Notes' context menu.

Notes Notes Toolbar

Constraints tab

Define any constraints associated with the attribute.

Attribute Constraints

Redefines tab

On this tab, identify any redefined and/or subsetted properties of the attribute, using the 'Select Property' dialog.

Click on the Add button for each type of property to display the dialog and define the property.

Click on a property and on the Delete button to remove it from the appropriate list.

Select Property dialog

Tagged Values tab

On this tab, define any Tagged Values that the attribute has.

Attribute Tagged Values


Click on this button to close the 'Features' dialog, saving all information you have recorded in it.

Context Menu options

Right-click on the upper panel, or on a specific attribute name.



See also

Add New

Add a new attribute to the list, with default values in the dialog fields.

Shortcut: Ctrl+N

Copy as New

Copy a selected attribute as a new attribute. Provide a new name for the attribute and click on the OK button.

Shortcut: Ctrl+C


Add Qualifiers to the selected attribute. The 'Qualifiers' dialog displays.

Qualifiers Qualifiers dialog

Restore Sort Order

If you have used the column header arrows to reorganize the sequence in which the attributes are displayed, click on this option to redisplay them in the default sequence (alphabetical by name).

Move up

Move the selected attribute one row up the list.

Shortcut: Ctrl+Up Arrow

Move down

Move the selected attribute one row down the list.

Shortcut: Ctrl+Down Arrow

Field Chooser

Display the 'Field Chooser' dialog, which contains any column headings not currently applied to the page.

Drag a column heading from the 'Field Chooser' into the preferred position in the row of column headings. You can also drag the column headings into a different sequence.

To return a column heading to the 'Field Chooser', drag it out of the heading row.

List Header

Enable Group Box

Show or hide the Group Box, in which you reorganize the list sequence  of the attributes according to one or more characteristics.

Toggle Filter Bar

Show or hide the Filter Bar, in which you type text strings that the data in the corresponding column must match in order to be listed.


Immediately delete the selected attribute from the element.

Shortcut: Ctrl+Del


  • By default, the attributes are listed in alphabetical order; before being able to change this sequence, you must deselect the 'Sort Features Alphabetically' checkbox on the 'Objects' page of the 'Preferences' dialog ('Start > Workspace > Preferences > Objects') - the system prompts you to allow it to make this change for you