Book a Demo

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

Prev Next

Check Visual Changes to Diagrams

The Baseline Diagram Compare feature is a quick and easy way to visually compare a current diagram with an earlier version from a saved Baseline, and highlight any elements in the diagram that have been added, deleted, resized or moved.

You can then review these changes and optionally roll back each change if needed to its previous state from the Baseline.

The changes are identified on the 'Baseline Diagram Compare' dialog and on the diagram itself. If the diagram is not already open, the compare feature also opens the diagram.



Layout > Diagram > Manage > Compare to Baseline

Design > Diagram > Edit > Advanced > Compare to Baseline


In two of these access paths, you perform a comparison of a Package and Baseline, and then select the diagram from the results on the 'Baseline Comparison' dialog to display the 'Baseline Diagram Compare' dialog. Refer to the Results section and the Options table.

In the other access paths, you first select the diagram to check, and then might have the option of selecting the Package from which to use a Baseline, on the 'Load Baselines from Package' dialog.

The Load Baselines from Package dialog in Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect.

This dialog displays if you have NOT selected the:

  • 'Always open first parent with a Baseline' checkbox on the dialog itself or
  • 'Baseline Diagram Compare Options' checkbox on the 'Compare Options' dialog

(Selecting or clearing one of these checkboxes resets the other one as well.)

When you create a Baseline, it can be for a Package that contains one or more levels of child Package, and you might create Baselines for the Package(s) at each level. If the diagram you are checking is at a lower level in the hierarchy, there might therefore be a number of Baselines that contain information on the diagram, perhaps taken at different times and capturing different changes to the diagram. The 'Load Baselines from Package' dialog provides the facility to compare the diagram with one of a broader range of Baselines than just those from the diagram's immediate parent.

Click on the Package, and click on the OK button. In this case, or if the dialog did not display at all (the checkboxes were selected), the 'Baselines dialog displays.

Click on the required Baseline and on the Show Differences button. The 'Baseline Diagram Compare' dialog displays. Refer to the Results section and the Options table.


The 'Baseline Diagram Compare' dialog shows the elements that have been changed on the diagram, and what kind of change was made ('Status' field).

The Baseline Diagram Compare dialog in Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect.

As you select elements on the dialog, images are shown on the diagram itself to indicate where the changed element was and what kind of change it underwent.




See also

Select (click on) name of element

The 'Status' column indicates whether the element has been:

  • Moved or re-sized (Changed)
  • Deleted from the diagram (Baseline only)
  • Added to the diagram since the Baseline was captured (Model only), or
  • Deleted from its parent external Package, and there is no record in the current Baseline (because the Baseline is only for the current diagram's parent Package)
    This diagram-linked element has been deleted from the model. The element might be found in a different baseline either in a parent Package baseline or a different Package baseline outside of the current Package. If the external referenced element is restored to the model, the visual comparison will be able to resolve the missing diagram object in the current baseline.

When an item is selected, the corresponding element on the diagram is highlighted as shown:

  • Deleted from the diagram

    In baseline comparison, objects in the baseline only are shown with a red circle.
  • Added to the diagram

    In baseline comparison, objects in the model only are shown with a green circle.
  • Resized or moved to a new position

    In baseline comparison, objects that have been changed or moved are shown with a blue circle.
  • A deleted external element on the diagram

    In baseline comparison, deleted external references are shown with a red circle.

The highlighted element on the diagram is marked with a colored dot, as shown, to indicate that it is in focus.

Position the diagram to show the selected element

To scroll the diagram so that you can see the original (Baseline) position of an element, double-click on the item in the list.

To scroll the diagram so that you can see the current (model) position of the element, press and hold Ctrl while you double-click on the item.

Leave the changes in the item as they are

Ensure that the checkbox against the item is not selected.

Click on the OK button.

Roll the changes back to the Baseline position

Click on the checkbox against each required item (or click on the Check All button to select every item).

The 'Action' column displays the action required to roll each element's relationship to the diagram back to the Baseline relationship, and on the diagram the selected elements are represented as shown:

  • This deleted element will be restored

    In baseline comparison, the deleted element will be restored.
  • This added element will be removed

    In baseline comparison, the added element will be removed.
  • This resized/repositioned element will be put back in its original position

    In baseline comparison, the element will be put back to its original size and position.
  • This element from another Package, deleted from the diagram, cannot be restored from this Baseline

    In baseline comparison, this deleted element cannot be restored from the baseline.

The comparison automatically shows a blue direction arrow for each reposition or resize that has been checked. For a heavily edited diagram this might be confusing. However, you can hide the arrow for all elements except the one currently in focus; to do this:

  • Deselect the 'Visually link new and old position for checked items' checkbox

To roll back the changes for all items for which a checkbox is selected:

  • Click on the Apply button


  • Diagram Baseline facilities are available in the Corporate, Unified and Ultimate editions of Enterprise Architect

Learn more