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Internal Transition

If you need to define an internal Transition in a State, you can do so by creating an external self-Transition connector (where the Source and Target are the same State) and then changing the connector kind property. The self-Transition connector is then removed from the diagram and the internal Transition displays in a compartment inside the State element.

Define an Internal Transition



See also


In the Browser window, double-click on the StateMachine diagram containing the State element to open it.


On the State element, create a Transition connector issuing from and terminating in the element (a 'self Transition').

In the Diagram Toolbox, select the Transition connector, then click and release on the State element.


Right-click on the connector and select the 'Properties' option to display the 'Properties' dialog.


Select the 'Constraints' tab and define any guard, effect and trigger for the Transition.



Select the 'General' tab, then select the child tab 'Advanced'. Click on the drop-down arrow in the value field for the kind property and select internal.


Click on the OK button. The Transitions display in the same compartment as internal activities (exit/, do/, entry/).

Showing transitions in a UML State element


  • To view or edit the properties of the internal Transition, double-click on the entry in the compartment within the State
  • If you need multiple internal transitions, including those with the same Trigger but different guards, you create them separately with each Transition having its own guard

OMG UML Specification

The OMG UML specification (UML Superstructure Specification, v2.4.1, p.583) states:

An internal transition executes without exiting or re-entering the state in which it is defined. This is true even if the state machine is in a nested state within this state.