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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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Custom Draw Style Toolbar

The Custom Draw Style Toolbar provides access to a range of facilities for applying a simple style of drawing to segments of your model, rather than the formalized styles of the notations such as UML, Archimate and SysML. These facilities are essentially the shape and position options provided by the full Custom Style Format toolbar displayed on a diagram when Custom Styles are enabled.

The icons are highlighted on the Toolbar when at least one element is selected in a diagram.



Explore > Portals | Show Toolbar | Custom Draw Style

Custom Draw Style Toolbar Options



See also


This icon offers the choice of enabling Custom Styles for all elements on the diagram or for just those that are currently selected.


This icon changes the shape of the selected element. In the drop-down menu, click on the appropriate shape option to render the element as a:

  • Rectangle (the default)
  • Rounded-corner rectangle
  • Ellipse (which you can drag into the shape of a circle)
  • Diamond
  • Triangle or
  • Polygon, with a submenu to define the shape as having 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 sides

You can also select the 'Non' option to restore the element to its native shape and format.


This icon sets the selected element shape to be fully transparent (so that the diagram background and any overlapped elements show through) or at one of various degrees of opacity that overshadow the overlapped elements. If you set 100% opacity, the element fill is solid and totally hides the background and any overlapped elements.

Click on the drop-down arrow and select from:

  • 100% (fully opaque)
  • 75%
  • 50%
  • 25% and
  • 0% (fully transparent)

Text Position

This icon sets the position of the element name, stereotype and notes within the element border. You can position the text at nine points within the element shape, or place it in a custom position.

From the drop-down list select from these options:

  • Top Left
  • Top Center
  • Top Right
  • Left Center
  • Center
  • Right Center
  • Bottom Left
  • Bottom Center
  • Bottom Right
  • Custom

If you select the 'Custom' option, the element text is displayed as a label just beneath the element, and you can drag it to whatever position inside or outside the element you prefer. You can also use any of the standard label formatting facilities.

Text Orientation

This icon sets the orientation of the text within the element border, to either the default horizontal line ('None') or to vertical rotated clockwise or anticlockwise (the base of each letter is aligned with the left edge or the right edge, respectively).

Icon Size and Position

If the element has an icon (assigned by dragging an Image Asset onto the element shape), you can change the size of the icon and/or its position within the element border. Click on the toolbar icon and select:

  • 'Size', and select from these options:
         -  16x16 pixels
         -  24x24 pixels
         -  32x32 pixels (the default)
         -  Image Size (the actual size of the image in the source Image Asset; do not select this option unless the image is already small enough to act as an icon)
  • 'Position', and select from these options:
         -  Top Left
         -  Top Center
         -  Top Right (the default)
         -  Bottom Left
         -  Bottom Center
         -  Bottom Right

Border Style

This icon enables you to change the line style of the element border. Click on the drop-down arrow and select from:

  • Solid
  • Dashed
  • Dotted
  • Dashed-and-Dotted
  • None

Stack Element

This icon helps you to make one element represent an abstract group of objects - people, reports, deliveries - by adding multiple frames behind the element shape. When you click on this icon, firstly select 'Stacks' and the number of edges to add, between 1 (the default) and 4.

Then select 'Direction' and one of these options:

  • NW (top left corner)
  • NE (top right corner; the default)
  • SW (bottom left corner)
  • SE (bottom right corner)

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