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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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Create and Manage Attributes

The Features window presents a tab displaying the attributes that you create in an element. When you display the 'Attributes' tab, you can create and manage attributes using the page itself and a context menu of options.



Start > Design > Features > Attributes (Features window)

(Click on an attribute) Design > Element > Features > Features Dialog ('Attributes' dialog)

Context Menu

These options display the 'Attribute' dialog

  • Right-click on the attribute in the Browser window | Properties | Properties
  • Right-click on the attribute in a diagram | View Properties

These options display the Features window:

  • Right-click element in Browser window or diagram | Features | Attributes or
  • Right-click attribute in Browser window | Properties | All Features

Keyboard Shortcuts

These options display the Features window when you click on an element in the Browser window or a diagram:

  • F9  or
  • Ctrl+5

This option displays the Features window when you click on an attribute in the Browser window or a diagram:

  • Ctrl+5

This option displays the 'Attribute' dialog when you click on an attribute in the Browser window or a diagram:

  • F9


In the Browser window, double-click on an attribute to display the parent element on a diagram.

Create a New Attribute


  • Click on the New Attribute... text and type a name for the new attribute
  • Right-click on the 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.

Select Dialog Coding Data Types


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 Browse. button and select the stereotype from the 'Stereotypes for <object name>' 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 Browse. button and construct a more complex value on the Default Initial Value window

Context Menu options

Right-click on the 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

Properties Window

Display the Properties window, showing the details for the selected attribute and enabling you to add more-advanced properties and Constraints.

Properties Window for Attributes


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 with the 'Move Up' and 'Move Down' options, you must deselect the 'Sort Features Alphabetically' checkbox on the 'Objects' page of the 'Preferences' dialog ('Start > Desktop > Preferences > Preferences > Objects') - the system prompts you to allow it to make this change for you
  • You can add Notes on the attribute through the Notes window, which has focus on the attribute while it is selected in the Features window; similarly, you can assign Tagged Values to the attribute through the 'Tags' tab of the Properties window

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