Prev Next

Image Assets

Image Assets are model elements that are used to store images in the model.

To create an Image Asset element, simply drag an 'Image Asset' icon onto a diagram from the 'Artifact' page of the Diagram Toolbox. A prompt displays to choose an image file.

Alternatively, you can drag an image file from your file system straight onto a diagram. Enterprise Architect creates a new Image Asset Artifact, then stores the image from the file in the Artifact, as the 'owned image'.

The Image Asset images can then be used as alternative images in place of the standard UML notation for elements on diagrams. They can also be used in documentation by inserting hyperlinks to the Image Asset element. When a report is generated, the hyperlinked Image Asset element is rendered using its 'owned image'.


Diagram Toolbox

Select the 'Artifacts' page | select 'Image Asset' | click on the diagram, or

Drag an 'Image Asset' Artifact from the toolbox onto a diagram.


Select an image file in your file system (say, on the desktop) then drag and drop it onto a diagram in Enterprise Architect. A context menu will display; select the option 'Image Asset'.

Using Image Assets in Documentation



See also


While editing the Notes of an element, or editing a Linked Document, and if you have located the Image Asset in the Browser window, you can drag the Image Asset element into the document. The 'Document Drop Action' dialog displays with the 'Drop As' field set to 'Insert as Hyperlink(s)'. Click on the OK button to insert the element as a hyperlink that will be rendered as the image.

If you need to search for the Image Asset, go to step 2.


Right-click in the document and choose 'Create | Hyperlink'. The 'Hyperlink Details' dialog displays.

Select 'Element Image' from the drop down list. The 'Select Element' dialog displays, showing only Image Assets.


Browse through the model and select the required Image Asset.


Click on the OK button, and on the second OK button.

Select an Image Asset as an element's Alternative Image

You can use one of two methods for adding an Image Asset to an element as an alternative image.



See also


  1. Right-click an element on a diagram and choose the option 'Appearance | Select an Image Asset' from the context menu. The 'Select Element' dialog displays, showing only Image Asset elements in Packages.
  2. Browse through the model and select the required Image Asset.
  3. Click on the OK button.


  1. Display the diagram containing the model element.
  2. Locate the Image Asset in the Browser window.
  3. Drag the Image Asset over the top of the model element.
  4. Select the 'Set as Alternate Image' option.

Viewing the Image

When initially placed on the diagram the Image Asset can be rendered either as a simple Artifact element, or as the owned image. The display can be toggled from one to the other, by right-clicking the element and selecting 'Show Owned Image' from the context menu.

When the Image Asset is displayed on a diagram as a UML Artifact element, either:

  • Click on the icon above the top left corner of the element - the linked image is shown in a floating Diagram Pop-up window; click off the diagram to close the window,  or
  • Double-click on the Image Asset to launch the default external viewer for images and load the Artifact's owned image

You can also press Ctrl+click on a hyperlink to an Image Asset to display the image in the default external viewer.

When hovering over the hyperlink, the standard hyperlink element buttons will also be displayed, allowing you to display the 'Properties' dialog, find the element in diagrams or find the element in the Browser window.


To display the Properties window for the Image Asset:

  • Select the element and press Ctrl+Enter, or
  • If the Image Asset is displayed on a diagram as the image, double-click on it, or
  • If the Image Asset is referenced by a hyperlink, hover the mouse over the hyperlink to display a floating toolbar and click on the View Properties button

Learn more