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Heat Map Appearance

A Heat Map is an extremely versatile visual analysis tool, and the detailed appearance of the final chart depends on the data you have selected to represent and the ways in which you have decided to format it. Considering just the layout, there are two principal formats:

  • 'Sliced' - Data is laid out in a series of columns with the internal space of each column divided up into rows of diminishing height
  • 'Squarified' - Where data is presented in rectangular groups, with each group containing one or more various-sized blocks; the largest groups are generally displayed at the left and the others reducing across and down

Sliced Heat Map

A sliced heat map example used in Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect.   

Squarified Heat Map

An example of a Squarified Heat Map used in Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect.

There are two groups of options to define the chart appearance:

  • The 'Color Set' - which defines the way in which the Heat Map uses color to represent characteristics of the data shown
  • The 'Appearance' options - which define the layout style for the Heat Map


Select a Chart element on a diagram or in the Browser window.


Design > Element > Properties > General > Properties Dialog > Appearance

Keyboard Shortcuts

Alt+Enter | Appearance


Double-click on element | Appearance

Color Sets



See also

Value Type

Click on the drop-down arrow and select how the property values represented by the Heat Map will be treated - as strings of characters, or as numerical values. In either case, you can link the values to specific colors that are applied to the cells that represent those values, as the color set.


(Enabled if the 'Value Type' field is set to 'Numeric'.) Click on the drop-down arrow and select whether the Heat Map should represent individual results as discrete values, or merge them as a sum. You would then define the color set to apply a color to either the specific value or to the total of the summed values.

For example, you might assign the color blue to a value of 5, green to a value of 10, and red to a value of 15. Suppose the Heat Map found the data 'Resource Fred = 5 hours' and 'Resource Fred = 10 hours'. If you have selected:

  • 'Discrete Values', the chart would show two cells for Fred, one blue and one green (indicating that Fred had devoted 5 hours of work to one thing and 10 to another)
  • 'Sum', the chart would show one red cell for Fred (indicating that Fred had performed 15 hours of work in total)

Color Set Values

These settings provide the definitions of colors to apply to cells representing specific text or numerical values.

Click on the Add Color Value text and type in the text string or numerical value that the color will represent. This value must be of the type you defined in the 'Value Type' field.

  • A text string must exactly match the data value that you expect to retrieve from the source, including case
  • Numerical values can either be precise or contain operators to define ranges; for example:
         -  10
         -  15..20
         -  >10
         -  <40

Click off the field; a white checkbox displays in the 'Color' column. Either:

  • Click on the hexadecimal number and overtype it with the number of the color to represent the value, or
  • Click on the drop-down arrow and select or define the color to use

These settings operate for data specified by the 'Color By' field on the 'Package' tab or the 'SQL AS Color' alias; if this data is not specified, the colors default to data specified in the 'Size By' field or 'AS Series' alias.

Create Custom Colors

Appearance Options

The values that you set in these fields are immediately reflected in the example Heat Map in the lower right corner of the dialog.



See also


Click on the drop-down arrow and select from the two options:

  • Squarified: 'Window' layout (the default)
  • Slice: 'Column' layout

Group Width

Click on the drop-down arrow and select the appropriate option to set the thickness of the lines separating and surrounding the groups.


Click on the drop-down arrow and select the type of color gradient to apply to each cell.

Group Color

Click on the drop-down arrow and select or define a single color to apply to all group headings and - if no color values are defined - all group cells.

Create Custom Colors

Auto Color

Select this checkbox to override the 'Group Color' selection and automatically apply a separate color to each of the group headings and - if no color values are defined - the cells within each group.

Lighten smaller results

Select this checkbox to make the cells progressively lighter as they reduce in size.


  • Regardless of which format you select - Squarified or Sliced - very small cells might be hard to review; if small results are significant, running the SQL query (or, if one has not been used, a parallel Model Search) as a search can help identify the types and/or values