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Diagram Options

In order to maintain consistency in the format, layout and visibility of objects in your diagrams, you can define a number of default settings to apply to all diagrams that you display, whether you are creating them or reviewing them. You can change or reverse many of these default settings for your view of individual diagrams (whether you created them or another user created them) on the diagram 'Properties' dialog.



Start > Appearance > Preferences > Preferences > Diagram

Keyboard Shortcuts

Ctrl+F9 | Diagram

Control Diagram Setup



See also

Default Page Size

Show (underneath the field name) the default page size for diagrams.

You set the default page size using the Page Setup button.

Page Setup

Click on this button to define the page dimensions for diagrams that you create.

The 'Page Setup' dialog displays, on which you set the page size, orientation, printer paper tray, and page margins.

Set Up Diagram Page

Print with Border

Select the checkbox to set the default to printing a border on all diagrams you have created.


This checkbox is controlled from the 'Page Setup' dialog. When selected, any diagrams that you create default to being printed in landscape orientation.

Show Public Features
Show Protected Features
Show Private Features

Select any or all of the checkboxes to automatically show Class features with the scope of public, protected and/or private on the diagrams you create.

Show Diagram Notes

Select the checkbox to display, by default, the diagram details (name, parent Package, version and author) in the top left corner of any new diagram that you create.

Selecting this checkbox sets the 'Show Diagram Details' checkbox to selected on the diagram 'Properties' dialog for the new diagram.

Configure Diagram Display

Use Opaque Diagram Labels

Select any or all of the checkboxes to specify which renditions of your diagrams should have opaque diagram labels; 'Screen' and 'Printing' are most often applicable.

An opaque label is a connector or element label that, when the label overlaps the connector line or border, hides the line rather than allowing it to show through the label text.

Disable fully scoped object names

Select this checkbox to disable the use of fully scoped object names for elements in all diagrams.

A scoped object name has the format MyClasses::foo, where the :: character indicates that the Class is within another namespace.

This option automatically deselects the 'Show Namespace' option in all new diagrams and hides the 'Namespace::element Name' in each element, but does not hide the '(from 'Namespace')' label.

Alternatively, fully-scoped object names can be disabled for a specific diagram via the diagram's display options.

Diagram Properties - Detail

Allow change of Created Date

Select this checkbox to allow you to change the diagram creation date on any diagram, through the diagram 'Properties' dialog.

Zoom to best scale

Select this checkbox to resize all diagrams that you open to neatly fit the monitor screen.

Auto-pan with middle mouse button

Select this checkbox to turn on auto-panning using the middle mouse button. In this case, when you hold down the middle mouse button a black compass icon displays, and as you move the cursor away from this icon the diagram scrolls in that direction.

If you deselect the checkbox, when you hold down the middle mouse button a white compass icon displays, and as you move this icon the whole diagram moves with it across or up and down the screen.

Enable Connector line jumps

Defaults to selected, so that solid-line connectors show 'hoop' icons or 'jumps' when they cross, on all diagrams that you open.

Deselect to disable line jumps so that connectors simply cross with no 'hoop' icon at the intersection.

Connector Styles

Auto Reload Changed Diagrams

Select this checkbox to reload any diagrams that you have open that have been updated and saved by another user within the last 60 seconds. If you have selected this option and someone changes a diagram you have open, then:

  • Any open diagram that is not currently visible (in another tab) will refresh when you return to that tab
  • An open diagram with no unsaved changes, which you are looking at, will just refresh
  • A diagram that you are updating yourself and have not saved is not reloaded but will display a message when you select to save your changes, to prompt you to select to override the other user's changes with yours or to reload the diagram and override your changes

This option is also available from the 'Design > Diagram > Options' icon.

Diagram Panel

Scale Saved Bitmaps to

You can save images of diagrams to file, suitable for using in published works, using the 'Publish > Diagram Image > Save > Save to File' ribbon option. This option prompts you to specify the file location and file format. If you select to save the files in bitmap format, the images are scaled to the default of 137%.

If you prefer to use a different scale, click on the drop-down arrow and select one of the other set values between 100% and 400%. (You can also change the scale percentage for saving diagram images to file using the 'Publish > Diagram Image > Save > Scale Image' ribbon option).

Images saved in formats other than bitmap are not scaled.

Diagram Image Panel

Apply scale to clipboard

You can also save images of diagrams to the clipboard, in either bitmap or metafile format (set in the 'Clipboard Format' field on the 'General' page of the 'Options' dialog), using the 'Publish > Diagram Image > Save > Save to Clipboard' ribbon option.

If you have set the format to 'Bitmap', you can save the images to the clipboard scaled to the same percentage as is set for saving to file, by selecting this checkbox. When pasted into a document the diagram preserves its original size, which improves processing performance when the document is opened, scrolled, printed, saved to the database or exported to PDF.

You cannot scale metafile images.

General Options Diagram Image Panel

Image Memory Limit

When you generate images for document or web reports or save images to file, the memory limit for storing this image defaults to 48 MB. If the image is beyond this limit, the system starts to scale down the image.

You can click on the drop-down arrow and select a lower or higher memory limit for the image files of your diagrams. A low memory setting means the system scales the image sooner.

Diagram Frames

Click on any or all of the checkboxes to specify which saved images of your diagrams will automatically include a diagram frame around them - those saved to disk, those printed out, and/or those saved to the default system clipboard.

A diagram frame is a labeled outline around the diagram image, providing both a border and a reference. A SysML Internal Block diagram can have its own diagram frame; if that frame is selected to be shown, these Diagram Frames options are ignored for the diagram.

These diagram frames are not the same as the Diagram Frame element in which you can enclose a diagram image or reference when you drag the diagram from the Browser window onto another diagram.

SysML Internal Block Toolbox Diagram Frame


This panel defines the content of the tool-tip that is displayed when the cursor is rolled over an element on a diagram you have opened, or over the background of the diagram itself. For the tooltip to be displayed, the 'Use Info Tip (global)' checkbox must be selected in the Properties window for any diagram in the model.

For each item of information to display as part of a tool-tip, select the checkbox against it.

If you select the 'Notes' checkbox, consider whether the 'Max Characters' value is appropriate to represent the text of your element 'Notes' fields. The 'Max Characters' field defines the maximum number of characters of Notes text included in the tool-tip; if you want to show less text or more, reset the character limit accordingly.

Visual Styles


Click on this button to save the changes you have made, and to close the 'Preferences' dialog.

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