Please note : This help page is not for the latest version of Enterprise Architect. The latest help can be found here.

Diagram Frame

Diagram Frame


A Diagram Frame element is a rendition of a diagram dropped from the Project Browser into another diagram. It is a type of Combined Fragment with the Interaction Operator ref. However, it can be created on any type of diagram, and is not created in the same way as other Combined Fragments.

When you drop the diagram from the Project Browser onto the open diagram, a dialog shows providing the following options:

  • Diagram Frame
  • Diagram Reference
  • Hyperlink

If you click on the Diagram Frame radio button, a Diagram Frame is inserted into the diagram, containing an image of the dropped diagram.

If you select the Diagram Reference option, an empty frame is inserted with the name of the dropped diagram in the frame label. If you select the Hyperlink radio button, a diagram icon is inserted with no frame, and with the parent package and diagram name next to it.

In all three cases, the object acts as a hyperlink to the real referenced diagram. You can also define properties for the objects, as for other elements, by right-clicking on the object and selecting the element Properties context menu option.


  • You can change the size of all three objects, but you cannot reduce a Diagram Frame to less than the size of the enclosed diagram.
  • You cannot change the diagram within a Diagram Frame. To edit the diagram, double-click within the frame and edit the original diagram.
  • The Diagram Frame element looks identical to but is not the same as a diagram frame border, which you can set automatically on new images of diagrams using the Tools | Options | Diagram option, and selecting the appropriate checkboxes in the Diagram Frames panel. These options set frames on print-outs of diagrams, images of diagrams copied to file, and images of diagrams copied to the clipboard. If you paste the image from the clipboard into another diagram, the image initially looks the same as the Diagram Frame element but it is actually a discreet unit that you manipulate using the Image Manager.

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