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This topic provides answers to a range of questions on general modeling using Enterprise Architect.



See also

How do I set an element as an instance of a Classifier?

To set an object as an instance of a Classifier element you can use either the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+L or the 'Element' context menu in the diagram. See Instance Classifier in the Advanced Operations on Elements Help topic.

Advanced Operations on Elements

Can I Hyperlink from one Diagram to another?

To create a hyperlink to a diagram:

  1. Open/display the host diagram in Enterprise Architect's main Diagram View.
  2. Drag the target diagram from the Browser window onto the host diagram, then select the 'Hyperlink' option.
Add Diagram Links To Diagrams

How do I Link an Element feature's Note to an external Element-Note?

To connect an element's internal note to an external Note element:

  1. Click on the target element and then click on the feature itself, so that it is highlighted for inline editing.
  2. Right-click on the feature and select the menu option 'Create Linked Note'.

This creates a Note element linked to the selected feature, reflecting the content of that feature.

Link Note to Internal Documentation

How do I Link a Note to the Diagram's Note?

You can display a note with the Diagram Note's text by working through these steps:

  1. Open the diagram and right-click on the background.
  2. Select the 'Properties' menu option, type an appropriate description in the 'Notes' field, then click on the OK button.
  3. Drag the 'Note' icon onto the diagram, from the 'Common' page of the Toolbox.
    The 'Notes' dialog displays.
  4. Simply click on the OK button.
  5. Right-click on the Note element and select 'Advanced | Link to Diagram Note'.

The Note now shows the contents of the diagram's 'Notes' field, and is automatically updated with any changes to this field.

Link Note to Internal Documentation

Can I create the same element multiple times on a diagram?

It is not inherently possible to use the same element multiple times on a diagram.

However you can either:

  • Use Virtual Connector Ends to create other representations of an existing element, or
  • Hold Ctrl when dragging the element onto a diagram - you could consider dragging the element onto a diagram as an 'Instance' instead of a 'Link'; see the Drop Elements from Browser Window Help topic
Drop Elements from Project Browser Virtual Connector Ends

How can I create an external link to a specific Enterprise Architect diagram?

You can create a shortcut file, which opens the required project and displays the appropriate diagram. Refer to the Create Project Shortcut Help topic.

Alternatively, you could publish your Project to HTML. After doing this you can create a hyperlink that points to the appropriate diagram in the HTML report.  For details, see the Create a Web Page Report Help topic.

Create a Web Page Report Create Project Shortcut

How can I prevent displaying new connectors in other diagrams?

By default, connectors created on one diagram are displayed on other diagrams on which the source and target elements already exist.

If necessary, after creating a connector you can hide it in other diagrams by using the 'Visibility | Hide Connector in Other Diagrams' option. For details, see the Hide/Show Connectors Help topic.

When placing an element on a diagram as a 'Link', this is a reference to the same element (with the same relationships) that is on any other diagram. If you find that elements are showing unwanted relationships, then it might be more appropriate to create Instances of that element, instead of Links. For details, see the Drop Elements from Browser Window Help topic.

Hide/Show Connectors Drop Elements from Project Browser

Can I hide the (from package) namespace label?

You can remove the '(from package)' namespace labels from a diagram by disabling the 'Design > Diagram > Manage > Properties > Diagram > Show Namespace' option.

Configure Diagram Display

Can I show Notes and Tagged Values on Activity, Action, or Use Case elements?

To display Notes or Tagged Values on these elements you have to display the element in 'Rectangle Notation'. See the Rectangle Notation Help topic.

Rectangle Notation

How do I set up my own modeling language?

Enterprise Architect supports user-defined Profiles for defining specifications based on UML standards. It allows you to set up your own Model Driven Generation (MDG) Technologies, which includes predefining your own element types, connector types and diagram types.

The element type can be defined with Shape Scripts to cover the shape composition. You can also add your own field-types using Tagged Values.

This is demonstrated in our Extending Enterprise Architect webinars.

For more information on defining your element types, see these Help topics on setting up an MDG Technology:

  • Profiles
  • Profile Helpers
  • Tagged Value Type
  • Getting started with Shape Scripts
Extending Enteprise Architect Webinar MDG Technologies Using the Profile Helpers Developing Profiles Getting Started With Shape Scripts Tagged Value Types

Why is the Legend not showing?

This issue is related to the MS Jet 3.5 driver. To work around it, change the Enterprise Architect configuration to use Jet 4.0.

See the 'Use Jet 4.0 - requires restart' option in the General Options Help topic.

Note: for Enterprise Architect version 12.1 or earlier:

  1. Select the 'Tools | Options' menu option.
  2. On the 'General' page tick the 'Use JET 4.0 - requires restart' checkbox.
  3. Restart Enterprise Architect. 
General Options

Using Activity elements

UML Activities describe a behavior made up of Actions. They are intended to be used directly with an Activity diagram as a child, and should not be the source or target of Control Flow or Object Flow connectors.

Activities are not intended to appear on Activity diagrams. The correct way to model their use is by dropping the Activity as an Invocation onto your diagram (Ctrl+Drag from the project browser). This creates a Call Behavior Action, which creates a link to the Activity, meaning you can re-use it as many times as needed.