Set an Element's Default Appearance

All elements that you use have global default appearance settings for:

  • The fill, border and font colors
  • Font styles, including font face and size
  • The border thickness

You define these settings on the 'Options' dialog. However, you can change the default appearance for a specific element on all diagrams on which it is found, using the 'Default Appearance' dialog.

Access Click on the element | Element | Appearance | Default Appearance (Ctrl+Shift+E)   or

Right-click on element | Appearance | Default Appearance (F4)

Options

Field/Option/Button

Action

See also

Background Color

Click on the drop-down arrow and select the fill - or background - color of the element.

This setting overrides all other fill color definitions in the model, except for:

  • An element-specific definition from the Format Toolbar, or
  • A color defined in a Shape Script and applied through a stereotype

If you want to use a color that is not available, click on the Other button and define the required color.

Create Custom Colors

Border Color

Click on the drop-down arrow and select the border color for the element.

If you want to use a color that is not available, click on the Other button and define the required color.

Create Custom Colors

Border Width

Type in the width of the border surrounding the element, or use the increment/decrement arrows to the right of the field.

The minimum width setting is 1, the maximum is 5.

Font Style

Displays the current font typeface for the element text. To change this, click on the button.

The 'Font' dialog displays, on which you can select a different typeface, style (such as bold/italic) and font size.

You can also select from a limited number of font colors and effects on this dialog.

Font Dialog

Font Color

Click on the drop-down arrow and select the font color to apply to the text of the element.

If you want to use a color that is not available, click on the Other button and define the required color.

Create Custom Colors

Reset to defaults

(Optional) Click on this button to reset all appearance settings to the system default values.

Preview

Displays a representation of the colors, border width and font styles, which updates as you choose the new settings.

OK

Click on this button to close the dialog and apply the appearance settings you have defined.

Cancel

Click on this button to close the dialog and abort all the changes you have made within the dialog.

Notes

  • You can adjust several elements at the same time; select all of the required elements, right-click on one of them and select the 'Appearance | Default Appearance' option, or use the Format toolbar
  • You can also define a default image for the element, that displays for all instances of the element in diagrams across the model
  • If the 'Show Project Custom Colors in Color Combo Boxes' checkbox is selected on the 'Options' dialog, 'Standard Colors' page, the last 16 color squares in the color selection palettes contain the project colors set on that dialog
  • The 'Font Color' field affects only the element name text; it does not override the feature text colors as defined on the 'Options' dialog, 'Standard Colors' page
  • When it has been called directly on one or more selected elements ('Appearance | Set Font'), the 'Font' dialog overrides the 'Default Appearance' dialog
  • When called from the 'Default Appearance' dialog, the 'Color' field on the 'Font' dialog is overridden by the 'Font Color' field on the 'Default Appearance' dialog
  • The 'Font' and 'Font Style' fields on the 'Font' dialog affect all text except for the Note compartment text
  • The 'Size' field on the 'Font' dialog affects all text
  • An alternative option for changing an element's appearance is to define a stereotype that has different fill, border and font settings, or either a Shape Script or an image file associated with it; you can then assign the stereotype to the element to change the element's appearance to that defined by the stereotype

Learn more