Prev Next

Operations on Multiple Elements

It is possible to perform various operations on two or more elements on a diagram at once, either to add the same feature or to standardize the size or orientation of the selected elements. This makes it much faster to update the diagram than if you had to modify each element separately.

To select the required elements, either click and drag the cursor over the group to highlight them, or press Ctrl as you click on each element separately.

The selected element that is drawn with a hatched border is the context element. The context element is used as the 'master' element when aligning or resizing elements as a set.


Select a set of elements on a diagram, then right-click on one of the selected elements to display a context menu (for format/layout operations, right-click on the element against which to standardize the others - this sets the clicked element as the context element).

The 'Layout' ribbon's 'Style' panel also provides options for changing appearance related properties for a set of selected elements, while the 'Alignment' panel provides numerous options for aligning and resizing elements.


Layout > Style (changes the appearance of the selected elements on the current diagram only)

Layout > Alignment (changes the size or position of the selected elements on the current diagram only)

Context Menu

Right-click on a selected element on a diagram. The context menu for multiple selections displays; this is described here.

Keyboard Shortcuts

F4 (displays the 'Default Appearance' dialog, described here)


Right-click on a selected element on diagram - the Format toolbar is displayed above the context menu

(changes the appearance of the selected elements on the current diagram only)




See also


Select this option to access a submenu of enabled Technologies on the system (for example, ArcGIS or TOGAF), each of which provides options for performing technology-specific operations on the elements.

This option is available in the Professional, Corporate and Extended editions of  Enterprise Architect.

Systems Engineering Domain Based Models


Select one of these options to align elements against the 'master' element's:

  • left edge
  • right edge
  • top edge
  • bottom edge
  • center, vertically or
  • center, horizontally

You can also edge-align groups of elements using the Diagram Toolbar; the four alignment buttons are made available when more than one element is selected in a diagram.


Ctrl+Alt+Left Arrow

Ctrl+Alt+Right Arrow

Ctrl+Alt+Up Arrow

Ctrl+Alt+Down Arrow

Diagram Toolbar

Space Evenly

(For three or more selected elements.) Select this option to automatically even out the spacing between the selected elements, either horizontally or vertically.

Shortcut: Alt+-    Alt+=

Same Height/Width

Select one of these options to make all the selected elements match the 'master' element's height or width, or both.

In Use Case diagrams, these options are blocked if the 'Allow Elongated Use Cases' option is turned off on the 'Preferences' dialog 'Objects' page.


Feature and Compartment Visibility

Select this option to define the visibility of features and compartments on all selected elements.

Shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+Y

Feature Visibility

Add Tagged Value

Select this option to add the same Tagged Value to all selected elements.

Assign a Tagged Value to an Item


Select this option to automatically resize the selected elements to their default minimum size (element content permitting).

Shortcut: Alt+Z

Autosize Elements


Select this option to set the same default appearance and font for all of the selected elements at once.

Shortcut: F4

Set an Element's Default Appearance Set Element Font

Info view

Select this option to display a short submenu, from which you select to switch the selected elements between Info view display style and 'normal' UML style, and to set the element characteristics that are shown in Info view style.

Info view Style

Clear Checklist

Select this option to clear the checkboxes in all of the selected Checklist Artifact elements.

Using the Checklist and Audited Checklist Artifacts

Make Non-Selectable

Select this option to make the selected elements on the diagram non-selectable.

To make the elements selectable again, either:

  • Right-click on individual elements and click on the 'Selectable' option, or
  • Right-click on the diagram background and select the 'Make All Elements Selectable' option
Element Context Menu Operations


Defaults to selected, so that the selected elements are depicted in any diagrams in reports generated on their parent Package(s).

If you click on the option to deselect it, the elements will not be visible in any diagrams in reports. You can, however, deselect a report option for a report to force the display of the non-printable elements.

Deselecting this option also hides the element and its connectors in the 'Print Diagrams', 'Print to PDF' and 'Save Diagram as Image' operations.

Document Options Copy Image to Disk Diagram Menu - Project Browser File Management Non-printable Elements


Select this option to turn the 'Docking' feature on or off for the selected elements. When two elements are dockable, they can be moved together to automatically join along their common edge.

Code Generation

(For Class elements) Select this option to either:

  • Generate code for the selected elements together, or
  • Synchronize code and model for each of the selected elements

Shortcut: Shift+F11    Ctrl+R

Generate a Group of Classes


Select this option to transform the selected elements using a transformation template in a single operation.

Shortcut: Ctrl+H

Transform Elements

Generate Documentation

Select this option to generate a single document report on the selected elements.

(Do not, in this instance, use the F8 key.)

Generate Documentation


Select this option to copy the selected elements to the clipboard.

Layout Selected Elements

Select this option to automatically adjust the layout of the selected elements on the diagram.

Layout a Diagram Automatically

Delete Selected Elements

Select this option to delete the selected elements from the diagram only.

Shortcut: Ctrl+D