Feature Visibility

Enterprise Architect enables you to set the visibility of attributes and operations - where shown - for selected elements on a specific diagram only.

You can hide or show attributes and operations by scope, or you can hide attributes and operations individually. The visibility you set applies only to the current diagram, so a Class can appear in one diagram with all features displayed, and in another with features hidden. For example, you can hide all protected attributes, all private operations or any other combination of attributes and operations.

It is possible to show inherited attributes, operations, requirements, constraints and Tagged Values for elements that support those features. When Enterprise Architect displays inherited features, it creates a merged list from all generalized parents and from all realized interfaces. If a child Class redefines something found in a parent, the parent feature is omitted from the Merge List.


To show features for element types that do not have visible compartments, such as Use Cases and Actors, right-click on the diagram object to display the context menu and select the Advanced Settings | Use Rectangle Notation option.

Customize Feature Visibility

To customize feature visibility, follow the steps below:

  1. Either:
  • Click on the element in the diagram and either click on the Element | Feature Visibility menu option or press [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[Y], or
  • Right-click on the element in the diagram to display the context menu and click on the Feature Visibility option.

The Feature Visibility dialog displays.

  1. To filter display of attributes or operations by scope, select the checkbox against each scope that should be visible and clear the checkbox against each scope that should not.


The Show checkbox, if selected, overrides these selections to display all attributes or operations in the element, except those specifically deselected in the Show Features in Diagram dialog (below).

  1. In the Show Element Compartments panel, select the compartments to display for the element on the diagram.
    The Fully Qualified Tags checkbox enables you to display the full provenance of a Tagged Value, where the same Tagged Value can be used several times in different contexts with different values. The description in the Tagged Value compartment reads:
    <Profile>::<Stereotype>::<Tagged Value name>=<Value>           for example: BPMN::Activity::Activity Type = Task.
    (Only for Tagged Values created in Enterprise Architect release 7.1 or later.)
    If you select the Notes checkbox, the Notes compartment on the element in the diagram displays the text that has been typed into the Notes field of the Element Properties dialog. This checkbox also enables the maximum chars field, which defaults to 1000 as the number of characters of notes text displayed. Overtype this value to display less text or more text.
    The change only applies to the selected elements on the diagram, so you can display full notes for a selected element whilst the other elements on the diagram have no notes text.


If you have selected the Notes checkbox, you can select the Render Formatted Notes checkbox to display the text on the diagram, formatted using the Notes toolbar.

  1. In the When Resizing Elements panel, select the appropriate option for resizing the Class, object or table to prevent very wide diagram objects.
    The selected option defaults to Resize to longest Feature, so that the minimum width for a diagram object is determined by its longest displayed attribute, method or other compartment value. If necessary, you can change the option to Wrap Features (so that any longer features are wrapped onto multiple lines) or Truncate Features (so that longer features are not displayed in full).
  2. If required, in the Inherited Features panel, select one or both checkboxes to set whether Enterprise Architect should display inherited features as well as directly owned ones.
  3. Click on the OK button to save changes. Enterprise Architect redraws the diagram with the appropriate level of feature visibility.

Suppress or Show Specific Features

The Custom button in the Attribute Visibility and Operation Visibility panels enables you to show or hide specific operations and attributes. If you select the Show checkbox, the Custom button displays the Show Features in Diagram dialog; if you deselect the checkbox, the button displays the Suppress Features in Diagram dialog.


The two dialogs are identical, but in the first you select the checkboxes of specific features to show, and in the second you select the checkboxes of specific features to hide.

You can also use the Filter by Scope button in this dialog to, for example, list only operations that are Protected and select, say, two of them to hide, so that on the diagram the element displays all but two of the Protected operations and all operations of other scopes.