Set an Element's Default Appearance

To override the global appearance and define a default appearance for a specific element on all diagrams on which it is found, you use the Default Appearance dialog.

Access:     Double-click element | Appearance | Default Appearance

Use to:

  • Alter the background, border and font colors
  • Change font styles, including font face and size
  • Alter the border width for an element




See also

Background Color

Set the color of the background for an element


Border Color

Set the color of the border for an element


Border Width

Set the width of the border surrounding an element, the minimum setting being 1, the maximum setting being 5


Font Style (...)

Set the typeface of element text

The current font typeface is displayed within the text field; click on the (...) button

The Font dialog displays, which enables you to 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

Set the font color of the element text


Reset to defaults

Reset all appearance settings to default values



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



  • You can adjust several elements at the same time; select all of the required elements, right-click on one of them and select the Default Appearance context menu option, or use the Format toolbar
  • 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 Style fields affect all text except for the Note compartment text
  • The Size field affects all text

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