Please note : This help page is not for the latest version of Enterprise Architect. The latest help can be found here.


In modeling it is possible to control how your diagrams represent the features of your model, by defining the diagrams' behavior in response to the input you make to any of them.

Access     Tools | Options > Diagram : Behaviour

Diagram behavior options



See also

Auto Instance

Automatically create object instances when dragging certain element types - such as Class and Component - from the Project Browser, with the dragged element as the classifier.



Instance has Classifier style

Automatically apply the classifier style of the element an instance is instantiated from when the instance is created.



Show Life Lines

Show life lines for Sequence elements in non-Sequence diagrams.



Layout uses all relations

Show all relationships in a diagram layout; deselect the checkbox to show only Generalizations and Associations.



Auto Save Changes

Automatically save your changes as you work, without having to confirm prompts to do so.



Show 'Hidden' Parents

For each element in the diagram, display any parent elements that are not already part of the diagram.



Auto Group Elements

When moving diagram nodes, also move visually composed elements ; a node is considered composed if it is contained by the moved element and has a higher Z-order.

Press and hold ( Alt ) whilst moving an element to toggle this option.


Diagram Context Menu

Show Linked Items in Package

Display connected items on packages.



Show Package Item Scope

Display the + and - indicators representing the scope of the items.



Shift-Mouse Autoscroll

Enable you to press and hold ( Shift ) and use the mouse to autoscroll around diagrams.



Use Automatic SubActivities

Generate a new Structured Activity linked to the diagram from a Structured Activity diagram dragged from the Project Browser.



Always Highlight Context Element


Show a hatch border around a selected element.

Highlight Context Element

Objects Snap to Grid

Snap all elements to the grid lines.



Show Grid

Display dots as a visual indication of the selected grid size on each diagram.



Grid Size

Specify the grid size, if you have selected Objects Snap to Grid.



Auto Tidy

Automatically tidy line angles for custom connectors; this 'nudges' the custom line into horizontal and vertical increments.


Connector Styles

Tidy line gap

Specify the amount to move a line away from horizontal and vertical when you are tidying lines for custom connectors (see Auto Tidy above).


Connector Styles

Alias only

On elements with aliases, display the alias instead of the element name.

This option and the next two options take action on diagrams for which the Use Alias if Available checkbox is selected on the Diagram Properties dialog.






Configure Diagram Display

Alias and Name

Display both the element name and the Alias in the format (Alias) name.


Use alias field for role

Replace the Alias property of instances with a Role property.


Enable Presentation Mode

Select the checkbox to display your diagrams in Presentation mode.

In Presentation mode, you can display a diagram in a presentation and, when you click on an element on the diagram, the element is highlighted with a solid colored border. This provides a more visually appealing way to highlight the element you are discussing.




Display or change the color used to highlight elements in Presentation mode.

To change the color, click on the down arrow and select either:

One of the available colors
The Other button, or
(If you have previously changed the color) the Default color button (Aqua)


The Other button displays the Colors dialog, from which you can select a preset color from the Standard tab or define a custom color on the Custom tab.

Click on the OK button to apply the new color as the highlight in diagram presentations.