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

Operations on Elements

You can perform a wide range of operations on element objects on a diagram, such as displaying an element's structural components, displaying or hiding its features on the diagram, and changing the element's appearance. You access these operations through the element context menu. If you are working under a technology such as SysML or BPMN, the menu can also provide options that are specific to that technology.

Element Context Menu Options on Diagrams




See also

<Technology Options>

For some technologies the context menu begins with technology-specific options. Refer to the topics on elements specific to the technology you are working in, such as BPEL, BPMN and SysML.





Open the Properties dialog for the selected element.

For State Lifeline and Value Lifeline elements, display the Configure Timeline dialog. For a Required Interface element, display the Exposed Interface dialog.



Properties dialog

Configure Timeline - States

Expose Interface

Lock Element

Lock the element so it can't be edited; to unlock the element, select Lock Element again.

This does not apply in the Corporate, Business and Software Engineering, Systems Engineering and Ultimate editions when security is enabled; in that situation, use the Lock option for model elements.





Lock model elements

Other Properties

For State Lifeline, Value Lifeline and Required Interface elements, display the Properties dialog for the selected element.



Properties dialog

Feature and Compartment Visibility

Open the Feature and Compartment Visibility dialog to define which features and feature properties to display on the element, and which element compartments.



Feature Visibility

Rule Composer

For a Rule Task element, invoke the Rule Composer in Business Rule Modeling.



Compose Business Rules

Create (or Edit) Linked Document

(Corporate, Business and Software Engineering, Systems Engineering and Ultimate editions) Create an RTF document linked to the element.



Create Linked Document on UML Element

Delete Linked Document


Delete an existing linked document for the element.


Replace or Delete Documents

Create Document to Artifact

(On an Artifact element linked to a Master Document or Model Document element). Generate an RTF virtual document as the linked document of the Artifact element.



Generate Report to an Artifact Element

New Element


One of a number of types of structural element, such as a Port, Part or Activity Parameter, to the selected element, or
A text element to the selected element, documenting a Note, Constraint, Rationale or Problem.




Create Notes and Text



New Diagram

Display a submenu, listing - in order:

Individual types of child diagram (often technology-specific) that you might usually create for this type of element
For classifier elements, options to create Activity, Interaction, State Machine or Rule Flow elements that encompass the appropriate type of child diagram
Options for creating and displaying the child diagram for a Composite element
An option to display the New Diagram dialog to add any other type of diagram as the child diagram of this element





Classifiers and Instances

Composite Elements

Show Composite Diagram

Add New Diagrams


Features and Properties

Select to add Attributes and/or Operations to the element, through the Attribute Properties dialog or Operation Properties dialog.

For elements that can have interfaces, you can also select to show realized and/or dependent interfaces.




Show Realized interfaces of Class


Structural Elements

Display the Structural Elements dialog, for managing the structural elements (such as Provided Interfaces, Ports and Activity Parameters) attached to the selected element.



Manage Structural Elements


Display the Find submenu, which provides options for locating the selected element in other diagrams and in the Project Browser, and for setting up cross references (Custom References) to other elements.



Finding Elements

Insert Related Elements

Displays the Insert Related Elements dialog, to add elements related to the selected element to the current diagram.



Insert Related Elements


Open the Advanced sub-menu, which provides options for performing more complex or specialized operations on the element.



Advanced Operations on Elements



Transform the selected element from one domain to another.


Transform Elements

Generate DDL


Generate DDL for a Table, Procedure or View Class.


Generate DDL

Generate Code

Generate source code for the selected element (forward engineer).



Generate a Single Class

Synchronize with Code

Reverse engineer source code for the selected element.

You can also synchronize Class elements from the source code via the Project Browser, and reverse engineer or forward engineer model packages and code to synchronize them and incorporate changes made in one but not in the other.


Importing Source Code

Element Options in the Project Browser

Operation Menu - Project Browser

Update Package Contents


View Source Code

Open the source editor if a source code file exists for that selected element.



Editing Source Code

Execution Analyzer

(If the selected Class element has generated code.) Display the Execution Analyzer submenu, to prepare the Class for Execution Analysis by:

Creating workbench variables from the selected Class
Marking up a process for the Class or
Marking up the Class for recording





Create Workbench Variables

Recording Activity For a Class


Toggle whether the element is selectable or not

If an element is selectable, you can move it around the diagram and perform right-click context menu operations
If an element is unselectable, you cannot move it around the diagram and the only right-click operation available is to make the element selectable


This option has no effect on double-click operations on the element, such as displaying child diagrams or Properties dialogs.

An element on a locked diagram is also unselectable - if you click on it, the element outline displays in red.

In a diagram, you can filter the display to show selectable or non-selectable elements only.



Diagram Filters


Align and join two elements either vertically or horizontally, on the current diagram only.

Both elements must have the Dockable option selected, and must have the joining edges parallel.

As the distance between the elements narrows, the moving element snaps to the edge of the other element.

For Activity Partitions, the option is selected by default.

Deselecting the Dockable option does not separate the elements; if necessary, you can simply move the elements apart again.





Display a short menu of options to change and reproduce the appearance of the element.


Changing Element Appearance



Display a short submenu providing options to:

Move the element further back in the diagram
Move the element further forward in the diagram
Put the element at the back of the diagram
Put the element at the front of the diagram



Z Order Elements

UML Help

Display the Help topic describing the type of element you have selected.




Delete <element name>

Delete the element from the diagram. The element still exists within the model and can be accessed from the Project Browser.





Context menus vary between element types; for example, the Generate Code, Synchronize with Code and View Source Code options won't display for a Use Case element
If you select two or more elements at the same time, you can perform an operation on all of the selected elements at once; the operations available for multiple selection are provided on a separate context menu

Learn more