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

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General Options

You can control how the system behaves when you open a project, including setting the home directories and web pages the project refers to and how the Project Browser responds when items are selected in it.



Start > Workspace > Preferences > Preferences > General

Keyboard Shortcuts

Ctrl+F9 | General

Control system behavior



See also


Defaults to your Windows user name. This value is applied to the 'Author' field when you create new elements and diagrams. Optionally, type in a new Author name, or click on the drop-down arrow and select a name from the list (which contains names defined on the 'Project Author(s)' page of the 'People' dialog).

When user security is enabled, this field will be populated with your Firstname Lastname as defined in the 'Manage Users' dialog, and it can only be modified there, not on the 'General' page of the 'Preferences' dialog.

Maintain Users Project Authors General Settings General Tab


Click on the drop-down arrow and select the graphic format in which to save images to the Microsoft Windows clipboard; Metafile has the best detail.

Copy Image to Clipboard

Double-click on browser

Defaults to 'Shows Properties (dialog)' as the action the Project Browser takes when you double-click on an item.

Optionally, select the radio button for a different response that you want the Project Browser to make.

Set Default (Project Browser) behavior

Use Jet 4.0 - requires restart

Select the checkbox to set JET 4.0 as the database engine; this ensures compatibility with .eap files that are in turn compatible with versions of MS Access later than Access 97, and that support unicode character sets.

If your project is not in a Jet 4.0 database, you should also download a copy of the Jet 4.0 EABase Model from the Sparx Systems website, and do a File to File transfer of your model into the Jet 4.0 file.

If the checkbox is not selected, the database engine is Jet 3.5.

Perform a Project Data Transfer Link to Jet 4.0 EABase Model

Use extended « and » characters

The checkbox defaults to selected to apply the guillemet characters to stereotype names; recommended for double byte character sets.

Deselect the checkbox to hide the guillemet characters.

Stereotype Visibility

Allow custom RTF tags in reports

Select the checkbox to use customized rich text format code in report templates when you generate reports with the 'Legacy RTF Report Generator'.

In releases of Enterprise Architect from 7.0 onwards, with the notes-formatting facility, this option is not really necessary.

The Legacy RTF Report Generator Notes Toolbar

Default Project

Either type in the file path and file name of the project to open when you start up Enterprise Architect, or click on the button and browse for the project.

Project Directory

Type in the default directory location for the Enterprise Architect project files you create.

Web Home

Type in the URL of the default home page to open when you click on the Home button in the internal web browser.

The Web Browser

Web Search

Type in the URL of the default web page to open when you click on the Web Search button in the internal web browser.

Web Mail

Type in the email server address (http://xxxxx/exchange/) for accessing email  within Enterprise Architect, through the web browser.

Confirm Deletes

The checkbox defaults to selected to display a confirmation prompt whenever you delete a model component.

Only clear this checkbox to bypass the prompt if you are an experienced user and have taken other measures to identify and recover from accidental deletes.

Delete Elements from Diagram and Model Delete Diagrams

Allow Free Sorting

Select the checkbox to allow you to manually reorganize elements within a Package regardless of element type, in the Project Browser.

Order Package Contents

Show Stereotypes

The checkbox defaults to selected to display element and feature stereotype names as part of the object names in the Project Browser.

Deselect the checkbox to hide the stereotype names.

Set Default Behavior

Always open maximized

The checkbox defaults to selected to set Enterprise Architect to open in a full-screen (maximized) window on start-up.

Deselect the checkbox to set Enterprise Architect to open in a smaller window.

Hide Properties Info Section

The checkbox defaults to selected to hide the properties information bar at the bottom of the element Properties window.

Deselect the checkbox to expose the information bar.

Properties Window

Animate Autohide Windows

If you are using windows that have been automatically hidden, they simply appear in the workspace when you move the cursor over the window tab.

Select this checkbox to slide the windows out into the workspace when you place the cursor on the window tab.

Auto Hide Windows

Show Toolbar Customize Button

Hide or show the down-arrow on the end of each toolbar that enables you to customize the toolbar buttons.

The Customize Dialog Standard Toolbars

Hide Diagram Caption Bar

Hide or redisplay the diagram caption bar at the top or bottom of a diagram.

The Diagram View

Project Loading Strategy

Click on the drop-down arrow and select the model loading behavior for project files; choose either:

  • 'Load on Demand' (Lazy Load) or
  • 'Preload Entire Model'

'Load on Demand' does not load the full project view when you load a model; instead, only the parts that are necessary to display the visible portion of the tree are loaded.

This means that the model loads faster and you can begin work sooner, but at the expense of later small delays as the system loads specific portions of the model.

For server connections, the 'Load on Demand' option is automatically set when the connection is created.

Learn more