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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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Element Context Menu Operations

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.


Context Menu

Right-click on element on diagram

Element Context Menu Options



See also


Select this option to access a submenu of enabled Technologies on the system (for example, ArcGIS or TOGAF), each of which provides options for performing technology-specific operations on the element.

Domain Based Models Systems Engineering


Select this option to display a short menu of options to exchange electronic notes with team colleagues, in the form of formal Reviews, informal Discussions and, if User Security is enabled, Chats and Model Mail messages on the selected element.

Informal Discussions Model Chat Model Mail Formal Review Elements


Select this option to display a submenu of options for displaying different aspects of the properties and features of the element, including the:

  • Properties window
  • A special dialog to define unique aspects of certain types of element (the 'Special Action' option); for State Lifeline and Value Lifeline elements, the 'Configure Timeline' dialog displays, and for a Required Interface element, the 'Exposed Interface' dialog displays
  • Notes window
  • Responsibilities window (for Requirements, Scenarios and Constraints)
  • Tagged Values window
  • Summary window
  • Document window (for Linked Documents)
Tagged Values Notes Properties Window Responsibilities Linked Documents in the Document Window Navigate: Exploring Your Model Properties dialog Configure Timeline - States Expose Interface


Select this option to:

  • Display the appropriate page of the Features window to add attributes, operations or interaction points (structural elements such as Ports and Parts) to the element; for a Classifier that is the target of a Signal element, you can also add Receptions
  • Override any inherited attribute values set on the element
  • For an Object or State element, add a new instance variable to the element using the 'Define Run State' dialog
  • For elements that can have interfaces, show realized and/or dependent interfaces
  • For Database Table elements, define columns and constraints/indexes
Reception Attributes Operations Display Inherited Attributes Define A Run-Time Variable Show Realized interfaces of Class Feature Visibility

Linked Document

(Corporate, Unified and Ultimate editions) Select this option to create a document linked to the element.

Shortcut: Ctrl+Alt+D

Create Linked Document on an Element

Compartment Visibility

Select this option to define the visibility of features and compartments on all selected elements.

Shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+Y

Feature Visibility

Insert Related Elements

Select this option to display the 'Insert Related Elements' dialog, to add elements related to the selected element to the current diagram.

Insert Related Elements

Clone Element as New Version

Select this option to copy the structure of the selected element and paste it into the Project Browser as a new element and contents; a prompt displays for you to enter a version number for the new element, followed by a browser on which you select its parent Package or element.

Clone Element as New Version


Select this option to open the 'Advanced' sub-menu, which provides options for performing more complex or specialized operations on the element.

Advanced Operations on Elements

New Child Diagram

Select this option to display a submenu, listing - in order:

  • Options for creating and displaying the child diagram for a Composite element
  • For classifier elements, options to create Activity, Interaction, StateMachine or Rule Flow elements that encompass the appropriate type of child diagram
  • Individual types of child diagram (often technology-specific) that you might usually create for this type of 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

New Child Element

Select this option to attach:

  • 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 Note

Simple Decision Table

This option displays for a selected Activity or Action element. Select it to display a sub-menu providing these options:

  • Decision Table - Display, set up and edit the Decision Table for the element
  • Draw as Decision Table (Rules as Columns) - replace the element shape on the diagram with its Decision Table, showing the decision rules as columns
  • Draw as Decision Table (Rules as Rows) - replace the element shape on the diagram with its Decision Table, showing the decision rules as rows
  • Draw as Activity / Action - where an element is rendered as a Decision Table on the diagram, re-display it as the normal element shape

The element is automatically sized to display the rule text; you cannot change the element size manually.

If the selected element is a Rule Task element, the submenu option is 'Rule Composer', which invokes the Rule Composer in Business Rule Modeling.

Compose Business Rules Decision Tables

Create Document to Artifact

(On an Artifact element linked to a Report Package or Model Document element). Select this option to generate a virtual document as the Linked Document of the Artifact element. The 'Generate Documentation' dialog displays.

Generate Report to an Artifact Element

Clear Checklist

Select this option to clear any selected checkboxes in the current Checklist Artifact element.

Using the Checklist and Audited Checklist Artifacts

Checklist Spacing

Select this option to change the spacing between the items in the Checklist Artifact. A short list of spacing options displays, from which you select the required spacing.


Select this option to display the 'Find' submenu, which provides options for:

  • Locating the selected element in other diagrams and in the Project Browser, and
  • Setting up cross references (Custom References) to other elements
Finding Elements


Select this option to display a list offering these options for copying the selected element:

  • Copy - copy the element; you can select the 'Paste' option on the diagram context menu to paste the element into the diagram in a number of ways
  • Copy Image to Clipboard - copy the element image to the clipboard; you can use the 'Apply Image from Clipboard' option to recover and use the image elsewhere
  • Apply Image from Clipboard - paste the element image current held in the clipboard into the diagram as the image of the currently-selected element; the image is shown as a labeled frame


Select this option to display a short menu of options to change and reproduce the appearance of the element.

Changing Element Appearance


Select this option to display a short submenu, from which you:

  • Switch the element between Info View display style and 'normal' UML style
  • Set the element characteristics that are shown in Info View style
  • Toggle the Dockable, Selectable and Printable settings on the element
  • (Where an element has a structured element - such as a Port - shown in an element compartment) bind the Port to the compartment border rather than allowing it to move to any point on the parent element outline
Selectable, Dockable and Printable Options Info view Style

Lock Element

Select this option to lock the element so it cannot be edited; to unlock the element, select 'Lock Element' again.

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

Lock model elements


Select this option to 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

Type Information

Select this option to display the Help topic describing the type of element you have selected.

Delete <element name>

Select this option to delete the element from the diagram. The element still exists within the model and can be accessed from the Project Browser.

Shortcut: Ctrl+D

Delete Elements from Diagram and Model


  • 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

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