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Element Appearance

Getting to know Element Appearance

Introducing Element Appearance

All elements in the repository have a global default appearance, which is defined in the Options Window. Individual elements can set a global appearance that overrides the default setting for all elements and that applies to the specified element wherever it appears in diagrams. An element's appearance can also be changed at the level of an individual diagram, using the color and font pickers. Images and other shapes can also be applied to make the element more appealing.

Business Analysis tool, element tracing in Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect

Where to find Element Appearance

Default for all Elements

Ribbon: Start > Application > Preferences > Preferences > Standard Colors    or   Appearance

Global for an element on a diagram

Context Menu: Appearance | Default Appearance

Local for a Diagram Object

Ribbon: Layout > Style > Set Font, Text Color, Fill Color, Line Color, Line Width

Diagram Toolbar (right-click on element in diagram): Set Font, Text Color, Fill Color, Line Color, Line Width

Element Icons: Set Font, Text Color, Fill Color, Line Color, Line Width (top right corner of diagram object, under Quick Linker arrow)

Usage of Element Appearance

Element appearance is useful to convey different meaning to a number of audiences and stakeholders. The global element settings ensure the entire repository is by default consistent, and these settings can be changed to suit an organization. The default element appearance settings ensure that an element is consistently represented whenever it is used on diagrams. The local appearance settings allow an element to appear differently on a specific diagram. Some stakeholders will also prefer to see an element represented as an image or by a different shape.

Options for Element Appearance

Apart from the setting of Font Style, Text Color, Element Fill, Border Color and Line Thickness, elements can be assigned an alternative image or a completely different geometry using the Shape Script facility, which is applied to a stereotype.

Learn more about Element Appearance

Set an Element's Default Appearance