All UML diagrams have the content area that is restricted by the diagram frame as it is stated in UML specification. The diagram frame is primarily used in cases where the diagrammed element has graphical border elements (like ports for classes and components, entry/exit points on state machines).

By default the diagram frame is displayed on the new diagram pane. The frame is a rectangle in all diagrams, except state machine and activity. State machine and activity diagram frames have rounded corners.

The frame can be re-sized manually by dragging its corners or borders.


To hide the diagram frame, do one of the following

  • Right-click the diagram and on the shortcut menu, cancel the selection of the Show Diagram Frame.
  • Open the Diagram Properties dialog and set the Show Diagram Frame property to false.


To change the diagram frame properties, do one of the following

  • In the Project Options dialog > Symbol styles > Diagram > Diagram Frame options group, change the desired options.
  • In the Diagram Properties dialog > Diagram Frame property group, change the properties.


To hide the icon on the diagram frame

  • In the Diagram Properties dialog, change the Show Stereotypes property value to Text.
    Diagram frame

When a new diagram is created, the diagram stereotype icon is displayed on the diagram frame header by default, though you can change it to the context stereotype icon.


To display the context stereotype icon on the diagram frame

  • In the Diagram Properties dialog > Diagram Frame property group, change the Use Stereotype property value to Context.


There is a possibility to show the abbreviation of a diagram type instead of the full diagram type in the diagram frame header.


To display the abbreviated diagram type

  • In the Diagram Properties dialog > Diagram Frame property group, select the Show Abbreviated Type check box.


The abbreviated diagram types are listed in the following table.

Diagram nameAbbreviation
Use Caseuc
State Machinestm

Composite Structure


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