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How to Annotate UML Shapes?

Callouts are a useful way to provide additional information about a shape or shapes on a diagram. They are specifically designed for annotation purposes and allow you to add viewable notes to your diagram. However, this can also create problems if certain parties are not supposed to view these notes. For example, if you add a callout to a business process diagram to request a renaming of a business task, you may want to hide this callout from stakeholders who do not need to see it. In this tutorial, we will share a tip on how to easily hide callout shapes on a diagram so that they are not visible in your printouts or when viewed by certain parties.

Compatible edition(s): Enterprise, Professional, Standard, Modeler

  • August 26, 2015
  • Views: 39,903
  • PDF

Creating an Annotation Layer

  1. Download Activity-Diagram-Example.vpp. You can also find this file at the bottom of this tutorial, under the Resources section.
  2. Open the downloaded project file in Visual Paradigm.
  3. Open the UML Activity Diagram Place Order. You should see the Activity Diagram below:
    activity diagram
  4. Select View > Layers... from the toolbar.
  5. This popup a Diagram Layers window. At the top of the window, click new layer to create a new layer.
  6. Enter Annotation as the name of the new layer.
    naming new layer
  7. Click Close to confirm and return to the diagram.
  8. The newly added layer is automatically set as the active layer. Shapes to be created will be put in this layer. Now, start creating the callout. Select Callout from the diagram toolbar.
    selected callout
  9. Click on the diagram and enter Check Payment is not needed as the content of callout.
    enter callout content
  10. Make the pointer points to the Check Payment action.
    callout pointer

Hiding an Annotation Layer

By separating shapes into layers, you can show or hide particular kinds of shapes by showing or hiding the layer that own the shapes, which helps in delivering works to different types of users. With this example, you can export diagrams without annotations, and send user the result, while the internal copy can have the annotation existing. To hide a layer:

  1. Open the Diagram Layers window again.
  2. Uncheck the checkout in Visible column for the Annotation layer.
    hide annotation layer
    You will find the callout hidden in diagram.
    callout hidden

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