Configuring notations and attributes

You can configure which diagram types and diagram elements modelers can use in your workspace and which properties diagram elements have.

Users need to be members of the Administrators group to change these settings. For more information on user groups, see: User Groups.

To edit the notation and attribute settings, open the Explorer and click Setup - Define notations/attributes:


You can define subsets for each diagram type and enable/disable diagram elements in these subsets. In addition, it is possible to define custom attributes for diagram elements.


Defining a notation element subset

Follow these steps to define a custom subset:

  1. Select the modeling language you want to define a subset for:

    Add a new subset for BPMN 2.0 diagrams.

    Add a new subset for BPMN 2.0 diagrams.

  2. Click Add subset.

  3. Enter the subset’s name. Activate the checkbox Group diagram element types if the shape repository in the Editor should list the diagram elements grouped by type. Click Save:

    Create a subset.

    Create a subset.

  4. The subset will be displayed in the left column of the dialog.

    A new subset has been created.

    A new subset has been created.

  5. You can deactivate diagram elements for the subset in the central column by deactivating the corresponding checkboxes. By default, every element is activated. When you create small subsets, it’s easier to deselect all elements by clicking Uncheck all and then add all elements you need:

    Deselect all diagram elements by clicking 'Uncheck all'.

    Deselect all diagram elements by clicking ‘Uncheck all’.

    Deactivate elements you want to exclude from the subset.

    Deactivate elements you want to exclude from the subset.

Copying a subset

Besides creating new subsets you also have the possibility to duplicate subsets and extend them afterwards.

  1. Select the subset you want to duplicate.

  2. Click Copy subset in the head of the Modeling languages column.

    Copy a subset.

    Copy a subset.

  3. You can now activate or deactivate additional diagram elements of the subset in the central column by (un)checking the respective boxes.

Editing/removing a subset

It is not possible to edit or remove default subsets. However, you can edit or remove custom subsets.

To edit/remove a subset, proceed as follows:

  1. Select the subset you want to edit/delete.

  2. Click Edit subset:

    Edit a subset.

    Edit a subset.

    You can now edit the subset name and change the element grouping preferences.

    If you want to delete the subset click Remove subset and confirm the process by clicking Yes in the confirmation dialog.


Defining custom attributes

You can define custom attributes for diagram elements and dictionary categories. These attributes work in the same way as the attributes that exist in a modeling notation by default and can also be displayed in the Collaboration Hub.

To create a custom attribute, proceed as follows:

  1. Select a diagram type or a dictionary category.

  2. Select the diagram element or category you want to add an attribute for. Press Shift or Ctrl to select more than one element/category.

  3. Click Add.

    Add a custom attribute.

    Add a custom attribute.

  4. Decide whether you want to create a new custom attribute or reuse an attribute you already added to a different diagram element or dictionary category.

  5. To reuse a custom attribute, select it from the dropdown list:

    Reuse an existing attribute.

    Reuse an existing attribute.

    To create a new attribute, enter a name and a description for the custom attribute. You can enter a name and description for every language you have activated in your workspaces.


    Support for multilanguage attribute titles and descriptions for dictionary categories will be implemented in one of the next releases. The same applies to multilanguage attribute support in the diagram comparison view.

    Choose the data type for the attribute between Single-line text, Multi-line text, Dictionary link, Date, Number, Dropdown box, Link/URL, Boolean, Diagram link and Table. You can create most of those types as list attributes by activating the checkbox As list.

    Configure a new attribute.

    Configure a new attribute.


    After creating a custom attribute, you cannot edit its data type and its ‘As list’ option any more.

  6. Click Create.

Changing the order of custom attributes

In case there have been several custom attributes created for one diagram element type, you can define their order.

Simply select the respective attribute and use the arrow buttons to move it up or down.


Change the order of custom attributes.

Viewing custom defined attributes for diagram elements

Proceed as follows to view information about attributes that are already defined for an element type:

  1. Select the diagram type.

  2. Select the diagram element of which you want to show the attributes. It is possible to select multiple elements using the Shift or Ctrl key.

  3. The attributes are shown in the right column of the dialog. If you selected more than one element, only those attributes which were defined for all of the selected elements are shown.

  4. Select one of the attributes.

  5. At the bottom of the right column you can see details about the selected attributes.

    Select a custom attribute.

    Select a custom attribute.

Editing custom defined attributes

Select an attribute and click Edit attribute, to change its information:

Edit the custom attribute 'Additional Information'.

Edit the custom attribute ‘Additional Information’.

The Edit attribute dialog shown above will open. Here you can edit the attribute name and description, but not the data type.

Removing custom attributes from an element

Proceed as follows to remove a custom attribute from an element:

  1. Select a diagram type.

  2. Select the diagram element you want to remove the attribute from. You can also select more than one element.

  3. Choose the attribute you want to delete. If you selected more than one element, only attributes they have in common are displayed.

  4. Click Remove attribute.

    Remove the custom attribute 'Additional Information'.

    Remove the custom attribute ‘Additional Information’.

  5. Confirm by clicking Yes in the confirmation dialog. If the attribute is found in other diagram elements as well, you can choose whether you want to delete it from all elements or just from the one currently selected.

Defining default colors and font formats for element types

You can define custom default shape & font formats for element types. These formatting attributes are defined for all notation subsets - if you change, for example, the background color of the task element, the system alters all BPMN subsets accordingly. Of course, you can still overwrite these settings when formatting an Element in the Editor as described in the chapter Formatting Elements.

The following default formatting options are available:

Font size
Default: 12
Font bold
Default: False
Font italic
Default: False
Font color
Default: #000000 (black)
Background color
Default: #ffffcc (yellow)
Border color
Default: #000000 (black)
Solid color (no gradient)
Default: False

Proceed as follows to change the default format of an element:

  1. You can change the default format settings in the Modeling Languages tab of the notations/attributes configuration dialog:

  2. Switch to the Default Formats tab and select an element type. In our example, we want to highlight the labels of all collapsed subprocesses of your BPMN diagrams in pink by default:

    Select the element you want to define the default format for and switch to the 'Default formats' tab.

    Select the element you want to define the default format for and switch to the ‘Default formats’ tab.

  3. Select the setting you want to adjust and click Edit or double click the setting - in our case Font color:

    Click 'Edit'.

    Click ‘Edit’.

  4. Adjust the settings accordingly. Here, we use the drop-down menu to select the color of our choice or insert the respective hexadecimal value:

    Pick a color of your choice. You can also insert the corresponding hexadecimal value.

    Pick a color of your choice. You can also insert the corresponding hexadecimal value.

  5. Click Apply to save the changes. All existing elements of the corresponding type in the diagrams of your workspace will now be adjusted. The Process Manager will use the changed format for new diagrams as well.

When opening a diagram containing one or more corresponding elements, an information dialog will pop up, informing you that the elements have been changed:


Press Ctrl + Z or click the Undo button in case you want to revert the changes.