Expand/Collapse All

This functionality is only applicable to the ArchiMate metamodel.

If you want to work with customized views in your ArchiMate® models, you can create custom viewpoint definitions using the Metamodeler. Custom viewpoint definitions allow you to define your own views with the types of objects and relations that can occur on them and their graphic appearance. Profiles can be included to give the objects and relations profile-based graphical properties.

Customized viewpoint definitions can be created from scratch, or you can start with a copy of a default viewpoint definition as basis for your customizations.


On this page:


Adding a custom definition viewpoint

Decide how you want to start your custom viewpoint definition, and follow the associated procedure.


  1. In the model browser, in your ArchiMate metamodel package, navigate to ArchiMate > Viewpoints > Custom viewpoints.

  2. Right-click the Custom viewpoints folder, and click New > Viewpoint definition. A new viewpoint definition is added to the model package.

  3. Rename the viewpoint definition with the name of the view you want to use. This name is the view's internal name (identifier) for Enterprise Studio. It can only contain letters, digits, and underscores. Spaces and special characters are not allowed.

  4. Click the new viewpoint definition to open it. An empty view is shown.



  5. Select an icon for the new view, and add concepts and relations to the view to create your custom viewpoint definition.

  1. In the model browser, in your ArchiMate metamodel package, navigate to ArchiMate > Viewpoints > Default Viewpoints.

  2. Select a viewpoint definition, copy it, and paste it as a custom viewpoint definition into the Custom viewpoints folder.

    Only the standard ArchiMate viewpoints can be copied.

  3. Rename the viewpoint definition with the name of the view you want to use. This name is the view's internal name (identifier) for Enterprise Studio. It can only contain letters, digits, and underscores. Spaces and special characters are not allowed.

  4. Click the new viewpoint definition to open it. A view is shown, containing the concepts and relations of the viewpoint definition with the graphical properties as defined in the copied view.



  5. Select an icon for the new view, and make the desired changes: add new concepts, delete concepts you don't need, and/or change the graphical properties of existing concepts in the view.

Adding a custom view icon

All views have their own icon, which is visible in the model browser, and on the name tab of an open view. To assign the new custom view its own icon, you can add one to the custom viewpoint definition. The icon needs to be in SVG format, but only a subset of SVG is allowed. For detailed information about creating and using custom icons, please refer to Creating custom symbols.

If you do not add an icon, the custom view will have the view icon of the copied default viewpoint definition, or the default icon of a custom view if you have created the viewpoint definition from scratch.

To add a new view icon:

  1. Open the canvas menu in the custom viewpoint definition, and click to open the Viewpoint definition presentation settings window.



  2. In the settings window, next to viewpoint icon, click , and select the image file you want to use as icon from your file system.

    To view the icon you have selected, click
    . To reset a custom icon back to its default, click .

    If you are not viewing a newly added icon but viewing the icon from an existing custom viewpoint, which still has the legacy format PNG, an error message may appear instead of the selected icon, saying that the file cannot be opened because no application is associated with the specified file. In that case set an(other) application as the default application for opening PNG files, or replace the PNG file with an icon in SVG format.

Please take note that the selected icon will not be visible on the view until you preview your customizations. The new custom viewpoint also needs to be included in the custom menu definition first before you can even preview it. After you have applied the customizations, it may be necessary to restart Enterprise Studio before your custom viewpoint icon becomes visible everywhere.


Preview of the custom icon in the test model package

Adding concepts and relations

Concepts and relations can be added to the viewpoint definition in different ways. Use the way you find it easiest to add them.

  • Drag a concept from the Default Concepts (in Concepts folder) in the model browser onto the view. Relations are located under Relations within the Default Concepts.
  • Use the Quick-create pop-up window.
  • Use Concept in the Create pane.


Custom viewpoint definition with concepts and relations (not customized yet)


The new concept or relation has the default features of the selected concept or relation. You can further customize the concept or relation to your liking, or leave it as it is. If you would leave them as they are, the above example would give the following result:


Custom view with defined concepts and relations for modeling

Adding profiles

In addition to concepts and relations, you can add profiles to a custom viewpoint. Profiles can be used to give objects and relations profile-based graphical properties, for example a different graphical shape. When, during modeling, the profile is assigned to an object or relation, the specified graphical properties of the profile will override the standard graphical properties of the concept or relation.

To add a profile, it must meet the following conditions:

  • The profile must be assignable to exactly one concept (that is in the custom viewpoint definition). It means that the profile that you will be using must have exactly one concept specified in the assignable to field at its Profile properties.
  • The profile needs to be a specialization of the concept. The field extends at the Profile properties must be set to default profile "SpecializationProfile".


Profiles can be added in similar ways as concepts and relations:

  • Drag a profile from the Profiles folder in the model browser onto the view.
  • Use the Quick-create pop-up window.
  • Use Profile in the Create pane.


If the concept or relation the profile is assignable to, has already been added to the custom viewpoint definition, the new profile will initially adopt the graphical presentation of that concept or relation. To distinguish the profiles from concepts and relations in the viewpoint definition, the names of the profiles are placed between guillemets «name». You can further customize the profiles to your liking.


Custom viewpoint definition with concepts, relations, and profiles (not customized yet)

Making customizations

The concepts, relations, and profiles in the viewpoint definition can be customized in various ways.

You can use the standard editing functions in the Home ribbon tab to change the graphical representation, like shape, line and fill colors, font, line width, line style, label position, default size, arrowheads of a relation, etc. Other properties like is creatable, resize style, is movable etc. can be set in the properties pop-up window of the concept or relation. The properties window can be opened by clicking on the selected concept, relation, or profile.


Properties window of a concept, relation, and profile


Few of the properties are further explained below:


icon symbol

The default ArchiMate concepts have their own symbol displayed in the upper right corner of the element. You can change this symbol by selecting another one. Objects of other metamodels and relations do not have a symbol by default, but you can add one.

When changing or adding an icon symbol, you can select one from the list available in the symbol selection window. It shows a selection of all built-in available symbols. If you want to search all built-in symbols or use your own custom symbol, type (part of) its file name in the search box at the top of the symbol selection window, and click (or press Enter). All symbols that (partly) match the search term will be shown and you can select one. Example:



If you do not know the name of the symbol you are looking for, you can search for it via the Change Graphic Shape window that is used when changing the graphic shape of an object or relation. It also contains the complete list of available symbols.

Carefully consider whether you want to create and use custom symbols. For more information, please refer to Using custom shapes and icons in your models.

If you do not want to use the icon that is present on an object during modeling, you can hide it using the Hide icon function in the Home ribbon tab.

icon size

The first value of the icon size represents the icon width, the second value represents the icon height. This property is also available as relation property after an icon symbol has been added for the relation. There is no limit to the size of an icon, but be aware that it may end up out of sight when the icon becomes bigger than the object it is added to.

is creatable

If a concept or relation is set to not creatable, it will be indicated with the icon in the view. A concept that is not creatable will not be available to add when modeling.

arrow size

Only available in the properties window of a relation. The first value of the arrow size represents the icon width, the second value represents the icon height. Take note that changing the arrow size of an association relation will not have any effect since it has no arrow.


The figure below shows an example of various customizations that have been made to the concepts, relations, and profiles:

  • The Application component concept no longer has an icon symbol attached.
  • All concept profiles have a new graphic shape and their labels are attached outside the concept.
  • The Person profile has a different color.
  • The MobileApp profile has a different color and a different icon symbol attached.
  • The relation profiles have a different relation presentation (line color, line weight, line style) and an icon symbol attached.


Examples of customizations made to concepts, relations, and profiles

Arranging the concepts and relations

The order of the concepts and relations in the viewpoint definition determines the order in which the concepts are presented within their own section in the Create pane when modeling in the custom view. When adding concepts and relations to the viewpoint definition, they are automatically positioned one after the other. If you want them to be arranged differently, drag the concepts and relations in the view to the desired position. Make sure to arrange the concepts in a logical way by keeping related concepts next to each other.

Arranging the profiles is also possible, but it has no use other than for your own organization of the viewpoint definition. It will not have any effect on them when modeling.


Viewpoint definition with rearranged concepts, relations, and profiles


When applied to the model package, the concepts in the Create pane will automatically be grouped in the associated sections. Relations will always be positioned as the lower section in the Create pane.

Any custom profiles will not appear in the Create pane, but they will be available as profile in the Properties pane that can be activated for the associated object. The profiles will also be available in the Quick-create pop-up window as concept with the profile activated, so objects with this profile can directly be created without having to activate the profile.


End result of the customizations when modeling

Making the custom viewpoint available for modeling

When the custom viewpoint definition is ready, you need to add it to the custom menu definition to make it available for modeling. After that, you can validate and preview the customizations.

If you have included custom symbols in your viewpoint definition, first test the results in a test environment to make sure they are as expected.


ArchiMate is a registered trademark of The Open Group.