Use Case shape

In a use case diagram, a use case shape is a horizontal oval that represents something an actor uses the system for to achieve a goal. Normally, a use case is a high-level view of process, not an individual step or transaction.

The Use Case shape.

Name a Use Case shape

  1. Double-click the shape.

    A text field appears, centered on the shape.

  2. Enter a name for the shape, then press Esc when you're done.

In a use case diagram, a use case UML Use Case shape icon represents a set of events that occurs when an actor uses a system to complete a process. Normally, a use case is a relatively large process, not an individual step or transaction.

Name a Use Case shape and add other property values

Open the element's UML Properties dialog box by double-clicking the icon that represents the element in the tree view or the shape that represents the element in a diagram.

Tip: Control which property values display on a shape in a diagram by right-clicking the shape, and then clicking Shape Display Options. In the UML Shape Display Options dialog box, select and clear options to display or hide property values.

Properties:

Property

Description

Full Path

The UML Model Diagram template automatically provides full information about the element's path in the system model hierarchy. You can't edit this information but if you move elements the path automatically updates.

Stereotype

Choose the stereotype you want from the drop-down list. If a stereotype you want to use isn't listed, you can add a new stereotype or edit an existing one by clicking Stereotypes on the UML menu.

Visibility

Choose the type of visibility (public, private, or protected) that applies to the use case.

IsRoot

Select to indicate that the use case can't have ancestors.

IsLeaf

Select to indicate that the use case can't have descendants.

IsAbstract

Select to indicate that the use case is abstract and that no instances can be created for the use case.

Documentation

Type any documentation you want to add to the element as a tagged value. When you select the shape or icon representing the element, the documentation you type here also appears in the Documentation window.

Hide the name or stereotype of a Use Case shape

Right-click the shape, click Shape Display Options, and then clear Name or Stereotype.

Add extension points to a Use Case shape

An extension point identifies a point where the behavior of a use case can be augmented with elements of another (extending) use case.

  1. In a use case diagram, drag a Use Case shape onto the drawing page.

  2. Double-click the Use Case shape, and then click the Extension Points category.

  3. Click New, type the extension point name you want, and then click OK.

  4. Repeat step 3 for each extension point you want to add, and then click OK.

    Tip: To hide the extension points compartment of the Use Case shape, right-click the shape, click Shape Display Options, and then clear Extension point. To apply this change only to the selected shape, clear the option Apply to all similar UML shapes on the current page in the Shape Display Options dialog box.

Show documentation and other tagged values associated with a use case

Right-click the Use Case shape, click Shape Display Options, and then select Properties.

Navigate to other views of the use case

Right-click the shape, click Views, select the view you want, and then click OK.

See Also

Create a UML use case diagram

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