Create a UML state machine diagram

You can create a UML state machine diagram to show the behavior of a part of a designed system.

How an object responds to an event depends on the state that object is in. A state machine diagram describes the response of an object to outside stimuli. The object can be a computer program, device, or process.

A sample of a UML state machine diagram showing an ATM system.

First, you open the UML State Machine diagram that comes with a state machine stencil that has shapes that conform to the UML 2.5 or 2.0 standard, depending on your version of Visio.

  1. Start Visio. Or if you have a file open already, click File > New.

  2. In the Search box, type UML state machine.

  3. Select the UML State Machine diagram.

  4. In the dialog box, select the either Metric Units or US Units.

  5. Select Create.

  6. The diagram opens. You should see the Shapes window next to the diagram. If you don’t see it, go to View > Task Panes and make sure that Shapes is selected. If you still don’t see it, click the Expand the Shapes window button on the left.

  7. On the View tab, make sure the check box next to Connection Points is selected. This will make connection points appear when you start connecting shapes.

  8. Now, drag shapes you want to include in your diagram from the Shapes window to the page. To rename text labels, double-click the labels.

  1. Open Visio for the web.

  2. In the Gallery, select Blank Drawing at the top.

    To create a new, starter drawing, select Blank Drawing.

    The blank diagram opens in your browser.

  3. In the Shapes, pane, in the Search for shapes box, find the right stencil for your drawing. Type UML state machine.

  4. Select the best match from the list that's offered.

  5. Select UML State Machine Shapes in the results list to see a preview of the stencil.

  6. Select Add to add the stencil as a tab in the Shapes pane.

You're ready to begin drawing your diagram. Select the stencil, then drag a shape from it onto your diagram.

In Visio 2010, there is a statechart diagram instead of a state machine diagram. See Create a UML statechart diagram for details.

See Also

UML diagrams in Visio

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