Generalization shape

In a static structure diagram, a generalization UML Generalization shape icon is a relationship between a specific element and a general element, such that the specific element is fully consistent with the general element and includes additional information (such as attributes and associations). For example, the classes Polygon, Ellipse, and Spline can all be specific elements of a more general abstract class element named Shape.

To indicate a generalization, use a solid line with a hollow arrow at the end pointing toward the more general element. You can add a discriminator text label to a generalization path.

Generalization is most often used with classes, use cases, and packages, but can also be used with other UML elements.

Name a Generalization 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.


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.

Control which property values are displayed on the Generalization shape

Right-click the shape, click Shape Display Options, and then select or clear options to show or hide values.

Navigate to other views of the Generalization shape

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

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