UML diagrams in Visio

Unified Modeling Language (UML) is a standard way to draw software models, sketch out designs, or document existing designs and systems.

In Visio Online Plan 2, you can start with a blank UML template or (in some cases) modify a UML starter diagram.

Find UML templates and starter diagrams

  1. Go to File > New in the desktop app.

  2. In the search box, enter UML and press Enter to see the different UML template options.

  3. Select the kind of UML diagram you'd like to start with. You can choose a blank template with a UML stencil or choose a starter diagram to modify.

Class diagrams

Use a class diagram to make a general model of the structure of an application that specifies the system's classes, its attributes and methods, and the relationships between objects. 

Create a UML class diagram 

 Component diagrams

Use a component diagram to partition a system into cohesive components and show the structure of the code itself.

Create a UML component diagram

Deployment diagrams

Use a deployment diagram to show the structure of the run-time system and communicate how the hardware and software elements that make up an application will be configured and deployed.

Create a UML deployment diagram

Sequence diagrams

Use a sequence diagram to show the actors or objects participating in an interaction and the events they generate arranged in a time sequence.

Create a UML sequence diagram

Activity diagram

Use an activity diagram to describe the internal behavior of a method and represent a flow driven by internally generated actions.

Create a UML activity diagram

State machine diagrams

Use a state machine (or statechart) diagram to show the sequence of states an object goes through during its life. 

Create a UML state machine diagram 

Use case diagrams 

In the early stages of a development project, use use-case diagrams to describe real-world activities and motivations. You can refine the diagrams in later stages to reflect user interface and design details.

Create a UML use case diagram

Communication diagrams

Use a communication diagram to show which elements in a system interact with other elements in terms of sequenced messages. 

Create a UML communication diagram 

Database notation diagrams

Use a database notation diagram to draw a model of a database. 

Create a UML database notation diagram

Where is the UML Model Explorer?

If you’ve built UML diagrams in previous versions of Visio, you might remember using the Model Explorer. Diagrams made with the Model Explorer were locked against editing and some formatting. Beginning with Visio 2013 Professional, there is no Model Explorer. You simply drag the shapes from the stencils provided. The shapes are unlocked and more flexible, so you can change their behavior if needed. Drawings are also more customizable, yet they still meet the UML standard. We're sorry, but this also means that if you have a drawing created with Model Explorer, you can't work with it in newer versions of Visio that don't include Model Explorer. 

UML 2.5

This subscription version of Visio supports the UML 2.5 specification. All the templates, starter diagrams, and stencils conform to that specification but are also flexible to use. The shapes are unlocked, so you can change their behavior if you need to.

In Visio, you can start with a blank UML template and the appropriate stencil to create your UML diagram.

Class diagrams

Use a class diagram to make a general model of the structure of an application that specifies the system's classes, its attributes and methods, and the relationships between objects. 

Create a UML class diagram 

Sequence diagrams

Use a sequence diagram to show the actors or objects participating in an interaction and the events they generate arranged in a time sequence.

Create a UML sequence diagram

Activity diagram

Use an activity diagram to describe the internal behavior of a method and represent a flow driven by internally generated actions.

Create a UML activity diagram

State machine diagrams

Use a state machine (or statechart) diagram to show the sequence of states an object goes through during its life. 

Create a UML state machine diagram 

Use case diagrams 

In the early stages of a development project, use use-case diagrams to describe real-world activities and motivations. You can refine the diagrams in later stages to reflect user interface and design details.

Create a UML use case diagram

Database notation diagrams

Use a database notation diagram to draw a model of a database. 

Create a UML database notation diagram

Where is the UML Model Explorer?

If you’ve built UML diagrams in previous versions of Visio, you might remember using the Model Explorer. Diagrams made with the Model Explorer were locked against editing and some formatting. Beginning with Visio 2013 Professional, there is no Model Explorer. You simply drag the shapes from the stencils provided. The shapes are unlocked and more flexible, so you can change their behavior if needed. Drawings are also more customizable, yet they still meet the UML standard. We're sorry, but this also means that if you have a drawing created with Model Explorer, you can't work with it in newer versions of Visio that don't include Model Explorer. 

UML 2.0 and 2.5 specification

Visio 2013 supports the UML 2.0 specification. Newer versions of Visio_generic support the UML 2.5 specification

The Microsoft Visio UML Model Diagram template provides full support for creating object-oriented models of complex software systems.

Class diagrams

Use a static structure diagram in Visio to create class diagrams that decompose a software system into its parts.

Create a UML class diagram

Use case diagrams

In the early stages of a development project, use a use case diagram to describe real-world activities and motivations. You can refine the diagram in later stages to reflect user interface and design details.

Create a UML use case diagram

Static structure diagrams

Use static structure diagrams to create conceptual diagrams that represent concepts from the real world and the relationships between them, or class diagrams that decompose a software system into its parts.

Create a UML static structure diagram

Package diagrams

Use package diagrams to group related elements in a system. One package can contain subordinate packages, diagrams, or single elements.

Create a UML package diagram

Activity diagrams

Use an activity diagram to describe the internal behavior of a method and represent a flow driven by internally generated actions.

Create a UML activity diagram

Statechart diagrams

Use a statechart diagram to show the sequence of states an object goes through during its life.

Create a UML statechart diagram

Sequence diagrams

Use a sequence diagram to show the actors or objects participating in an interaction and the events they generate arranged in a time sequence.

Create a UML sequence diagram

Collaboration diagram

Use a collaboration diagram to show relationships among object roles such as the set of messages exchanged among the objects to achieve an operation or result.

Create a UML collaboration diagram

Component diagrams

Use a component diagram to partition a system into cohesive components and show the structure of the code itself.

Create a UML component diagram

Deployment diagrams

Use a deployment diagram to show the structure of the run-time system and communicate how the hardware and software elements that make up an application will be configured and deployed.

Create a UML deployment diagram

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