Drawing UML diagrams in OpenOffice Draw

In my search for a simple (and since my reasonably disastrous experiences with StarUML: stable) UML editor, I came across this set of UML symbols for use in OpenOffice Draw:


The author suggests you open the UML drawing and copy/paste elements from that into your own UML diagram. That is possible, but I prefer to add the elements from an OpenOffice Theme.

  1. Click the “Gallery” icon in OpenOffice Draw, or choose Tools > Gallery.
  2. Click on the “New Theme…” button.
  3. On the “General” tab, enter the name of the new theme, e.g. “UML”
  4. Drag the UML diagram elements from Mark Lautman’s ODG into the new UML theme. To do this, click on an element whilst holding the Ctrl key pressed. Keep holding Ctrl for a second or two. The cursor will turn into a “Copy” pointer; drag it into the empty UML theme area and drop it.
  5. The element will be added with a default title like “dd2014”, you can change this title by rightclicking the element in the Theme area and selecting contextmenu item “Title”, so sensible names will be visible in the list view.

12 Responses to “Drawing UML diagrams in OpenOffice Draw”

  1. Uficbook - Come disegnare diagrammi UML con OpenOffice Draw Says:

    […] segno qui un link a una guida semplice. Può tornare utile. « Articolo 1: Racconti sul […]

  2. Stefano Says:

    Grazie per il suggerimento che ho trovato utile

  3. Draw UML Diagrams with OpenOffice | minghuasweblog Says:

    […] https://mvantzet.wordpress.com/2009/10/20/drawing-uml-diagrams-in-openoffice-draw/ Share this:EmailPrintMoreDiggFacebookLinkedInRedditStumbleUponTwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

  4. Mateng Says:

    Thanks, is there any possibiltiy to export the theme? I have LibreOffice 3.6

  5. Grzeg Says:

    thanks – very useful.

  6. Peter Says:

    It doesn’t work or I don’t understand you description.
    The UML Shapes is an odg type file.
    I can’t drap and drop nothing into the new UML Gallery.

    • mvantzet Says:

      Hello Peter,

      It is important to keep the Ctrl key pressed while dragging shapes from the ODG file, otherwise it will not work.
      (Verified with OpenOffice 3.4.1)
      Hope that helps,


  7. Ludovic de Luna (Dynaweb Studios) Says:

    Old topic but alway usefull today ! Many thanks.

  8. TestPilot Says:

    Correction: The New way to add icons to the UML theme is to press the shift key NOT Ctrl.

  9. Vince Says:

    Good article, but is there a possibility to select all shapes and add them to the theme you create? It only seems to work if you drag and drop one by one?
    When selecting all (ctrl-a) , it adds it as just one shape instead of all the shapes in the .odg file…

    • mvantzet Says:

      Yes, unfortunately that is the way you have to do it. I have not been able to find a workaround for that. It would have been useful if OpenOffice would have a way to export/import galleries.


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