Creating models

Once Gaphor is started a new empty model is automatically created. The main diagram is already open in the Diagram section.

Select an element you want to place (e.g. a class) by clicking on the icon in the Toolbox and click on the diagram. This will place a new Class item instance on the diagram and add a new Class to the model (it shows up in the Navigation). The selected tool will reset itself to the Pointer tool if the option ‘’Diagram -> Reset tool’’ is selected.


It’s simple to add elements to a diagram.

Some elements are not directly visible. The section in the toolbox is collapsed and needs to be clicked first to reveal its contents.

Gaphor does not make any assumptions about which elements should be placed on a diagram. A diagram is a diagram. UML defines all different kinds of diagrams, such as Class diagrams, Component diagrams, Action diagrams, Sequence diagrams. But Gaphor does not restrict the user.

Creating new diagrams


To create a new diagram, use the Navigation. Select an element that can contain a diagram (a Package or Profile) and right-click [1]. Select New diagram and a new diagram is created.

Copy and paste

Items in a diagram can be copied and pasted (in the same diagram or another). A paste will create new items in the diagrams, the items they represent (e.g. the Class that’s shown in the Naviagtion) is not copied (call it a shallow copy if you like).

Drag and drop

Adding an existing element to a diagram is simple: drag the element from the Navigation section onto a diagram. Not all element that show up in the Navigation can be added: Diagrams and attribute/operations of a Class can not be added.

Elements can also be dragged within the Navigation section. This way classes and packages can be rearranged for example.

[1]Command-Click for MacOS X users running Gaphor in X11.