How to Make a Composite Structure Diagram in Visio

Learn more about how to create a Visio composite structure diagram. Alternatively, try EdrawMax, a free and user-friendly UML modeling software to establish a coherent view of complex software systems.

uml composite structure diagram maker

A composite structure diagram logically represents parts of a software system using interfaces, classes, and their relationship at a micro-level. However, creating these packages from scratch requires attention to detail, especially when the system understanding depends on these data structures. This is why most organizations prefer the versatile MS Visio toolkit.

Visio composite structure diagrams are nuanced, thanks to its extensive symbol library and advanced editing tools. That said, beginners usually feel intimidated by the learning curve and the hefty investment. Thus, opting for intuitive yet advanced diagram software like EdrawMax may help them kickstart their UML modeling journey.

Let’s see how to make a composite diagram in Visio and EdarwMax, so you are better equipped to choose a convenient alternative.

In this article
  1. How to Create a Composite Structure Diagram in MS Visio?
  2. How to Create Composite Structure Diagram on EdrawMax (Easier and Free)?
  3. Tips for Creating Effective Composite Structure Diagrams
  4. Conclusion

How to Create a Composite Structure Diagram in MS Visio

MS Visio is a preferred choice among corporate officials for UML, credit to its extensive shape library and resourceful toolkit. Follow these simple steps to create organized and intricate composite structure diagrams from scratch on Visio Canvas.

  1. Start by installing Visio and registering for a subscription. Navigate to the File tab from the main menu and click New > Software and Database from the categories menu.
  2. Next, scroll down to find a suitable UML Composite Structure Diagram, click Create, and select Metric Units or US Units. You can also narrow down templates by typing composite structure diagram in the search box.
  3. Go to the Design tab and change Orientation to Landscape from the editing panel. It will help keep the diagram flow intact.
  4. It’s time to build composite structures. You should see a Shapes window next to the canvas. But if you cannot access it, go to View > Task Panes and select Shapes. Click the Expand the Shapes button from the left-side information panel.
  5. Drag any shapes to the canvas and build a composite structure draft. Double-click any text label on the canvas to rename them. Change its font size and style from the on-screen prompt.
  6. Add more members to each class by leveraging the member shapes from the Shape Panel. You can also do this by right-clicking an existing shape and inserting a member shape.
  7. Now, it’s time to connect components. The connections are usually visible next to the shapes panel on the left side of the canvas. You can also access them by selecting Connectors from the View > Task Panes, next to Shapes. Change the relationship type by right-clicking the connector and choosing a desired Connector Type.
  8. Finally, we are almost there. Resize a class by clicking the header over any shape and moving the yellow control point left or right, accordingly. The composite structure diagram is complete.

MS Visio has become a staple for UML modeling for its extensive shape inventory. However, aligning connectors within classes and building seamless interfaces between member shapes can be challenging, even when you are accustomed to the interface. Plus, you are investing hefty money in it. Thus, using Visio may not be wise, unless you are professionally bound.

How to Create Composite Structure Diagram on EdrawMax

UML modeling contributes to system communication and calls for intricate class structure, specifically when dealing with larger projects. Here, professional software like EdrawMax helps you visualize intra-class relationships and their interaction with other parts of the system with less time and effort.

It is an advanced diagramming tool with premade templates and vector-enabled UML structure symbols. Its collection of resourceful modification and AI tools helps software engineers streamline lengthy tasks, making it perfect for tight deadlines. Here is how to build a UML composite structure diagram using a template from the EdrawMax community.

Before you begin, download, install, and launch the EdrawMax desktop version. Log into your Wondershare ID or access the software using a social media account (Google, Facebook, etc).

Step 1

Start by navigating to the Templates Section from the dashboard. Type UML Composite Structure Diagram in the search box and scroll down to find the right fit for your task. Click Use Immediately to duplicate the template’s content.

create a composite structure diagram
Step 2

Once on the editing panel, import the UML diagram symbols. Navigate to the left-side library and click More Symbols > Software > UML Diagram > Desired Symbols. Simply drag the symbols on the canvas to create a rough composite structure.

create a composite structure diagram
Step 3

Add text or build connections within the classes from the Home tab. You can change the connector type, thickness, shape, and font details from the on-screen prompt.

create a composite structure diagram
Step 4

The diagram is mostly complete. Change its appearance (color scheme, theme, or background image) from the Design tab.

create a composite structure diagram
Step 5

Now, it is time to download. Navigate to the File menu from the top-left corner and click Export > Preferred Option. EdrawMax supports over 10 formats, including PNG, PDF, Visio, and SVG. You can also make it accessible to social media users by clicking the Share button from the quick-access toolbar.

create a composite structure diagram

Tips for Creating Effective Composite Structure Diagrams

Building classes and interfaces, and communicating their relationship can be difficult, especially when aiming for utmost accuracy. Here are some tips to help you introduce intricacy in your composite structure diagrams.

  • Use different colors to differentiate composite attributes. Doing so introduces clarity in inter and intra-class system structures.
  • Nodes are essential for composite structuring. So, add ports to each component and class to depict the interaction points. It can also represent additional instances within your system.
  • Don’t overcrowd individual classes with unnecessary information. Just identify the function of each class and communicate their relationship using concise text labels.


Visio composite structure diagrams are widely accepted as a go-to UML modeling solution for the extensive shape library. Likewise, EdrawMax is an attention-to-detail diagram tool with an intuitive interface to help newbies and professionals build professional-graded composite structure diagrams in minutes. Both the software have extensive symbol libraries and drag-and-drop functionality. However, if you are not up for a paid subscription, try EdrawMax.

edrawmax logoEdrawMax Desktop
Simple alternative to Visio
210+ types of diagrams
10K+ free templates & 26k+ symbols
10+ AI diagram generators
10+ export formats
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Edit diagrams anywhere, anytime
Personal cloud & Dropbox integration
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Zac Jenkins
Zac Jenkins Jul 04, 24
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