Ashley’s PlantUML Documentation

I wrote this because I find the documentation for PlantUML lacking. It’s hard to figure out exactly what commands can and cannot be used in what contexts. It’s not obvious how to find all of the options for skinparams (which set the style / look & feel for your diagrams)

PlantUML is really helpful. If it were easier to use, it would be even more helpful! Creating better documentation helps make it easier to use. This is a way I can contribute.

Note that this is a total work in progress. I’m just getting started with this. If you have any suggestions, corrections, questions, or contributions, please do let me know:

What this is… and isn’t

This is documentation about how to use PlantUML the commands, keywords, options, and other information you need to produce diagrams with PlantUML.

This is not a tutorial about UML diagrams, although there are places where I do explain a little bit about them. A little web searching will provide you with all sorts of information on UML diagram notation. Here is a formal specification of UML as a whole: The official UML site and a beginner friendly site about UML diagrams and notation:

This documentation is a very, very early version. I’m still figuring out how I want to format things, how to best index terms, and I’ve just begun to documenting a few diagrams (UML Use Cases and Sequence diagrams).


For each diagram, I’ve tried to include both visual (diagram) and text examples of what each keyword does. I’ll eventually list all of the applicable skinparams

Pages that currently have content

All Skinparams (Skin Parameters)

A reference of all skinparam settings. I’m working on writing up definitions and examples.

Color Names and Samples

This page that shows every color name with a small example (a small square swatch) of the color

I created this as a handy way of seeing what each named color looks like.

Known problems and issues

  • !include directive is not working

    There is a problem with using !include with the current plantuml.jar and building this documentation with Sphinx.

    This means that I am currently unable to include my default stylesheet (my .iuml file) and I am unable to include content for many diagrams. (For example, I use the same ‘wake to an alarm clock’ activity for the Activity diagram examples.)

All Pages (detailed table of contents)


Indices and tables