I am looking for a tool to generate UML sequence diagrams:

UML sequence diagram

The main requirement is that I don't want to move anything with the mouse:

  • The lifelines (vertical) and messages (horizontal) should be stacked to the left and top automatically.
  • I should be able to add a new lifeline (or message) as easily as a column (or row) in a spreadsheet program, and the lifelines (or messages) at the right (or bottom) of it should be automatically pushed a bit further to make place for the new one.

Other requirements:

  • Out of curiosity what program was used to create the UML sequence diagram you put in your question? Commented Jun 24, 2014 at 5:42
  • @FranckDernoncourt: This example is from Wikimedia Commons. I often use ArgoUML. I was using StarUML a long time ago.
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Commented Jun 24, 2014 at 7:25

1 Answer 1


The best I know of is Enterprise Architect (EA), now in version 14.1. Though it is cheap but not free. I am not familiar with newest versions of Papyrus or Rhapsody. They might come close. The use-cases of adding messages depends on what you want: insert, move around, add timing, push to a new sub-sequence, ... EA supports most of them.

  • Can you add a link? And add the actual price?
    – user416
    Commented Mar 8, 2019 at 12:17
  • Also, what do you mean by "move around"? Do you mean swapping two columns or rows? Or do you mean dragging an element around, for example a few pixels to the right, for aesthetics?
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Commented Mar 8, 2019 at 12:22
  • @JanDoggen: you may refer to the tutorial, also not all use-cases are mentioned. Also the uml-models.pdf found at the resources page tells a lot about Messages. However, I did not find Alt+Right Mouse Click to move messages around.
    – ngong
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 13:11
  • @NicolasRaoul: two use-cases to distinct when editing a sequence diagram: move a message to get space above for more messages, or move a message for reordering. The first is done by just a selection, the latter by Alt+selection of the message.
    – ngong
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 13:13
  • I am looking for a tool where everything "should be stacked to the left and top automatically". That is the main requirement. If I understand correctly, to use EA that way I would have to remember to always press Alt when using the mouse.
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Commented Mar 22, 2019 at 3:36

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