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How to create a customized symbol using ARIS Symbol Editor

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by Pablo Gonzalez in Professional ARIS posted on 2011-02-15

Tool.........: ARIS Business Architect 7.x or higher
OS............: Windows


Even with the variety of symbols on ARIS platform there are situations where we hit the following problem: none of them represents exactly what we want, so what to do? Answer: use the ARIS Symbol Editor.

With this tool you can:

  • Customize existing symbols
  • Create new symbols
  • Import / export images in order to use in symbols

Step by Step

1) Go to Start/Programs menu and choose ARIS Platform Administration/ARIS Symbol Editor 7.0.


2) Click the button >> Add Symbol (F12).



3) Double click over the symbol that is closest to what you need. The symbol is added at the end of symbols' bar:



4) Click once over the added symbol at the symbols bar and once in the center of the work area. The new symbol will be added for editing:


5) Click once in the center of the symbol, right click and select Properties:

Symbol properties

6) Change some appearance properties such as color and click OK:

symbol color

Note: In addition to changing the properties you can add several elements such as images, shapes and text.


7) Check the result:

symbol result

8) Go to File/Save  menu and save your new symbol:

Saving the symbol

By default the tool also lets you import images in several formats such as GIF, JPG, BMP and EMF.




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posted on 2011-02-15

Thanks for this introduction to Symbol Editor!


i balazs posted on 2011-02-25

Hi Pablo,


I made this, but I have a special problem. I'd like to do some special simple symbol: I'd like to import images into ARIS. I made "emf" files from these images in this Symbol Editor and I imported these files into ARIS. The products were very little ARIS symbols (less from the originals). It wasn't good for me, because I would like to use original symbols and these special symbols together in my models.

I tried to export an original ARIS symbol and then I simple imported this into ARIS. This new symbol was as little as the others from the above.

Please help me! Is it possible to import images into ARIS as the same measure as the original ARIS symbols? In what way? What must I set in this import? What must I do? ...




Pablo Gonzalez posted on 2011-02-28

Hi Mr. Istvan,

You can try this:

1) Open the ARIS Symbol Editor

2) Put the zoom in 300%

3) Import the image that you want

4) Go to the 'Save as' menu and save your image as AMF file (*.amf).

5) Go to the Administration module in ARIS Business Architect / Configuration / Method / Symbols, choose the symbol you want that the new symbol can inherit the connections / New / Symbol / [Enter Name] / Browse

6) Choose the symbol with .amf that you created in step 4

7) Press F5 (Refresh), login some database and check if the symbol have the size that you want

If not, you can go back to Symbol Editor, resize your image, save and import again.

It always works for me.

Best regards.



i balazs posted on 2011-02-28

Hi Pablo,


Thanks for Your answer! I will try it!

I "created" a little bit complicated process than Yours. I choose an ARIS symbol schema in the Symbol Editor and import the jpg file which I would like to import into ARIS. I changed the size of the jpg file (bigger or smaller) that this size will be as the same as the size of symbol schema. After this I saved this image into amf file and add this into ARIS as a new symbol image. On this way the size of the new image is good enough, I see. (But I know this is not "standard" process.)




Oscar Riquelme posted on 2011-03-07

Hi, and how can I import the new symbol, without change the others?

and how can I add the new symbol, to the process to design swim lines? form example add a symbol that represent and e-mail?


i balazs posted on 2011-03-08

Hi Ms. Oscar,


I tried to add new symbols into ARIS only. I made new symbols (above) and I add these into ARIS (as Pablo writes). This was the first time when I made this.

I used the ARIS Architect Administration modul (Configuration->Methods->Symbols->Add New). I choosed the right object and click the "New" button on the top of the symbol's form. If I added a new symbol this "symbol" wil be a new object's symbol cause it inherited all of the properties of the choosed/right object. This new object is usable on all of the form on which the original objetc is usable. This process doesn't change/modify the original object and if this new object (for example the new symbol) is not good for me it is deletable. Delete this new object is not change/modify the original.

I see the ARIS does not allow to add new objects. It allows to add a new "object version" which inherits the properties of the original. (I didn't try it but I think it.)




Pablo Gonzalez posted on 2011-03-08

Hi Mr Oscar,

Based on Mr. Balazs words, you can add or delete customized symbols without impacting the existent ones.

As I wrote in the article, in order to create an email symbol you can add a symbol which is closest what you need and modify it.

The point is that it will create a new object symbol which inherits the properties of the original (connections).




Oscar Riquelme posted on 2011-03-29

Hi again, I couldn´t answer before, too much work to do. But today I have back to this subject. First of all, thanks for the answer of everyone, but I couldn´t get closer to the solution that I need, so I upload a picture with the idea.

As you can see I want to use a new object, that actually is not in the pool of symbols of epc with swim lines.

I created an new object in the administration section, now what can I do to add this new objet into this format process?

Thanks for everything ¡¡


How add a new object to apply on swim lines

Roland Woldt posted on 2011-03-29

There is a methodological limitation in ARIS: you cannot use objects that are not allowed in that model type.

What you can do, and what was suggested above, is to derive new symbols from existing objects (e.g. to show a special Information Carrier). This will not change the underlying object type/original symbol and you can change the symbol, add new attributes, etc. that are different than the object you started from.

To see which object types are available for which model type, you might want to go to Help > Method Help in your ARIS client.

Once you added the new symbol to your model, you might also want to update your filter and template, so that these are available for you co-modelers (as you know, modeling with the Entire Method is not recommended in a project).

Maxmilliam Fernandes posted on 2011-07-05

Hi Pablo

It would be possible to change the image of an existing symbol? I want to change the symbol of a connector (XOR rule).




i balazs posted on 2011-07-06

Hi Maxmilliam,


As we wrote You can "Add" a new XOR object version into ARIS and use it, but You can't delete, change, modify the original ARIS XOR object. Your new XOR object version inherits all of the properties of the original.






Maxmilliam Fernandes posted on 2011-07-06

Creating new connectors, it is possible to replace all the standards that are already in use by the new order automatically? If so, how do I do this?





i balazs posted on 2011-07-06

Hi Maxmillian,


I don't know this.

I used the new symbol manually: I added the new symbol into the necessary models "types" and after this I added this symbols into my models. (I don't know this way automatically.)





Klaus Schulz posted on 2012-11-14

Pablo, thanks for this article, however, the ARIS editor is relative limited when it comes to more advanced requests. Where can I find vector grafic software were I can design my own symbols and that can actually convert files in WMF files?


Pablo Gonzalez posted on 2012-11-15

Hi Klaus,

As far as I know the Adobe Illustrator is able to accomplish this task. I don't know any other professional software to do this, perhaps you can try Photoshop or Gimp as well.