Working with Class Diagrams (Class Designer)

Class diagrams help you understand the class structure of projects others have written (or that you wrote a long time ago). You can use them to customize, share and present project information with others.

The first step in presenting project information is to create a class diagram that displays what you want to show. For more information, see Viewing Types and Relationships. You can create multiple class diagrams for a project that can be used to display a distinct view of the project, a chosen subset of the project's types, or a chosen subset of the members of types.

In addition to defining what each class diagram shows, you can also change the way that information is presented; for more information, see How to: Customize Class Diagrams.

After you have fine-tuned one or more class diagrams, you can copy them into Microsoft Office documents and print them, or export them as image files. For more information, see How to: Copy Class Diagram Elements to a Microsoft Office Document, How to: Print Class Diagrams and How to: Export Class Diagrams As Images.


Class Designer does not track the location of your source files, so changing your project structure or moving source files in the project can cause Class Designer to lose track of the type, especially the source type of a typedef, base classes, or association types. You might get an error, like Class Designer is unable to display this type. If you do, drag the modified or relocated source code to the class diagram again to redisplay it.

See also

Viewing Types and Relationships
How to: Customize Class Diagrams
How to: Remove Type Shapes from Class Diagrams