You can use specify fill and line colors either:

A special color values: transparent can be used, synonym of transparent black (#00000000).

Example on Gantt Diagram:

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[Activity1] lasts 5 days
[Activity2] lasts 5 days
[Activity1] is colored in White/Red
[Activity2] is colored in Silver/SeaGreen
[Activity1] -> [Activity2]

Example on Sequence Diagram:

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actor Bob #Red/Yellow
actor Alice #FF0000/FFFF00
Alice -> Bob : hello

This uses Color Gradient, see next section. See also skinparam.

Color gradient

You can also use color gradient in background, with the following syntax: two colors names separated either by:

  • |,
  • /,
  • \, or
  • -

depending the direction of the gradient.

See the previous section, and Color gradient on Class diagram page.

Automatic font color

The special value automatic can be used for font (text foreground) color. In that case, the color is either black or white, depending on the current background.

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skinparam classFontColor automatic
skinparam classHeaderBackgroundColor #444

class classA {

class classB #fff {

Color with preprocessing

You can manipulate color with Preprocessing, and the Builtin functions:

Name Description Example Return
%darken Return a darken color of a given color with some ratio %darken("red", 20)#CC0000
%is_dark Check if a color is a dark one %is_dark("#000000")true
%is_light Check if a color is a light one %is_light("#000000")false
%lighten Return a lighten color of a given color with some ratio %lighten("red", 20)#CC3333
%reverse_color Reverse a color using RGB %reverse_color("#FF7700")#0088FF
%reverse_hsluv_color Reverse a color using HSLuv%reverse_hsluv_color("#FF7700")#602800

View colors in PlantUML

A user has recently created an image to display all names colors used by PlantUML. (We thank him by the way!)

So a new feature has been added to print all those colors using a special diagram description:

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It is also possible to print a palette of colors close to some other color (using its name or HEX value).

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colors chocolate

Archimate colors

Archimate uses color names that reflect the purpose of a node:
  • Application
  • Business
  • Implementation
  • Motivation
  • Physical
  • Strategy
  • Technology

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skinparam minClassWidth 125
skinparam nodesep 10
skinparam ranksep 10

rectangle Application    #Application
rectangle Business       #Business
rectangle Implementation #Implementation
rectangle Motivation     #Motivation
rectangle Physical       #Physical
rectangle Strategy       #Strategy
rectangle Technology     #Technology

PlantUML colors

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skinparam minClassWidth 200
skinparam nodesep 10
skinparam ranksep 10

rectangle "ClassColor" {
rectangle "Class_C_Background\n #ADD1B2" #ADD1B2
rectangle "Class_N_Background\n #E3664A" #E3664A
rectangle "Class_A_Background\n #A9DCDF" #A9DCDF
rectangle "Class_I_Background\n #B4A7E5" #B4A7E5
rectangle "Class_E_Background\n #EB937F" #EB937F
rectangle "DefaultColor" {
rectangle "BackGroundColor_Default\n #FEFECE" #FEFECE
rectangle "LineColor_Default\n #A80036"       #A80036
rectangle "Legend_BackGroundColor\n #DDDDDD"   #DDDDDD
rectangle "//TBC//\n..."

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