How to edit XML in modeler?

I prefer the modeler over the eclipse designer, but I can’t see where to edit the xml inside the modeler. There are some features that seem to require xml editing, and I’d like to do that in the modeler.


You can download the flow and edit the xml in your favourite editor and later upload to modeler.


The reason I ask about this is that when I do what you recommend, there are many errors upon re-import (flow route arrows are disconnected, text annotation lines turn into flow route arrows, etc). Am I doing something wrong?

I don’t know, but, is possible your editor reformating your XML…

The main problem with editing the xml manually is that annotation lines are reimported to the modeler as flow routes. The issue appears to be in the flowable modeler. When I preview the process diagram in the modeler, before exporting, all annotation lines appear as route flow arrows. Plus when I hover over the line, it says “sequence flow” not “annotation”. The same applies when I simply export the xml and reimport it without changing the xml file at all.

I guess you should raise an issue at for this.

I thing too, this appears a bug.


Manually changing the XML and uploading it back again should in general work fine for adding attributes etc to existing elements. If you are adding sequence flows or adding tasks then it will be nearly impossible because you would have to write the BPMN DI part as well. Also when changing the XML I would recommend to use the app export and import route instead of doing it on a model level. Because if you have form model references etc they will get lost over a model export and import roundtrip, but it will work fine over an app export and import.
Could you elaborate a bit what you are changing in manually in the XML, then we can try to reproduce the issue you are facing.

Best regards,


I can reproduce this on my system using these steps in the flowable modeler:

  1. Create a new process diagram
  2. Add an annotation with text to the start event
  3. Add a pool
  4. Export the xml, then reimport it without making any changes. The arrow is imported as a sequence flow arrow, not an annotation line.
  5. Repeat the above process, but this time delete the pool from the process before exporting. Now the annotation arrow re-imports correctly.

So it appears (on my system at least), that the error has something to do with pools.