The _metatype attribute is applied to a stereotype element. This is used where users want to hide the identity of an element as a stereotyped UML element. It is also a method of getting custom types to appear in contexts where only Enterprise Architect's inbuilt types would normally appear; for example in the lists of element types in the Relationship Matrix.
In the following example from SysML, block is defined as a stereotype that extends a UML Class.
However, a SysML user isn't interested in UML Classes, only in SysML Blocks. An element created from a stereotype defined this way, while behaving like a stereotyped Class in most contexts:
|·||Shows Block Properties rather than Class Properties as the title of its Properties dialog|
|·||Is auto-numbered as Block1 not Class1 on creation, and|
|·||Appears as Block not Class in many other contexts throughout Enterprise Architect.|