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When you open Enterprise Architect version 13 or later you will see a set of Ribbons at the top of the screen. This is a modern, contemporary way of accessing the tool's powerful features. Ribbons bring many features immediately to the surface, making them easily accessible to a modeler; both new users and those who have been using Enterprise Architect for many years will be delighted to find their preferred tools right at their fingertips. Each Ribbon provides actions with a particular focus, and the commands on the Ribbons are grouped by function into panels.

Searching for an Item

The Ribbons expose a wide range of Enterprise Architect features, and the system provides two facilities to help you locate and access the feature you need:

  • Click on the 'Find Command' field at the end of the sequence of tabs and type in some text relating to the feature you want to locate, then press the Enter key; this displays a hierarchical menu of options that match your search text, and when you click on an option the appropriate dialog opens
    Note that this facility is only available in the 'Microsoft Office 2016' Visual Style theme
  • Click on the button (for File Management options) to the left of the Ribbon tabs and, on the resulting dialog, type your search text in the 'Search' field at the bottom; a list of options relating to the search text is immediately displayed down the left hand side of the dialog and, when you click on an option, the appropriate dialog opens

Also, when you 'mouse over' any option on any of the Ribbons, a tool-tip displays in the left end of the Status Bar at the bottom of the screen, summarizing the function of the option.

You therefore have help in identifying both what option provides a function, and what function an option provides.

Contextual Ribbons

Some Ribbons are contextual and are only needed when you are performing a particular task. For example, the Document Edit Ribbon is only needed when you are viewing or editing a document inside Enterprise Architect. This Ribbon will remain visible while a document is open; when all documents are closed the Ribbon will be removed from view.

Using the Keyboard with Ribbons

The actions that are presented on the Ribbons can also be accessed using the keyboard. If you tap and release the Alt key, each panel will be annotated with a letter code. Pressing this letter on the keyboard will activate the Ribbon and display a further set of annotations for the actions in the Ribbon.

Customizing the Ribbons

If a Ribbon presents more options than you require, you can customize it to hide the panel containing those options, or hide the whole Ribbon. To do this, you select the 'Ribbon Menu' page of the Workspaces and Commands window, expand the Ribbon name and deselect the checkbox against the appropriate panel name. You can re-activate hidden panels by selecting the checkbox again.

The Workspaces and Commands window also provides the option of defining one of the ribbons as the default to automatically display when Enterprise Architect is opened in a work session. Normally the 'Start' ribbon is fully open when the system is accessed.

Minimizing the Ribbon Bar

On occasion you might need more screen space to view diagrams and other model representations. To help with this, you can conveniently minimize the Ribbons and completely hide them from view. The Ribbon tabs will still be visible, so you can click on the required tab and redisplay the corresponding ribbon until the focus is returned to another part of the user interface. Many modelers will find that leaving the Ribbons maximized will provide a convenient visual reminder of the actions that are available while working on models.

To minimize or restore the Ribbons, right-click on the Ribbon bar and select or deselect the 'Minimize the Ribbon' option. Alternatively, double-click on the currently-displayed Ribbon tab.

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