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Please note : This help page is not for the latest version of Enterprise Architect. The latest help can be found here.

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Package Browser

If you want to quickly create and operate on elements in a Package, you can use the Package Browser as a workbench. The Package Browser is a tabular, editable view of the elements in a selected Package, which can be displayed either in the main View or as a floating window, and as either a List display or a Gantt chart. It can be particularly useful for setting up a Package for a specific purpose, such as when an Analyst creates and maintains formal requirement definitions within the model. When you have checked the contents of the Package, you can either print the list of elements or generate a document report on all or a subset of the elements.

You can open more than one instance of the Package Browser, to review different Packages at the same time. Each instance of the Package Browser is a separate window, identified by the Package name.

The Package Browser is related to, and can be used in conjunction with, the:

  • Diagram List, which lists the elements in a selected diagram, and
  • Specification Manager, which is a document-based interface to the Package, providing the means of creating and reviewing elements as text representations of model objects in that Package



Design > Model > List View

Design > Model > Gantt

Context Menu

Right-click on Package | Open Package in | List View

Right-click on Package | Open Package in | Gantt View

Keyboard Shortcuts

Ctrl+Alt+R (view as list)




See also

Select List View or Gantt View

When you select one of these menu paths, you select either the List View of the Package Browser, or the Gantt View.

  • List View lists all the elements in the Package, with their properties; you can manipulate this display using various menu options
  • Gantt View lists all the elements in the Package, grouped by model hierarchy, but showing the work timeline for each element and for each resource assigned to work on the element, and the percent-completion of all tasks associated with each element

Once you have displayed one of these views, you can switch to the other by right-clicking on the display and selecting the appropriate context menu option:

  • Switch to List View or
  • Switch to Gantt View
Element View The Project Gantt View Package Browser Options

Switch List View Formats

The Package Browser has a separate version of the Navigator toolbar, through which you can change the Package being investigated and, in 'List View', the content shown.

In 'List View', the Package Browser has two formats that influence the use of other options on the display:

  • User Defined format, initially a flat list, where you can define how the element information is grouped on the screen using the value-grouping band below the toolbar
  • Hierarchy format, where the elements are already organized into their Package and element hierarchies in the display (the value-grouping band is disabled)

To set the format, click on the Start page arrow icon. icon in the toolbar and select (for Hierarchy format) or deselect (for User Defined format) the 'Show Element Hierarchy' option.

Navigator Toolbar List Header

Change Standard View display

It is possible to reorganize the information in the Package Browser in a number of ways:

  • In User Defined format, sort the items by any column value in ascending or descending order, by clicking on the column header; initially the elements are listed in numerical order (if level numbering is turned on in the Browser window) or alphabetical order within type
  • Change the sequence of columns by dragging column headers left or right
  • In Hierarchy format, the 'Name' column is always on the left; you cannot move any other column into that position, although you can rearrange the sequence of the rest of the columns

    Because of this, if you group or sort information in User Defined format and switch to Hierarchy format your information structure is altered, and it is not restored when you switch back to User Defined format

Show Elements in a Child Package

Double-click on the child Package in the list to re-focus the display, showing the contents of that Package only.

Display Element Properties

Double-click on the element line to display the element 'Properties' dialog, or press Ctrl+Enter.

If the Properties window is open, click on any element to make it the focus of the Properties window.

Select Items


  • An element by clicking on it
  • A specific value by clicking twice on it (not double-clicking); either the value becomes directly editable (overtype or select from drop-down) or the 'Properties' dialog displays in which you can edit the value
  • Several individual elements by holding Ctrl as you click on them
  • A range of elements by holding Shift as you click on the first and last in the range

Add new items to the Package

Click on a listed element and press Ctrl+N or the Insert key, or right-click and select the 'Add New Element' option. The 'New Element' dialog displays; complete the fields and click on the Create button.

  • In Model Hierarchy format, the new element is inserted as a sibling of the selected element, in its parent Package
  • In User Defined format, the new element is added to the root Package selected for display in the Package Browser
Add Elements Directly to Packages

Add a child element to the selected element

Click on the selected element and press Ctrl+Shift+N.

The 'New Element' dialog displays; complete the fields and click on the Create button.

  • In Model Hierarchy format, the new element is inserted as a child of the selected element
  • In User Defined format, the new element is added to the root Package selected for display in the Package Browser
Add Elements Directly to Packages

Add elements to the Package Browser

Drag the required elements from anywhere in the Browser window. The element is listed in the Package Browser, and moved into the target Package in the Browser window.

You can also drag elements from the Package Browser into a Package in the Browser window, in either List view or Gantt view.

Add elements to a diagram from the Package Browser

In either List view or Gantt view, you can drag one or more elements from the Package Browser onto a diagram to immediately create an instance of each element on the diagram (and in the Browser window for the diagram's parent Package).

Click each element (pressing Ctrl or Shift for multiple selections) to select it before dragging it onto the diagram.

One advantage of dragging elements from the Gantt view is that it provides the additional filter on task or resource, so that you can isolate elements to be copied to a diagram or Package specific to a task or resource.

Delete elements from the list

Select the item and press Ctrl+D. This deletes the element from all diagrams and from the model itself.

In Model Hierarchy format, you cannot delete a parent element until all its child elements have been removed or deleted.

Include each element's notes (documentation)

Notes are shown underneath the element.

To add or edit notes, click on the item and press Ctrl+Shift+Space to transfer control to the Notes window, in which you create or edit the note text.

Alternatively, right-click on the element line and select the 'Edit Notes' option.

Package Browser Options

Further Work

You can do further work on the Package Browser using the toolbar and context menu options.

Package Browser Options

Learn more