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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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Using the Element Tab of the Browser

As you develop an element in your model, you can define a range of added-on properties of that element through the appropriate dialogs, pages and tabs. It is possible to neatly summarize all of these properties for a selected element, using the 'Element' tab of the Browser window. The properties listed - where they exist in the element - are grouped by type and include:

  • Relationships
  • Operations
  • Attributes
  • Receptions
  • Linked Features (Linked Attributes and Operations)
  • Requirements (both external and internal)
  • Constraints
  • Scenarios
  • Related Files
  • Testing items (sub-grouped as Unit, Integration, System, Acceptance, Scenario and Inspection tests)
  • Resources allocated to the element
  • Project management items (sub-grouped as Decisions, Events, Efforts, Risks and Metrics)
  • Maintenance items (sub-grouped as Features, Changes, Documents, Issues, Defects and Tasks)
  • Discussions
  • Integration

These property types are all listed by default. You can filter out types that you don't require, making it easier to find specific items by defining your own filter:

  1. Right-click on the 'Element' tab.
  2. Select 'Navigation options' from the context menu, to display the 'Select Visible' dialog.
  3. Clear the check box against each property type to hide.
  4. Click on the Save button; a prompt displays for a name for the selection. You can later select the name and re-apply the filter by clicking on the drop-down arrow to the left of the Save button, or by clicking on the name in the list of sets at the bottom of the 'Element' tab context menu.
  5. Click on the OK button.

Having listed the appropriate properties, you can perform a number of operations on them, including dragging and dropping many of them onto other elements.


Click on an element, and then apply one of these access methods:


Design > Element > Editors | Element Browser

Start > Desktop > Design > Browser > Element

Explore > Portals > Windows >  Explore > Element Browser

Keyboard Shortcuts

Alt+5 | Element Browser

Alt+1 | Browser > Element

Ctrl+1 > Element




See also

List items

If you want to open the list of items of a particular type in the appropriate window, dialog or view (to, for example, review the details of the items) right-click on the list name and select the '<object> List' option, or select any item then use the keyboard shortcut Shift+Enter.

Where a list has categories, such as Maintenance, Project or Testing, the option also operates on the selected category. For example, you might list all Maintenance Items in the 'Overview' tab of the Maintenance window, or just the Change items in the 'Changes' tab of the Maintenance window.

Alternatively, click on the list heading (such as Requirements) and press the / (forward slash) key. There are various other 'hot-key' combinations for different object types that each open a list in the appropriate dialog, but / opens the dialog or window for every object type.

Expand or collapse every list of objects

Right-click on the element name and select the 'Expand All' option to expand the list of every object type in the 'Element' tab. Select the 'Collapse All' option to collapse all the lists and just show the headings. There are keyboard alternatives for these commands - press the Ctrl and + keys, and the Ctrl and - keys, respectively

Copy Item Name to Clipboard

Copy the name of the selected list item to the clipboard by right clicking on it and selecting the 'Copy Item Name to Clipboard' option, then paste it into a text field. If the name has a status prefix in brackets, the copy operation changes the status to the item type. For example:



               [ Pass ] Verify update

If you copy the unit test name and paste it, the name will be:

        [ Unit ] Verify update

Add items of a specific type

Right-click on the property type name and select the 'New <object>' option. (This option is not applicable to all items, some of which cannot be created without using information external to the selected element.) Or select any item and use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+N for new items.

The appropriate window or dialog displays. Add new or edit existing items as necessary.

For example, if you right-click on the Attributes list name and select the 'New Attribute' option (or Ctrl+N), the Features window displays at the 'Attributes' tab, and you can add to or edit the attributes in the element.

You can also press the F2 key to open the appropriate window for adding new items or reviewing the existing items of a type.

Edit specific items

Expand the appropriate folder and double-click on the required item. Alternatively, right-click on the item name and select the 'Edit' or 'Edit > <item name>' option, or press the F2 key.

The appropriate dialog, docked window or view displays, on which you update the item.

Delete a specific item

A number of types of item have no independent existence from the parent element, and can therefore be deleted from the element without impact elsewhere. Such items include Change items, Tasks, Resources and Constraints.

To delete an item, right-click on it and select the 'Delete' option.

Drag a relationship onto a diagram

Click on the relationship in the 'Relationships' list and drag it onto the diagram.

If the element at one or both ends of the relationship is not already on the diagram, those elements are also added to the diagram.

If the relationship is already on the diagram, but hidden, it becomes visible again.


  • Right-click on the Relationships list name and select the 'Place All Related Elements in Diagram' option, or
  • Right-click on the relationship and select the 'Place Related Elements in Diagram' option

Hide/Show a Relationship in the current diagram

Right-click on the relationship in the Relationships list and select the 'Hide Relationship' or 'Show Relationship' option, as appropriate.

Display the 'Properties' dialog of the other element in the relationship

Right-click on the relationship in the Relationships list and select the 'View Related Element Properties' option.

Locate the related element in the Project tab of the Browser

Right-click on the relationship in the Relationships list and select the 'Locate Related Element' option. Then switch to the 'Project' tab.

Locate the related element in other diagrams

Right-click on the relationship in the Relationships list and select the 'Find in all Diagrams' option.

Open an associated file

Double-click on the required file path within the Files list.

If the file can:

  • Be opened within Enterprise Architect, the file opens on a separate tab in the Diagram View workspace
  • Not be opened within Enterprise Architect, the file opens in the default Windows viewer/editor for the file type
Associated Files

Display the source code for a feature

Right-click on an attribute or operation in the Attributes or Operations list or in the Linked Features list, then click on the 'View Source Code' option.


  • Click on the attribute or operation and press Ctrl+E, or
  • In the Linked Features list, double-click on the attribute or operation

If no code has been generated for the selected feature, nothing happens.

If code has been generated for the feature, the code is displayed. The source code viewer in which the source code displays depends on which editor you select as the default, either for the project as a whole or for a specific programming language; if you select the Enterprise Architect internal editor, the code displays in the Source Code Viewer with the cursor positioned on the selected feature.

Options - Code Editors Editing Source Code

Move a property to another element

Click on the property in the 'Element' tab and drag it onto the other element in a diagram. The properties you can do this for are:

  • Constraints
  • Requirements
  • Maintenance Items
  • Tests

Alternatively, for Maintenance items, right-click on the property and select the 'Move to' option. A list of the elements in the currently-active diagram is displayed; click on the element to move the property into.

If you use the 'Move to' option on Testing items, the submenu lists other categories of test on the same element, into which you can move the test details.

Copy a property to another element

As for the Move operation, with the same property/item types, but press the Ctrl key while dragging the item onto its target.

There is no equivalent menu option to copy the item.

Additional properties you can copy (by simply dragging the property onto the target without pressing the Ctrl key) include:

  • Attributes
  • Operations
  • Receptions

There is a 'Copy to' option for Test items, which copies the test from one test category to another for the same element.

Attach a Recording Marker to an Operation or Signal

Right-click on the object and select the 'Visual Analyzer | Set Breakpoint' option, and the option to set the required type of recording marker.

Place Recording Markers

Learn more