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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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Editing Elements

When you have created elements in the Specification Manager, you can add and review the properties and characteristics of each element to whatever extent you need. You could simply set some basic properties such as the element version, status and general description in the Notes area, or you could develop extended properties (Tagged Values) or add a Linked Document to add more detailed and extensive information on the element.

Editing tasks



See also

Display/Edit Element Properties

Where a column in the Specification Manager contains a property value, you can double-click on the value and either:

  • Type a different value (such as the element name) or
  • Click on the field to display a drop-down arrow and select a value from the list

Alternatively, click on the value and press F2.

Otherwise, you can right-click on the item and select the:

  • 'Properties' menu option (or press Alt+Enter) to display the 'Properties' dialog, or
  • 'Properties window' menu option (or press Ctrl+2) to display the Properties window
Properties Dialog Properties Window

Edit Element Notes

The 'Specification - Specify' ribbon provides the 'Notes Format' icon for defining how you view existing Notes text on each element, or how you create and edit Notes, depending on how you have configured the display of Notes on the screen.

If you select the 'Preview' option, the first line of any Notes text in the Notes window displays underneath the element name. You cannot add or edit text in this space, but you can work on the text in the Notes window itself (click on the text and press the Space bar).

If you select the 'Full Notes' option, either inline or in column, the complete text of any existing Notes displays underneath or to the right of the element name, respectively. You can now create and edit the Notes directly in the field - simply click twice on the area and type in the text. The text you type here can also be viewed in the Notes window; text edits in one of the views (Notes window or Specification Manager) are updated in the other view as soon as you click off the item.

In either view, you can also right-click on a text string to display the 'Notes' context menu and perform further operations, and use keyboard shortcuts. These operations include:

  • Creating a Glossary definition from the text, and inserting existing definitions in the text
  • Generating a new element in the same Package, with the selected text as the name and linked to the text
  • Generating a new element linked to the text, that you effectively drag directly onto an open diagram
  • Creating a link from the selected text to an existing element in the model (in the Notes window only)
  • Creating a hyperlink to a wide range of target objects, including image files, diagram images, web pages, text files, Help topics and Enterprise Architect commands (Notes in the Specification Manager, or using the 'Hyperlink' icon in the Notes window toolbar)
  • Searching for instances of the selected text in a range of sources (options derived from the 'Code Editor' context menu)
  • Editing the text, with cut, copy, paste and delete

You can also select to display only the element names and notes in the Specification Manager (Document View) or to hide the Notes text altogether, in which case the element rows close up.

Hyperlink Target Objects Appearance Options Notes Code Editor Context Menu Appearance Options

Locate a selected element in the Browser window

Right-click on the element item and select the 'Find in Project Browser' option (or click on the item and press Ctrl+F).

The system expands the Browser window and highlights the element name.

Review extended properties (Tagged Values) on an element

Right-click on the element item and select the 'Tagged Values' option (or click on the item and press Ctrl+2).

The Properties window displays; select the 'Tags' tab, through which you can view, add, edit and delete Tagged Values on the selected element.

Once the Properties window is open, you can click on any element in the Specification Manager and immediately switch the focus of the 'Tags' tab to that element.

You can also show the values for specific tags used in the Package, with a Tagged Values column for each named tag. See Customize Columns. If an element has a Tagged Value that matches the column header, you can edit the value. For:

  • Values selected from a defined list, double-click on the value and change it in the 'Tags' tab
  • Free-text values, whether simple or <memo> type, click twice on the value and edit it in place

The field is not editable if the element does not have the tag, is locked or has duplicate tag names.

Customize Columns Tagged Values

Create and edit a Linked Document on an element

You can create a Linked Document on the selected element in the Specification Package, by:

  • Right-clicking on the element line and selecting the 'Linked Document' option, or
  • Clicking on the element line and pressing Ctrl+Alt+D

The 'New Linked Document From Template' dialog displays, from which you select any template you want to base the document on, or 'None' for a free-style document with no template.

When you click on the OK button, the 'Linked Document Editor' view becomes active, with the 'Document - Edit' ribbon, and you can create a document describing any aspect of the selected element.

If the element already has a Linked Document, selecting the 'Linked Document' option opens that document.

If you no longer want the Linked Document, select the 'Start > Desktop > Design > Document' ribbon option and, on the 'Linked Document' tab of the Document window, click on the Hamburger icon icon and select the 'Delete Linked Document' option.

Reviewing Elements Reporting Linked Documents Edit Linked Documents Replace or Delete Linked Documents

Finishing and Saving your changes

A quick way to save your changes and exit from the item editor is to press Esc.


  • You can also copy-and-paste text from a text file into the Specification Manager, using the text to fill the element name or notes text area of an existing element entry
  • In the Corporate and extended editions of Enterprise Architect, a User Security system can be applied that restricts or enables access to a range of operations and functions; if you cannot access a function in the Specification Manager, check with your System Administrator or Security Administrator to see if you have access permissions to work with that function

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