A Custom Document is a variant of a Linked Document in which you can create a fully customized report on any elements, diagrams or Packages, individually or in combination, from anywhere in the model, in any order you choose, and in any format and style you select or design. The granularity of the objects you choose depends entirely on how you want to your document to be populated. Whilst a normal Linked Document tends to be associated with one model element and does not change once created, a Custom Document represents a range of model elements and their properties, and every time you open the document the content is dynamically refreshed from the model objects you have included and from the template instructions.
A Custom Document can have three types of content:
- Boilerplate text from a document template - including a title page, table of contents and paragraph text
- Dynamic content that is dragged into the document from the Browser window, including Packages, diagrams, elements and features; you can bring in multiple objects together if you want to maintain the same sequence as in the Browser window
- Static content that you type or paste into the document
Custom Documents are one of the easiest and most powerful ways to produce high quality and flexible publications, for compliance with project or contractual obligations, or simply for internal use by other team members.
A productivity feature of the Custom Document facility is that you are able to refresh an entire document, or just a particular inserted fragment that will dynamically update the document, ensuring that it reflects the latest changes in the repository. The facility will be welcomed by users who have previously created documents in their favorite word processor and have manually exported and pasted into their documents diagram images which, of course, are out of date the minute the repository diagram is changed.
Creating Custom Documents is straightforward and you can generate a professional and useful document within a few minutes. The document can be saved within the repository or exported to a variety of formats, including DOCX, PDF, and RTF. To complement the documents, it is also worth considering giving an audience access to a live model - through WebEA or Prolaborate - that is part of the Pro Cloud Server.