Book a Demo

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

Prev Next

Set Up Scenario Specification

You can create a specification for a scenario in one of a number of ways:

  • Build the specification yourself, as described here, perhaps starting from a scenario created on the 'Scenarios' tab of either the Responsibilities window or the 'Properties' dialog for the element
  • Generate a specification from an Activity diagram generated itself from a scenario - see the Generate Scenario From Activity Diagram Help topic
  • Generate a specification from text held on the clipboard - see the Import a Scenario File Help topic


On a diagram or in the Browser window, select an element and open the Scenario View using one of these methods:


Start > Desktop > Design > Details > Scenario Editor

Context Menu

Inspector window > Details | Scenarios (right click) | New Scenario > Scenario View

Inspector window > Details | Scenarios | right-click on existing Scenario | Structured Scenario Editor

Keyboard Shortcuts

Alt+1 > Scenario Editor


On the 'Scenarios' tab of the Responsibilities window, click on the Edit button against a scenario (see the Scenarios Tab - Responsibilities Window Help topic)

On the 'Scenarios' tab of the element 'Properties' dialog, click on the Structure Editor button (see the Scenarios Tab - Properties Dialog Help topic)

Enter the specification basic path



See also


In the 'Type' field, click on the drop-down arrow and select 'Basic Path' (the system will generally default to this value).

In the 'Scenario' field type the name of the scenario basic path.

(These fields will be completed already if you have selected to work on a scenario created on the 'Scenarios' tab of the Responsibilities window or 'Properties' dialog.)


In the 'Action' column, overtype the new step text with the name of the first step or action.


Tab to the 'Uses' column and, if appropriate, type the name of each element used in this step. If the elements are highlighted in blue and underlined, it indicates that they are already listed in the 'Context References' tab.

You can also manage the list of elements as context references, and add to the list directly; see the Notes.


Tab to the 'Results' column and, if appropriate, type the outcome of completing this step.


Tab to the 'State' column and, if appropriate, type the name of the state into which the step moves the action.


When you move out of the 'Action' column, the next new step field displays underneath.

Repeat steps 2 to 5 as many times as is necessary.

The Scenarios view should now resemble this:

The Structured Scenarios Editor in Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect.


Click on the Save icon in the Scenarios View toolbar.


  • By default, the steps begin with a user step (indicated by an 'Actor' icon) and alternate between user and system (indicated by a 'Screen' icon) steps; however, you can control the responsible entity assigned to a new step by typing a keyword within the first 15 characters of the text in the 'Action' column - either 'User' or 'Actor' for a user step, or 'System' for a system step
    Once a step has been saved, you can change the responsible entity by either double-clicking on the icon or right-clicking on the step, and selecting 'Set Step as 'System'' or 'Set Step as 'User'' as required
  • An entry for the basic path displays in the 'Entry Points' tab, as Step 0 with no value in the 'Join' column (the basic path does not rejoin itself)
  • The values in the 'Uses', 'Results' and 'State' columns, whilst optional, are significant if you want to generate a diagram from the specification; if you type the name of an element linked to the current element (and listed in the 'Context References' tab), the element name is highlighted and underlined
  • In the 'Uses' column, in edit mode, use the 'Manage Uses Context List' context menu option to enable and disable 'Uses' cells as linked element lists as well as text fields, across the whole model; when the feature is enabled, the column shows both context-linked elements and manually-entered text, and when disabled only text entries are listed (the context-linked entries are hidden and deactivated, but not deleted - they are re-activated when the feature is enabled)
  • As you develop the scenario, you can move steps to different positions in the scenario, and insert new step lines within the body of the scenario
  • You can also create constraints on the element that have an impact on the scenarios
  • Repeat this Set Up Scenario Specification procedure for each scenario you have created; you can now adapt, enhance and interrelate the scenario specifications using the facilities of the Scenarios View:
         -  Scenarios View Toolbar
         -  Item context menu
         -  Selected Text context menu
         -  Entry Points context menu
         -  Floating Toolbar

Learn more