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

Set Up Cross References

It is possible to set up a cross reference (or Custom Reference) from one element in Enterprise Architect to another. You can also view existing cross references on an element, using the Context References tab on the element's Properties dialog, or the Traceability window.

To set up a cross reference, follow the steps below:

  1. In the Project Browser, locate the target element or diagram (that is, the object of the cross reference).
  2. Open a diagram that contains the elements that are to have the currently selected element as a reference.
  3. Right-click on the element in the Project Browser. The context menu displays.
  4. Select the Add custom reference menu option.
  5. In the Set up references dialog, select the checkbox against each element to that is to have the target element as a reference.
  6. Optionally, in the Comment field, type some text to describe the purpose of the reference.
  7. Click on the OK button.

Use the Cross Reference

To use the cross reference, follow the steps below:

  1. Select an element in a diagram.
  2. Select the Element | Custom References menu option. Alternatively, either press [Ctrl]+[J], or right-click on the element and select the Find | Custom References context menu option.
  3. The Custom References dialog displays, showing a list of elements that have been set as cross references for the selected element.
  4. You can open the Properties dialog for an element by highlighting it and clicking on the Open button.
  5. If you have a diagram cross reference, you can open that diagram.
  6. If you have a string of diagram links, click on the Home button to return to the original diagram.


You can delete a cross reference by selecting it on the Custom References dialog and clicking on the Delete button. Cross references are also automatically deleted if the source or target element in the reference is deleted.