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Add Multiple Elements

Enterprise Architect provides a facility for quickly creating a number of elements to be added to a diagram in one go. This helps you to organize a set of elements - all the same type or a mixture of types - and review them, renaming or deleting some if necessary, before committing them to the diagram and model. One of the very useful features of this facility is that you can import a block of lines of text and automatically create a new element from each line. You can use this to generate a large number of, say, Requirement or Business Rule elements with meaningful names, from a source document such as a spreadsheet or specification in an instant.

You set up the group of new elements using the 'Create Multiple Elements' dialog.

There are two variants of this dialog. You can create:

  • Separate elements through one of a number of keyboard commands, in which case the dialog shows the 'Name' and 'Type' columns, or
  • Elements related to one selected element using the Quick Linker arrow, in which case the dialog also provides a 'Link' column (as shown) through which you specify what the relationships are between the selected element and the new elements

Access

On an open diagram:

Keyboard Shortcuts

Insert key > Create Multiple Elements

Space Bar > Create Multiple Elements

Ctrl+right-click > Create Multiple Elements

Shift+right-click > Create Multiple Elements

Other

Drag an element's Quick Linker arrow to an open space on the diagram and release the mouse button > Create Multiple Elements

Create the group of elements

On the 'Create Multiple Elements' dialog:

Step

Action

See also

1

In the 'Name' column, overtype the Create new element text with the name of the new element.

2

In the 'Type' column, click on the drop-down arrow at the right of the field and select the required element type.

The types offered in the drop-down list are those currently listed in the Toolbox selected for the diagram (or, if you selected the option with the Quick LInker arrow, the types are the same as those in the Quick Linker list).

3

Selecting the type positions the cursor on the next line, with the 'Type' field set to the same element type as you selected from the previous element.

You can simply type in the next element name and press the Enter key to create another element of the same type, or type in the name and repeat Step 2 to add an element of a different type.

4

If you have displayed the 'Create Multiple Elements' dialog from the Quick Linker arrow menu, the dialog displays a 'Link' column for the type of relationship between the selected element and each new element.

Click on the drop-down arrow and select the relationship type from the list; the list is the same as that provided by the Quick Linker, and consists of the appropriate common relationships for the source and element types.

The first selected relationship sets the default for the next relationship you create on the dialog, and you can either leave that as it is or select a different type.

5

When you have specified a complete set of elements and relationships, you can quickly review and - if necessary - modify them using a context menu within the dialog (see the Review New Elements table) before you commit them to the diagram and model.

When you are satisfied that you have defined the objects you require, click on the OK button to add them to the diagram and model.

If the linked elements need to have other structures (such as the Object Flow link between an Activity and an Action) these are also added (in this case, an ObjectNode on the Activity and an ActionPin on the Action).

6

If you decide not to create elements from the names you have entered, press the Cancel button to delete them all and to close the dialog.

Review New Elements

Right-click on an item in the list, to display the context menu.

Option

Action

See also

Add New Element

Position the cursor in the next empty 'Name' field, ready for you to type in an element name. The 'Type' and 'Link fields' default to the values from the previous entry.

Shortcut: Ctrl+N

Edit Item

Place the selected element name in Edit mode, to be typed over with a different name.

You can also change the name, element Type and Link type by clicking on the field and overtyping or selecting a new value from the drop-down list.

Shortcut: Enter key

Delete item

Immediately remove the selected item from the dialog. The element does not and will not exist in the diagram and model, and therefore will not have any links to other elements, Packages or diagrams to check. There is no validation to establish whether to delete the element from the diagram only, or from the diagram and model.

Shortcut: Ctrl+D

Import Names from Clipboard

Insert a number of lines of text from the Windows clipboard, each line becoming the name of a new element. The element Type and Link type default to the last-defined types, which you can leave as is or change as required. If the dialog is too narrow to display the element names, you can resize it.

The imported text can come from an internal or external file. The system takes any line break (Enter, Shift+Enter, Ctrl+Enter) as the end of the text string and hence the end of the element name.