The Element List is a tabular, editable view of elements that can be displayed in the main workspace. You can use the Element List to streamline the process of creating and updating elements in a package or diagram selected from the Project Browser. This can be particularly useful for analysts to create and maintain formal requirement definitions within the model. You can also print the list or generate an RTF document directly from the entries on the Element List.
To access the Element List, either:
- Select a diagram or package in the Project Browser and select the View | Element List main menu option
- Select a diagram or package in the Project Browser and press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[R]
- Right-click on a diagram or package in the Project Browser and select the View Diagram As List or View Package As List menu option
- Right-click on the background of an open diagram and select the Switch to List View context menu option
The Element List tab displays, showing the element information for the selected package or diagram. There are two possible formats that you can switch between using the Show Hierarchy button () in the toolbar:
- User-Defined format - as shown below, where you determine how the element information is structured on the screen, using the value-grouping band below the toolbar
- Model Hierarchy format - as shown below, where the package and element hierarchies are represented in the display.
In the Element List you can:
- Sort the items by any column value in ascending or descending order, by clicking on the column header; initially the elements are listed in numerical order (if level numbering is turned on in the Project Browser) or alphabetical order within type
- In User Defined format, change the filtered structure of the information in the list; see Value Grouping, below
- Change the sequence of columns, by dragging column headers left or right
In Model Hierarchy format, the Name column is always on the left; you cannot move any other column into that position, although you can rearrange the order of the rest of the columns. Because of this, if you group or sort information in User Defined format and switch to Model Hierarchy format your information structure is altered, and it is not restored when you switch back to User Defined format.
- Display the Properties dialog for an item by double-clicking on the item entry
- an element by clicking on it
- a specific value by clicking twice on it (not double-clicking); either the value becomes directly editable or the Properties dialog displays in which you can edit the value
- several individual elements by holding [Ctrl] as you click on them
- a range of elements by holding [Shift] as you click on the first and last in the range.
- Add new items to the package covered by the Element List, by clicking on a listed element and pressing [Ctrl]+[N] or [Insert], or right-clicking and selecting the Add New context menu option
- in Model Hierarchy format, new elements are inserted in the order in which they appear in the Project Browser
- in User Defined format, new items are inserted to comply with any sort order and/or grouping; if the list is not sorted or grouped, the items are added to the end.
- In Model Hierarchy format, you can add a child element to the selected element by pressing [Esc] and then [Ctrl]+[N]; otherwise, elements are added as siblings of the selected element
You can add child elements only when the whole row is selected, with none of the row cells or fields highlighted. Press [Esc] to remove selection from an individual cell.
- Automatically add elements to a diagram by generating the Element List on the diagram and adding elements to the list
- Delete elements from the list by selecting the item and pressing [Ctrl]+[D].
In Model Hierarchy format, you cannot delete a parent element until all its child elements have been removed or deleted.
You can also include each element's notes (documentation), which are shown underneath the element. You can add or edit notes by clicking on the item and pressing [Ctrl]+[Space]. This transfers control to the Notes window, in which you create or edit the note text.
If it is necessary to review the element's custom (advanced) properties, click on the item and press [Ctrl]+[Enter]. This displays the Custom Properties dialog for the element.
You can do further work on the Element List using the toolbar and context menu options.
The View header defines the columns of information that are presented by the Element List, and the order in which data items are presented. By right-clicking on the header you display the Field Chooser context menu option, which in turn displays the Field Chooser dialog. This enables you to add or remove columns from the output. Between them, the View header and Field Chooser dialog show the full range of column headers available.
To add a column heading to the View header, drag it from the Field Chooser dialog onto the header, to the position you want the column of data to display. When you have selected the column headings you require, click on the red cross in the top right corner of the Field Chooser dialog to close it. If you want to remove a column from the output, drag the column heading to below the View header.
You can also change the sequence of columns, by dragging column headers left or right.
You can organize the reported data according to the value of one or more of the column categories. As in the illustration at the start of this topic, you might organize the data by Type, and within each Type by Name. If you then click on any of the other column headings, the data within this grouping is further sorted with the values of the selected column (for example, Created) in ascending or descending order.
To set up the value grouping, drag the column heading representing the primary grouping (such as Type) onto the Drag a column header here to group by that column field. Then drag the column heading for the next level of grouping (such as Name) to the right of the first heading. The two heading titles display as connected blocks, as shown below.
You can, if required, add further levels of grouping by dragging other column headings onto the hierarchy (such as Status), and restructure the order by dragging existing or additional headings into the level you want them to hold. For example, you could make Type the secondary grouping by dragging it to the right of Name, or drop Status between Type and Name.
To remove a grouping level, drag the appropriate column heading out of the sequence and below the View header. Any subordinate groupings move up a level.