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

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Specification Manager - Overview

The Specification Manager is a document-based interface to a selected Package in the model, providing the means of creating and reviewing elements as text representations of model objects in that Package. You can rapidly define or edit properties of the elements in the Specification Manager window itself, and also immediately open a range of windows and dialogs to add or review further properties and characteristics specific to each element. A key feature of the Specification Manager is the speed and ease with which you can create, filter and review a large number of elements from one point, and develop or examine complex detail on each element or not, as you require.

You also have the facility to switch the display of the contents of a diagram to the Specification Manager view, either completely or as an inline display panel beside the graphical view of the diagram.



Design > Model > Specify

Context Menu

Right-click on Package | Open Package in | Specification Manager

Keyboard Shortcuts


The Specification Manager View

The Specification Manager initially displays as a tabbed view in the application work area, containing a:

  • Tailored instance of the Navigator Toolbar
  • List header bar of column names, and
  • Blank work area

Displaying the Specification Manager automatically opens the 'Specification - Specify' ribbon, which provides a range of options for working in the Specification Manager.

The selected Package defaults to the currently-selected Package or, if none have been selected, the first top-level Package in your model, and the element type defaults to any type held in the Package.

Showing the initial (empty) view of the Specification Manager in Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect.

If you prefer, you can drag the 'Specification Manager' tab out of the application workspace and use it as a floating or docked window.

To begin you can either:

  • Work with the selected Package, or
  • Select another Package from the Package path in the Navigator Toolbar, or
  • Create and/or select another Package in the 'Project' tab of the Browser window

If you want to select a specific type of element to review, use the 'Element Type' icon in the 'Element' panel of the 'Specification - Specify' ribbon. This also provides the option of switching back to displaying elements of any type in the Package

You can also adjust the column headings to include the columns that show the information of interest to you, and display the Filter bar to further isolate particular elements for review. For an existing Package, the Specification Manager might now resemble this:

A view of the Specification Manager in Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect.

The display shows:

  • The element icons and names, and any notes they might have (you can configure the display to hide the icons and notes)
  • The text values of each property represented by a column, where those values have been set; you can quickly edit any of the values
  • Icons in several columns, which indicate that the element has an associated object, file or Linked Document; you can double-click on these icons to display the object properties or document in the window in which it was created and, if necessary, you can edit the details

After you become familiar with what each indicator icon represents, you can display them all within the single 'All Indicators' column to save space.

When you click on an element in the display, it is marked by a vertical colored line in the left margin to indicate that the element is selected, and a vertical or horizontal line against the element property you clicked on, to indicate that the focus is on that property. In the illustration, the Author of the 'Party Description' element is selected. If you click again on the element property, the margin line changes color, to indicate that the property is open for editing. For example:

Editing an element in the Specification Manager in Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect.

Adding, displaying and changing information

When you create or review an element on the Specification Manager, you operate through one of four areas:

  1. The Navigator toolbar, which provides options to:
         -  Change the Package under review
  2. The Specification - Specify ribbon, which provides options to:
         -  Change the specification element type
         -  Open tools to create, display or review the properties, characteristics and associated records of 
            the Package or specific elements in the Package
         -  Configure the appearance of the Specification Manager display and the types of information you
            might develop from the data in the display
  3. The display area itself, where you can:
         -  Perform in-place editing by directly editing text (such as Version, Phase or element notes) or
            selecting alternative values from drop-down lists (such as Difficulty, Status or Priority)
         -  Double-click on an indicator icon and review the record or document attached to the element
         -  Drag in elements from any page of the Diagram Toolbox
  4. The element context menu, which you can display by right-clicking anywhere on an entry in the display; this provides options for:
         -  Creating and deleting elements
         -  Editing element properties (including adding and reviewing extended properties, or Tagged
         -  Locating the element in the Browser window and
         -  Refreshing the display


  • In the Corporate and extended editions of Enterprise Architect, User Security can be applied to restrict or enable access to a range of operations and functions; if you cannot access a function in the Specification Manager, check with your System Administrator or Security Administrator to see if you have access permissions to work with that function

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