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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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Using the Checklist and Audited Checklist Artifacts

Using the Checklist Artifact, you can create any number of Checklist elements that you and other users can work through to ensure that the required aspects of a task or object have been addressed in completing the task or developing the object. You can select a checkbox against each item to indicate that the point has been addressed, and you can configure the checklist to show selected items in gray or struck out so that unselected items are more obvious.

Image showing a Checklist element, one of the kinds of UML Artifact element that can be created in Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect.

You can also display items in a flat list or a numbered or bulleted list, which helps if you do not necessarily want to check-off the items as you work through the list. If it does become necessary to select such items, you can do so through the 'Checklist Items' dialog.

You can re-use the checkboxes as well - the context menus for individual elements in a diagram, multiple elements in a diagram, and the diagram itself all have options for clearing the checkboxes so that the Checklists are ready to use again to restart a process.

When all the items on a Checklist have been selected, a green arrow displays in the bottom right corner of the element to indicate that the Checklist has been completed.

Image showing a completed Checklist Artifact element.

The Audited Checklist is an extension of the Checklist Artifact, having an associated 'Audit Records' page. It is a useful tool for Project Management, providing the facility to monitor accountability and track completion of tasks.

You can have a sequence of Checklists that must be completed in order - the first Checklist in the sequence must be complete before any checkboxes on the next Checklist are enabled for selection. This order of completion is established by creating Dependency connectors between the Checklist elements.

  • The target Checklist element of the Dependency becomes a prerequisite, and the source Checklist becomes a dependent
  • All items on the prerequisite Checklist must be selected before any items on the dependent Checklist can be selected
  • A prerequisite Checklist cannot have items deselected whilst the dependent Checklist has items selected
  • Clearing a prerequisite Checklist will also clear any dependent Checklists (as they cannot have selected items whilst the prerequisite Checklist is clear)
  • New items can be added to a prerequisite Checklist, but only if they are set to selected before saving (for the first new item a warning message displays; thereafter the new items are automatically set to selected)
  • Clearing a Checklist and its dependents will affect all Checklists in the hierarchy even if they are external to the current Package or diagram

Create a Checklist element

You create an empty Checklist element by dragging the 'Checklist' icon onto a diagram from the 'Artifacts' page of the Diagram Toolbox. The 'Artifacts' page is always present, at the bottom of every Toolbox.

A new empty Checklist Artifact, before any Checklist items have been defined.

You can also create a ready-to-use Requirements Checklist with appropriate items already in place, by selecting the 'Requirements Checklist' icon from the 'Extended Requirements' page of the Diagram Toolbox (select one of the search facilities in the Toolbox header and specify 'Requirements').

A Requirements Checklist is a stereotype Checklist element in Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect.

Set up a Checklist

To populate a Checklist element with items, double-click on the Checklist element in the diagram. The 'Checklist items' dialog displays, with the cursor in the field at the top of the dialog ready to receive the first item name.

Simply type in the item name, then press the Enter key to display and move to the next item entry field.

To the left of each item is a checkbox. If you want the item to default to selected when the element is used, click on the checkbox here.

At the bottom of the dialog are three fields:

  • Display - either accept the default of '<None>' for a simple list, or click on the drop down arrow and select for the checklist items to follow on from checkboxes, bullets or numbers
  • Check Style - click on the drop-down arrow and select whether to apply no style to items with a selected checkbox ('<None>') or to display the 'checked off' items with a line through them ('Strikeout') or in pale gray ('Grayed')
  • Spacing - either accept the default of single spacing between items, or click on the drop-down arrow and select a larger spacing between the items; the line spacing within an item remains at single spacing
    You can also change the spacing using the 'Checklist Spacing' option on the element context list

When you have finished setting up the Checklist, click on the Close button.

Edit a Checklist

To change the text, selection status or sequence of items in a Checklist element, double-click on the element to display the 'Checklist Items' dialog and click on the item to change. To:

  • Change the text of the item, simply click again and type over the current text (or right-click and select the 'Edit item' option)
  • Delete the item, right-click on it and select the 'Delete item' option
  • Toggle the status of the checkbox, click on the checkbox (or right-click and select the 'Toggle item check' option)
  • Move the item to a different position in the sequence of items, right-click and select either the 'Move item up' or 'Move item down' option
  • Change the display format to simple list, checkboxes, bullets or numbers, click on the drop-down arrow in the 'Display' field and select the appropriate option
  • Change the selected item style for all items in the checklist, click on the 'Check Style' drop-down arrow and select the appropriate option
  • Change the item spacing, click on the drop-down arrow in the 'Spacing' field and select the appropriate line spacing

Click on the Close button to save your changes and close the dialog.

Make a Checklist available to users

To make a Checklist available to other users, create it on a diagram that the users can access directly. Alternatively, save the diagram as a Pattern that the users can draw on as the basis for creating their own Checklist diagrams.

Work with a Checklist

To record, on a Checklist element with a checkbox, the completion of an action or the presence of an object, simply click on the appropriate checkbox to select it.

If you need to clear a checkbox, or several checkboxes, you can either:

  • Click on each checkbox again, or
  • Right-click on the Checklist element and select the 'Clear Checklist' option (all checkboxes in that element), or
  • Select a number of Checklist elements, right-click on one of them and select the 'Clear Checklist' option (all checkboxes in all selected elements), or
  • Right-click on the diagram background and select the 'Clear all Checklists' option (all checkboxes in all checklists on the diagram)

You can re-use the cleared Checklist for another step, stage or process.

If you have selected to display a simple, bulleted or numbered list, and you want to temporarily strike off items in the list, you can do so in the 'Checklist Items' dialog by selecting the checkbox against each item.

You can also use the element context menu to change the separation of items on the Checklist you are viewing; right-click on the element and select the line spacing you prefer.

The Audited Checklist

You can set up an Audited Checklist and other workers can make use of it, both in exactly the same way as for a Checklist. However, there is an additional context menu option - 'View audit log' - that displays an 'Audit records' page for the Audited Checklist. This 'Audit records' page is generated only for Audit Checklists, created using the 'Artifacts' toolbox page.

This page shows each change made to the checklist, the date and time of the change, who made the change, the type of change and what the change is. As shown, the changes include those made in creating or updating the checklist and the changes made by users selecting or clearing the checkboxes, including:

  • Adding Checklist items (which also records the state they were set in)
  • Deleting items
  • Re-setting the state of each item
  • Completing a Checklist
  • De-selecting an item on a completed Checklist
  • Making a Checklist a pre-requisite or dependent of another Checklist
  • Renaming a pre-requisite or dependent Checklist
  • Making a Checklist no longer the pre-requisite or dependent of another Checklist

Changes committed at the same time (such as when you click on an OK button) have one time stamp, as illustrated by the 'Add' changes in the audit log image.

If necessary, you can export the total contents of the 'Audit Records' page to a .csv file. To do this:

  1. Click on the Export button; the 'Export List' dialog displays.
  2. Browse for and select the appropriate directory in which to store the file.
  3. Enter a filename for the file, and click on the Save button.

The file is saved and can then be opened in any external spreadsheet application, such as Excel.


  • Unlike many other Artifact elements, Checklists can have a Priority of High, Medium or Low, set in the element 'Properties' dialog; this is useful for making sure a Checklist in a process is flagged as being of importance, such as in a Kanban diagram