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Create Linked Document on an Element

If you need to provide more extensive and structured documentation on an element, you can develop this as a formatted document directly linked to the element. You can develop the document from a blank page or using a system template or user-defined template, at several different points in the work area.


Select an element in the Browser window, Diagram List, Package Browser, Specification Manager, Model Search or diagram, then use any of the methods outlined here to open the Document window or Linked Document Editor. Both features activate the 'Document - Edit' ribbon, which you use to enter and edit the text of the Linked Document.


Start > All Windows > Design > Create > Document (Document window)

Design > Element > Properties > General > Document (Document window)

Design > Element > Manage > Edit Linked Document (Linked Document Editor)

Context Menu

Right-click on the element name | Properties | Linked Document   (Document window)

Keyboard Shortcuts

Ctrl+Alt+D  (Linked Document Editor)

Alt+1 > Document  (Document window)

Alt+5 > Document  (Document window)

Create a Linked Document



See also


The Linked Document Editor automatically opens in edit mode.

The 'Linked Document' tab opens in Read mode; click on the Hamburger icon icon and select the 'Edit Mode' option. A default blank-page document opens, based on the Normal.rtf style template.

The 'Document - Edit' ribbon also displays in the Ribbon Bar.

The Normal.rtf Style Template


If you do not want to apply a system template or user-defined template, go to step 6.

If you do want to base the document on a selected template, select the 'Document - Edit > File > File > New (Clear Document)' ribbon option. A prompt displays for you to confirm that you are clearing the current document; click on the OK button.

The 'New Linked Document from Template' dialog displays.


In the 'Template' field, click on the drop-down arrow and select the template from which to create the document.

This can be either a system-supplied template or a template that you have previously created yourself.

Create Linked Document Templates


If you want to display the 'New Linked Document from Template' dialog by default whenever you start to create a Linked Document, select the 'Show this dialog on document creation' checkbox.

If you no longer want to display the dialog by default, deselect the checkbox.


Click on the OK button.

The new Linked Document opens. If you have based the document on a selected template, the document shows the content applied by the template.


Enter and format the text of the document, using the facilities of the 'Document - Edit' ribbon.

Document - Edit Ribbon Edit Linked Documents


  • You can create only one Linked Document on an element; if you need to create more, develop each document within its own Document Artifact element and link these to the model element
  • This operation is available in all editions of Enterprise Architect
  • When you have saved the document, an symbol displays in the bottom right corner of the element

Learn more