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Linked Documents

When you are developing elements in your model, you might want to provide extensive documentation on an element, to provide more structured text than you can create in the element 'Notes' field. In this case, you can create a formatted document that is linked to the element. You can create a Linked Document from scratch, or from one of a range of Linked Document Templates that you define with the Linked Document Template Editor. The Linked Documents are held within the model.

Working with Linked Documents



See also

Create Linked Documents

You can create a Linked Document either:

  • Within a Document Artifact element attached to your model element, or
  • Directly on the model element

The advantages of using a Document Artifact to host the Linked Document include:

  • Visibility of the Document Artifact and hence Linked Document in the Browser window
  • As you can only have one Linked Document in an element, hosting each of several documents in its own Document Artifact and connecting the several Document Artifacts to one model element means that you have broader scope for providing information
  • Similarly, associating several elements with one document by connecting them to the host Document Artifact element means that you can share information rather than duplicating it

The advantages of using a Linked Document directly on an element include:

  • More tightly binding the content of the document to the element, so there is less ambiguity in what the information refers to
  • More tightly binding the document itself to the element, so there is less risk of the document being changed, moved or deleted without reference to the element it belongs to
Create Document Artifact Create Linked Document on an Element

Create Linked Document templates

You can base your Linked Document on one of a range of system-provided templates, each of which represents a project document type.

You can also create and use your own Linked Document templates in the 'Resources' tab of the Browser window, within the Linked Documents folder.

Create Linked Document Templates

Edit Linked Documents

You can define the style, format and layout of your Linked Document both in the template from which you create the document and in the document itself. You can edit the Linked Document from a selected element in the Document Window and in the Linked Document Editor.

Edit Linked Document Templates Edit Linked Documents

Create hyperlinks in Linked Documents

Linked Documents are intimately associated with specific elements, but you can also create hyperlinks in the document directly to other elements in the model. Having followed the link, you can perform any normal operation on that element.

Similarly, you can create new elements or diagrams to link to.

You can also create hyperlinks to other forms of documentation.

Hyperlink From Linked Document Create Element From Document

Include Linked Documents in RTF reports

Linked Documents, however they are created, are rendered into document reports when you select the 'Linked Document' checkbox in the Document Template Designer.

Reporting Linked Documents

Locate Linked Documents

In diagrams, any element that has a Linked Document is marked with an 'A' symbol in the bottom right corner.

You can also use the Model Search facility to search for elements that have Linked Documents, either using the 'Find Linked Documents' search in the 'Publish' group of system-defined searches (returning standard Linked Documents), or by creating a custom search containing this SQL Query (which returns all variations of Linked Document):

SELECT ea_guid AS CLASSGUID, Object_Type AS CLASSTYPE, Name AS Object, Object_Type AS [Type], Stereotype, Author, Scope, Status, Phase, CreatedDate, ModifiedDate

FROM t_object

WHERE t_object.Style LIKE '#WC#MDoc=1#WC#'

Create Search Definitions Properties Window - Diagram

Delete Linked Documents

You can completely remove a Linked Document from an element, or you can remove the contents of the document and replace them with the contents of an external file.

Replace or Delete Linked Documents


  • You can create a Document Artifact element to contain a Linked Document in all editions of Enterprise Architect
  • You can create and link a document to any UML element in the model, in all editions of Enterprise Architect
  • You can work on Linked Documents through the Automation Interface, using the methods GetLinkedDocument(), DeleteLinkedDocument(), SaveLinkedDocument(string Filename) and LoadLinkedDocument(string Filename)

Learn more