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Model Discussions

Using the 'Discuss' tab of the dockable Discuss & Review window, you can select an individual element or diagram and develop an informal discussion that is directly associated with that object. This makes it easy to locate, view and contribute to a discussion, or more than one discussion, on the selected object.

You can participate in discussions on different elements and diagrams simply by clicking on each object in turn; the Discuss & Review window immediately switches to the discussion of the new selected object, identified by name underneath the window tab bar.

As a discussion develops, the number of responses is shown below the original post; therefore you can see when a discussion has a new reply without having to expand and work through the thread. You can apply a priority and status to a discussion, which helps you to indicate the importance of the discussion and to resolve and close off the points raised in the discussion so that they do not continue indefinitely. You can also delete the whole posting or specific replies, to balance retaining discussion history with removing irrelevant information.

If you are using the Discussions facility a lot and want to ensure that the Discuss & Review window and the 'Discuss' tab are displayed each time you log back in for a new work session. you can set them as a default display. To do this, click on the 'Hamburger' icon and select the 'Set this Tab as Default' option.

The discussion comments pertinent to an element can also be displayed in that element on a diagram, in the 'Discussion' compartment of the element.


Select an element or diagram, then open the Discuss & Review window using one of these methods:


Start > Collaborate > Discuss > Discuss

Context Menu

Browser window > Right-click on object > Collaborate > Discuss

On diagram > Right-click on element > Collaborate > Discuss

Keyboard Shortcuts

Ctrl+9 > Discuss

Operations in Discussions



See also

Create a Discussion

At the top of the tab, the message Create New Discussion displays. You have two options, direct entry or indirect entry.

In direct entry (better for short messages), either double-click on the message or right-click on the window and select the 'Create new Discussion' menu option. Type or paste your posting. The text automatically wraps at the border of the Discuss & Review window. As you type, you can right-click on the text and perform the usual Notes text operations such as formatting and setting translation flags.

There is an option on the Preferences window, 'Window Behavior' page that sets whether to use either the Enter key or the Ctrl+Enter keys to submit a topic or post. Whichever you select, you can use the alternative option to break and insert a new line in your Discussion text.

When you have finished typing, click off the text or press the Enter key (or Ctrl+Enter keys).

In indirect entry, press Ctrl+Spacebar to display a simple text window and type or paste your discussion text there. When you have finished your message, press the Esc key to transfer the text to the 'Discuss' tab. Then press the Enter key. The advantage of the indirect method is that you can edit and format the text - especially in long messages containing several paragraphs - without risk of accidentally submitting it incomplete as a Discussion item.

When you press the Enter key:

  • An open expansion arrow and a Discussion icon icon display to the left of your text
  • Your user ID and the time of posting display just underneath your text, followed by the text 0 recent
  • The message Create New Discussion displays above your text

All new discussions are added to the top of the 'Discuss' tab.

If user security is enabled and you have selected to show avatars, the discussion icon is replaced by an image representing the user who contributed that item. If a user does not have an avatar image, a default 'head and shoulders' silhouette displays as the avatar.

Note that your text might contain words that are automatically underlined. These are terms for which a Glossary definition has been created, and positioning the cursor over one of these words will display the definition in a pop-up message box. If you do not want to indicate glossary terms, right-click on the message and click on the 'Highlight Glossary Terms' menu option. This will clear the automatic underlines across the system. Do this again if you want to restore the underlines.

Set User Avatar

Monitor Discussion

Once a discussion has been started on an element or diagram, you can set a flag to notify you whenever a response is posted to the thread. To set the flag, right-click on the diagram name in the Browser or the element name in the Browser window or in a diagram, and select the 'Collaborate > Monitor Discussions' option. The flag then operates for your user ID.

When a response is posted in a monitored discussion, the notification is a Msg button that displays at the right hand end of the application title bar. 

  1. Click on the drop-down arrow; a list of the monitored elements that have unopened responses is displayed.
  2. Click on the element to investigate; the  Discuss & Review window displays, showing the 'Discuss' tab and the response to the discussion thread.

If you want to remove a discussion flag - or all discussion flags you have set - on the 'Discuss' tab of the  Discuss & Review window click on the icon and select the 'Manage Monitored Discussions' option. The 'Manage Monitored Discussions' dialog displays, showing the monitored element names and their type, author and last-modified date.

  • Click on a specific element, or Ctrl-click on multiple names, and click on the Delete button to stop monitoring the discussions on those elements, or
  • Click on the Select All button and on the Delete button to clear all elements from your monitored discussion list
  • If you have selected elements but do not want to remove all of them, click on the Clear All button and make a different selection

If you are spending time working in diagrams, there is also a convenient facility to monitor and access Discussions on elements within the diagram. See the Collaboration Support in Diagrams Help topic.

Collaboration Support in Diagrams

Add a Response

You enter a reply to a discussion topic by clicking on the expansion arrow next to the discussion item. This changes the display to show just the selected Discussion topic at the top of the window and any existing responses to that topic underneath it, after a line broken by the text Open, n Posts.

You then press the Enter key to place the cursor at the start of the text entry field at the top of the tab. Either:

  • Type your response, or
  • Press Ctrl+Spacebar and type the text in the 'Post Reply' text box; when you have finished, press the Esc key to place the text in the 'Discuss' tab

Click on the Post button.

  • The response displays at the top of the list of replies
  • Your user name displays above the response, with your avatar to the left of it (and subsequently the date of posting displays on the right)
  • The time of posting displays on the left of the response
  • As more responses accumulate, the Post count increments

All new replies are added underneath the Discussion thread they are in response to. All responses you make before someone else posts are grouped together underneath your user name.

To return to the Discussion list mode, click on the large arrow to the left of the reply text box.

Filter Discussions

The default order of display of Discussions is to show all open Discussion topics in a list, with the most recent topic at the top. There are a number of context menu options available for you to filter which Discussions are listed, and which Discussions are presented first.

  • Show Closed Topics - Include in the list topics of discussions that have been closed
  • Visible Timeframe - Confine the list to Discussions created today, in the last 3, 7, 30 or 90 days, or restore the list to all Discussions; the 'Today+' option shows Discussions from today and the 20 most recent postings prior to today
  • Always Visible - Always display Discussions that have one or more of the statuses Open, Error, Alert, Accept, or Reject; you also have options to select discussions of all statuses, or to clear all status selections in the list
  • Sort by Most recent Activity - Display the list of discussions with the most recent exchange of responses at the top, and the least active Discussions at the end

Edit Postings

Whilst you are typing a message, the editor automatically checks the spelling and underlines possible spelling errors in red. You can backspace or move the cursor to the errors to correct them. You can also move the cursor anywhere in the message body and add or delete text (press the Delete key).

Once you have pressed the Enter key to post a message, you can delete the whole message but you cannot edit it.

Copy Discussion Text

If you want to re-use some or all of the text of a saved Discussion item, you can open the text in a (read only) pop-up dialog, by pressing Ctrl+Space.  You can then select the text you want and press Ctrl+C to copy it to the clipboard.  Alternatively, you can right-click a Discussion item and choose "Copy to Clipboard", to copy all of the text from that item.

The copied text can then be pasted into a new Discussion item or into another document in Enterprise Architect.

Set Discussion Status

The Review Open Status icon against a new Discussion indicates that the Discussion has the status of 'Open'. To change the status, right-click on the Discussion item and select either:

  • Alert
  • Error
  • Accept
  • Reject
  • Closed

If the Discussion already has one of these statuses, you can also select the 'Open' option to return the Discussion to 'Open' status.

When you review the Discussions in the Discuss & Review window, you might want to include Discussions that have the status of 'Closed', or you might prefer to hide them. To toggle the inclusion of closed Discussions, right-click on the body of the window and click on the 'Show Closed Topics' option.

Set Discussion Priority

As part of the Discussion, you might want to identify the priority of a point being raised. It might be very important to act on the point, or it might be agreed that the point discusses a 'nice to have' feature that could be addressed at a later date. To set the priority, right-click on the Discussion topic and select one of the options:

  • 'Priority | High' (Review High Priority)
  • 'Priority | Medium' (Review Medium Priority), or
  • 'Priority | Low' (Review Low Priority)

Alternatively, if you decide that an item does not need to be prioritized, select the 'Priority | <none>' option. This leaves the item icon as Review No Priority.

Search for Discussion items on an element or diagram

Right-click on the body of the 'Discuss' tab (in discussion list mode for an element) and click on the 'Search Discussions' option. The Create New Discussion text changes to Enter text to search discussions.

Double-click on that message and then type in the text you want to locate in any discussion topics for the selected element. Press the Enter key.

The system runs a search for any topic that either contains that text or has a post (reply) that contains the text. The search results are listed in the tab, under the text Displaying search results for term <search term>. You can double-click on this row to type a new search term and re-run the search.

Clicking on a discussion item in the search list switches to the 'post reply' mode, where you can read the original topic and all responses to it. Clicking on the large arrow button returns you to the list of search results.

To return to the normal list of discussion items for an element, press the Esc key, reload the tab, change context, or right-click and click on the 'Search Discussions' option again.

Delete a Discussion or Reply

Right-click on the Discussion or a reply, and select the 'Delete Selected' menu option. A prompt displays to confirm the deletion. Click on the Yes button.

If you delete a Discussion, all replies associated with that Discussion will be deleted as well.

Review Discussion History


  • Click on the object name bar at the top of the window, or
  • Right-click within the body of the window, or
  • Select the 'Start > Collaborate > Discuss' ribbon option

In each case, select the 'Discussion History' option.

The Discuss & Review History window displays at the 'Discussions' tab, listing all existing discussion items on elements and diagrams.

Customizing the Search View


  • The Discussions facility is available in the Corporate, Unified and Ultimate Editions of Enterprise Architect
  • If you are working with an External Data Provider in a Cloud-connected model, you can review external data item features and characteristics in the 'External' tab of the Inspector window; see the External Item Details Help topic
  • If the editor does not highlight spelling errors, select the 'Start > Appearance > Preferences > Preferences > Objects' ribbon option and deselect the 'Disable Spelling' checkbox
  • A standard report is available for locating elements that have recently been the subject of Discussions; select the 'Start > Collaborate > Discuss > Recently Discussed' ribbon option

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