Hyperlinking within documents

Most readers of your documents will be familiar with hyperlinked documents. They will be used to the idea that they can follow their own train of thought as they click from one place to another within the www, rather than reading each page from start to finish.

Word has always had the capability of creating hyperlinks within a document, but creating these manually is time consuming, and keeping them up-to-date as the document changes is a huge overhead.

 

Creating Hyperlinks with eaDocX

eaDocX can create hyper-links within the generated part of your document, each time you print a relationship between two elements. For example, when printing the details of a Use Case, you might use Relationship Attributes to print details of the Actors who use the use case.:

Use case

Ref

Details

Used by Actors

Buy Something

UC001

Use case starts when....

Customer, Administrator

Configure something

UC002

Use case starts when....

Administrator

If the Customer and Administrator Actors are also generated elsewhere in the document (in any eaDocX section) then the 'Used by Actors' column can contain a hyperlink to the Actor description. If the Actors are not described, then no hyperlink appears, and the table will look like this:

Use case

Ref

Details

Used by Actors

Buy Something

UC001

Use case starts when....

Customer, Administrator

Configure something

UC002

Use case starts when....

Administrator

To add hyper-links, in the Profile tab, open the Properties window for the element you wish to use as the starting point for the link.  This displays the formatting for the element.

In the "Add information about RELATED elements", select the 'Choose attribute' button:

The Relationship Attributes window will be presented; select the element type to link to, the relationship type and direction.

Finally in the 'Standard attribute' box, choose hyperlink from the drop down menu:

Note, if no relationship exists then a string of text will be added instead.  Default text is "(none)". To change this text go to Tools | Options | Settings.

Designing a document for Hyper-links

Having this facility in eaDocX is more than just cosmetic. It allows you to design your documents in a different way. Because it's so easy for readers to click on a hyper-link to find out more, you need only include a smaller set of information in the main part of your document. Supporting material, such as the Actor definitions in the example above, can but put elsewhere in the document, perhaps as appendices. This gives readers just a core of information to read, but making all the other content easily available.

 

More is not Better

Because eaDocX hyper-links are so easy, and demonstrate the power of the links in your EA model, you may be tempted to put them everywhere. Just as a web page which is packed with hyper-links becomes annoying to read, so a Word document where every other sentence has a hyper-link may also be annoying. It also makes larger documents (those >100 pages) take longer to generate. So, we suggest using the hyper-links feature only where it really adds readability to your documents.