Using the dictionary in the Editor

The Signavio Dictionary can be accessed directly through the Editor. This includes creating new dictionary entries, referencing existing dictionary entries and reading properties of already referenced entries.

Creating a new dictionary entry while modeling

Hint

To add, delete or publish a dictionary entry, you need the corresponding access rights. Workspace administrators can grant users publish, write or delete rights for the Dictionary. Please contact an administrator and ask them for the corresponding rights if you cannot access the option. Workspace administrators can find instructions on how to grant rights for dictionary users in the chapter Managing access rights.

Generally, you can add new dictionary entries in the Dictionary application that is accessible through the Signavio Explorer. Since it may be necessary to add new dictionary entries during modeling as well, especially in the beginning, it is also possible to add new dictionary entries directly from the Editor:

  • Type in the label of a diagram element, for example Check purchase order

  • Click the book icon, which is attached to the lower left corner of the element:

    Create a new dictionary entry from the Editor.

    Create a new dictionary entry from the Editor.

  • The New entry dialog opens.

  • A category for the dictionary entry is automatically preselected, depending on the type of modeling element. You may want to change the category.

  • Type in a short description of the dictionary entry. It is possible to format the text as you are used to with text editing software.

    Create a dictionary entry.

    Create a dictionary entry.

The entry will be created in the language that is currently chosen for the diagram. To translate the entry later, open it in the Dictionary, as described in Managing dictionary entries.

  • Depending on the configuration of dictionary categories in your workspace, you can add more information. In the this example, a document can be added to the entry. Insert an identifier and the URL of the document in the corresponding input fields. To add multiple documents, use the “+”-symbol.

    Link external documents to the dictionary entry.

    Link external documents to the dictionary entry.

  • Click Create and the new entry will be created. The diagram element is now referencing the dictionary entry.

Hint

It is possible to overwrite the values of dictionary attributes. This is not recommended: It makes it impossible to maintain (update) the corresponding property centrally in the dictionary. Moreover, it leads to semantic inconsistencies between elements that reference identical entries. It is not possible to overwrite a dictionary attribute value with its default value.

Using the Dictionary’s auto-completion feature

Once the Dictionary contains entries, the auto-completion feature helps you to re-use these entries when creating new elements.

  • Start typing in a label for the diagram element. As you type, search results are displayed below the element:

    Dictionary entries are suggested by the auto-completion functionality.

    Dictionary entries are suggested by the auto-completion functionality.

Hint

By default, only dictionary entries, whose category type matches the element type, pop up in the auto suggestions. This behavior can be changed by a workspace administrator as described at Editor settings.

Hint

The auto-completion feature supports wildcards (*). For example, typing C*O may return the entries CIO, CFO and CEO.

  • You can select an entry by using the Down-key on your keyboard. Press Enter to choose the selected entry. Alternatively, you can select an entry with you mouse.
  • The entry’s title will be copied into the element’s label and the dictionary entry will be referenced by the element from now on. In case the dictionary entry is of the the same type as the element, the element’s attributes will be automatically synchronized with the attributes of the dictionary entry.

Using the Editor’s drag & drop functionality for re-using dictionary entries

An alternative way of employing dictionary items is the search function for dictionary entries in the Editor. It can be accessed through the shape repository. In order to re-use an object from the dictionary, use the search box below the element repository. Search results appear as you type. Furthermore, you can apply a filter to include specific dictionary categories only:

The dictionary search box below the Editor's shape repository enables you to easily re-use dictionary objects

The dictionary search box below the Editor’s shape repository enables you to easily re-use dictionary objects.

Now, you can drag and drop the element onto the diagram canvas:

Drag and drop the element onto the diagram canvas.

Drag and drop the element onto the diagram canvas.

The dictionary entry is already referenced and dictionary attributes are displayed directly at the element.

Important

If a dictionary entry is set to manual publishing mode and has been altered without being republished, the following warning will appear when the dictionary entry is used in the Editor:

If changes in a dictionary entry used during modeling are not published, this warning will be displayed.

If changes in a dictionary entry used during modeling are not published, this warning will be displayed.

If this is the case, please make sure that to-be-published diagrams display the correct revision of the dictionary entry.

Hint

Publishing rights for dictionary entries must be specifically granted for every user by a workspace administrator.

Displaying a dictionary entry

Once an element references a dictionary entry, you can navigate to the entry.

Navigate to a dictionary entry.

Navigate to a dictionary entry.

  • Click the book icon.

  • A popup window displays the dictionary entry.

    Display a dictionary entry in the Editor.

    Display a dictionary entry in the Editor.

Click Remove link to remove the connection to the Dictionary. This is especially useful for establishing a connection to a different dictionary entry.

Click Open in dictionary. A new browser tab will open and display the full dictionary entry, including description, attached documents and a list of all diagrams that reference this dictionary entry.

Display a dictionary entry.

Display a dictionary entry.