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How to Customize Element Templates in Doc. Composer?

Although Doc. Composer comes with a complete set of built-in element templates, you may still want to customize or even to write your own templates for maximizing the efficiency of document design. You can accomplish this by writing and programming your own element templates. In this article, we will show you how to write your own template and use it in building a document.

Compatible edition(s): Enterprise, Professional, Standard

  • January 25, 2011
  • Views: 23,156
  • PDF

Getting Started

  1. Download Article-Writing.vpp. You can also find this file at the bottom of this tutorial, under the Resources section.
  2. Open the downloaded project file in Visual Paradigm.
  3. Open the class diagram Domain diagram. The diagram is as below. In this tutorial, we are going to write a custom template that lists out the operations' details of all controller classes (i.e. classes with names ended with 'Controller').
    path highlighted in activity diagram

Create an empty document

  1. Select Tools > Doc. Composer from the application toolbar.
  2. Click on Build Doc from Scratch.
    Select 'Build doc from scratch'
    Your screen should look like this:
    Doc. Composer

Writing your template

We are going to produce a document that lists out the operations' details of all controller classes (i.e. classes with names ended with 'Controller') in a specific diagram. Here is the structure of document:

[class diagram image]
[for-each controller class]
   [Class name]
   [Table of operations]

We are going to show you how to write an element template to produce such a document. To create a template:

  1. Each element template has to be written for a specific kind of project data. It can be a diagram type, a model element type, or even a project. For example, if you want to write a template to list out all use cases in a use case diagram, you should write a template for use case diagram. To begin with, select the type of project data in Diagram Navigator or Model Explorer. In this case, select the class diagram Domain diagram in Diagram Navigator.
    Selected class diagram
  2. The Template pane lists the templates available for the selected element type, in this case, class diagram. If your Template pane is hidden, select View > Panes > Property from the application toolbar (or press Ctrl+Shift+P) to show it.
    Templates are listed
  3. You have to duplicate an existing template in order to create your own. Right-click on ANY template and select Duplicate... from the popup menu.
    Duplicate template
  4. In the Edit Template window, enter Controller Classes as the template name.
    Entered template name
  5. Copy the following template content and paste into the template editor.
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
      <!-- class diagram image -->
      <Property property="name" style="@heading+"/>
      <Image alignment="center"/>
      <IterationBlock modelType="Class">
          <ValueChecker property="name" operator="like" value="Controller"/>
        <!-- Name of class-->
        <Property property="name" style="@heading+"/>
        <!-- Description of class -->
        <ValueChecker property="description" operator="not equals" value="">
          <Property property="description"/>
          <!-- Table of operations (show when has operations)-->
          <HasChildElementChecker modelType="Operation">
            <Text style="@heading+">Operations</Text>
            <TableBlock colWidths="35, 65" tableStyle="Summaries">
              <IterationBlock modelType="Operation">
                    <!-- Name of operation-->
                    <Property property="name"/>
                    <!-- Parameters of operation -->
                    <HasChildElementChecker modelType="Parameter">
                      <Text> (</Text>
                      <IterationBlock modelType="Parameter" ignoreLastSeparator="true">
                        <Property property="name"/>
                        <HasValueChecker property="type">
                          <Text> : </Text>
                          <Property property="type" />
                        <Text>, </Text>
                    <!-- Description of operation-->
                    <Property property="description" style="Description"/>

    Your template editor should look like this:
    Entered template content
  6. Click OK to save the changes.

Using your template

Now you've defined a template. Let's develop a document with it.

  1. Select the class diagram Domain diagram from the Diagram Navigator.
    Selected class diagram
  2. Drag the template Controller Classes from the Template pane and drop it on the document.
    Dragging template to document
    You should see an image of class diagram, along with the details of controller classes presented in the document, like the following.
    Document formed
  3. Click Export at the top-right corner of the document and select PDF Document from the pop-up menu.
    Export PDF document
  4. In the Export PDF Doc. window, enter the output path.
    Export PDF document
  5. Click Export. You obtain a PDF document like this:
    Document exported

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