SpecLink-E User Documentation
functions. You can also edit master paragraphs (edited paragraphs are indicated by a turquoise
icon in the Origin status column and a light blue background on the Sequence number column)
and add your own paragraphs (indicated by a white icon with blue lines in the Origin column and
a dark blue background in the Sequence column).
You can tell at a glance if a paragraph in the Document Panel is active (selected for inclusion,
with valid parentage) or inactive (unselected, excluded, or with incomplete parentage). Inactive
text appears with a gray background and its status columns are a darker gray. If auto numbering
is toggled on, inactive paragraphs remain unnumbered. Selected text has a green square status
box (indicating selection by a link), a checkmark in the status box, or both. If the parentage of the
selected text is complete, selected text becomes active. It stays black on a white background and
its status columns turn a lighter gray. If the style includes autonumbers, paragraph numbers are
applied automatically. For most users, selecting text by clicking on its status box is slightly faster
than the word processing alternative of blocking and then deleting unwanted text.
The major advantage of this approach is that all the master text is always available for use on
future projects. Nothing is ever deleted. When you copy sections or a whole project for use on
another project, you copy only the information in the project overlay. When you view the new
project file, you see the entire master as overlaid by the project information. Options not needed
on the original project that might apply to the new one are still visible and available for selection,
in contrast with the word processing alternative. For final content review, you can choose
Selected View or Print Preview, which hide any text not included in the project.
When you select text with a cross reference to other text, whether inside or outside that section,
the program implements a link. These links are analogous to formulas in an electronic
spreadsheet. Links may highlight text for your consideration, automatically include it in the project
file, or exclude it as incompatible with an earlier choice. While thousands of these links are
already embedded in the database, you can also make your own links to customize the sections
to your own specific needs. Links between sections are as easy to build as links within a section,
so this single file structure results in better project coordination.
Because all information is contained in a single project, you make decisions that apply to the
whole project—page setup, formatting, numbering, headers and footers, and units of measure, for
example—in one place. When you print the document, you can choose from standard page
formats or create or customize one yourself. The format is applied automatically to each section
in the project.
The working environment resembles a document in word processing, except that each paragraph
is contained within a separate cell. The status columns to the left of the paragraphs contain
additional information about each paragraph, such as its current status or the presence of a note.
Final printed output differs in appearance from the working environment. For instance, the
database contains many embedded choices, which are indicated by the use of colored fonts in
the Document Panel. Blue text indicates embedded multiple choices that are changed by clicking
on the choice and selecting alternative text from the menu displayed. Green text indicates global
options that can be changed in the Project Summary Information dialog box. Fill-ins are shown in
red, within square brackets. Optional text is shown by means of a special indicator [<>]. When the
document is printed, however, these color distinctions and markers disappear. Also, unlike a word
processor, SpecLink-E prints only the active selected text. Inactive text (paragraphs that are
unselected, excluded, or with incomplete parentage) does not appear in the final hard copy, even
though it appears on screen.
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Differences between SpecLink-E and SpecLink+
SpecLink-E is very similar to SpecLink+, as far as the output goes, but there are a number of
• SpecLink-E is an SQL application. This means that the server and the client each run a
separate part of the application, although both parts can be installed on the same
computer for a stand-alone application.
• SpecLink-E interfaces with LinkMan-E.
• Accessing your projects over a Wide Area Network or Virtual Private Network (VPN) is
now much faster than it was with SpecLink+.
• All projects are now in one database, rather than each being a separate file. There is an
option to send projects to the Archive Database.
• New Permissions Functionality -- There are now four levels of users. This feature is part
of the Corporate Edition.
• You must check out a section to make changes to it.
• SpecLink-E uses the new 2010 Microsoft Office style ribbon bar menus.
• SpecLink-E is based on MasterFormat 2004/2012+ and does not support editing in the
old MasterFormat 1995 format. See MF95 Output for information on printing using
MasterFormat 95 section IDs and titles.
• SpecLink-E displays each section on its own tab in the Document Panel.
Enhancements to Functionality
• Corporate Edition allows the assignment of roles.
• Corporate Edition users can view and/or print editor names and dates in the Document
• Corporate Edition users can view and print a section listing with the last edit date.
• Corporate users can designate a project as an Office Master to prevent unwanted edits.
• Ability to link to Autodesk Revit via LinkMan-E.
• Ability to export a Submittals log.
• Ability to modify the choice list in a user version of a master paragraph, rather than
having to copy the paragraph
• User Defined Global Terms that can be inserted throughout all of your projects
• User Defined Tags and reports to allow customized tagging of paragraphs
• Outline and Short Form Modes allow you to begin with Outline specs and then build on
them to create Short Form specs and continue to create the full specification
• Unlimited number of styles and Project Templates that can be shared among all projects
• Ability to override the Project Template on a per section basis
• Ability to designate first page header and footers, as well as section specific headers and
• Zoom view
• New All Text Draft that differentiates selected from non-selected text
• The ability to Spell Check the project
• Enhancements to Find, including Replace All and ability to use Find in the project
• Inserting images into paragraphs, as well as project notes
• Inserting hyperlinks into paragraphs, as well as project notes
• Exporting documents to PDF, Word, RTF, HTML or TXT files
• Enhanced Table functionality
SpecLink-E User Documentation
• Automatic Data Updates
• Easier toggling back and forth between Master and User versions of your paragraph by
clicking on the Sequence column in the Document Panel
• Importing User-added sections from one project to another now places them in the same
folder in the target project
Organization of Content
The SpecLink-E content is organized into Divisions based on the 2004/2012+ edition of
CSI/CSC’s MasterFormat™. There are 5 main groups of Divisions, each shown on a tab at the
left of the Project Tree panel. The tabs are:
• Front End, including Division 00 - Procurement and Contracting Requirements, Design
Criteria, and Division 01 - General Requirements and Administration, containing the 3-
Part Section Template and Unassigned user-created sections.
• Divisions 02-14 - Facility Construction Subgroup.
• Divisions 21-28 - Facility Services Subgroup
• Divisions 31-35 - Site and Infrastructure Subgroup
• Divisions 40-48 - Process Equipment Subgroup (no SpecLink-E content)
Below each Division, the first level of MasterFormat titles are listed as folders to help organize the
sections. Many folders are empty because SpecLink-E simply does not include content on those
subjects. For more detailed information about the intended use of MasterFormat and a complete
list of all its standard numbers and titles, get a copy of MasterFormat at www.masterformat.com.
The Project Tree allows you to navigate through the database and select a section you would like
to review or edit. The tree operates exactly like Microsoft’s Windows Explorer. To open a branch,
click on the plus sign adjacent to the folder. To close a branch, click on the minus sign. To open a
section in the document panel, single click (or double click depending on your Single Click to
Open Setting) on the title of the section in the tree.
The boxes to the left of the section number and title indicate the status of the section in the
project. To the right of the section title, the section acronym and catalogs are shown in
parentheses. The last date and time the section was edited is shown last. To activate a section
without checking it out (opening it) click on the status box in the Project Tree.
If you are selecting a number of sections in a row in the Project Tree, you might want to toggle on
Expand on Refresh for the duration of this process.
Toggle the Project Tree on and off by clicking the Project Tree icon in the Panels group on the
SpecLink-E uses folders to categorize the sections in the master. The Project Tree contains 5
tabs, each with multiple folders for the divisions, subfolders for the Broadscope titles, and all the
sections. To open a branch, click on the plus sign adjacent to the folder.
Move to Folder
The Move to Folder group in the Project Tree tab allows you to move to the first or last folder in
the active branch of the Project Tree. You can also move to the Previous or Next folder at the
same level as the current folder. Down One Level and Up One Level allow you to move down or
up a level from the currently highlighted folder or section in the Project Tree.
Expand to Show
The Expand to Show group in the Project Tree tab allows you to expand all folders in the active
branch of the Project Tree, one level of folders, two levels of folders or all folders in a single
branch of the tree.
Expand on Refresh
Expand on Refresh is a toggle in the Project Tree tab | Expand to Show group that forces the tree
to expand completely after changes are made that affect the tree, such as checking a section in
or out. It is off by default. You might want to turn it on temporarily if you are going through a
project and selecting section after section in the Project Tree.
The MasterFormat 2004/2012+ Database
The master specification database is divided into folders that correspond to CSI’s MasterFormat
2004/2012+, plus front end documents. These main folders in turn are divided into Broadscope
Heading folders, each of which corresponds to a MasterFormat number and title. Available
sections related to each heading are organized under each of these Broadscope folders. They
are arrayed in numerical order, using a 6 or 8-digit section number and title based on the
2004/2012+ MasterFormat published by The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI).
The Division folders contain Broadscope Heading folders corresponding to all the broadscope
listings in the 2004/2012+ MasterFormat.
SpecLink-E User Documentation
The Broadscope Headings, in turn, are parents to the sections that relate to each heading.
NOTE: The specification sections, under their respective Broadscope Heading folder, are
descriptive specifications organized according to CSI’s 2004/2012+1 MasterFormat™.
Each specification section is organized consistently using CSI’s three-part format: Part 1 -
General, Part 2 - Products, and Part 3 - Execution. Articles under each of these major parts, in
turn, are organized consistently with CSI’s SectionFormat™.
NOTE: Keep in mind that you cannot modify the SpecLink-E master database directly. You can
modify it only by information you place in your project overlay. As a result, you always have a
complete database foundation upon which to generate new projects.
As you become proficient with the software, you may want to create your own master project file
to use as the foundation for new projects.
Unassigned Sections Folder
In the Administration folder (Front End tab) of the Project Tree, there is a folder called
Unassigned Sections. When you Copy a project from SpecLink+, any sections not assigned to a
MasterFormat 2004/2012+ folder will appear in the Unassigned Sections folder. You can move
the sections from the Unassigned Sections folder to their correct folder.
Section titles correspond to the titles in MasterFormat 2004/2012+™ for the corresponding
Where the scope of a section, as described in the title, would not correspond to any title listed in
, an appropriate title is used.
Most section numbers consist of a number followed by an acronym. Section IDs in the Design
Criteria folder consist of the letters DC followed by numbers or letters.
Master section numbers in the MasterFormat 2004/2012+ hierarchy consist of 6 or 8 digits.
The section ID assigned to each section in the master database is fixed and cannot be changed,
except by copying the section to a user section.
To change the format of the section numbers on-screen and in reports, open the Summary Info
dialog box and change the Section ID Format.
To change the MF95 Section ID for a user section, check the section in, right click on it in the
Project Tree and click on Edit MF95 Section ID.
CSI's three-part SectionFormat
Most sections are organized according to the Construction Specification Institute’s Three-Part
SectionFormat. The Articles in each PART vary from section to section, based on the content of
the section. Listed below are the Article titles used when appropriate. The PARTs are always
used. The Articles marked with an asterisk * are almost always used. The Articles marked with
two asterisks ** are SpecLink-E added titles, not in the 3-Part Format.
PART 1 GENERAL
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