SpecLink-E User Documentation
If Rebuild Project Links takes as long as 10 minutes, the process may have timed out, even if you
receive a message that the process is complete. A possible solution is to restart Windows if you
have a standalone version of SLE, or have your IT Manager restart the SQL Server
(BSDSOFTLINK$DATA) on the server where the SLE server installation resides. If that does not
resolve the issue contact BSD Technical Support.
Power users of SpecLink-E may want to add more intelligence to a Master Project File by adding
links. Technically, you can add links to any project, but it is not practical to do so unless you plan
to reuse the project. The reason is that it takes more time to create a link than to simply make a
manual selection or exclusion. In a Master Project File, however, especially one that is used by
several people for different project types, adding links makes a great deal of sense.
You can increase the density of links in the master database, making the existing data more
intelligent. You may also want to add links whenever you add new products to an existing section,
connecting the product choices to appropriate installation requirements.
There are some rules about when to add a link in a Master Project File project, but often it is a
matter of judgment. For instance, it is almost always a good idea to add links under the following
• Whenever you add a paragraph that mentions a reference standard, add a green link to
the appropriate citation in Section 01-4219. If it is a new standard, be sure to add the full
citation to Section 01-4219, then add the link.
• Whenever you add a cross reference to another section, add a yellow link to the title of
that section to highlight it, or add a green link to include it in the project. Depending on
the context of the paragraph, you may also want to add other links to specific paragraphs
within the cross-referenced section.
If more than one person is going to be using the Master Project File, adding links under the
following circumstances is frequently desirable:
• If you add a new requirement that may or may not be needed, add a green link to other
relevant requirements, but leave the original paragraph unselected.
• If you add incompatible options, add a red link from each option to each of the
alternatives, so selection of any one excludes the others.
• If you add an optional paragraph with subparagraphs that are always needed if the option
is selected, add green links from the added paragraph to each of the subparagraphs.
If your Master Project File contains few alternatives and is intended to be used as edited, the
effort of adding links is probably not justified.
Adding Links from Paragraph to Paragraph
If the master links do not provide the intelligence you need, you can add links.
Each paragraph and each choice in a paragraph can have a link to any other paragraph or
To make a link from one paragraph to another:
1. In the Document Panel, position the cursor on the paragraph that is to be the link source.
2. Open the Links Window by clicking on SpecLinks in the Insert tab, Links group.
3. Click on the Target Links tab.
4. Click on Lock Source on the bottom left corner of the dialog box if you are creating links
5. Scroll the Document panel to show the paragraph that is to be the link target.
The target can be anywhere in the project, including a different section. You can open two
sections concurrently by checking out another section. To display the two sections neatly, create
a new Vertical or Horizontal Tab Group.
Remember, when two sections are open, one is always the "current" window; the section number
is blue rather than grey. You can switch back and forth between them.
6. When the target paragraph is visible, using the mouse, position the cursor over the status
columns to the left of the text, hold down the left or right mouse button, and start to drag
with the mouse. The cursor arrow changes to a circle and bar symbol.
7. Continuing to hold the mouse button down, drag the cursor to any position within the
upper window in the Target Links tab of the Links Window, and release the mouse
The link is built automatically and appears in the Target Links listing.
NOTE: User-added links appear with underlining, to differentiate them from master links.
If the parent of the target paragraph is active, the new link will be activated immediately and will
appear in bold font in the Links Window.
8. To change the type of link, double-click on the green arrow in the Influence column. It
toggles to red. Another double-click toggles it to yellow.
Adding Links from Section to Section
Creating links between sections is the exact same process as Adding Links between Paragraphs.
The primary difference is that you need to have two windows open, one for each section.
1. With both sections checked out, right click on the tab of one of the sections and choose
New Vertical Tab Group from the View tab.
2. Create links as described in Adding Links between Paragraphs.
3. You must click on the Lock Source button (on the SpecLinks dialog box) when creating
links between 2 sections.
Adding Links from and to Choices
You can also add links:
• from Choices to Paragraphs ,
• from Paragraphs to Choices , and
• from Choices to Choices.
With paragraphs that have embedded choices, you can link a choice value within the choice to
another paragraph. For example, if the choice set has two values, you can link the first value to
one paragraph and the second value to a different paragraph.
Click on a link in either the Source Links or Target Links to see detailed information about choice
links in the bottom half of the Links window. The title bar of the Links window will indicate which
link's information is currently displaying in the bottom half of the Links window.
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SpecLink-E User Documentation
Adding a Link from Paragraph to Choice
The process is similar to adding links from choices to paragraphs, except that you cannot alter
the influence of this type of link. Links to choices only select the choice, they can not change the
status of the target paragraph.
Put your cursor on the source paragraph.
1. Add a link to a target paragraph containing the choice group you wish to influence.
2. Click on the link you just established in the Links Window.
Detailed information on the source and target paragraphs for the selected link
appears in the lower part of the window.
3. In the Target panel, click on the choice group containing the link you want to toggle,
then click on the choice value.
A dot appears to the right of the arrow in the Influence column, and the arrow turns
black, indicating that a choice value has been toggled by a link from a paragraph.
4. To also activate the paragraph, or recommend it, add a second link to the paragraph
(the same way you added the first one in step 2) and double click on its influence
arrow until it is the right color.
Adding a Link from a Choice to a Choice
The process is similar to adding links from paragraphs to choices, including the fact that you
cannot alter the influence of this type of link, which is always a toggle.
1. In the Document Panel, put your cursor on the source paragraph.
2. Add a link to a target paragraph containing the choice group you wish to influence.
3. Click on the link you just established in the Links Window. Detailed information on the
source and target paragraphs for the selected link appears in the lower part of the
4. In the Source panel of the Links Window, click on the choice group containing the choice
value you want to initiate the link, then click on the appropriate choice value.
5. In the Target panel, click on the choice group containing the link you want to toggle, then
click on the appropriate choice value. A dot appears on either side of the arrow in the
Influence column and the arrow turns black, indicating a choice-to-choice toggle has
6. To also activate the paragraph, or recommend it, add a second link to the paragraph (the
same way you added the first one in step 2) and double click on its influence arrow until it
is the right color.
Adding a Link from Choice to Paragraph
Put your cursor on the paragraph with the embedded choice group.
1. Add a link to a target paragraph.
2. Click on the link you just established in the Links Window. Verify that the title bar says it
is displaying the correct link. Detailed information on the source and target paragraphs for
the selected link appears in the lower part of the window.
3. In the Source panel, click on the choice group containing the choice you want, then click
on the choice value to become the source of the link. A black dot appears to the left of
the arrow in the upper panel, indicating that a choice is the source of the link.
4. Double-click on the arrow to change the influence.
Overriding Master Links
• You cannot delete Master Links, but you can override them by changing the status
manually. You should be cautious about doing so, however, since there usually is a good
reason for the link. Prior to overriding a link you should examine the links to discover why
the link was activated. If it was activated by an erroneous selection elsewhere, make
necessary changes to other selections.
Links can always be overridden. To override a link, click in the status box. If you want
override a red link to make the paragraph active, select the paragraph by clicking in the
status box so that it has a checkmark
. If you want to override a green link to make the
paragraph inactive, exclude that paragraph by clicking in the status box so that it has an
Deleting User-Added Links
You can delete a user-added link by selecting the user-added link you want to delete in the Links
window and pressing the Delete key on your keyboard.
You are prompted to verify that you want to delete the link. (Before clicking OK, make sure the
prompt states it will delete the link that you want to delete. You will not be able to Undo if it
deletes the wrong thing.)
• You cannot delete Master Links - you can only override them.
About User-Added Choices
In user-added, user-modified master paragraphs and copied paragraphs, you can add embedded
choice options similar to those in master paragraphs. As soon as you edit a master paragraph, a
copy is made of the master choices, creating a user version. You can edit this user choice list to
suit your needs. Building choice options is more time-consuming than simply adding the text that
is needed and therefore is principally useful in an office master.
Links can be added to user-added choices.
SpecLink-E User Documentation
Adding User Choices
To add choices to a user-added or user version of a master paragraph (except the section title):
1. Add a space or otherwise edit an existing master paragraph or add a new paragraph.
2. Position the cursor in the paragraph text at the location where the new choice options are
to be inserted.
3. From the Insert tab, Choice Fields group, click on Insert. The Add Choice dialog box will
4. Click the pull-down arrow at the right end of the Choice Group Type field. The pull-down
list shows the same types as those that appear in master paragraphs, plus special types
for global terms ("architect," etc.) and units of measure. "Optional" types will automatically
insert the choice "None - N/A" at the end of the option list. Choice types can be
combined. For example, an entire choice group can be exclusive multiple choice, but
individual choice options can be fill-in-the-blank or unit of measure.
5. Select the Choice Group Type for the overall group and click Insert.
6. The Choice Group Type selected appears in the Choice Group Type box and the cursor
appears in the Current Option box. If you selected an optional choice type, the words
"None - N/A" appear in the Choice Options list. If the choice is to include units of
measure, check the UOM box. Three individual text boxes will appear, one for English,
one for metric, and one for both. For unit of measurement choices, enter the English and
metric and the combination field will fill in.
7. Enter the text of the first choice option in the Current Choice box(es) and then click on
Add. The new choice text will appear in the box above.
• To make a choice option with a fill-in-the-blank, enter a blank [____] by typing a
single left bracket, several underscores, and a single right bracket, with no
spaces. The blank may be combined with other words.
• To make a choice a Section ID Format type, select Section ID Format as the
choice type. This will allow you to change the spacing of the section numbers by
making that change in the Summary Info dialog box. You can also include the
MF95 Section ID and title by filling in the options in the MasterFormat Version
• If creating a Reference Edition Date choice type, be sure to tag the paragraph as
RS. See Applying Paragraph Tags.
• The global terms
cannot be embedded in choice options -- instead insert them
directly into the paragraph text as a choice group.
8. To add another choice option, fill in the Current Option again and click Add.
9. Continue in this manner until all the choice options have been entered. Use the Move Up
and Move Down buttons to change the order of the options. If there is a fill-in-the-blank
option, it is recommended that you leave it at the bottom of the list.
10. When the choice group is complete, press OK. Now, the new choice group with the first
option as the default appears in the paragraph. If you click on the words inside the
brackets the choice list pulls up just as it does on master paragraphs.
Tip: Check the spacing in the sentence after inserting your choice. There should be a space
before and after the choice group, separating it from the preceding and following words. If your
choice group is optional (it might not be selected at all), don't worry about the extra space in the
sentence -- when the text is printed extra spaces between words and before periods, commas,
and semi-colons are always removed.
Note: If you need to make any changes to a choice in a user-added or copied paragraph, edit the
choice or delete the choice.
MasterFormat Version (MFV) Type Choice
This function allows you to create choices with both MasterFormat 2004 and MasterFormat 1995
section IDs and section titles. The Section ID Format choice will always include this functionality,
and the MFV option can also be used with all four multiple choice types.
• When using the MFV feature, you can select from the list of section IDs for either MF04
or MF95 and the other will be automatically filled in.
• If you also want to include the section title select Append Title.
• Alternatively you can type your own Section IDs and titles in. You can include the Section
title along with the Section ID by just typing one and then the other. Or you can make
them separate choices.
To edit the MF95 Section ID and/or Section title for a user section, have the section checked in
and right-click on the Section title in the Project Tree. The MF95 Parent field will be filled in
Note that you will still only see the MF04 Section ID and title in the Document Panel. The MF95
Section ID and Section title will be in the printed output when you select Output MF95 in the Print
dialog box. If you never use the MF95 Output option, you can ignore the MF95 fields.
SpecLink-E User Documentation
To edit an existing set of choices in a user-added or user-edited master paragraph:
1. Click on the Insert tab.
2. Position the cursor on the colored text denoting an embedded choice group.
3. The choice list will open.
4. From the Insert tab, Choice Fields group, select Edit.
5. Click on the choice option to edit and make the changes in the Current Option box.
Multiple changes can be made. (The choice type cannot be changed -- if that is
necessary, remove the existing choice and build a new one.)
6. If a choice option must be removed, select it and click the Remove button. If links are
attached to this choice they will also be removed.
7. If desired, use the Move Up and Move Down arrows to change the order of the choices. It
is best to leave any fill-ins at the bottom of the list.
8. When the changes are complete press OK.
Removing User-Added Choices
To remove an entire choice group from a user-added or copied paragraph:
1. Position the cursor on the choice text (the colored text or the fill-in blank).
2. From the Insert tab, Choice Fields group, select Choice Fields and then Delete.
(Alternatively you can simply click twice on the choice box, and then use the Delete key
on your keyboard.)
3. You are prompted to verify that you wish to remove the choice group. When you click OK,
the choice group is removed.
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