FAQs: Links

What are links?

Links are connections between individual paragraphs of specification text that are executed when a particular paragraph is selected for inclusion in the project. There are 3 types of links:

  • Links that select another piece of text
  • Links that exclude another piece of text
  • Links that highlight or recommend another piece of text

These 3 types of links are also referred to, respectively, as "yes", "no", and "maybe" links and their effects are displayed in the status boxes as a green square, a red "stop sign", and a yellow "yield sign" (triangle), respectively. The master database contains over 170,000 links in total, linking text within sections and between sections. Typical uses for links are:

  • To exclude conflicting requirements; for example, if 2 statements have mutually exclusive options, each statement will be linked to exclude the other.
  • To highlight alternative text, when there is not enough information to choose between them, or to determine whether a paragraph is needed or not.
  • To highlight the titles of sections referred to in cross-references within other sections (to prevent inadvertent omission of sections needed).
  • To select appropriate installation and quality assurance requirements whenever a product specification is selected. Basically, anything else in the spec that should be included because the product specification is included is selected by links.
  • To automatically include the full citation of referenced documents, if desired by the user (making it unnecessary to manually coordinate the References article in Part 1 of each section or the consolidated list of references in Division 1 of the specs, both of which are optional).
  • To automatically include cross-references to other sections in the Related Sections article in Part 1 of each section, if any reference to another section is included elsewhere in the section. For instance, if Part 2 of the section says something like "Glass: As specified in Section 08800" there will be a cross-reference to Section 08800 in Part 1, which will automatically be turned on by a green link, which will activate a yellow link to highlight Section 08800.

Because there is always text that might not apply to every project, we cannot always determine exactly which text to select via green links. Any of the pieces of text that are highlighted with a yellow link (or not linked at all) can be automatically selected via user-added green links, if that is appropriate. An office master can be densely linked, to increase spec preparation efficiency to whatever degree is desired.

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Can we add links to our office master?

Yes. Adding links to your office master makes it more efficient. To add links you just drag the target to the source, using your mouse. The User Manual chapter on Links has complete details.

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Can we override the links that are in the master database?

Yes.

If a green link has turned on something you don't want, exclude it manually by double-clicking in the status box until an X shows there — the text will change from black to gray and all of its "children" (sub-paragraphs) will also be omitted.

If a red link has turned off something you need, select it manually by double-clicking in the status box until a checkmark shows there. The paragraph will change from grayed out to black text (provided its "parents" are also active) and the paragraphs will be re-numbered.

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