As described in Overview: A Starting Point, the Description contains the formatted description of the item or issue and can be edited in various ways. This article describes more in-depth how to use the Description editor to edit and format content in an item's Description, but it is also used in the same way for RVF Attributes. 

Open the Description editor by double-clicking in Description: 

Get Acquainted With the Editor

The Toolbar

The editor offers familiar text-editing tools:

They are all options you will likely recognize from other word processing applications. It's recommended that users familiarize themselves with all the options.

Paste Special...

One worth getting extra focus is the Paste Special... option in the Edit menu since there are so many variations of text and pictures that you may want to include in a description. The option will open a dialog with paste options that depend on the content of the clipboard. 

For copied text, the options are: 

  • RichView Format 
  • Rich text format includes formatting information
  • Text format includes only the characters
  • Unicode text includes only the characters but allow for a richer set of characters

For copied pictures, you have two options: 

  • Metafile picture inserts the copied content as an object with an embedded structure, possibly including pictures, etc.
  • Bitmap picture includes an accurate picture, but any resizing of the picture may degrade appearance

The options in the right-click context menu will depend on the element you have selected: 

When working with tables, additional options will become available:


The built-in spell-checker is active by default and uses the dictionaries included in the file folder of the swExplorer client application. You can auto-correct misspelled words, using any of the proposed corrections, or add the word to the dictionary:

You can manage and add dictionaries for other languages using the advanced options described in Advanced spell checker options.

Maximum Size of the Description

Due to performance concerns, the data size of a Description is limited. Since the Description is often loaded whenever a user opens an item structure, a description of a single item could increase the loading time for users who do not even intend to read the particular description. The size of single description may seem irrelevant, but since descriptions account for a big portion of the data size of a item, having a size limit can reduce loading time substantially.

The data size bar in the footer of the editor indicates the compressed size of the content of the description, relative the maximum size.
In case the limit is exceeded, the indicator becomes red:

Save and Exit

To save your editing and exit the editor, press the Savebutton.

To exit the editor without saving, press . If you have changed the description, you will get a confirmation dialog.

Formatting Content 

This section provides some additional guidance relating to inserting pictures and assuring an acceptable printed output. 

Inserting Pictures

Because there are so many variations of images and ways to copy and paste, this is a topic in and of itself! For pasting pictures, we suggest that you refer to Working With Large Images in the Description for guidance. If you do encounter problems, you may find helpful information in our Forums, for example: My .wmf images are not printing properly in documents and GIF pictures in a Description. If an illustration is extremely large in size and you are unable to insert it in the Description, consider adding it as an attachment using the Attachments view

The Work Area for Printed Output

When adding content to an item that will be printed, elements for which you have assigned a fixed width, e.g., images, tables, should be kept/sized to within approximately 18 cm of the work area in the Description editor. This does not apply to text as it auto-grows. In the below example, the process image and the table (if the table width has been set to a specific width) will be cut-off in the output:

For elements such as tables, if you set them to auto-size (by selecting the table, choosing Table Properties and setting the width to "auto"), it will behave like the text and will not be truncated in your output.

Mathematical Expressions

To add mathematical expressions to the description, there are currently a couple of options. 

You can paste them as a picture. If the source is an external document, you can add it as an attachment to the item as well or use an external reference.

Another option is to use a table to create the expression as shown below. 


Use of Table to Create:

Note: Description references are added to Description via the Overview view and not by using the editor.

What's Next? 

Browse through all Document Management articles and Configuration Examples for tips