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Thread: Pretty big issue in AutoCAD MEP 2010 - Content Browser

  1. #1
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    Question Pretty big issue in AutoCAD MEP 2010 - Content Browser

    This question is regarding a highly customized Tool Catalog, and I am well equipped with screenshots. (I'm also gonna post this at TheSwamp.org boards....)

    I am helping out a fellow friend of the industry, who her company got a new IT Management contract to come in and changes some things around and apparently it screwed everything up. She brought her laptop to me and I went through and tried to get her Tool Catalog to be added to the Content Browser and recreate the Tool Palettes, etc. We have even tried it locally and it still gives an error. Everything works on AutoCAD MEP 2009 though, which is weird. I even copied the entire directory to my local Desktop and tried on my machine and still nothing. So, here goes....

    1. Everything is on the desktop in a folder I called "Stuff". The *.ATC file is located in "...\Desktop\Stuff\Catalog\Comark Building.atc".
    http://www.tannarzane.com/images_swa.../comark-01.jpg

    2. In the AEC Content tab, I have the Tool Catalog Content Root Path set.
    http://www.tannarzane.com/images_swa.../comark-02.jpg

    3. I even set the Tool Palette file locations.
    http://www.tannarzane.com/images_swa.../comark-03.jpg

    4. I then add the Catalog to the Content Browser.
    http://www.tannarzane.com/images_swa.../comark-04.jpg

    5. Then I use the eye-drop tool to bring populate the tools into the Tool Palette....
    http://www.tannarzane.com/images_swa.../comark-05.jpg

    6. And then, the error:


    7. And here's where the Styles all are, which are set up the way they should be:
    http://www.tannarzane.com/images_swa.../comark-07.jpg

    I have racked my brain all morning on this, and I know she has been for weeks now. We can't seem to figure it out from the network location OR from the local machine. Hopefully someone might have some clue for me to try..... Thanks in advance for anyone who might be able to help out.

  2. #2
    ACA/AMEP Community Chair stelthorst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pretty big issue in AutoCAD MEP 2010 - Content Browser

    Hi Tanner,

    Not much help here except confirmation you're not going crazy (at least not on this issue ). I've had the same problem in AMEP 2010 but since my current project requires AMEP 2008 haven't pursued it much. If I find time I'll look into it a little deeper but hopefully someone else has found a solution.
    Scott Telthorst
    Quality Control Manager
    Helix Electric, Inc.
    www.helixelectric.com

    Some see the glass as half full, others as half empty. As an engineer I see the glass as twice as big as it needs to be. ~Unknown~

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    Super Moderator dkoch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pretty big issue in AutoCAD MEP 2010 - Content Browser

    DISCLAIMER: I use ACA, so I will not be aware of any differences in the behavior of AMEP content.

    I am no expert on the tool palette system; for example, most of my limited experience predates the inclusion of the ability to specify a Tool Catalog Content Root Path, so I am not really certain what that does for you. My experience has been that the tools store hard-coded paths to their source files, and that once installed, those paths remain that way. (I do believe that when you initially install the software, you can specify a non-standard location for the ootb content, and that location will be used when the ootb catalogs are installed, but since my own installation at home have always used the default locations, I am not 100% certain about that.)

    Perhaps the ootb catalogs/tools retain the ability to have their paths reset by the Options dialog path, but looking at some ACA ootb tools in 2010, it sure looks like they are hard-coded. I am not seeing the %AECCONTENT_DIR% variable noted in the Help in the source file path of any ootb tools. Perhaps this works like the AEC Content path, and merely specifies the root folder for tool palette tool content, to be searched for a file of the same name if the file specified in the tool properties can not be found, but then you would think that your tools would work in that case.

    The Content Browser image you showed suggests that the catalog was created in 2008. Was AMEP 2009 used to initally create the content? Was the content originally created in the folder in which it now resides? If the source files for tools remain hard coded (or if the ones in question are hard coded), then moving the source files will break the tool. You would either have to remake the tool, or use an XML editor to edit the tool catalog ATC file (and associated files for the palettes therein) to correct all of the paths. (You can open the ATC files in plain old Notepad, but I would not recommend trying to edit them that way. It is too easy to make a mistake that way.)

    I can tell you that the path(s) under the Tool Palettes File Locations node on the Files tab of the Options dialog has nothing to do with tool catalogs, Content Browser or the source files reference by tool palette tools. The path(s) specified there point to the folder(s) where the current profile's "workspace" palettes are kept. When you i-drop a palette into your workspace, you are creating a local copy of the palette and tools. The copy will go into the top-most folder listed under that node. The copy can be made "refreshable", so that future changes to the palette can be brought into the workspace, if desired.

    This probably does not answer all of your questions, and is unlikely to provide a quick solution to your problem. Perhaps someone who understands the inner workings of the way the 2010 ACA/AMEP tool palettes work can chime in with an explanation of what the Tool Catalog Content Root Path does and does not do.

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    Default Re: Pretty big issue in AutoCAD MEP 2010 - Content Browser

    Thanks Stykface, this issue has been plagueing me for a while now.
    It was created in MEP 2008. And it has been copied and placed in another location. I found a work around which is to copy all of the styles into my template but the file goes from 700gb to 4.4mb and that is really not a true fix it is a patch, one that will make my CAD files too big and cumebrsome to work with.

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    Super Moderator dkoch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pretty big issue in AutoCAD MEP 2010 - Content Browser

    In that case, if AMEP behaves similar to ACA, you will either need to recreate the tools using the content in its current (final) location, or try using an XML editor (you can get a free one from the Microsoft website) and use a search and replace function to change the paths from the old location to the new location. I would make a backup copy of the catalog files in a safe place, prior to doing any editing, so that you can restore the originals should the editing process make the edited files unusable.

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    Default Re: Pretty big issue in AutoCAD MEP 2010 - Content Browser

    So, I dug into the .atc file and it is coded to be at the X: drive. When the new IT company came in they copied it off of the X: drive to E: and I had them rename it to the X: drive months ago, and it still does not work.

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    Default Re: Pretty big issue in AutoCAD MEP 2010 - Content Browser

    OK so if anyone ever runs into this again here is how I finally fixed it. Since our new IT company copied the files from the existing server to a new one they had that server named something else. I had to have the IT company rename the server to the previous name, (This is the step that I neglected to remember) then I had to recreate the .atc file to reference the correct name for the source files. I didn't realize that the name for the source file was still searching for the old location...I feel really stupid for overlooking that! I guess that I figured since they had already renamed the server to the same drive letter that it should work, but apparently that wasn't the case. Thank you all for your help!!

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