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Thread: Re-use of attributes in several layouts?

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    Default Re-use of attributes in several layouts?

    Hello,

    I know this is very basic, but because it encompasses several questions, I figured this is the best place to ask.

    I have a drawing template which I use for proposal drawings for my company. The template consists of the model tab with (5) layouts used to highlight various aspects of the design. There is a plan layout, three mechanical layouts and an electrical layout. In an actual set of proposal drawings, I may copy one or more of these layouts as needed or add another type altogether.

    I would like to achieve the following;
    1. Upon creation of the drawing file from the template, a dialogue box is presented asking for the client name, project name, engineers name, etc...
    2. Values which are common to every layout are shared between them and still controlled by a 'central' dialogue. However, some of these may need to overridden. An example may be using this same client name across every layout in the same 'location' on each.
    3. Values which vary are somewhat 'smart'; i.e. the first layout from the left after the model is layout '1 of N' where N is the total number of layouts in the drawing file.
    4. Values which are system based are filled in automatically; e.g. the creation date, the file location with path, etc...
    5. Utiliize the most 'vanilla' functionallity built into AutoCAD that I can use vs. VB or AutoLISP code. I am not totally uncomfortable with these systems, but I don't want to reinvent the wheel.
    6. Implement revisions 'properly' with inbuilt AutoCAD mechanisms vs. my method of copying the last revision level with borders, placing it atop the last and then editing it. I am sure something better must exist.

    I am using some attributes in the existing attached drawing, but none are linked between sheets.

    I am hoping folks on these forums can respond to the items above (referring to which # question they are answering) so that I can re-do my template the way an AutoCAD expert or AutoDesk employee would do it vs. my 'learn as you go' method which has produced a workable but inelegant solution.

    As a side note, I just noticed that I can accomplish some of this with 'find/replace' functionality but I can't imagine this is at all the preferred means.

    I am looking forward to having my mind blown!

    Thank you,
    John
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    Certifiable AUGI Addict irneb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re-use of attributes in several layouts?

    Welcome to AUGI & congrats on your 1st post. Some of what you're asking for could be achieved through Sheet Sets combined with fields.
    1. To have the dialog displayed, you'll probably need some customization (e.g. Lisp)
    2. Either use Sheet Sets to have common properties between layouts (as well as separate DWG files) or use the File -> Properties to set common values for the DWG file as a whole.
    3. I don't think this is possible with straight ACad, maybe some lisp reactor to rename tabs to keep them in order.
    4. These are already available through fields.
    5. Then to perform most of what you want, definitely look into Fields and Sheet Sets.
    6. You could use a bottom-to-top table, but you'll still need to increment the revision number manually, unless you use lisp (or such).
    Knowledge is proportional to experience, but wisdom is inversely proportional to ego!
    My little bit of "wisdom": Hind-sight is useless, unless used to improve the next forethought!

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    The Silent Type RobertB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re-use of attributes in several layouts?

    Quote Originally Posted by irneb View Post
    Welcome to AUGI & congrats on your 1st post. Some of what you're asking for could be achieved through Sheet Sets combined with fields.
    1. To have the dialog displayed, you'll probably need some customization (e.g. Lisp)
    2. Either use Sheet Sets to have common properties between layouts (as well as separate DWG files) or use the File -> Properties to set common values for the DWG file as a whole.
    If he goes with DWGProps, he already has a dialog for item #1.

    But I would suggest SSM for this. Oh, and that would have a dialog for item #1 too.
    R. Robert Bell
    Design Technology Manager
    Stantec
    Opinions expressed are mine alone and do not reflect the views of Stantec.

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    Certifiable AUGI Addict irneb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re-use of attributes in several layouts?

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertB View Post
    If he goes with DWGProps, he already has a dialog for item #1.

    But I would suggest SSM for this. Oh, and that would have a dialog for item #1 too.
    Yes, but there would be some coding needed to have either dialog (or a custom dialog) open automatically on creation of a new DWG (as John's asked in the OP). Simply starting from a template isn't going to "magically" show those dialogs, is it?
    Knowledge is proportional to experience, but wisdom is inversely proportional to ego!
    My little bit of "wisdom": Hind-sight is useless, unless used to improve the next forethought!

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    The Silent Type RobertB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re-use of attributes in several layouts?

    Quote Originally Posted by irneb View Post
    Yes, but there would be some coding needed to have either dialog (or a custom dialog) open automatically on creation of a new DWG (as John's asked in the OP). Simply starting from a template isn't going to "magically" show those dialogs, is it?
    No, but as R.K. would say, you don't need to use technology to solve this issue, this is a training issue. The user should be trained to use either dialog when they start a new drawing. At the very least provide a button on the QAT to launch the desired dialog.
    R. Robert Bell
    Design Technology Manager
    Stantec
    Opinions expressed are mine alone and do not reflect the views of Stantec.

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    Smile Re: Re-use of attributes in several layouts?

    OK, I knew this was the place to come and ask.

    I now have answers for 1, 2, 4 and 5. I am temporarily abandoning the requirement for the pop-up on DWG creation for now. DWG props is almost too easy; I'm a bit embarrassed that I asked now that I see how basic the functionality is. I did note that I had to REGEN the drawing for the field instances to update. I think that they are a DWGPROPS are a better choice than SSM for me, as the changes are present when working with the file, as opposed to at publish time. I may be wrong in that, but DWGPROPS works fine.

    Thank you all for your advice.

    Regards,
    John

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    Default Re: Re-use of attributes in several layouts?

    You can have sheet specific values in the Sheet Set Manager. In using the SSM, you don't have to navigate to the drawing to adjust the values. They can be changed from the sheet set manager.

    When using fields, a regen is required for the field to update. It is not automatic.
    If you have a technical question, please find the appropriate forum and ask it there.
    You will get a quicker response from your fellow AUGI members than if you sent it to me via a PM or email.
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    Certifiable AUGI Addict irneb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re-use of attributes in several layouts?

    The DWG Props are fine if you don't have a lot of DWG files and they don't contain more than one tab each. The problem with DWGProps is that it's not easy duplicating their values between DWGs (search This & the AutoLisp forum, I've made an import/export 2 years or so ago). Even if you do the manual import/export (using my lisp or other) you'll still have some properties which are tab specific, if not SSM then there's no central place to modify them. Some have made custom stuff to read these props from an Excel sheet, which they use as a drawing list as well.

    The SSM can be used directly without publishing. That's its major function, publishing is just some extra icing . It opens a palette where you organize the tabs into groups, give them properties all in one place, some props are shared over the project and the rest being specific to each tab. The tabs can be on several different DWG's or all in the same, or combination. It actually makes like easier finding the drawings as well, since a simple double click on the SSM opens that drawing & makes that tab active. The SSM can also produce an automatically updating drawing list for you - drawn as a table into any DWG.

    As for fields only updating on regens, that's true. Note however that they also update on plots, etransmits, saves, opens & publish - so they should be up-to-date whenever you issue / make a hard / soft copy.
    Knowledge is proportional to experience, but wisdom is inversely proportional to ego!
    My little bit of "wisdom": Hind-sight is useless, unless used to improve the next forethought!

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    Default Re: Re-use of attributes in several layouts?

    Excellent information so far. I now understand better what sheet sets are used for and have decided to take the leap. In a way, they seem to be the project unifying file that I always knew was missing, but didn't know how to describe.

    Anyhow, I read a tutorial on how to use sheet sets combined with attributes in blocks to, for example, bring a title block. The title blocks attributes would get their values from a sheet set if associated with one. That is great, but it seems to me that I can create a title block without attributes,just fields and get what I think is the same result, with less hassle. Is this not the case? Is there some reason I should use scheme 1 vs. scheme 2;

    1) drawing xrefs a title block. Title block has atttributes which reference fields which reference sheet set variables. Sheet set is created which includes drawing and the fields are populated by the variables from this sheet set. The attributes are hence populated with the values from the fields.

    2) drawing xrefs a title block. Title block has fields which reference sheet set variables. Sheet set is created which includes drawing and the fields are populated by the variables from this sheet set.

    The second option seems easier to me, but I may be missing an important point. Do fields, in a way, make more sense for the kind of situation I describe vs attributes?

    Last, for those reading this and unfamiliar with the sheet set manager wizard, there does in fact appear to be a way to template sheet sets, e.g. create a new sheet set with the extra custom variables you use already added. The trick is, when you create a new set, use the 'Example Sheet Set' option. It, in effect is using another file as a template, though it does not describe it as such in my version of AutoCAD (Mechanical 2011). I have attached screen shots of this.

    Thank you,
    John
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    The Silent Type RobertB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re-use of attributes in several layouts?

    Attributes are good in case you need to extract the data other than by using a sheet index.
    R. Robert Bell
    Design Technology Manager
    Stantec
    Opinions expressed are mine alone and do not reflect the views of Stantec.

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