Sunday, December 1, 2013
Click the read more link to see the entire list.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
These arrows are nice to use since they close each previous drawing as the new drawings are opened. However a down side to this automatic functionality is that any changes are SAVED automatically.
This can be good or this can be very bad. The drawings are saved and then closed. So the undo history is lost.
However there is a setting in the wd.env file that can be enabled. Simply find the following row…
*WD_PROMPT_SAVE,1,set to 1 to trigger "Save changes" prompt when using open dwg next/prev arrows buttons
By default this row is commented out (*), and Electrical saves automatically if there are pending changes. Remove the asterisk from this row and the Next/Previous buttons will prompt for a Save if there are any pending changes needing a save. After pressing Yes or NO the drawing will close and move on to the Next/Previous drawing.
For more information on the wd.env file see these past posts.
Friday, October 4, 2013
I noticed this call coming into our support desk today. The user needed to change the scale of every symbol in the entire JIC or NFPA library. That’s quite the task to tackle manually. There are over 1,700 symbols in the NFPA folder with another 133 in the 1- subfolder. The IEC library contains over 3,300 symbols! Opening each and every symbol to simply change a scale or change an attributes text height is an extremely time consuming and monotonous task.
Make a backup of the library folder first of all. Then start the Modify Symbol Library utility. After selecting the library folder to modify, the final dialog allows all kinds of changes. Also note the ability to run a LISP expression. So pretty much anything can be done to each and every symbol in the library.
Thursday, September 5, 2013
Many companies have had to settle with placing some “specific” field in one of the ten default Drawing Properties. It could be as simple as needing a forth description line. Since there are only three default description fields, the forth description line more than likely ends up in the Project Code field.
Another example could be needing semi-project wide descriptions. The Title Block Update utility can become too restrictive in these instances.
I went on a quest to find the easiest way to push ALL title block attributes out to a spreadsheet and then pull the changes, project wide, back into Electrical. As always, please comment or e-mail me if you know of an easier/better way.
After some initial testing, I finally decided to focus on the existing Export To Spreadsheet utility.
Any block with a TAG1 attribute is exported using the Components option. So simply add an invisible TAG1 attribute with a default of TITLE. Also add another invisible attribute named LOC and add a default value of TITLE. This will allow us to create spreadsheets with only the title blocks.
Next we need to create a <<default.wda>> file. Using the User Attributes command makes creating this text file quite easy. From the Reports tab click on User Attributes and then add all title block attributes to the list. These attributes will now be available in any of the component type reports.
This would be placed in the same support location the title block mapping file (.wdt) was placed in. Some networked support path or inside the active project folder.
The next dialog (Component Data Export) sets the scope of the export. In this case we want Project and a Named Location of TITLE. Pressing Drawing will show the list of locations and TITLE should be listed.
Press OK and specify a location for the Excel file. After opening the Excel file, scroll all the way over to the right and all the User Attributes will be listed with the values pulled from the drawings.
Once all needed changes to the title block attributes are completed its time to import back into AutoCAD Electrical.
Again from the Import/Export Data tab, but this time select From Spreadsheet. It should remember the name and location and simply require the press of the Open button. Worse case you may need to browse back out to the file location.
The title blocks should not show on any BOM reports because of the lack of catalog information. To exclude them from the Component report place ~TITLE in the location code. This will exclude all blocks with a location of TITLE.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Monday, August 26, 2013
This is a follow up to the <<Swapping Entire Symbol Libraries Project Wide>> post. After switching all symbols from JIC to IEC, the next step could be switching wire connection dots to angle connections.
There is an existing tool that does just that. AETOGGLETEE It’s located under the Edit Wires panel.
After starting the command, window select the dots to be converted. Or type ALL and press enter. This selects the entire drawing and converts all connection dots at once. I noticed it only seems to select the dots that are currently on the screen even when typing ALL. So be sure to Zoom Extents first.
Editing this buttons macro to do all dots would be as easy as…
ZOOM E AETOGGLETEE ALL ^C
(note the space behind the ^C)
So moving from dots to angles is quite easy. How about angles back to dots? Not so easy, but I’ve found a script that does just that.
Download it <<here>> or make your own using the script below.
Remember a script can be run project wide from the Project Utilities dialog.
Saturday, August 24, 2013
This update adds new AB content to the existing AutoCAD Electrical content databases.
As with any update be sure to review the Readme to be sure its installed properly.
This link contains the additional content details.. AB-RA Content Details
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Once again I have a someone using AutoCAD commands inside of Electrical and their confused by the results. This time it was AutoCAD’s MIRROR command causing the problem. When using the AutoCAD MIRROR command, the wire connection attributes end up switching sides and future wires will attempt to enter the wrong side of the symbol.
The wires know what direction to go based off of attribute name.
X1TERM0# wires come into the component from the right.
X2TERM0# wires come into the component from the top.
X4TERM0# wires come into the component from the left.
X8TERM0# wires come into the component from the bottom.
Thursday, August 8, 2013
Out of the box, footprints do not pull this information even if the footprint contains an XREF attribute. However this information is available because multiple commands reference the footprints back to the parent symbol. None is more visible than the Surfer
In the surfer dialog above we can clearly see a reference between the parent, a child, and the footprint. So the question is, how do we go about getting this information info the footprint?
Below is a nifty utility wrote by Nate Holt back in 2009. (I tested it in 2014 and it still works great) It uses the same calls to the database that the Surfer users to capture this information and then writes it into an attribute named XREF on all the selected footprints.
Simple APPLOAD it and then type the command PANEL_CROSSREF
Add an XREF attribute Run the command Select the footprint Press enter…