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#305 by tbrown
Thu Feb 17, 2005 10:44 am
I created a bunch of electrical symbols, which included attributes such as stock #, cost, etc. I then created several CAD drawings including these symbols.

Now, I want to move the symbols from my computer to our server for centralized access for multiple users. The problem is that the absolute path to each symbol seems to be stored in each instance of each symbol placed in each drawing. If I want to change, say, the cost of a certain part, this is impossible unless I manually replace each symbol in the drawing with identical symbols from their new location on the server!

My question is, is there a way to "reassociate" the symbols automatically? All I really need to do is change the path that each symbol entity thinks points to the main Symbols directory (i.e. from "C:\Program Files\Datacad\Symbols\" to "G:\DataCAD 11 Symbol Files\"). I tried changing the default path to the symbols directory in the "Tools -> Program Preferences -> Pathnames" interface, but this didn't have any effect on the "orphaned" symbols (I am determining the effect by running a report on the drawing to display a count of each symbol with it's associated cost and stock number).

Thanks,

Tyson
#306 by Greg Blandin
Thu Feb 17, 2005 10:46 am
I was under the assumption that with symbols that when you placed them in the drawing they became part of that drawing.

Now xref's on the other hand would react the way you described.
#311 by tbrown
Thu Feb 17, 2005 11:07 am
Symbols don't quite become part of the drawing, from my experience (unless you explode them, of course). For example, I could right-click on a symbol in the symbol browser, select "Edit Fields", then modify an attribute (say, change the cost to "52.00". Then, when I run a report on the drawing, this change will be reflected in the produced report.

Furthermore, if I were to open a different drawing and select "Reload All" in the green-folder-thing symbol menu, the change to $52.00 will also be reflected in all symbol instances in this drawing as well, so long as the changes to the first drawing were saved (which apparently include the update to the symbol field).

This is really what I'm getting at, the fact that the symbol entities that are placed in my drawings are in some way associated with the actual symbol file. This is good, because it would allow me to do annual updates to the cost of each item that could be reflected in a report produced for each drawing.

Now, maybe XREFs are an easier way to do this. I haven't had any experience with them, and I haven't read about them at all. I'm self-taught on DataCAD 11, learning the program over the last month from scratch. What is important to me is to be able to lay out an electrical drawing for the floorplan of a house quickly, using something like symbols that have embedded information containing a stock number and a cost. I also want to be able to count the instances of each item and produce a report for takeoff purposes. It seems to me that symbols would be a great way to do this, except for my troubles with moving them around (not to mention renaming the symbol file itself, but I can avoid that).

Thanks for your help
#314 by Neil Blanchard
Thu Feb 17, 2005 11:10 am
Hello Tyson:

tbrown wrote:I created a bunch of electrical symbols, which included attributes such as stock #, cost, etc. I then created several CAD drawings including these symbols.

Now, I want to move the symbols from my computer to our server for centralized access for multiple users. The problem is that the absolute path to each symbol seems to be stored in each instance of each symbol placed in each drawing. If I want to change, say, the cost of a certain part, this is impossible unless I manually replace each symbol in the drawing with identical symbols from their new location on the server!

My question is, is there a way to "reassociate" the symbols automatically? All I really need to do is change the path that each symbol entity thinks points to the main Symbols directory (i.e. from "C:\Program Files\Datacad\Symbols" to "G:\DataCAD 11 Symbol Files"). I tried changing the default path to the symbols directory in the "Tools -> Program Preferences -> Pathnames" interface, but this didn't have any effect on the "orphaned" symbols (I am determining the effect by running a report on the drawing to display a count of each symbol with it's associated cost and stock number).


You can use the Replace tool in the Symbol Browser to do this. It is not automatic, and you will have to do it for each symbol, but it will replace all the instances of a symbol within a file all at once.

The way to avoid having to do this, is to create the symbols on the network drive in the first place; or to move them there *before* you insert them in any drawings.
#315 by tbrown
Thu Feb 17, 2005 11:18 am
Yes, I've experimented with the Replace tool and found it to be too time-consuming. I basically have around a hundred different symbols for each drawing in about 20 drawings that would all need to be Replaced, and I'm not eager to do that.

Of course, it would be nice to put all of your symbols in one place and never have to move them after you've began creating drawings that utilize them, but this is impractical. At some point, something is going to be moved or renamed (like the server, for instance, or the drive that the symbol folder on the server is mapped to on my computer...).

Thanks for the suggestions, let me know if you have any other ideas.
#317 by Neil Blanchard
Thu Feb 17, 2005 11:51 am
Hello Tyson:

You're right -- that would be a lot of symbols to Replace! And of course, you have to be able to make changes in your system and move things around on the network -- but the way DataCAD works now actually *helps* you! Because, you do not *have* to replace anything, since the symbols get embedded in the file. If they did *not* get embedded -- think of the mayhem that would result if you moved things around and the symbols were *not* embedded!?

So, I think you have nothing to worry about, since these symbols and drawings all work correctly, (even though the embedded paths are old). If and when you need to make a change to a symbol, do it in a new blank drawing and save the Redefined symbol in the new location -- and *then* Replace that symbol in any drawings where you need the new symbol. Make sense?
#320 by tbrown
Thu Feb 17, 2005 12:04 pm
I hear what you're saying, but that's not what I'm trying to accomplish. I need to be able to update the cost associated with each symbol and have this change reflected in all drawings containing the symbol.

This works as long as I don't move anything, because each symbol entity contains a pathname+filename to the original symbol file.

I need a way to update these links en masse without manually replacing any symbols.

As far as symbols not being embedded, I agree that they need to be. It would be silly otherwise. However, they aren't strictly embedded, but they also maintain a link to the original file and can be updated. THis allows you to easily make changes not only to the fields of the symbol, but also to the symbol itself, and have these changes reflected in all drawings containing the symbol (i.e. changing the way a paddle fan symbol looks). THis feature is built into DataCAD 11, and is advertised in literature from DataCAD LLC. They just don't say what happens when you relocate a symbol file.

Thanks
#493 by Philip Hart
Tue Feb 22, 2005 11:49 am
Here's what I would do (if I'm understanding correctly).

I would keep two sets of the same symbols: the original, local ones, and a copy on your server. I would update symbols locally with new attribute information. In each drawing file that accesses the symbols, I would use the "reload all" option (in the Symbol Browser or in the Template menu - your preference) to update the attribute information in eachg drawing file.

On a daily basis, I would copy the local symbols to the network location - keeping the network symbols updated, but using the local ones as the "master" because they are the ones primarily accessed by active drawing files right now.

As new projects are started, I would use the networked symbols. When the last project depending on the local symbols is completed, you'll be switched over to the networked symbols and you can get rid of the local ones.

Hope this helps.

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