Use this forum to ask questions about DataCAD 17 and DataCAD LT 17.
#69858 by Richard Mauser
Fri Sep 30, 2016 1:59 pm
Hi all,

I'm doing a layout using office systems furniture symbols and I was hoping that there is some automated way that keeps track of how many times a particular symbol is used in the file, or on a layer. Being a quasi Luddite, I can't figure out if the tool is in the program. Is this something to add to my wish list, or is the future here today?
--
Rick Mauser
RAM Architects
#69860 by Roger D
Fri Sep 30, 2016 2:23 pm
Symbol Count.png


Using the Symbol Browser, click on the box next to the top, selected extract symbol attributes, and then select quantity in that dialog
#69861 by Richard Mauser
Fri Sep 30, 2016 3:08 pm
Hi Roger,

Thanks for your reply. I haven't bothered to learn to use the symbol browser, because I'm used to using the templates. After reading about having to
explode each symbol in order to give it some kind of attribute ... Zzzzz... I went back to my simple menu on the side of the drawing and found a reports button (I told you I'm a Luddite!) > template/reports
From there, I was able to limit the search to the active layer, and select the DCADQTY report. Voila! I can truthfully say its idiot-proof! Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
#69878 by Neil Blanchard
Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:21 am
Richard,

You no longer have to explode symbols to edit them. Just open them in the Symbol Editor and add the attribute(s). Then in the Symbol Browser, you can toggle it over to Drawing - so it shows all the symbols in the drawing, and do Save As there to update the symbol on the hard drive.

You are missing a HUGE improvement in working with symbols with the Symbol Browser and Symbol Editor. This is a new thing that really helps in many ways. The only change is if/when you have templates that have custom order of the symbols. It is not hard to change this to work in the SB.
#69880 by Richard Mauser
Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:34 am
Thanks Neil,

I edit most templates to organize the symbol sequence in the list, so I guess I'm custom ordering all my templates, and I don't want that to get automatically reorganized. For example, I have a template for office system partitions, and I want all short ones listed first, then the mid height ones, then the tall ones. I even add rows in the template file with just an "x" on them to leave blanks in the template, so that each of the rows starts with the narrowest partition. I don't want to put each height on a separate template, and I don't want my arrangement messed with. So... what should I avoid doing at all cost, to avoid getting my templates "organized" by the program?
--
Richard
#69882 by joshhuggins
Mon Oct 03, 2016 11:22 am
Richard Mauser wrote:Thanks Neil,

I edit most templates to organize the symbol sequence in the list, so I guess I'm custom ordering all my templates, and I don't want that to get automatically reorganized. For example, I have a template for office system partitions, and I want all short ones listed first, then the mid height ones, then the tall ones. I even add rows in the template file with just an "x" on them to leave blanks in the template, so that each of the rows starts with the narrowest partition. I don't want to put each height on a separate template, and I don't want my arrangement messed with. So... what should I avoid doing at all cost, to avoid getting my templates "organized" by the program?
--
Richard

The Symbol Browser just displays the symbols in alphabetical/numerical order. What I do for the few directories that I have where I want the symbols stored in very specific ways is I create class ID and then an order ID similar to something shown below. The main thing to remember is it's just based off of alpha/numeric ordering. It's simple to do, and I just converted the folders I really needed in a custom order as I went along and used them. Once it's done you'll never want to go back to templates. ;) The only thing templates has over the symbol browser is being able to display symbols from different directories in a single list, which you can still load specific templates for that use if needed in the Symbol Browser. Really nice thing about it is you never end up loosing symbols that are not referenced in a template, or if something gets renamed you don't have to manage separate files in addition to the symbols themselves. It's what you see is what you get.

01 - 01 Switch Single
01 - 02 Switch Single Smart
01 - 03 Switch Single Reverse
01 - 04 Switch Double
01 - 05 Switch Quad
02 - 01 Outlet Single
02 - 02 Outlet Double
02 - 03 Outlet GFCI
03 - 01 Label Base
03 - 02 Label Tops
#69900 by Richard Mauser
Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:06 pm
Uhmmm......
1) If I choose (from the old style menu) templates/reports, I can get a report by qty, but.... each field of description limits what can be printed out to 8 or 9 characters, so if the description, or the name of the symbol is, say "shelf12x36", and there are others of differing lengths, I get several lines that say "shelf12x" ... X what? #%@%$&$^&%$@%@#%%#^&*$!!!! It becomes useless information because I can't know how many of what length.

Is there anyway to change the number of characters for each category in the printout? (rhetorical question, I'm guessing.)

2) If I use the Symbol Browser/Options/Reports, I get the exact same printout.
3) If I try the Symbol Browser/Options/Symbol Attribute Report, check quantities, and active, on or all layers (as shown in Roger's reply) I get zilch. Nothing. All my symbols were made before the symbol browser was born. Is that why? Or am I being punished for some misdeed from previous life?
--
Richard
#69902 by joshhuggins
Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:29 pm
Richard Mauser wrote:1) If I choose (from the old style menu) templates/reports, I can get a report by qty, but.... each field of description limits what can be printed out to 8 or 9 characters, so if the description, or the name of the symbol is, say "shelf12x36", and there are others of differing lengths, I get several lines that say "shelf12x" ... X what? #%@%$&$^&%$@%@#%%#^&*$!!!! It becomes useless information because I can't know how many of what length.

Is there anyway to change the number of characters for each category in the printout? (rhetorical question, I'm guessing.)
Dave "just" needs to revise it to support longer lenghts.
Richard Mauser wrote:2) If I use the Symbol Browser/Options/Reports, I get the exact same printout.
It's the same tool, just accessed from different locations.
Richard Mauser wrote:3) If I try the Symbol Browser/Options/Symbol Attribute Report, check quantities, and active, on or all layers (as shown in Roger's reply) I get zilch. Nothing. All my symbols were made before the symbol browser was born. Is that why? Or am I being punished for some misdeed from previous life?
You have to create/add symbol attributes to your symbols in order for this to work.
#69904 by Richard Mauser
Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:51 pm
Hi Josh,

Thanks for sharing.
For 1) and 2), I'm guessing it sounds like changing a couple of numbers in the basic program code. A few minutes of Dave's life, for the benefit for all. So lets nix that, right upfront. It's unreasonable. http://www.soundjay.com/misc/sounds/fail-trombone-03.mp3
And for 3), I'm going to have to explode and save every friggin symbol, which will take hours to change, and ditto for the next guy, and the guy after that, but I'm not complaining.... actually, yes I am, and that's about all I can do. Its almost 5:00. Time to pop a brew and let the world know what I really think about all this ... merde. But someday, on my deathbed, I'll look back fondly on the time spent changing the symbols ... noooo ... I'll look fondly back on that brewski.
#69905 by Roger D
Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:15 pm
As Neil mentioned earlier, you can use the Symbol Editor to edit the symbol, then do a "save as" back to the hard drive.
But yes, it will take time, but you can do a few each time as you need to for the symbols.
#69906 by jimgoodman
Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:21 pm
There are *.frm files in the Report Forms folder that can be edited to provide more characters in the report readout. There are several different forms.

Here is text from a *.frm file I modified years ago to provide more space for the symbol item and quantity.

@TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

@aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa @gggg
------------------------------------------------------------------
*
@AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA @GGGG
*
------------------------------------------------------------------


@jjjjjjjjjjj @kkkk
-------------------------------------------------------------------


T= 'Title' @T 0.0
a= 'Item Name'
g= 'Qty.'
j= 'TOTAL ITEMS:'

A= <Item Name>
G= <#>

k= [G]


Here is the text from the stock frm file:

@TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

@aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa @gggg
----------------------------------
*
@AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA @GGGG
*
----------------------------------


@jjjjjjjjjjj @kkkk
-----------------------------------


T= 'Title' @T 0.0
a= 'Item Name'
g= 'Qty.'
j= 'TOTAL ITEMS:'

A= <Item Name>
G= <#>

k= [G]


I just added a bunch of "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" and "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA" and voila...

These forms rely on the text in edit fields that can/should be added to the symbols. These can be added by using the "edit fields" command in the right-clicking on the symbol in the symbol browser - no need to explode and resave.

There must be a way to have this form return the symbol name instead of or in addition to the item name.
#69908 by Richard Mauser
Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:47 pm
In frustration, I googled this issue, found my post and http://ftp.datacad.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=4314.
I downloaded the "count" macro, and ran it, and got the following result in a 'cnt' file (I abbreviated the output, just to show the format):

SYMBOL COUNTS
Drawing Name : C:\DataCAD 17\Drawings\officebuilding
Date : 10/6/2016
----------------------------------------------------
Symbol : E:\DCAD8\SYM\Job_rela\office24\42_4latf
Quantity : 14
Item name : 4 dwr lat file 42" wide
Cost : 0.00
----------------------------------------------------
Lookie! I can get the item name (no limit to the number of characters) and quantity, which is what I'd want to list in a table!

This capability is out there, its a bit crude in the way it prints out (not a nice table), but its like carbon paper: It's simple and it works.
So I can now pick through this data, deleting the irrelevant info and make my own table.
This macro has been around for a while. What I don't understand is why something this simple and <relatively> easy to use isn't incorporated into the program already. Its a big benefit, and a bit of a no-brainer. Now, I'm going to have to screw around and put it into a table..., but that is going to be easier than whatever I'll have to learn to do, in order to redo every friggin symbol. Still, I'm left wondering .... the simple tools are the ones that make CAD easy to use. Why aren't these developed better? There are a lot of gee-whiz stuff that is difficult to learn, so it goes unused. Not every CAD user is a pro. Simple tools for simple minds. Is that asking for too much?

Anyway, thanks for all of your comments and replies.
I saw a message thread where Josh was tackling this sort of issue in 2009. http://forum.datacad.com/viewtopic.php?p=42795
#69909 by Richard Mauser
Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:58 pm
Hi JimGoodman,

I'm going to have to kick back with a bong or something to get my head around what you posted. Offhand, it looks like you rested your fingers on some keys too long (joke). I'm thinking that by changing the the quantity of repeated letters, it will change how many characters will be allotted to each descriptor. And I might be able to drop out some of the lines I don't want.
This is the kind of messing around I'll enjoy doing - not too technical, just enough to get into trouble. But I'll save a copy of the original FRM file first!

Many thanks. Time for a hit.... (joke, NSA, joke!)
--
Richard
#69910 by jimgoodman
Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:21 pm
Richard Mauser wrote:Hi JimGoodman,

I'm going to have to kick back with a bong or something to get my head around what you posted. Offhand, it looks like you rested your fingers on some keys too long (joke). I'm thinking that by changing the the quantity of repeated letters, it will change how many characters will be allotted to each descriptor. And I might be able to drop out some of the lines I don't want.
This is the kind of messing around I'll enjoy doing - not too technical, just enough to get into trouble. But I'll save a copy of the original FRM file first!

Many thanks. Time for a hit.... (joke, NSA, joke!)
--
Richard


Who knows, that may be how Dave G. came up with this back in the mid 80's. Seriously though, this is an example of the simple elegance of the DataCAD code that still utilizes some of it's version 2.5 pieces all these years later.

Open the various *.frm files that come with the DataCAD in the \Report Forms folder with notepad or wordpad and give it a go (bong optional). :roll:

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