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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Drawing Display Configuration Update

I spent a long day laying in bed sleeping today in order to rest up after being sick.  I woke up and decided I wanted to try to see if AutoCAD Electrical 2007 fixed one of the problems I noticed in AutoCAD Electrical 2006.  Great News, it fixed it. Now let me tell you what it is.

Drawing List Display Configuration

In AutoCAD Electrical 2006 the Drawing Number (%D) value taken from the drawings configuration (WD_M) block would not display in the drawing list.  As you may or may not know the Drawing List is in the Project manager, and is a great way to show different, pertinent information regarding the drawings. For example you could decide to show the filename in the drawing list and nothing else, or better yet, show the "Drawing Number" - "Sheet Number" - "Description".  This gives the user a way to build their drawing list to suit their likings.  In AutoCAD Electrical 2007 the Drawing Number now works and I am very happy of this fact.

I will have more great AutoCAD Electrical information for you on all versions.


Monday, March 27, 2006

Bend Wire???? What does it all mean bazzle???

Here we are, already a week from my last post.  Boy time flies, I have been working quite a bit, fighting a cold and getting ready for my twin boys second birthday party.  Anyway the topic of today is bending wires, which is a new feature to AutoCAD Electrical 2007.  In the example image I have below you will see that I have two connectors (Created with the new parametric connector in AutoCAD Electrical 2007) connected by 4 wires.  You will also notice that these wires cross over a part of the title block.  So what I want to do is add a new segment into each of the wires and manipulate the wire routes so that they don't interfere with the rectangle in the center of the drawing.


Bending Wires

  • Select the Bend Wire tool from the Wires Pull Down Menu.
  • Select one point on the first segment and another point on the second segment of the wire to add the bend to.
  • In this video Download bend_wires_video.zip you will notice that the "Bend" is added at the specific locations where you selected the wires.  Also in the video you will notice that I am using the "Scoot" command to tweak the wires to a more desirable location.

I hope that you will find this a useful command.


Monday, March 20, 2006

Getting to the Point in AutoCAD Electrical 2007

AutoCAD Electrical 2007 is a pretty big release with lots of new and enhanced commands.  Quite a few of the improvements have to do with Point to Point wiring.  The improvement we are going to discuss today is the "Wire Collision Avoidance" in AutoCAD Electrical 2007. 

In older versions of AutoCAD Electrical the user would have to draw each wire segmant individually between any two components in the Point to Point diagram. With AutoCAD Electrical 2007 the user only has to select the start component and the end component.  AutoCAD Electrical will then find the best route between the two components avoiding any wires along the way by adding jumpers if needed. This saves the user time and effort when working on Point to Point or one-line style schematics.  All of this happens Automatically when using the standard Insert Wire command.

Stay tuned for more AutoCAD Electrical 2007 and Point to Point wiring tips and tricks.


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

AutoCAD Electrical 2007 New Drawing Command

As i mentioned in the previous post I can talk about AutoCAD Electrical 2007 now and I am excited about it.  The more I dig into this upcoming release of the software (Not available to the public yet) I am impressed. The feature we are going to discuss today is the New Drawing Command.

New Project

The AutoCAD Electrical 2007 New Drawing command is a new command to AutoCAD Electrical that allows the user to create the new drawing from within one dialog box, place description properties to the drawing as well as use a template file to start from.  After that the user can go straight into the configuration dialog box to configure how the schematics will look.  The specifics are as follows:

  • Easy Right Click Access


  • One dialog does it all...


Areas of Dialog.....

  • Name - Filename you wish to use for the new drawing.
  • Template - Template file you wish to use. (Note: must be a DWT)
  • For Reference Only - Drawing will not be processed in tagging, cross referencing, and reporting.
  • Location - Location where the drawing file will be saved once it is created.
  • Description 1 - Drawing Level Description Line 1
  • Description 2 - Drawing Level Description Line 2
  • Description 3 - Drawing Level Description Line 3
    • Note: AutoCAD Electrical 2007 allows users to assign up to 3 lines for descriptions at the drawing level.
  • IEC Style Designators
    • Project Code - Specifies a project code for the specific drawing. Replacable Parameter %P.
    • Installation / Function Code - Specifies an Installation code for this drawing, Replacable Parameter %I.
    • Location Code - Specifies a Location code for this drawing, Replacable Parameter %L.
  • Sheet Values
    • Sheet - Sheet Number. Replacable Parameter %S
    • Drawing - Drawing Number. Replacable Parameter %D
    • Section - Section Number. Replacable Parameter %A
    • Section - Sub-Section Number. Replacable Parameter %B
    • OK - Properties (Creates the Drawing, adds it to the project then Opens the Drawing Properties (Used to be Drawing Configuration).  (This will be covered in a future post.)

I hope that you have found this helpful and we will go into more detail on this topic in a future post.


Friday, March 10, 2006

AutoCAD Electrical 2007 New Project Command

Today I got the word that I can finally talk about the new features in AutoCAD Electrical 2007.  There are so many cool new features and enhanced existing features that I want to talk about so the next few blogs will be about the new release and I will probably throw some oldies but goodies in as well.  So lets get started with the first topic, AutoCAD Electrical 2007 New Project command.

New Project

The AutoCAD Electrical 2007 New Project command is a nice improvement on the old Create Project command.  The improvements are as follows:

  • Easy right click access


  • One dialog does it all.....


  • Create Name of Project
  • Browse to Location of Project
  • Option to Create Folder of Project
  • Best of all, you can select any existing WDP file as copy settings from
  • Descriptions
  • OK - Properties (Creates the project then Opens the New Properties Dialog. This will be covered in a future post.)

I Hope that you have found this enhanced command as cool as I have. I also hope that you are going to upgrade to AutoCAD Electrical 2007 when it comes out.


Rob Stein

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Mark Multiple Components as Fixed...

I recently have had this question pop up a couple of times.  The question is "How do I mark multiple components as fixed without having to edit each one?"  There are two different ways depending on the desired results.

Project Wide Method....

This method gives the user the opportunity to change all parent component tags to fixed or unfixed project wide.  As with most project wide commands the user is given the option to select which drawings to process.

  • Select Project-Wide Utilities from the Project pull down menu.
    • Select "Set Parent Component Tags to fixed" to fix all tags
    • Select "Set Parent Component Tags to normal" to unfix all tags.
    • Click OK.
    • Select Drawings to Process.

Selection Method

This method allows users to select individual or multiple components using the standard AutoCAD pickbox.

  • Select Component Tagging from the Components pull down menu.
  • Select Fix/Unfix Component Tag from the fly out menu.
    • Select "Force selected tags to Fixed" to fix tags
    • Select "Force selected tags to Unfixed (normal)" to unfix the tags.
    • Select "Single edit toggle "Fixed/Unfixed" toggles the tags you select.

I hope that you have found this topic helpful.  Please feel free to email me at rstein@incat.com if you have any questiosn.


Rob Stein

Friday, March 03, 2006

"Batch" Plot from AutoCAD Electrical

As a former print room employee I remember plotting those dreaded electrical drawing packages, hundreds of sheets one at a time day after day.  Job security, yes, job sanity no.  Here is just one more reason to use AutoCAD Electrical, the Publish - Plot command.

AutoCAD Electrical Publish has several options within the fly out menu, the one I will be talking about today is the Plot command.  Here are the steps.


  • Right Click on the active project in the project manager.
    • Note: Users will not be able to batch plot a project that is not active.
  • Click on the Publish fly out menu.
  • Click on the Plot Project.


  • Select Drawings to be processed.
    • Do All - Moves all drawings into the "Process" area.
    • Process - Moves selected drawings to the "Process" area.
    • Reset - Removes all drawings from the "Process" area.
    • Un-Select - removes selected drawings from the "Process" area.
    • By Section/sub-section - Filter by section or sub section.

NOTE: When selecting drawings you can use typical windows selections method such as holding down the Control Key (Select Non Adjacent files) or the Shift Key (Select first file, then last file).

  • Choose the appropriate options.
    • Layout tab to plot
    • Pick list (from active drawing)
    • Pre-Plot or Post Plot Script file (These run a script file before or after respectively)
    • use PC3 or layout tabs default
    • detailed plot configuration.
    • Page Setup
    • Plot to file.
  • Then click OK or OK-Reverse

I hope this helps.


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Printable Help

In AutoCAD Electrical 2006 Autodesk added the ability to easily print from the help file.  This may seem pretty small, but I have been asked about this for a long time and figured it was worth mentioning.


  • From the contents tab right click on the section you would like to print
  • select print
  • Choose from "Print the selected topic" or "Print the selected heading and all subtopics"


I hope this has helped a little.