Finding inspiration in even the most mundane of tasks

Don’t Be Afraid – Prologue

In AutoCAD Architecture, CAD / BIM Manager on December 18, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Due in large part to a recent thread on the Autodesk forums, I am going to be reevaluating my content storage and delivery systems in AutoCAD Architecture.  That is, the style templates and tool palettes.

Style Templates

Currently all our AEC content exists in a single ‘style template’ drawing file.  The biggest reason for this setup is the complexity of the Display System, and the level of difficulty involved in keeping the Display System synchronized across all template files.

  • The problem: This file has grown to the point that it is taking a long time to process – when opening, saving, or executing a tool that references it.
  • The solution: Split the styles out into individual drawings and make them Constructs in their own Project Navigator project to keep the Display System synchronized.

Tool Palettes

In the Fall 2009 issue of AEC|Edge magazine, I outlined my Content Browser-less approach to Tool Palettes.  While it’s working well, and I still recommend it for users of vanilla AutoCAD, it does have a few issues.  First, there is a decent lag from the time a tool is clicked to when it becomes active in the application.  I’m hoping that using the Content Browser properly should reduce or eliminate this lag.  Also, I have some users who regularly lose their palette groups and have to rebuild them.  Perhaps using the Content Browser will solve this issue.

All the technical stuff aside, my reason for this post is to serve as a reminder that just because a process is working doesn’t mean it’s not worth a further look to try to improve upon, even if it involves a major change.  Stay tuned.  I’ll keep you posted on the details and the outcome as I go.  Feel free to comment if you have any questions or advice.

  1. I’ve used a project to manage style template files for a long time. One tip is to make an empty construct with no styles (in it or selected to sync) but include date in its file name. If you change the master project standards (ie what content is sourced from what construct, not the content in a construct, or add a new construct) increment the filename. Then projects will report they cant find the old file, prompting you to update those projects standards with the master. Saves remembering which are up to date.

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