Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Project Navigator and Existing Projects

For those of you learning to use the ADT Project Navigator (strongly encouraged) one of the first things you may notice is that upon installation of ADT you probably have older projects that still need work to be completed (often referred to as legacy projects). Well no need to give up on the ADT PN just yet, depending on how far along you are in the project you can still make use of the PN.

Before we go any further for any drawings created with ADT and the PN you will have a corresponding .xml file created (visible using windows explorer); do not delete any of the .xml files.

If you have a project that is 90% complete, converting this to use the PN would probably not be advantageous, but if your project is in the early to middle stage you stand a good chance of being able to convert the project in a usable one with the PN. The ADT team has done a great job of providing a few ways to help make this possible. Let's look at two options to turn existing base drawings into Constructs and Elements:

Create a new project using the Project Browser and set it current.

If you open each file individually, you have the option in the PN to right click the construct and/or element category and choose the "Save Current Dwg as _" option. This will save a copy of the drawing to the project location in either the Construct or Element folder, depending upon which was chosen.

The method above works well, but is time consuming. Let's look at one of my personal favorites and use Windows Explorer to help make this a more streamlined process.

Open Windows Explorer and place beside your ADT session. Using a drag and drop we can easily transfer information from one to the other and combining this with some useful key combinations will give us even more options. Here are a few examples of how to use this method successfully:

1. If you drag the file from WE into the PN and release this will move the file to this location.

2. If you use the Ctrl key and drag the file from WE into the PN and release this will create a copy of the file in this location as a construct or element depending upon where you release it.

3. If you use the Alt key and drag the file from WE into the PN and release this will create a link to the file in the original location but accessible from the PN (the graphic will show a small shortcut icon on it)

In all three methods above you have the option of changing the name and description for the file(s), if this is a construct you also get the option of choosing which Level and Division you wish for this to correspond with.

One additional tip; when using windows explorer you can drag an entire directory to the PN and it will create a new category with the files converted to either a Construct or Element depending upon which was selected. From experience make sure your files are not read-only.

For those who would like to use the PN but find legacy projects hindering that effort, this may help to get you started.

Happy cadding...


RobiNZ on 6:26 PM said...

Another useful way to split a legacy "composite Drawing" into separate elements/construct is to drag & drop.
EG: Tf you have a file with level 1 & 2 furniture on separate layers...
- Open the Legacy file and select content ~ Eg level 1 furniture.
- Drag and drop onto a PN Construct or Element Category.
- An new element/construct is created and the content is moved or copied to that object PN structure. (The same control to copy key combination applies)
- If you need to add more content to an existing PN object just drag & drop again (the dwg doc doesn't have to be "open").


Anonymous said...

What effect does this have on a digitally signed drawing, will the digital signature still be intact. I suspect that it will not


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