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The “Generate One-Line” and “Generate Riser” Commands

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

Tips and tricks for how to better use the “Generate One-Line” and “Generate Riser” command.



Good afternoon everyone. This is David Robinson with Design Master Software. You are at our weekly training. This week we are going to be looking at the various Generate commands and options we have in One-line Diagrams. If you have any questions, feel free to use the chat at the bottom of your Blizz interface.

I kind of keep an eye on that as we’re going through and I can see your questions and answer any of them there. You can also use your audio if you want to ask the questions. That works too. I’ve got about 30 minutes of one-line diagram generation stuff to go over.

If you have questions, we’ll extend it past that. If you have other questions related to One-line Diagrams, when we’re done we can always do those as well. So, with that said, we’ll go ahead and get started and take a look at how the Generate commands works with the new one-line diagram features.

So, the Generate features that we added, they came out about two years ago now. And the idea behind them was to help make it simpler to do the initial layout of your one-line diagram. We describe it as maybe a 70% correct drafting layout, with the idea that you are going to have to go back and make some modifications.

And when we demonstrate it and when we show anybody how to use the Generate, we always run the Generate command. We always pick, you know, something up at the top level and we Generate the whole thing at once. So if you’ve seen any of our demos or we’ve talked to you about this, we always start here. And the reason we do that is because it looks really cool. And so it’s pretty impressive when I press one button and you get, you know, 30 panels laid out.

You know, they’re not…You still have to make some adjustments, but you see that and that’s kind of impressive in a demo or something. However, in terms of actually using this feature, that’s not always the best way to go about using it. And, it’s a little unfortunate that we show it that way because there’s a lot more depth to what you can do with this, rather than just generating from the top and going from there.

We also do a lot of…and we’ll do this here, where we Generate and then we erase everything, and then we Generate again. We’re going to be doing that because it’s convenient for my examples. But in general, when you’re doing your work on your project, that’s not really the expected workflow either.

The idea is that you kind of Generate it and you work from there and you slowly massage it into place, and you kind of leave everything where it is without redoing it because as you add labels and other things, you keep redoing the generation. You’re losing all that other work you’ve done. So, you always can, of course, erase and reGenerate, but that’s not actually the intended workflow for the One-line Diagrams.

So just keep that in mind as you’re working. But if you feel like, “Oh, I’m always regenerating and losing my work,” that’s not really how we intend that to go. So, as our first example here, just going to show you what you can do. If you select something other than a top panel, say I take one of these MDPs, they’re kind of a portion of it, if you Generate just that, it’ll Generate that panel and every thing below it.

So all the upstream stuff is ignored and left off, and everything below that panel is added. So, you can actually…if you wanted to, you could take those three sections and put them in, in certain spots. Maybe you want to have enough space for everything, and so you have specific locations on your drawing where you want all this laid out.

So you could Generate those three like that. And then at this point, you can come back and Generate from the top, and it’ll leave all of these where they are and just put in the pieces that are missing. So say, “Okay, I need this transformer. I need that panel.There’s this other little panel that’s not connected.”

Everything else stays where it is. It draws some pieces to get everything connected. So, that’s one way you can be a little more creative with how you’re doing the generation. You can Generate parts at a time and then Generate at the top connection. That’s also how you Generate for a transfer switch. I have this transfer switch here, which we did the main connection to it.

We also have the emergency power coming from the generator. There’s not a whole lot else on that branch, but if you Generate and start at the generator at this point, again it leaves everything where it is, adds that one generator in the feeder.

So that’s how you do a transfer switch as well. You do the one side and then you do the other, and it’ll make all the connections for you. You can also mix and match the two types. So we have…this is the one-line generation that we’ve been looking at, where it starts at the top and it works its way down the screen, just laying them out as they’re connected, not really doing any geography from the building at all.

We also have the riser, just to remind everyone what that looks like. I’ll Generate from the top. But this is left to right and then we pull the elevations from your model, if you have any. And so we’ll lay things out vertically based upon where they are in the model.

So you can do this two ways…and you can actually, like I said, you can do a combination of the two depending on what you’re…how you’re trying to do your layout. So you could Generate in a riser format, maybe these three MDPs. So we’ll do that first one there. I can do another one in this riser format next to it.

And we’ll do this last one over here. And then, at this point, we could Generate using the one-line format. And so the pieces that are missing will go in as a one-line, a top-down, but then they’ll connect to these pieces that are already here. So that’s another way that you can kind of piece this whole thing together using smaller generations of your model, rather than doing the whole thing at once.

In addition to doing the Generate like that, you can also insert individual pieces, and that’s also helpful at times. So, the one-line is always top-down, say you want to put your switchboard at the bottom and have everything connect up from there, rather than doing the Generate, you can just run a standard Insert command, select the switchboard.

The default block is going to be a fixed size, so I’m actually going to choose to just draw in a custom box, and this is where you can draw in a box and locate the feeder manually. I’m going to do that. I’m going to say, “Okay, I want my switchboard to cover this whole bottom portion,” You can locate your bus on there or if you press Enter it will put it in a default spot, and then we’ll do the connections from below to all of those panels.

So that’s, again, another way that you can put in a little piece and have it connect to the other pieces that you’ve done. Any questions on the Generate, on what I’ve shown there so far? All right then, I’m going to take a look at a couple of options that control what gets drawn with that Generate, because we are generating all the little pieces and it’s laying it out and it’s doing the best that it can, but there are some places in the options where you can give it a little bit of a hint as to how to lay everything out.

So first, I’ll just put the generation in from the top and everything here is fairly tied together. This is set up to not have a whole lot of extra space in it. The spacing is controlled in your options with the…Where is it?

In the One-line Diagrams section, the default panel box height and width, that’s basically the amount of space it’ll choose for the panel and it’ll just lay that out and then put the blocks in there, and so if they’re smaller, you’ll end up with extra space around them.

These numbers are, essentially inches on the printed page, so you’re going to get a one and a half inch high by one inch wide area. So, those are the units. It’s not terribly important you necessarily understand that, you can just play with them and choose different values until you have something that works out for what, you know, what feels right in terms of the appearance.

So we’ll take this width and we’ll go from one up to two. This is just going to spread the whole thing out when we do the Generate. And I’ll click OK. Just so we can see the difference. I’m actually just going to get rid of a couple of pieces, and we’ll run the Generate. And so when you do this, anything that’s missing will be added, which is another good trick that if you have pieces, if you add a couple of panels, you just run the Generate again and it’ll add anything that’s not there.

Oh, it did not do as well as I’d hoped there. So put them in and it spread these panels out more so than I would’ve liked. I was hoping they would all come in looking like this. We might need to review that. The Generate is a fairly tricky command, and there’s a lot of different moving parts in there.

So if you ever do try it, and something doesn’t look quite right, like this, go ahead and send it to us and say, “Hey, I ran this Generate and it did this thing that I didn’t really expect,” and we can take a look at it and probably fix it. Because I would classify this as a bug, so I’m making a note of that and we’ll take a look at that for the future. But you can see at least that we have more space between the panels, so that’s again, what that width is doing.

On the riser side, we have a couple of options for how the feeders are connected to each other. So, if I go to our options…I’m going to set that back to one.

We have the choice as to whether we feed our panels from the top or the bottom, and then where feeders are coming out of a panel that doesn’t have bus, if they come out of the side or the top and the bottom. So we’ll Generate this as it is with the top and the side, and if we do that you’ll see that the connections…an incoming connection is always through the top, and then the outgoing connections are always from the side, which is one style of drafting it.

Some people like to have these connections leaving the panels actually coming out of the top or from the bottom. And sometimes you want to have a connection for the panels coming in from the bottom as well. So, you can come in here and go into Options, if those are the styles you like. Change that to bottom, and I’ll change also this top and bottom.

Actually, we’ll do one at a time. So, go to Bottoms, so we’re going to be fed from the bottom, and just see what that looks like. Get rid of just that little portion there. And when we Generate the riser, all of our connections are now coming to the bottoms of the panels, rather than the tops, the way they are up here.

So that’s what that connection controls. There’s a Global setting that’s used by default for all of your panels. That can also be changed on a per panel basis. And it’s maybe a little bit of work to set it all up, but you can actually come in and say, “Okay, for this specific panel, I want to have it connected from the bottom rather than the top.”

Let’s say we take this panel here, and it’s under Block settings, and you have the initial Fed From location. This is set to default, which means it’s pulling from the options. We could force it to top or force it to bottom.

And I’m going to leave that one because that one’s not going to be interesting if I change it. If I come over here and change this LP1, it’s currently default, which is pulling from the bottom. If I set it to Top, nothing’s going to change because it’s already on the drawing, and once something’s on the drawing we are not generally going to make any changes to it.

So we assume that feeder’s where you wanted that, panels where you want it. We’re not going to touch it. But if we get rid of the feeder, so it’s not there. When you do an update, we’ll see that it’s missing and we’ll put it in, and since we’re putting it in automatically, it’s not going to come in from the top. So if I do the update, you’ll see that we put the new feeder in and this time it’s coming in from the top for that one panel.

So you could go and, you know, maybe do a Generate, you see which panels aren’t coming in the right way, you can go change a bunch of them, maybe erase some of the rest of the feeders and have it reGenerate them for you automatically. So that’s…And the other option is where we connect the outgoing connections, the downstream ones, currently set to Side.

If I set to Top and Bottom, so now rather than coming out of the side of this panel, we would come out of the top or the bottom depending on how it thinks the connection’s going to look best. It makes a bit of a judgment there. If I erase all of that, now we’ll reGenerate this. It’ll put everything back in and then redraw all of those feeders.

Follow the connection in here. Sorry about that. I was muting that extra audio we we’re getting. So the connections are coming out of the bottom and then connecting to the other pieces.

You’ll also notice that every time I run the Generate, if there’s already stuff there, it kind of puts it in different spots every time. It’s doing its best based upon what’s there and where everything goes, to figure out where it ought to be. But it kind of, depending on where you start the generation from, ends up in different spots. And that’s just a quirk of how that Generate routine works. So if it’s not in the right spot, the answer’s always well at that point and then just move it to where it should be, if you don’t want all of these down here.

Grab them all and pull them up to, you know, maybe where that is. And then, clean up the feeders, which is a topic for another day. But we got a bunch of commands for cleaning up all those feeders and making them look nice. So those are the options that we have. Oh, and I see that there’s a question there, before I move on to the next topic. “How can you spread out the feeder line so tags can be more clear?”

Question. In Options, we have a feeder offset multiplier. This is the distance that we will use between feeders. And again, this is in inches on the printed page, so we’re doing three-tenths of an inch between each of our feeders.

So if you want more space between your feeders, you would increase this. So I’ll change it from 0.3 to 0.5. And again, it’s not going to do anything that’s already on the drawing because it’s on the drawing and we don’t want to mess with that. But if I get rid of a couple of feeders and then run an update, so it has to put those feeders back in, the spacing between all of them is now farther.

So you see how these feeders have the 0.3 inches between them, here we’ve got the 0.5. So we got a little more space. That will be where you can make that change, and that way your feeders are going to have a little more space between them. You’ll notice that these feeders here are not using that spacing, that’s because they’re coming out of the bottom and so we just kind of squish them all together so they fit and they all come out of that one panel nicely, rather than adjusting the size of the panel.

And there’s a clarification on the question. “I was referring to the vertical feeder tags.” So are you then asking like the feeder tags here, where you’ve got these vertical pieces…”Do you think you can make it so that the tags are only on horizontal feeder lines?”

No, that is not something we restrict it to. We do our best to find a descent spot, and then that’s part of the drafting, that you as the engineer to, unfortunately, have to go back and kind of clean that up.

I believe that we’re at least updating it in the next release, so that these feeder IDs can rotate, so that if you want to, rather than having it horizontally, would actually rotate and take up a little less space, and then read as vertical text. And there’s the comment that, “Tags are very easy to slide once they’re placed.”

They do have a grip on them, so you just grab them and you move them around and then you get them where they belong. And so that’s the way to adjust that. So certainly, you’re not stuck with where they are, you just have to go back and adjust them. A couple of more questions that came through here.

The first one, “Can we modify the layers of the drawing?” Yes, you certainly can. All of the layers are customizable in our customization, under Layers. The project list will look at your project layers. Standard list is for future projects. All of the one-line stuff…you have all these one-line layers here.

So the layer key is the, kind of the identifier in Design Master. On the right-hand side, the layer name is the layer that we’re actually using for that type of thing. We have all these different keys because some people…everyone does their layers a little bit differently. So we try and support as much of that as possible, so you can break out different layers for different pieces. And you end up…a lot of people end up, you know, using the same layer for a lot of the keys because they don’t break things up the way other people do.

So this is where you would go and make changes to the layers, so it’s all in here. We talked about customization last month, and I believe at the end of that class, we talked about layers. And those classes are available. We’re slowly getting them posted, but they are available online.

Under our Support articles, we have the training recordings. And this is list of all the webinars we’ve done. And so, the one-line diagram…I think the block customization, I think at the end we talked about layers a little bit there.

And we’re slowly working on getting captions and transcripts for these to make them a little easier to review, to figure out what part of the video you want to watch. And then one more question, “On the switchboard, how do you change the MCBs so that it’s not at the end of the bus bar, but aligned on the side with the other circuit breakers?”

Let’s see. So for the question about the main switchboard…So the main circuit breaker…Let’s see if I even have a panel here. I’m going to take the switchboard and I’ll put a switch circuit breaker on there so have something to look at.

Not there. So we’re going to change this to a main circuit breaker, so we’ll actually pick up the graphics from there now. Let me run the update. We have the circuit breaker. So the circuit breaker ends up in one of two spots, depending on how things are being Generated.

If you have a vertical panel like this, the circuit breaker just ends up in the bus bar. And then all of the circuits will end up below it, so we space them down nicely below it. And then we’ll need to pull this whole thing down to make everything connecting. So that’s where we put that. You can move this once it’s in there if you don’t like where we put it by default.

But we put it in our best guess as a default spot, and then put all the breakers below it. Alternatively, if you have a horizontal panel…We’ll draw that in here.

We do the main breaker…We can do it, actually in two ways. So this way we’ve got this little vertical piece that connects to the bus bar, and the main breaker ends up there. And then the circuit breakers will all be offset from there, going either up or down, depending on where they’re connecting from.

This little piece, in our Generate commands at least, will always go up, go vertically on the page. But you can adjust all of this once it’s in. So if you want to, you can pull the whole thing down here, and then you’d need to pull this and then adjust the feeder and everything else, but we can do that. The other way…you can do a main breaker on these vertical panels, you can switch how those are drawn.

We have the vertical main breaker on horizontal panels. That’s set to Yes. If I change that to No and redraw that panel, you end up with something that looks like this. If you’ve got just a horizontal bus bar…like that.

So this incoming connection connects to the top of it, horizontal bar in the breaker there. So that’s the main breaker, and then all of the circuit breakers coming off of it. So those are the options that you have for where the main breaker is placed. That’s where it’s chosen to be placed, depending on your options.

I’m not 100% sure I answered the question, so if you have more questions on that, go ahead and clarify it for me. That’s how the main breaker gets laid out. I think that is all the questions that came off of there. Let me go take a look at what we’re going to look at next.

Another option you have for laying out your panel is, you can lay out a section that looks nice and then make a copy of it, and reuse it for other groups of panels so that they are similar.

I’m reading the…There’s a response to the main breaker question. “Looking at the vertical bus bar example of switchboard, the branch breakers were to the right as I was looking at the main circuit breaker to the left.” Okay, I think we’re still back here with a vertical…We’re looking at this one, is what your question is about.

And it should end up with a vertical piece and then all of the circuit breakers to the right of it. “Other orientation.” This one? right there.

That’s a very messy thing, got a little confused there. I’m just going to draw it in by hand and see if it’ll look a little better. That’s [inaudible] not down as far as it should.

So here, on the vertical, the main breaker’s always going to end up in the bus line and then all the branch circuit breakers…all the branch circuits come off of it. Right now we have all of the circuit breakers turned off. Turn those on, you can go in and you can change the graphics and turn the breakers on there. It will then end up looking something like that with all the breakers. I think…If this is in the wrong spot just…you just slide it to where it belongs, wherever you want it, using the grips.

With all of our generation, we always do our best to get it in the right spot, with the idea that you can come back in like modifications, grips or…We’ve got a lot of grips on there to move things around, or you can use the standard AutoCAD to commands. Oh, and so I think the branch breakers are on the right, and so you just want the main circuit breaker, like that?

The main circuit breaker on the left side of the bus? I think is what you’re…I think you were trying to point to something. Oh, so the main circuit breaker kind of horizontally on the page?

We do not have an option for that. So if you have…So I think what you’re looking for is something…Not like that. Something like this, but rotated 90 degrees?

Okay. Yes, we can’t do that. Okay. Which is why we’re having trouble under… Okay. So the question is, “How do I get something looking like this rotated 90 degrees, where the main breaker comes in 90 degrees to the bus bar, when the bus bar is vertical?” And the answer is, we don’t do that because no one’s ever asked for it before.

I will make a note of that and see if that’s something that comes up. I don’t know if that’s…you guys’ standard for what you do. Okay. He says, “Thank you. I’m asking for that.” So we got at least one person who really want that. So if other people like something…you guys like this rotated 90, let us know.

We’ll see if we can get something like that implemented. I’m going to make a note of that. Also… All right. At least one other person is asking for it. And then there’s a couple of other questions that came through again.

“Can you label the breakers with size and poles?” And the answer to that is yes. So here we’re looking at just our automatic generation, and so I’m ignoring labels a little bit. But, we do have all of the label commands…Let me go back to my RT because this is a little easier to find my commands.

We have the Insert and Modify Labels command, so where you can come in, select a feeder and then you’ll draw all the labels that we can put on for the feeders. We can do the trip size and poles as separate. We have them together as a combined item there. This is kind of what we see often, a 100 amp three pole. People do something like that.

We can put the label here. And if you press Enter, it’ll actually group. So these two are going to move together nicely. If you want to, once it’s in there, you can use that middle grip to rotate it, and then move it. Now, it’ll snap nicely to the line. As I rotate this though… There are times when you want to get it close to the line and you don’t want it to snap and that it gets kind of annoying when you’re doing that.

This is just inside of that moving labels. We have a Move Label command. So you can use the grip, and for a lot of times, this will work just fine. You could also use the Move command, select the label, and then we have a couple of options that you can turn on and off, really just one actually. And if you press S, it’ll toggle the Snap Off, and so now we can get close to the feeder and we don’t snap to it anymore.

So you can label it, you know, right up next to it with that horizontal orientation. If you do S and turn the toggle back on, it’ll snap. So that’s how, if you do need to toggle that off, use our actual Move command and then you’ll be able to control what that looks like.

And then to finish off that whole thing, once you have one that looks nice, you can use our match labels and graphics, say “Hey, I like the look of that feeder,”copy it over to all of these and it’ll copy that layout to all of these other feeders here. So that’s how you can get one looking good and then propagate that. And that doesn’t actually fit well, so you’d want to go back and clean it up a little bit more than I’ve got there.

All right. Excuse me for a moment while I review all the questions because I think there was another was another question that I missed. “Can you rotate the main circuit breaker?”

The one option we have for the circuit breaker is you can flip the side of the line it’s on, but you can’t otherwise do any real rotation of it, so it just goes left and right, and that’s the same for all breakers, main breakers or it goes on to circuit breakers. So that’s what we have for adjusting how that works.

And then another question, “Can you preset the labels you want for each device, so that the same labels come in without having to insert the labels and doing the match labels?” And the answer to that question is yes. That was one of the things we covered in the Customization last month.

So definitely review that if you have a chance. But the basic idea… I’ll just show you an example of a block that’s set up that way. We’ll come over to this one. We have our circuit breaker block, which doesn’t have any labels on it.

We also have one that has amps and one that has amps and poles, so this has that set up properly. And when that comes in, it comes in with the breaker and then the label. This was not set up well, it fits more for a horizontal piece, so it’s not coming in nicely here. But that you can have it so that it comes in, and then you can set your defaults to use these so that when they come in, they come in with all of the labels that you need.

And so it’s a matter of laying everything out and then just…The short, short answer, you use the create block from one-line diagram. That’ll take the block and the layout of all the labels, save it for a future. And so you can do that with the breakers. You can also do that with your panels and your blocks. So that’s how every time we do the Generate, all of these labels are coming in, because these are set up to use these specific labels.

So that’s definitely possible, and kind of on the same topic of the generation. You know, that’s a way you can have it so that when you do the Generate, it comes in with the labels that you like, the ones that you use all the time so that you’re not having to constantly redo that. Because you probably have a standard format that you like, you want to shoulder this information. So get one that looks right, create the block and then set that as your default, and it’ll come in looking nice for you.

And so we have the video, definitely you can watch last months video that talks about that customization. If you need any help with that, particularly if you have an existing standard and you want to match it, you can actually send us a copy of it and we’ll do a first pass of the customization.

It’s never going to be exactly the same and we’ll kind of leave some stuff for you to decide how you’re going to adjust it, but we can do a first pass on some of your customization for you and get you moving in the right direction. So, that’s something that we can help you with individually if you have questions on that, to figure out how to match what you have a little more precisely. So, I was going to show you how you can lay out a couple of panels and then copy that and reuse that layout.

So if you have some sort of configuration of panels in the project that’s going to be repeated, you can basically lay those out and then copy it, and assign the different panels to it. I’m going to clear all this out so we have somewhere to work. And I am going to insert a couple of panels. I’m going to put in one panel here.

And, say rather than going down or across, we actually want to go up on this panel. And we’re going to hit a transformer, and we want something that’s arranged a little more vertically because we want to have something thats going up the page, like this whole thing, We actually want to connect from the bottom here, and then we connect to the one panel above it.

So I’ll put one more panel in there. And I’m going to adjust this feeder. They take a little bit of time and you do some drafting, and you get this looking how you want it.

So say we want something that looks like that, and so then we want to repeat this, you know, 10 times, 3 times, however many times in your project. What you can do is if you run the Copy command, you can select this little construction that you’ve got here. Say, “Okay. I want to reuse this, I’ll copy it there.”

When you do the copy, you will notice that all of your labels turn to question marks. So what that’s telling you is that this is not linked to anything anymore. It’s a copy, but MDP two is over here and this is just a panel that doesn’t really belong to anything and so it’s not pulling any information from the database.

So we can link it to a new device in the database, so we have all our graphics laid out. We just need to point it to a different panel. So we have the Change Linked database record. In Revit, it’s kind of buried under this little pole down here.

In our AutoCAD software, it’s this command here, Change Linked database record. You select the panel and then you select the new record it should point to. So I’m going to point it to MDP three, so it updates those labels and then you kind of want to do the same thing.

We’ll just point this to that transformer, point this to the panel downstream from that. So now we’ve recreated this little bit of draft, this is drafting exercise using these other panels. You can do the same thing. Because I got an MDP one, so we’ll do the same thing for that because it has the same sort of construction happening, if we want all of those to look the same.

So now we have all of those laid out looking exactly the same, but using the different values. And if we could do an update…I don’t know if any of those feeders are different. They’re all the same size. Oh no, some of these feeders are different, so that we actually got different feeder sizes. So they’re all, you know, pulling the different feeder sizes properly. And then from here, you can either run a Generate to get your other pieces or you can kind of continue to build it out a piece at a time.

We’ll eventually need our transfer switch, so we can put our transfer switch in here. That connects to the MSV one, that actually connects to MP two. And then we’ll do our service on our switchboard, and it’ll do all our connections for us.

And I’m seeing here that we’re actually pulling all of our connections to this one, whereas it should be connecting to these others.

I think what’s happening is that it’s not picking up the new locations for these, so it actually thinks that this panel is over here. And that’s why it’s doing that connection there. If I erase these, will it clean that up? It does not. So, there’s another button we need to adjust. This feature, it’s two years old.

Most of it works, but there are some little edges that we keep running into when things are not working. So, we will continue to fix those up and send you patches that have those features cleaned up.

Question, “Can you show the transformer label?” Yes, so this transformer I grabbed, it didn’t have any labels on it, so it didn’t come in with anything. We can, of course, label it using our standard Modified Labels command. So we can put a couple of labels on there. Put in a description in the primary and secondary volts.

Like that. So we have all of the labeling available for your transformers as well. I think that is the extent of the tips and tricks on the generation that I have for today.

So does anyone have any other further question on generating and laying out your one-line or anything else, one-line diagram related? If not, I’m going to circle back around. We had the question specifically about layers, and then about blocks and getting labels on there.

We’re going to do a quick review of that material, just for the two people who had those questions, to save them hunting down answers somewhere else. We can give you very specific answers to those now. So looking at layers…Now, again, this is all done through the customization.

And we’re going to have all of the layer keys that you want to adjust. You can do all the adjustments in this dialog box and that will work. And if you have just a couple of changes to make, it works pretty well and it doesn’t take terribly long. If you have a bunch of changes to make, we actually have the Export Layers and Import Layers from Excel and two Excel commands.

What this will do is it will create a file that you can open up Excel, you can search and replace and all the nice Excel features to make a bunch of changes and then pull them back in. I don’t think I actually even have Excel on this demo computer, so if I do that I think we’re just going to get a text file. Yeah. I’ll just go to Sample. I’ve got sample copy of Excel there asking me to register.

So, you’ll open it up in Excel, make your changes and then you can import it back in, just for the completeness of this sample. Say we have this wire, we could create a new layer, I’m going to call it “Sample Wire,” and just select a color for it.

It’s going to be purple, and then I’m going to change this layer key to Use It, and click OK. And now if I do my Generate, I’m going to use that new layer. If you already have stuff on your drawing and you make changes, it’s not going to update automatically necessarily, particularly if you’re just changing the color of an existing layer that’s already in the drawing, so you might need to run the Update Drawing Layers to Match Project List.

That’s for if you change a layer color or some other definition and it’s not updating. Run this command and it’ll pull all the definitions and update your layers for you, because this way you can actually make changes to them without having our software continually override them if you needed something custom in the drawing. And “Can you explode the layer and make it your own custom layers?”

You don’t really want to do it that way. Rather than doing any sort of exploding or manipulation within AutoCAD, you really want to do the manipulation within our Layers command, so this way you can set the layer over here, you can set the set the colors. You should be able to match your custom layers exactly.

So you can create the layer definition that you want here. Just create it within our software, so that our software’s always pulling the right layer for you automatically. If you’re trying to make changes to the layers through the AutoCAD interface, you’re probably doing something wrong and you don’t want to do it that way because our software is going to fight with you, and that will become frustrating quickly.

So, don’t try and do it that way, rather try and make sure that you’re making your changes here. And then we also have the question about the labels and what we can do with that. I’m going to take this panel here. So with the block like this transformer, obviously the graphics are fixed and you can add labels to it.

So you can always do that. With the panels that have the ability to have these little pieces stretched, we’ll actually save that layout as well. So if I take this piece and, you know, I want to have a switchboard that’s a little bit taller and a little skinnier, we can do something like that. And it’s not going to actually save all of that, so that when it comes in, it comes in with this taller arrangement.

And then we can also add additional labels. We’ll put in the Fault, and what else should we put in here? We’ll throw in a Load label.

So we’ll put our Fault specification here and then our Load right there. So now we have a couple of additional labels on this laid out differently. Now you can run the Create One-line Diagram Block from One-line diagram command.

It’s going to ask you a bunch of questions because you have to create a block that’s going to be saved. So we’re going to call this our “Sample Switchboard,” that’s the drawing file that will be saved. You have the option to do stuff with the layers. If you’re not sure, always just leave everything at layer zero type of block, so that it knows what it’s going to be used for in the future.

This is a distribution equipment. And then whether you want to create a record in the Project database, and then the Mastery database. I’ll put this in the Projects. I’m going to leave my Master alone. So this way because this will create the drawing file. This will create record that can then be linked up to something, so you need to have the drawing and the record in the database for it to be used within our software.

It wants me to have a name in there. I’m just going to copy that. And then it asks for the block to use. It doesn’t always work. And now, when we insert a piece of equipment, that will be available as a block.

And so it created the graphic for you, so you’ve got that picture there. We’ve already got that on the drawing, so it’s not going to let us put it in. I’m just going to get rid of all that so I can put something in. I will [inaudible] to have this switchboard. And so it comes in with the additional labels that we have set out on it.

So, that’s the workflow for creating additional blocks that have different labels on them. Any other questions on One-line Diagrams, on the Generate? All right. I don’t think we’re getting any more questions, so I’m going to go and end this meeting.

And we will see you all in a week or two.

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