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referenced symbols--how to update automatically?

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We are using a lot of referenced symbols in our projects--the idea being that there is a file with all of the symbols for the project from which we grab symbols for the individual drawings using the resource browser.

So far this is working well for us.

However, I have noticed that if a change is made to the symbol in the base file it does not automatically update in the files into which it is referenced.

I feel confident that I am missing something-can someone help me out? Is there a way to make these references active?

thanks much.

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Two options on referencing another file (aka the "source" file):

1. Update automatically on open of the referencing ("target") file; or

2. Manual update on command ("Workgroup References.." on Tools menu.

Now, having answered your question, I have one for you: Are you sure that referenced symbols is a good idea? I could certainly see where it could be a good idea in certain specific cases (e.g. a symbol of a unit plan in an apartment complex), but in general, it opens up the possibility for drawings to change in a non-supervised way. How do our other users weigh in on the pros and cons of this?

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How do our other users weigh in on the pros and cons of this?

I think you are right on the ball. There are situations and symbols when one is better and others when it is vice versa.

Before Sheet Layers I heavily promoted non-referenced symbols to enable different representations. The complexity of WGR was quite overwhelming, though, so now I'm promoting an even more complex scheme of countless classes & unintelligeble viewport settings to achieve the same. But I digress...

Horses for courses, I'd say. Usually a mix works best.

(I note that you are now referring to WGR-files with the nomenclature I (i) suggested during the original beta-testing and (ii) used in my small contribution to Janis's WorksManual 8.5. It is much better than what was officially used, isn't it?)

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Okay I think I am not understanding.

The options of automatic and manual updating make sense to me in terms of Workgroup Referencing or referencing entire files. We do a lot of this also and it is a very useful tool. And one that I think I understand well.

The problem I am having is with individual instances of symbols.

So for example:

In a multi-story building project we organized so that each story is in a file--to facilitate many people working on the project at the same time. (All of those files are workgroup referenced into each other to make coordination easy.)

We might reference into all these floorplans a symbol for a door. At some point that door might change throughout the project. The idea was that we could update the symbol in the base file and then it would update throughout the set.

Is this possible?

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By the way--I agree that referenced symbols could lead to unanticipated changes and might not always be a good thing.

We handle this in a couple of different ways. The most extreme is to set the referenced symbols to be placed as groups. This prevents mass changes while still making a standard useful object. Also a lot of communication within the team is critical. Before changing symbols we talk. If one instance needs to change it gets converted into a group and changed.

So far the system is working pretty well even on teams of 6 people.

But I think it is always well worth discussing!

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In short: yes.

EDIT

This was my answer to your previous question.

Edited by Petri

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Thanks Petri

Um--is there a long answer?

The only idea I have had since posting is wondering if it is necessary to reference in the file with the symbols instead of using the resource browser to access them directly?

thanks much!

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Maybe, hopefully, likely, surely. In this part of the world we'll call it a day, though.

Overall, you seem to be on the right track. The logical constructs are in place; the details can be handled.

Don't worry, be happy!

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we use referenced symbols quite often- it is an office standard- but in a slightly different way. since our symbols have accurate specification data attached to them, we have organized all our recurrring symbols in master CSI files. for example, doors are in a door file, windows, the same, accessibility c]floor areas, plumbing fixtures, lights, etc. the files are located on our server computer for all stations to access. whenever we have a new symbol (door, light, etc.), we either creat it in that master file, or place it there from anothe working file. that we we always have the symbol files current.

we do WG Ref some of them, especially code related diagrams for ADA compliance, and other diagrams for athestic standards. but most of the others are accessed through the resource browser.

so far it works pretty good.

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I did some experimentation to get referenced sybols to update, and it does work or at least it did for me. I used the Resource Browser to perform the referencing.

Two things seemed to impacted the operation though. First, the file in which the referenced symbol is located has to be in the same folder as the file doing the referencing. Second, updating only happened when the file with the reference is closed and opened. I was not able to figure out a way to update symbols like you can wrokgroup rreferences.

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Thanks Jodyb17--I will have to check the folder locations.

I thought that was okay but it is good to know that this is working for someone. It gives me hope that I can get it to work reliably here too.

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When I reference a symbol from the ressource browser, the source file i.e. doorfile becomes a part of my workgroup reference. When you go to the workgroup reference box and edit the source file, you will see that no design layer is marked. And from the wgr-box you can always update manually. Usually for us updating is automatically when opening a file. If we need to update more often we do it manually in the wgr-box. In our case the folder location doesn?t matter. Good luck.

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A related question: is there anyway to tell from where a symbol is referenced?

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good question, that should be possible, but as far as I can see it isn?t. It could also be nice to gather symbols from one reference in one folder in the ressource browser. For more overviews sake.

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