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Samuel Derenboim

Update Symbol Record Definition after Symbol insertion

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Hello Everyone, 

 

In a bit of a bind here. Is there an easy way to update the record information from inside the workspace after the symbol has been inserted? I noticed that It's very easy modifying records from inside a work sheet, but it it doesn't update the attached record to the symbol inside of the resource manager. Is there a way to do this?

 

Can anyone please help?

Thank you in advance. 

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Hi Samuel

 

A symbol definition is a unique object which defines the default settings when you insert a symbol.

If you modify the geometry of the definition, all placed symbols will update.

If you modify records of the definition, existing symbols will not be updated.

 

If you modify a symbol record field in the drawing by any way, only that instance is modified, not the definition. 

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There is currently no way to edit the Record default values from a worksheet. You would have to manually navigate to the Record Format using the Resource Manager and edit the Record field values from there.

 

As Hippocode says, if you edit the values, it will not change the values associated with any of the already placed symbols. The Record attached to the symbol definition is just a template. The values stored in the Record definition are transferred to the record attached to the symbol instance when it is placed, but there is not link between the records in either direction.

 

I have thought about writing a script that would allow the values from an object that had a record attached to be stored back to the record definition, but I don't think I ever saw enough use to actually write it.

 

A few questions to help me decide if it is worth the effort:

 

1. How often to you want to send values from a placed object back to the record defaults?

2. When you want the values sent back to the record default, do you want all of the fields or just a subset of the fields to change?

3. If only a subset, what kind of interface do you think would be useful to select which fields to update?

4. How many fields does your typical record format have?

 

 

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20 minutes ago, Pat Stanford said:

There is currently no way to edit the Record default values from a worksheet. You would have to manually navigate to the Record Format using the Resource Manager and edit the Record field values from there.

 

As Hippocode says, if you edit the values, it will not change the values associated with any of the already placed symbols. The Record attached to the symbol definition is just a template. The values stored in the Record definition are transferred to the record attached to the symbol instance when it is placed, but there is not link between the records in either direction.

 

I have thought about writing a script that would allow the values from an object that had a record attached to be stored back to the record definition, but I don't think I ever saw enough use to actually write it.

 

A few questions to help me decide if it is worth the effort:

 

1. How often to you want to send values from a placed object back to the record defaults?

2. When you want the values sent back to the record default, do you want all of the fields or just a subset of the fields to change?

3. If only a subset, what kind of interface do you think would be useful to select which fields to update?

4. How many fields does your typical record format have?

 

 

Its a real shame. This makes making libraries much harder than i thought it would be.

 

The idea is to create a library using office wide record formats. I.E. for lighting fixtures, Lighting controls, FFE, among several others. My goal is to create libraries for the office with the goal of just dropping the symbol into the file and have the worksheets already pick up the information.

 

Seems there is another way, like setting up a database, and then just picking the database object to represent the symbol...but it seems complicated. 

The typical record format i have about 10 records not including notes. Lighting controls have about 7. I wanted to create a new format that calculated light fixture spacing from the spec and standard requirements as well, which would make that a 7-8 records as well to make the formula work.

 

Would love to have the record fields updated in the symbol definition...

 

Can a script be written for this? or a marrionette?

Edited by Samuel Derenboim

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Well this is how it is supposed to work and allows you to have symbols with different information based on a common type.

Like Pat suggested, it's fairly easy to write a script to handle this. If you make it generic, it can handle any record / field type instantly and overwrite the changes to all symbols already placed in the drawing, regardless of the size of the record(s).

 

 

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Samuel,  

 

Hippocode is right, that is the way it does work now. I think we are having a problem understanding exactly what you want.

 

If you create a record format, you get to define default values for each field.

 

If you attach a record to a symbol definition, you can choose to leave the values the same as the record format defaults, or you can change them to be specific to that symbol definition.

 

If you then place an instance of the symbol in the drawing, the record attached to the instance is created with the defaults from the symbol definition.

 

If you change the values associated with the record in symbol instance, only the record attached to that symbol instance is changed. You can select multiple symbol instances at once to change multiple records at once, but the defaults in the record attached to the symbol definition are not changed.

 

If you change the defaults attached to the symbol definition, all instances of the symbol placed after the changes will reflect those changes. Instances there were placed before the changes will not be effected.

 

If you modify the Record Definition, the version of the record attached to a symbol definition and the version of the record attached to symbol instances will each be updated to match the format of the new record, but not the default data. If you add a field, each version of the record will be updated to include that field and will have the data contained in the record default. If you delete a field, that field will be removed from each version of the record and any data there will be lost. If you change the field name, it will be updated in every version but the data will be retained. I don't know what happens if you change the field type (for example, convert a string type field to a number type).

 

Yes a script can be written that will take data from a symbol instance and replace the field data from the instance and use those values to replace the values in the symbol definition. Similarly, a script could take data from an instance and be used to replace the data in the record defaults. The question is is this something that will actually be done enough to make it worth the time to write and debug the script. 

 

If I were to hack this for my personal use, it would probably take 3-4 hours. To test, debug and comment sufficiently so that I would be willing to post it would probably be 6-8 hours. To package the script in such a way as to "productize" it to something I would consider end user friendly would probably take 10-20 hours.

 

How much time do you think you are going to save by not having to manually edit the data in the symbol definitions?

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Pat, thank you for that.

 

Definitely makes sense. Yes, If i were to want to make a library, id use the script in the instances definition and update the symbol definition only, but surprisingly i wasn't aware this would be such a complicated task to figure out a work around. I thought there was a method inside of vectorworks that allowed for updating a symbol's default definition's from an instance definition already, thinking its one of the only natural ways to make drag and drop methods of BIM / Parametric objects inside of VW. 

 

How do you guys make your own libraries? Or do you just update the spec when you need to specify after dragging in default symbols with these records?

 

Here is a file with an example of what I'm referring to.

Say i want to create a library of lighting fixtures that are compatible with a worksheet that i have already created.

The idea scenario is to create symbols for each of the lighting fixtures, modify them in the work sheet, and then update the symbol definitions from the instances. 

 

You can see i have a custom record format with many records already in order to calculate wattage and specific requirements in my jurisdiction. Furthermore, Libraries can then be shared among users in the community, allowing the BIM library to grow. Autodesk compromised the market by being first and becoming a 'standard' format. VW can combat it by using the community i think. Just some thoughts.

Lighting_Fixture.vwx

Edited by Samuel Derenboim

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