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Taproot

Fix the General Notes Manager

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@Taproot _ I don't have an answer to your request, but I'm with you on the request. I ranted lately on these posts. Any new good news?

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, leecalisti said:

Any new good news?

 

 

I haven't heard anything... Sometimes I wonder if this feedback goes anywhere, but I'm just wired to try and improve things regardless.

 

Yes, I've been following your parallel posting on this topic. 

 

I was thinking about trying to include my specifications in the Notes Manager as it would be really convenient to have items listed in the drawing set by CSI division.

However, given the challenges you and I are facing, I think that I've made the right call to skip that quagmire.  Which is too bad... for an architecturally driven software, integrating specifications seems like a really sensible feature and the Notes Manager could do it if it just worked better.

 

I said it all last year, but it's still true ... Doors, Windows, Stairs, Linear Material Tool, Notes Manager, Text Styles (associated with Classes).... there are so many broken and partially implemented features in this software.  If we could just get the basics working optimally and smoothly, I would forego all the new whiz-bang features.

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Hi Taproot,

 

"My Notes Database somehow disassociated from my template file during the 2020 upgrade"

 

Would you explain what exactly happened to disassociated your database file TA 2014 General Notes.xml?

If the file is in the correct place (/Common/Data/) with the correct name (TA 2014 General Notes.xml) it should be able to find it.
If you changed the name of the database of course it won't find it.

 

"I am now forced to go through every one of them individually and redirect the Note Manager to the correct database."

 

Еach note is treated as a separate note that can point to a different database. Тhat's why it's necessary to go through every one of them individually and redirect the Note Manager to the correct database.
It may be worth considering here if we can automate the process for all notes with the same database name...

 

Did you try Reconcile Notes... command? With Reconciled Notes functionality you can fix your template file with few steps (if you just change the name your database).

 

Thanks.

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I appreciate you're responding to this challenge!

 

19 hours ago, iborisov said:

Would you explain what exactly happened to disassociated your database file TA 2014 General Notes.xml?

If the file is in the correct place (/Common/Data/) with the correct name (TA 2014 General Notes.xml) it should be able to find it.
If you changed the name of the database of course it won't find it.

 

I'm not really sure what happened.  I upgraded to 2020 and then it stopped working.

I then tried to fix the problem and may have contributed to it further... but here is what I do know:

 

The error that pops up points to a file path that is 12 years old.  Presumably, that is when I started using the Notes Manager

 

818073351_ScreenShot2020-04-14at8_38_07PM.thumb.png.cff5582a8d7621e306bc8d8c91dda6cc.png

 

I only keep the current and last versions of VW on my computer.  So I have 2019 and 2020 folders in the Users/matthew... directory.

I had assumed that the Notes Database would be carried forward with each version as well as the directory addressing.

 

The current Notes Database is located in /Users/...Vectorworks/2020/Libraries/Defaults/Notes/

Which I assume is the intended location.

 

After hitting this error, I did rename the Notes Database to a more current version ... just so I knew which version was most current.  I can rename it to "General Notes" again if that will help...


20 hours ago, iborisov said:

Did you try Reconcile Notes... command?

 

 I do not know where to find the "Reconcile Notes" command.  I can't find it in the help, the workspace editor (all menu items) or in the dialogs that open when using the Notes Manager.  I did find it on a web search, but it says that it is in the Text Menu.  The only command I find there is:  "Convert Old Notes to New..." 

 

I tried that and it said that I had 4 notes to update, but after doing so, the problem persists and the dialog that opens doesn't look like the one on the web search, so I doubt that is it.  Never the less, if you can point me to how to "reconcile the notes," that may indeed solve the problem.

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Taproot,

 

"After hitting this error, I did rename the Notes Database to a more current version ... just so I knew which version was most current.  I can rename it to "General Notes" again if that will help..."

 

The Notes Database does not have a version. It is a TXT or XML file with a special structure inside. 

Each Note on the drawing has information from which database it receives information. In other words each Note remembers the path and the name of the database.


When an error pops it means that the Note cannot access/locate the database it remembers. This error message contains the path and the name of the database which cannot be accessed/located for any reason. Here is the point where you need to put the right database in the right folder, according to what the error message says.

 

I do not know where to find the "Reconcile Notes" command. 

 

Reconcile Notes.png

 

To reconcile notes:
Select Text > Reconcile Notes...


What Reconcile Note will do if you just want to rename a database? 

 

1. Let say you have working VWX file with Notes assigned to actual path and database - Vectorworks/2020/Libraries/Defaults/Notes/General Notes.txt
2. If you change the name of the database to General Notes 2020.txt, the error message will start pops when you try to edit any of the Notes because it cannot find the database they remember.
3. Executing Reconcile Notes... command will automatically find all Notes in the drawings that cannot locate their remembered databases.
4. It will ask you to indicate the correct database. Select Browse and find General Notes 2020.txt.

5. If selected database is the same (no changes inside, just other database name) no other action is needed.
6. An informative message will be displayed to show how many Notes are updated to remember the new database.
7. Save the VWX file.

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18 hours ago, iborisov said:

To reconcile notes:
Select Text > Reconcile Notes...

 

 

A very informative reply and that looks like EXACTLY what I need, unfortunately, it doesn't exist in my workspace manager.

Here's a screen capture of what I'm seeing.  I've tried viewing all menu commands as well .... it's just not in there.  Do I need to reinstall the software to get it back??

 

 

271449359_ScreenShot2020-04-15at6_56_02PM.thumb.png.d854f7e311026f9b86418d7115038692.png

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Did you try to click on Notes Manager and Drag-and-Drop it to right under Convert Old Notes to New...?

 

Screenshot_12.png

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7 hours ago, iborisov said:

Did you try to click on Notes Manager and Drag-and-Drop it to right under Convert Old Notes to New...?

 

That Worked!  OK - you deserve a medal for coaching me through that. 

But, wow, that was tricky to figure out.  I'm glad we had this discussion so that others can do this as well.

 

Onward with "Reconcile Notes!"

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@iborisov To the point you helped @Taproot with, when I experimented with the Reconcile Notes function, it grabbed ALL the notes in the file. I use the General Notes function for specifications, general notes, etc. that may or may not be in the database. I suppose I use it a way to add large blocks of text in a format that organizes it.

 

Is there a better way to set up notes so I have a better filter to reduce the number of notes that Reconcile Notes feature? Should I use Classes or some other method?

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1 hour ago, leecalisti said:

it grabbed ALL the notes in the file. I use the General Notes function for specifications, general notes, etc. that may or may not be in the database. I suppose I use it a way to add large blocks of text in a format that organizes it.

 

@leecalisti 

What is the resulting problem of grabbing all the text blocks (not associated with a database).  Does that mean that you had to associate them with a database manually even though they were one of a kind?  I'm trying to wrap my head around what the problem is and your preferred solution...

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@Taproot I have blocks of text where each are a "General Notes" item. Before you read on, you may immediately attempt to convince me to add them to my database, which is another tedious task.

 

Nevertheless, each set includes a list of notes (A, B, C...) that are just copied text and pasted in. The tool allows basic text to be neatly organized as there is no other text editor. They're either a CSI type specification or a list of notes for that sheet. I've either kept them in my Template folder or copied and pasted during a project - which would be difficult to manage with a larger firm. 

 

When I went to test Reconcile Notes, VW grabbed those notes too. I need to find a way to filter those out of the Reconcile Notes command.

general notes.jpg

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If your notes were inserted as symbols (rather than copy / paste) would the reconcile notes still mess with them. Using symbols for notes means they can also duplicated across a file a be easily updated as required. It is also a great way for sharing across a workgroup.

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Posted (edited)

@leecalisti   I just tried it and it looks like @Boh 's idea will work. 

 

If these are truly boiler plate notes that change little or not at all, you could also simply convert the note blocks to groups which would effectively break their connection to the notes database and make them static text objects.  For example - keep the General Notes in your source document and then copy and convert to groups when moving to your active document.

 

Obviously, that strategy really limits the flexibility of editing the notes later on.

 

We use the general notes tool much as you do, but do have them in the database.  I find it useful to be able to remove or add notes from each category as appropriate for the needs of the project.  So, yes, I think in the end it probably would be best to just add them to your database. It's a little tedious, but if you get into a flow, adding one right after the other, it can go pretty quickly.

 

 

Edited by Taproot

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@Taproot Thanks to you and @Boh. I am messing with it today as I'm working. It seems the best practices is to slowly add the notes to my database. Like anything else, I have to be forced to fiddle with it until I submit to it, rather than it to me. The rise of the machines.

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To true.

 

Regarding the original impetus of this thread:

 

  1. Reconcile Notes already exists, but could be better integrated so that users don't have to labor to find it.  Best practice would be to have it built-in to the Notes Manager so that errors resulted in a pop up offering to fix the problem.
  2. We should still be able to add multiple notes at one time.
  3. AND I would like to add a 3rd request - Make a few adjustments to the Notes Manager so that it can be utilized for SHEET SPECIFICATIONS.

Specifications typically have a format like this:

 

1085409846_ScreenShot2020-04-17at7_56_18AM.thumb.png.12d197e2d7d8d057230f145710ab1974.png

 

I've tried to duplicate it with the Notes Manager and you can't quite get there. 

  • A numeral is required with each note. So text can't be in line.
  • If the title of the note is included, it is to the left of the note, which is not compact enough for the dense amount of data in sheet specifications.

 

The BEST outcome would be if you could change the OIP's "General Note Display" to have the "Note Description from Database" listed in line with the note text and just above the note as a heading.  That would allow you to control the text display separately and achieve exactly the look of the example above.

 

The simpler (programming) solution would be to just add an option in the OIP's "General Notes Display" dropdown menu for "Custom Character."  In that case, the custom character field could be left blank so that there wasn't a numeral preceding the notes or a static item like a bullet point could be used to create a simple list.

 

To me, the above formatting options would really expand the utility of the tool.

 

------

 

One might ask - why use the Notes Manager?  Why not just use a general text block?

The main issue is wrapping.  The Notes Manager allows for multi-column layouts (unlike the text tool) which means that formatting can be adjusted easily on the fly. It also allows for a good means of organizing the specs so that they can be selectively chosen (or omitted) for each project. 

 

 

 

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