March 30, 2014

ACA 2015 - Style Import

A new way to import AutoCAD Architecture® styles into a drawing has been added in the 2015 release. When you start the "Add" command for or select one or more instances of certain style-based AEC Objects (Wall, Door, Window, Door/Window Assembly, Curtain Wall, Structural Member, Slab, Roof Slab, Stair, Railing and Space), a new pane has been added to the Design tab of the Properties palette, under the General category, between the Description and Style properties, that shows a preview of the currently selected style, and which is labeled Search....

If you click on this panel, the Select Style dialog displays, allowing you to select a style from the source files for that object type.
From the Select Style dialog, you can do a number of things:
  • Select a style from the list box, using the scroll bar, if necessary, to examine the entire list of available styles for import.
  • Hover your cursor over one of the styles in the list box, to get a tool tip listing the style name, style description (if any was provided) and the source file.
  • Use the Search edit box and the Go button to limit the list of styles to those matching the search term entered. In the image below, the list of Wall styles has been limited to those with "GWB" in the style name.
    Click on the "X" at the right side of the Search edit box to clear a search.
  • Use the Drawing file drop-down list to limit the list to the styles in a single source file, or, having previously done so, to select different file or return to All files.
  • Use the Browse button to modify the list of source files from which styles are shown in the list box.
    The Add and Remove buttons allow you to control the list of the source files. You can save a default list by checking that toggle and then selecting the OK button. You can restore the last saved list (after making "temporary" changes) by using the Restore button.
  • Select the Settings button (wrench icon, in lower left corner), and use the Preview option to modify the way the items in the list box appear. For None, there is no preview image, just a listing of style names and descriptions. The other options control the size of the preview.
  • Select the Settings button (wrench icon, in lower left corner), and use the Background Color option to choose between Default (which is white) or the Drawing Window background color.
Once you have found the style you want to import, select the style in the list box and then select the OK button, or double-click on the style in the list box. If you change your mind about importing a style, select Cancel. The Select Style dialog will be dismissed and you will be returned to the drawing.

If the "Add" command had been used, it will still be active. If you chose to import a style, that style will be set as the current style (and, if it came from a source file, the style will be copied to the current drawing).

If one or more instances in the drawing had been selected, the imported style, if one was chosen, will be copied to the drawing and applied to the selected instance(s).

NOTE: If a style is selected from a source file other than the current drawing, and the current drawing already has a style of the same name, the current drawing's version of the style will be used. If the source file version is different, and is the version you want in the current drawing, use the Style Manager to copy the style from the source file and overwrite the style in the current drawing.

A default folder for source files can be specified on the AEC Content tab of the Options dialog, in the Architectural Object Style Path edit box.

For those using AutoCAD MEP, this feature can also be used to import systems. Source files for systems can be specified in the same manner as noted for style files above, and you can set a default folder for them on the MEP Catalogs tab of the Options dialog, in the System Definitions item in the Style-Based Content Paths.

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