February 12, 2014

ACA: Double Click a Tag to Edit Property Data

I had a request today to be able to double click on a Schedule Tag, such as a Room Tag, and have the Edit Property Set Data dialog open, so that the Property Data attached to the tagged object can be edited, without having to go to the Extended Data tab of the Properties palette. I was able to grant the request; here is what I did.

The out-of-the-box ACA.cuix file already defines a Double Click Action for Multi-View Blocks (which is what Schedule Tags are), but it is set to edit the Multi-View Block definition.

As it turns out, the CUI does not have a command defined that runs the AECPROPERTYDATAEDIT command. But it is easy enough to add one.
  1. Type CUI at the Command: prompt. (Or, on the Manage ribbon tab, on the Customization panel, choose the User Interface tool.)
  2. Verify that the CUI dialog is fully expanded (arrow button in the lower right corner of the dialog points to the left) and that the Customize tab is the current tab (as seen in the image above).
  3. In the Command List panel (lower left side; expand the panel if it is "closed"), select the Create a new command button.
    A new command, named Commandn will be created, where n represents an integer, most likely 1 unless you have done this before and not renamed the added command(s).
  4. In the Properties panel (lower right side, expand the panel if it is "closed"), edit the properties of the new command as shown in the image below. I was not intending to use this command on a ribbon panel or a toolbar, so I did not create a custom button image, but used the out-of-the-box one for Property Set Definition edit. The Element ID will be automatically generated; yours may vary from what is shown here.
  5. In the Customizations in... panel (upper left side, expand the panel if it is "closed"), expand the ACA node (if necessary) and then expand the Double Click Actions node under the ACA node.
  6. Scroll down in the Customizations in... panel, if required,to find the Multi-View Block node under the Double Click Actions node and expand the Multi-View Block node.
  7. In the Command List panel, left click and drag the Property Data Edit command up to the Customizations in... panel and drop it on the Multi-View block node.
  8. The Property Data Edit command replaces Multi-View Block Edit as the Double Click Action for Multi-View Blocks.
  9. Select OK to dismiss the Customize User Interface dialog and to register your changes.
Now when you double click on a Schedule Tag, the Edit Property Set Data dialog will open, for the object to which the Schedule Tag is attached. Note that if you double-click on a non-tag Multi-View Block, you will also get the Edit Property Set Data dialog and will be able to edit Property Data attached to that Multi-View Block, as well as add Property Sets that apply to Multi-View Blocks or remove any of the Property Sets that are attached.

If you want to edit the Multi-View Block Defintion, you can still select an instance and, on the Multi-View Block contextual ribbon tab, on the General panel, select the Edit Style tool, or right click and choose Edit Multi-View Block Definition from the context menu.

Having edited the ACA.cuix file, you will want to back up the modified version so that you can restore it later, should the CUIX file get reset by a reinstallation or lost/corrupted through some catastrophic event. Also, as always, you can click on any of the images to see a full-size version.

February 05, 2014

ACA Rant

Having spent the last few days neck deep in Display System edits, including style-level override edits, I really wish that this add-on had become commercially viable and was available for AutoCAD® Architecture 2014.

Or, given that that did not happen, I wish that the functionality it provided had been incorporated into ACA itself. I am making the same edits over and over again, and I fear that my brain will soon implode. This is the sort of drudgery that computers were supposed to save us from, not create more.