Monday, September 17, 2007

Autodesk's Drawing Compare Subscription Module

Drawing Compare Subscription Module - Download The Subscription Module: Drawing Compare is available exclusively for AutoCAD® MEP 2008 customers participating in the Autodesk® Subscription program. Download this module now to get the Drawing Compare feature. The Drawing Compare feature enhances collaboration by using color-coded displays to show items on a drawing that have been changed, added, or deleted by other members of the design team. Changes to items such as styles, fire ratings, or other non-graphical properties are also tracked. Combined with redlining features, such as revision clouds, the Drawing Compare features help make communication across the design team clearer than ever.
The process of performing a drawing comparison has the following major steps:

Select the folder that contains review drawings, then select the folder that contains project drawings.
The Setup tab of the Drawing Compare palette is where you select the context in which drawings are compared. Typically, the review folder contains drawings that you receive from either an internal or external source, and the project folder contains the original version of the drawing files that you send for modification. These project drawings must all be contained within the same top-level folder to provide the correct context for comparison.
When you select review and project folders, all of the drawing files within those folders are listed. This includes host drawings and any drawings nested within them as external references (xrefs). You can choose to match drawings manually, selectively, or allow the Drawing Compare process to match the drawings automatically. The software matches drawings by file name when they are matched automatically. Drawings are matched when the project drawing is an exact duplicate of the review drawing. If you match drawings manually, you can choose to compare the drawings regardless of whether they have the same name.

If you want to selectively match drawings, the context menu allows you to specify which drawings in the review folder to include or exclude from the match. The drawings in the folder that are included in the comparison are matched through the context menu when you select the folder. You can select new review drawings to match at any time. You can also drag and drop a review drawing onto a project drawing to match them manually.

You can also choose to reset the drawings in the review folder to un-matched.

Match review drawings to their corresponding project drawings by using automatic matching or by manually dragging a review drawing onto a project drawing.
Use this procedure to have Drawing Compare match all the drawings in the review folder to corresponding drawings in the project folder. When you select the automatic matching option, the software attempts to match drawings that have the exact file name. Files are matched to determine which review drawings are modifications of the corresponding project drawings, and which review drawings are entirely new.

NOTE:It is strongly recommended that you use the automatic matching option for most use cases. Only use the match drawings manually option when the review drawing has been renamed, or if you want to compare a smaller set of drawings.

The matching process looks at both host drawings and any drawings nested within them as external references (xrefs). The matching process does not take xref relationships into account. Rather, the process looks at each review drawing to verify whether it is a modified version of a project drawing. If so, the 2 drawing files are matched. Drawing Compare displays the differences between the project drawing and its modified review drawing.

A pair of files is matched when they represent the same file, with one element of the pair in the project folder and one in the review folder. When this condition is not met, the files are unmatched. Matching allows for replacing an xrefed project drawing with its modified review drawing when appropriate. Unanticipated results can occur, depending on whether the file is xrefed using a full or relative path. Xrefs that are specified with full paths may not resolve properly if their context is moved, which is what may occur in the case of a drawing review folder. When the matching process is complete, xrefs can be resolved predictably using review content. If you want to affect the results of the comparison, use the exclude or include options instead.

NOTE:For accurate results, always allow the Drawing Compare process to finish.

A file excluded from Drawing Comparison will act as if it, and all its xrefs, are exact copies of the originals. Objects in excluded files (or xrefed by excluded files) will appear as unmodified. You should not unmatch files that you do not want to include in a comparison. Exclude the files instead.

A file is missing if it appears in the project folder but there is no corresponding review folder file. A missing review file is assumed to be unmodified.

In the Select Folders section of the Setup tab, if you select a review folder after you already specified a review or project folder, the Confirm Automatic Matching dialog box is displayed. If you choose a different project or review folder, click No and specify a new folder to continue.
The results of the matching are indicated by the icon associated with the drawing. Visual cues, such as an exclamation mark or a circle with a slash through it, indicate the status of the drawings.
After completing the drawing matching and relationship analysis process, you can toggle the filter button to show only the project drawings that are related to a specific review drawing. A project drawing is related to the selected review drawing if the project drawing is affected by modifications to the review drawing. This correlation is determined as the Analyzing Drawing Relationships progress window is displayed.
Select a review drawing and a project drawing to compare.
After you begin a Drawing Compare session, the Project drawing opens and hosts the review drawing. The graphics from the review drawing are overlaid on the project drawing. Objects from the project drawing and review drawing display in color, based on the visual filter settings which control which objects display and how they display during a comparison session. The Review tab becomes active, and the Drawing Compare Mode toolbar opens in the drawing area.

As you compare drawings in the review process, you look at them in context. The project drawing is the contextual reference for the review drawing and is the active drawing. It is the only drawing in which you can select objects. Information on the Review tab indicates changes made to objects and the status of objects in the drawings, such as New, Modified, and Missing. The number of changed objects is displayed in the Object List Summary.

The software compares data and geometric information about all of the objects in the drawings when you are working in Drawing Compare. This includes objects such as walls and doors as well as lines and circles. You can determine which drawings and objects display by using the visual filter.
Select objects in the Object Report List or click Object Selection on the Drawing Compare Mode toolbar and select an object to display changes made to the object’s properties. On the Review tab, details of what changed displays in the Object Properties list.
  1. Select a review drawing from the Select Review Drawing pane.
  2. Start the Drawing Compare session in one of 3 ways:
  3. Select a project drawing from the Select Project Drawing pane, right-click and click Start drawing comparison from this drawing.
  4. Select a project drawing from the Select Project Drawing pane, select a review drawing from the Select Review Drawing pane, then click the Start Drawing Comparison button () on the Setup tab. At this point, you can also select a different project drawing.
  5. Double-click the project drawing.

NOTE:When you select a review drawing, the matched project drawing is selected automatically, enabling the Start Drawing Comparison button.

The Object Comparison progress window displays the number of objects being compared as they are processed.

The Review tab of the Drawing Compare palette is displayed along with a separate Drawing Compare Mode toolbar.

Setup: This section displays the full path for both the review and project drawings. This information is read only.

Visual Filter Legend: This legend displays colors used in the Drawing Compare mode, and it specifies which review groups display in the drawing area. You can make changes to both settings.

The color of the icons on the Visual Filter Legend identifies the color of the object groups in the review, such as grey for unchanged objects and yellow for modified objects. You can specify a primary color for an object that is pending review, and a secondary color for the object once it has been viewed. You can also specify the plot style of an object in the visual filter.

The Visual Filter Legend displays the last used filter in new Drawing Compare sessions.
Use this procedure to specify which objects are displayed in the drawing area. For example, if you want to view only modified objects, select Hide for all values except Modified objects, and select Show for Modified objects. If you hide all of the new, modified, and missing objects, the remaining objects are displayed with their original colors as they appeared in the original project or review drawing.

In the Visual Filter Legend on the Review tab, select Show or Hide to change the visibility of objects on your screen.

Visual Filter worksheet: You can specify filters that affect how objects display during your Drawing Compare session. Under Included Objects, for example, you can set up a visual filter to allow only windows that were modified to be included in the comparison. All other objects display as unchanged. Under Visual Filtering Color Theme, you can adjust the color schemes and assign plot styles to different view groups. The Color column list the colors for pending objects before they are selected. The Viewed Color column lists the colors for viewed objects after they are selected.

Click the Visual Filter Worksheet button () on the title bar of the Visual Filter Legend to open the Visual Filter worksheet.

Object Report List: Objects that are new, missing, and modified in your review drawing are listed by category in alphabetical order, such as Circle, Door, Multi-View Block, and Polyline. When the list is displayed, all of the information is in bold text initially. This text style identifies objects as not yet viewed. The text does not change until that object is viewed, then another object in the list is selected for review. A group of objects can be selected and set as Pending or Viewed from the context menu.

When you hold your cursor over objects in your drawing, a tool tip displays information about the object. New and modified objects display a lock icon and cannot be changed.

You can minimize the Drawing Compare palette and use the Drawing Compare Mode toolbar to navigate when viewing objects. Expand the palette when necessary to review information about objects and properties.

The option to zoom in on an object is toggled on and off when you click the Activate/Deactivate Zoom to button () on the title bar of the Object Report List or on the Drawing Compare Mode toolbar. When this option is toggled on, the software zooms in on the selected object automatically after you select that object in the Object Report List.

Object List Summary: This summary displays the total number of objects changed and the total number of objects waiting for review. In the following example, a total of 209 objects changed in the review drawing in some way, and seven were reviewed, leaving 202 objects still pending review. When an object’s status is pending, it means that Drawing Compare has identified a difference between the project and review object, but the object in question has not yet been selected in the Object Report List.

Object Properties: By default, this section lists properties that have changed for the object currently selected in the Object Report List, showing the current parameters for the property in the project drawing and the review drawing.

Click the Display Properties for reviewed objects button () on the Object Properties title bar to toggle this option on and display only the object’s changed properties or off to display all of the object’s properties.

If the object is missing, data is listed in the Project Object column only. If the object is new, data is listed in the Review Object column only. If the object is modified, data is listed in both the Project Object and Review Object columns.

Drawing Compare Mode Toolbar: Use the Drawing Compare Mode toolbar to navigate through your review. This toolbar opens after you start a drawing comparison.

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