Nate Holt's Blog

August 25, 2009

Multi-item number balloon positioning utility – AutoCAD Electrical

Filed under: Electrical — nateholt @ 2:37 pm

Simple tool to re-configure a cluster of item number balloons

This seems so trivial, but if you have to do it often, a tool is much appreciated. Here we have a pushbutton that consists of three different item numbered parts. When the item bubble balloons pop in, the string of bubbles extends in a straight line. If in a crowded space, the string of bubbles can bleed across and bump into the next-door neighbor.

bal00

We need a tool! AutoCAD Electrical “groups” these three bubbles and leader together, so to reposition one or two bubbles, you first have to turn the GROUP mode off (CTRL+SHIFT+A). Then reposition each bubble and try to keep them touching at nice, clean tangent points. Tedious.

Let’s quickly review how we got to this point.

Multi-item number support

Recent versions of AutoCAD Electrical support multiple item numbers assigned to a single component. This mode is set up as a project-wide property as shown here.

bal01

In this mode AutoCAD Electrical can assign and track a unique item number assigned for each catalog part number. If a component consists of multiple pieces  (ex: operator, N.O. contact block, N.C. contact block), an item number can be assigned and tracked, drawing-wide or project-wide, for each catalog part number piece.

In our example shown above, here is what the part number assignments might look like:

bal02

The Tool

So, that is the issue and how it manifests itself. Now for the tool…

…type this at the “Command:” prompt:  

 AEBALLOONREPOSITION [Enter]

Then pick on the bubble to move. Just get it close to where you want it to go. It should sense the nearby balloon(s) of the cluster and auto-position to remain tangent. You do NOT have to turn “grouping” off.

This seems to work in both ACE2009 and ACE2010 for clustered, multi-item number balloons.

bal03

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