Custom Schedules Using AutoCAD Data Extraction

Questions about using and the information behind / in any of the reports and schedules generated by DraftLogic Electrical.

Custom Schedules Using AutoCAD Data Extraction

Postby forumadmin » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:47 pm

Interested in reporting on DraftLogic Electrical symbol attributes that there is not a specific report for in the Report Wizard? For example, you may have included a bunch of estimating/installation relevant notes in the 'Remarks' attributes of symbols used in your design & you want to produce a list of these for your estimator to refer to.

You can use the AutoCAD Data Extraction tool to report on attribute contents for any particular attribute or symbols. The Data Extraction tool was added in AutoCAD 2008 and continues to be provided in all newer versions.

To start it up, launch it from the AutoCAD menu: Tools > Data Extraction. This tool allows you to take the attributes of any block or blocks and create a table of the results in your DWG or export to one of several file formats. If you are going to create a file outside AutoCAD, I recommend the 'xls' format instead of the comma delimited since commas in your data will confuse the comma delimited export but not the xls format.

Attached is a sample .dxe file that includes all DraftLogic Electrical symbols as of this date with the most commonly desired attributes selected and ready for reporting.

See this forums entry for some more detail, especially the attached blog ' ExtractingAttributesToTableOrOutsideAutoCAD.pdf':

To use the sample .dxe (see reference screen caps attached, apologies for adding in reverse order of when they occur):
1. Fire up the AutoCAD Data Extraction tool and on Page 1 of 8, select to 'Create a new data extraction' and to 'Use previous extraction as a template'. Click the '...' to browse to wherever you saved the dxe file attached to this forums entry. You will be required to save a copy of the template in order to continue.
2. On Page 2 of 8, either select certain objects in your current drawing or check off to include your current drawing. Don't worry about the non-existent drawing that was used to set this up in the template, AutoCAD will soon complain about it not being found and then ignore it. Click next once you have selected your data source type and the particular drawings/objects to be included.
3. AutoCAD will now complain about missing drawings, namely the one that I used to set this template up. Select 'Continue updating table'.
4. If you want to query for all the commonly used attributes from all the DraftLogic Electrical symbols that exist in your selection set, just hit 'Next' until Page 6 of 8. Otherwise, customize the symbols to be included and attributes to be included by checking things on and off in pages 3-5. To follow on with our 'Remarks' example, one could either uncheck irrelevant symbols/attributes in these pages or produce the full report and just select all and use Excel's sorting function to sort by the Remarks field--making it easy to delete irrelevant rows from the Excel report.
5. On Page 6 of 8, select where you want your output to go--either a table in the drawing or into an external file. I prefer the .xls format. If you select for an external file, you must select '...' and redirect the output to somewhere on your machine/network since I set the template up to report to a path on my workstation, which will not exist on yours.
6. Check out the results! Drop us an email, add a question to this forums item, or call if you have any questions.
The template extraction that includes all DraftLogic Electrical symbols
(960.34 KiB) Downloaded 592 times
Setting up your preferred output type and updating the export file location (required)
DataExtractionOutput.png (21.94 KiB) Viewed 5237 times
Inevitable file not found complaint if you use the drawings method--don't worry about it
DataExtractionFilesNotFound.png (25.75 KiB) Viewed 5237 times
Setting up the drawing(s) or objects you want to include in the extraction
DataExtractionIncludeCurrentDrawing.png (30.26 KiB) Viewed 5237 times
Select the template to start with
DataExtractionSelectTemplate.png (24.84 KiB) Viewed 5237 times
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