Duty of the CAD Manager

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CLEARWATER, FLORIDA, USA — When facing tough deadlines, it’s often the CAD manager who takes responsibility for getting a project completed on time. CAD managers have been known to go to great lengths — from extensive MicroStation training for users to pulling all-nighters — to avoid costly project delays.

Always in the forward-thinking CAD manager’s corner, MicroStation Productivity Toolkit offers a multitude of software programs to boost everyday user productivity, as well as tools to automate time-draining modifications that need to be performed in bulk. This article highlights some of the MicroStation Productivity Toolkit components that can increase the quality of work of any MicroStation-using design team, and thus increase the peace of mind of the CAD manager.

RefWriter
RefWriter offers MicroStation users the unique ability to instantly modify any reference file they wish with a single mouse-click. When using RefWriter, a MicroStation user can double-click on any element in a reference file and make that reference file active. RefWriter makes the master file a reference file and reattaches all the reference files so that all the same elements are displayed as before switching into the reference file. RefWriter utilizes the master files’ view, reference, level and tool settings when the reference file is made active. That way, the portion of the reference file that the user needs to edit is readily available and the user eliminates the need to modify the view with fit, zoom in or zoom out in order to find the elements that need to be modified. The view looks exactly as it did before, only now the reference file is the active file. The user can now update or modify the reference file and use one mouse click to return to the master file, again with no change in how the view looks.

Microsoft Office Importer
For users who import Excel spreadsheets or Word documents into their design files, Microsoft Office Importer is an invaluable program. Microsoft Office Importer enables MicroStation users to import and link nearly unlimited quantities of spreadsheet and word processing data into MicroStation with ease, precision formatting and reliability. On one test, Microsoft Office Importer had no problem pasting a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet containing 14 columns and 700 rows of data with a single paste.

Always have your imported spreadsheet data synchronized with the source Excel file. Microsoft Office Importer can automatically update your pased information when you open the design file.

Microsoft Office Importer allows the linked data in the MicroStation file to be updated automatically each time it is opened or on command from the user. Also, Microsoft Office Importer provides total formatting control of the elements it creates in MicroStation. Elements like grid lines, text size, italics, bolding, underline, line spacing and other visual aspects of the spreadsheet or word processing file being placed are retained upon importing and are maintained after updates.

SpecChecker
The purpose of SpecChecker is to ensure design file consistency by detecting, reporting and automatically correcting elements that do not comply with project, client or company CAD standards. SpecChecker will save you hundreds or thousands of hours of tedious proofreading and improve the quality of your design files.

The user simply tells SpecChecker to automatically generate a “rule file” (file SpecChecker uses to determine on-standard element criteria) from a design file that already meets the CAD standards. Then, using the rule file, SpecChecker checks any number of design files and shows the user all the elements that do not comply with the rules. Better yet, SpecChecker will automatically correct the errors it finds.

Carefully proofing a single large design file can take a human proofreader hours or days. SpecChecker can do the same job in seconds catching every violation with no mistakes.

SpellCheckerPlus
SpellCheckerPlus can check and correct all text elements in the active design file, in all cells and in all reference-file elements. In addition, SpellCheckerPlus uses an advanced file-locking system that lets MicroStation users share a project dictionary over the network. Users can add any word to their own personal dictionary or to a shared project dictionary. This feature eliminates the wasted time of having to re-enter words already entered by another project member. SpellCheckerPlus is delivered with robust English and Spanish dictionaries.

SpellCheckerPlus automatically zooms in on each potential misspelling it finds so users can see the full visual context of each suspected error. SpellCheckerPlus automatically handles view rotation and dialog box placement so that your view of the text being checked is never obscured.

RefManager
Using RefManager is the fastest way to manipulate, debug, organize and control your MicroStation reference file attachments. RefManager specializes in the manipulation of reference file levels. RefManager has the ability to control and standardize the display of levels in project reference file attachments for one or all project master files and the ability to change level symbology for all attachments in all project master files in one processing run.
In addition, RefManager’s reports provide an overview of vector and raster reference file attachments in any number of design files. Having these reports allows anyone to quickly determine the exact status of an entire project’s attachments or figure out how the hundreds of project files are interrelated.

RefManager’s Cross-Reference Report lets users know which design files are refernced to which master files.

Ever forget to include a reference file along with a project submission? Is allocating time for staff to manually verify that all reference files are included in a submission to a client part of the routine? Instead of hoping all references are included in a submission, RefManager’s Missing Attachments report can immediately identify missing attachments in one or all master design files long before the drafting team is seeing “red” (missing attachments) in MicroStation’s References dialog.

Empower Yourself!
Every MicroStation CAD manager or team leader should be familiar with all the solutions available to increase the quality and quantity of output of his design team.

By learning about Axiom’s MicroStation Productivity Toolkit, the CAD manager will empower himself with the information needed to solve almost any MicroStation problem or emergency that may arise to threaten project submittal.

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