Global text replacement made easy!

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By Eiren Smith, Axiom Product Manager
Global File Changer is Axiom’s tool for making global changes to multiple design files. In addition to providing a flexible framework from which users can execute almost any imaginable task operation on multiple design files, Global File Changer contains its own arsenal of custom commands. These custom commands, built from years of feedback from MicroStation users of all types, cover a wide variety of important tasks, from counting cells in design files to unparalleled control over text and cell replacement.

Today I will provide you with an introduction to global text replacement using Global File Changer.

The scenario:
We have text in hundreds of files that we need to change and doing it one file at a time is not an option (as it would take you weeks). We need to replace every instance of “Abbey Rd” with “Abbey Road”.

Should you panic? Not if you have Global File Changer (part of MicroStation Productivity Toolkit)! Here is how it’s done:

  1. Create a design file. Place a text element in this file saying:
    “Abbey rd needs to be spelled out and capitalized.” (Notice that “rd” is intentionally miscapitalized.)
  2. Start Global File Changer from your Axiom menu inside MicroStation.
  3. Note: If this were a real text replacement job being run on real project files, you would need to make a list of the files to process. Global File Changer makes this easy. However, we will just be running on the active file today. If you look at the “Design Files:” field, you will see that Global File Changer is already pointing at your active file.

  4. In Global File Changer, choose Custom | Modify text…
  5. If you want to process text in cells (not just simple text elements) put a check in the “Text in cells” checkbox. Today’s example does not include text in cells but this is an important option.

  6. Choose the “Replace Text” tab.
  7. In the “Search String” field, enter “Abbey Rd”
  8. In the “Replacement String” field, enter “Abbey Road”.
  9. Press {Add}.
  10. Press {OK}. You will be prompted to save your settings to a “Modify Text File”. This file will contain the settings you have chosen so you can re-use them in the future. Saving these settings to a file is mandatory.
  11. Choose a name for your Modify Text File and press {OK}. I will use “abbey_rd”. It is not necessary to specify a file extension – an extension of “.txt” will be added to your file automatically.
  12. You will be returned to the main Global File Changer dialog box.

  13. Notice that the “Keyins:” field now says something like
    #Axiom Modify Text c:program filesaxiomv8abbey_rd.txt
    This is the command that will cause Global File Changer to perform your text replacment.
  14. Press {Start}.
  15. If all goes well, you will be presented with a box like this:

    Press {OK}.

  16. Now look at your design file. The text element you placed earlier should now say:
    “Abbey Road needs to be spelled out and capitalized.”

Congratulations, you’ve successfully made a text modification with Global File Changer. If you had been running a real-world text replacement on project design files, it would have been just as easy to have Global File Changer change a whole list of design files.

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