Tips & Tricks

PDF Your Entire MicroStation Cell Library in Under 5 Minutes

Tired of searching around for cells?

You’re in charge of getting everybody on your company’s latest engineering design project up to speed and productive. The customer has supplied you with the cell library, seed files and standards that have to be followed. You open the V8 cell library and discover that there are over three hundred cells and they all use the old, cryptic, six-character cell names.

Figure 1 Create PDF Cell Library with Cell Manager

Figure 1. CellManager automatically creates a cell library notebook in PDF format — complete with a table of contents — resulting in ease of distribution and increased speed in finding the cells you need on any project.

You realize that the only way to get your drafters to find the correct cells, without wasting valuable production time, is to provide them with an easy-to-access, visual presentation of the cells in this library.

Cell Library to PDF in About Five Minutes
With CellManager, you could have what you need in about five minutes. How?

  1. Start up Micro­Station V8 and open the cell library you want to document.
  2. Start CellManager by selecting “CellManager for V8″ from the “Axiom” pull-down menu in MicroStation.
  3. In CellManager’s main dialog box, make sure the open cell library is shown in the “Files:” field. If not, click the {Select…} button to open the “Choose Files to Process” dialog box and select your cell library.
  4. From CellManager’s main dialog box, click Settings | Change Settings… to open CellManager’s “Change Settings” dialog box (Figure 2). Now, adjust the “Page Settings” to 25 models per page. Next, click on “Plot Settings” and select the standard MicroStation “PDF” plot configuration file and “ANSI A” paper size. (“ANSI” stands for “American National Standards Institute”. “ANSI A” is a notation for a paper size of 8.5 by 11 inches.) Click {OK} to close the dialog box.
  5. Figure 2 Easily Show 25 Cells per Page

    Figure 2. CellManager makes it easy for you to create a page that will display up to 25 cells (models) per page. You can also choose from a variety of page sizes using the “Change Settings” dialog box.

  6. Click the {Draw Pages…} button from CellManager’s main dialog box (Figure 3) to open the “Draw Pages” dialog box.
  7. Figure 3 Cell Manager Has Many Options

    Figure 3. After selecting which cells to work with, the {Draw Pages…} button opens a “Draw Pages” dialog box that gives you various options for drawing, plotting and displaying your cell notebook pages.

  8. Then, click the {Draw Pages} button on the “Draw Pages” dialog box (Figure 4) to have CellManager automatically generate the page graphics you will use for your documentation.
  9. With the pages all set for plotting, simply click the {Create Plots} button (Figure 4) on the “Draw Pages” dialog box. CellManager automatically generates each page of the PDF and then combines all the pages into a single PDF file. Once the PDF file is created, an “Information” dialog box pops up giving you the exact name and location of the newly created PDF file. Your new file will have the same name as the cell library, but will have a “.pdf” extension.
  10. Figure 4 Save PDF of Your Cell Library

    Figure 4. The magic begins when you click on {Draw Pages} and the cells are generated on screen. Clicking {Create Plots} saves a PDF file of your cell library. When done, just click on {Display…} to view your freshlyminted PDF file.

  11. Click {OK} to close the information dialog box and return to the “Draw Pages” dialog box.
  12. Finally, click the {Display…} button on the “Draw Pages” dialog box (Figure 4) to open your newly created cell library documentation!

In about five minutes, you’ve created a beautiful, easy-to-use PDF file documenting all your cells (over 300 in this example) that you can easily distribute to your staff. How’s that for efficiency?

Want Cell Library Documentation Fast? Call Now!
For more information on CellManager or to obtain a free trial version, contact an Axiom MicroStation Consultant today! Call 727-442-7774 extension 2353, now!

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