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---Lesson 8--- 

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  • Linking CADVANCE with Other Windows Programs (OLE)

An ideal way to create presentation documents for a client is by utilizing the Microsoft Clipboard program that is included with the Windows software. This program allows you to clip objects from one application (or file) to another by playing the role of the middleman. This means that you can paste CADVANCE objects (such as the layout you see below) into your Wordprocessing documents, and conversely, paste word processing documents into CADVANCE drawing files (these would typically be things like large note blocks). You can also paste CADVANCE entities into other CADVANCE drawing files (i.e. typical details).

These clips reside one-at-a-time in the clipboard, and are placed there by individual programs highlighting the objects to be clipped and going to the function Edit/Copy. If objects are copied to the clipboard, the remain in the original document. However, if you use Edit/Cut, they will be cut out of the current project sheet and placed in the clipboard (generally, we recommend that you copy, not cut, objects to the clipboard).  In the clipboard, highlighted objects can then be Pasted into another file or application. These objects can be pasted in one of two ways, as linked or non-linked entities. Paste Linked objects are, as they imply, linked to the source file and will change as the original changes. If you simply Paste an entity, it will retain no links to the original and cannot be edited in its source program and/or file. There are advantages to both of these methods, and one of them implies legal implications where projects are concerned. If a Paste/Link object happens to be a detail from an ever changing library of details, then it is very important that the file disassociate its link as approved construction begins. This is important to project mangers, as details may change over a period of time, but the project, as built, cannot. Please note that as the project goes into final construction, all links can easily be dissolved by highlighting the linked object and going to Edit/Links (in any program that supports the Clipboard) and breaking the link.

 

  • Linking CADVANCE entities to another CADVANCE file:
  1. If you wish to create an ever-changing link to another file, you must first save the original (source) file.
  2. Highlight the object(s) you wish to copy to another file.
  3. Go to Edit/Copy (Ctrl + C). Objects are now in the Clipboard (although nothing happens visually).
  4. File/Open the VWF you wish to paste objects into, and then select Edit/Paste Link. You will notice that your cursor is positioned in the lower left-hand corner for placement. BayCAD Services recommends that you place a node in an absolute lower left location and create your own "handle" before you Edit/Copy. This will guarantee precise placement (note that the adjacent file has no nodes placed and the resulting clip goes right up to the edge of the frame it resides in. If you desire some room around the image, use nodes on bottom-left and upper-right corners). Once an object is linked to another drawing, it will change as the original changes, and can be easily edited in the original document by simply double clicking it. This will open the original file for editing.
  5. If you do not wish to retain a direct link to he original file, simply Edit/Paste (Ctrl + V)

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CAD Paste Linked to Word or WordPerfect

 

  • Linking from CADVANCE to a Wordprocessor: 
  • If you wish to create an ever-changing link to another program, you must save the CADVANCE file first.
  • If you are printing to a black and white printer, go to Options/Color and select "Black on White". Change Color 3 = 255, 0, 0 so that you have a different highlight color. (Note: if you have used weighted lines in your 6.0 drawing, the line weight will not show in your clip).
  • Highlight the objects you wish to copy to the clipboard (placing and selecting a node in the lower left-hand corner will give you a precise "handle").
  • Go to Edit/Copy (Ctrl C). Objects are now in the Clipboard.
  • Switch To (Alt Tab) your Wordprocessor program, position your cursor to insert the CADVANCE object at a specific location and select Edit/Paste Special. Highlight the CADVANCE Object and click circle next to Paste Link (see above). If you do not wish to retain a direct link to the original file, simply Edit/Paste (Ctrl + V).

 

 

  • How to Maintain proportions in the clipped frame 

In WordPerfect 6.0: Select Graphics/Edit Box or simply click Button 2 on your mouse. From the Graphics toolbar, click Content button and check box to keep proportional. Now if you need to re-size the linked object, it will stay in proportion. Experiment by changing borders, fills, etc. to gain a finished looking presentation.

In Word 6.0: You can only re-size the object frame by selecting the markers on the corners and still maintain correct proportions. To change borders, shading and captions, highlight the entity by clicking on it and simply click button 2 on the mouse.

 

  • Linking Excel and CADVANCE

We suggest that prior to creating your first link to Excel that you check out the example in the Bonus Book that came with CADVANCE. Then, follow the tutorial on this process which is in the TECHNOTE.WRI file located in the CADVANCE directory. Not wanting to reproduce that entire document here, the following is a specific list of tips to avoid problems placing linked Excel tables in a CADVANCE drawing:

Open Excel and CADVANCE. Close everything else. Open only the two documents being used in the link. Don't open multiple drawings or multiple Excel spreadsheets. This will maximize the available Windows resources for use in the linking process and insure the most reliable results. (unless you're using Windows95: Microsoft minimized any resource problem you may encounter with OLE)

Set your CADVANCE Options/Colors to black on white with color 3, the highlight color, set to red. If you leave the typical color mapping, with black as the background color, it results in an invisible Excel link in your CADVANCE drawing. You can't see black text on a black background!

Format your Excel documents in multiples of 8 " x 11" pages for linking. For example if you have a very long table in Excel you wish to bring into CADVANCE, do it in multiple paste/links of 8 x 11 pages rather than trying to paste the whole document at once. Maximize the page size by minimizing the margins to 1/4". Eliminate headers and footers. Do not try linking larger areas or the odds are good that errors will occur.

Make no more than three links to a CADVANCE document during one CADVANCE session. Otherwise you'll run out of resources and receive a General Protection Fault. Don't be alarmed by this limitation. It reflects a limitation imposed by Windows resources. Microsoft didn't envision us making 30 links to our CAD drawings. (If you're running Windows95 this limitation does not exist: Users have made 30 links in one session without a problem, under this new and improved version of Windows.)

Save your drawing after each and every link.

Made a mistake? No problem, just delete the link and File/Pack your drawing before making additional links. Packing removes information from the drawing file, not just the display list.

If you're using a pen plotter driver, use one of the Windows vector fonts, Modern, Roman, or Script to format your Excel table. Use the Excel border lines instead of the default grids, as grids will not plot with a pen plotter driver (WIN907).

Use raster output devices whenever possible for better formatting control (one user with a Calcomp E-stat plotter uses the CCRF driver because it will print WYSIWYG - what you see is what you get). Don't use TT text in the same file, or the Excel object will loose it's formatting (we're looking for a fix to this problem in 7.0).

Use linking instead of embedding. This will allow the project architect, manager, or job captain to edit the table without having access to CADVANCE. If you embed the Excel sheet in CADVANCE the only way to access it is thru CADVANCE. The table will not exist as a separate file on disk! Please make an extra note of this. Often a table starts as an Excel file. If it is then later embedded into a CADVANCE working drawing by mistake, when changes are made to the original Excel file, they will not be updated in CADVANCE. The only way to update an embedded Excel table is to first start CADVANCE and then double click on the table. The embedded table will be loaded automatically in Excel for editing.

 

Thank you for visiting the CADVANCE web site for the v6.5 mini-tutorials.  We hope you've enjoyed them and have found them useful.  Please check back regularly for new information and updates posted frequently.

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