How to make title blockag-cells

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Working with cells and tags attributes

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This article was inspired by and based upon a posting to Bentleys V8 newsgroup byPaul MullisofCulpepper, McAuliffe and Meaders, Inc.In the posting Paul addressed how to create tag cells for title blocks and described one method of utilizing V8s new and improved tags. Its also somewhat of an extension toBrien BastingsWorking with cells and tags attributesthat also deals with cells and tags.

In earlier versions of MicroStation it was often a difficult task to manage and maintain cells with tags. All of that has now changed with the release of V8 – most notably you can now create a cell that only contains the tag and nothing else. In this article, Ill describe just one technique of creating a tag-cell that you can use for your title blocks. All were going to do is creating a model containing only the tag with its origin atXY=0,0. This will allow us to use the model as a cell for placement in our drawings. The following is just a wee bit of a description of what a tag is and then the steps for creating your tag-cell follow.

Without going into gory technical detail, an tag is a place-holder for non-graphical information that is stored as part of the element in the DGN file. There are lots of neat things you can do with tags such as populate an external database, generate reports, maintain quantity information and control the information being used in a title block.

A tag is made up of atag definitionand belongs to atag set. A tag set can several tags in it and to take it one step further, the design file can have several tag sets. For example, you could have a tag set calledEquipmentthat contains the following tagsPart Number,Serial Number, andPurchase Date. The same file can have another tag set calledTitle Blockthat containsTitle,Drawn By,ScaleandDateas its tags. Pretty simple really.

First things first…either create your own file or use the one Ive prepared for you:109_tags.dgn. If youre using mine, note that it has two models:Tagswhich is empty and has the model calledBorderattached as a reference. The location of the borders should be noted as well in that the lower-right corner of the border lines have been placed atXY=0,0. Again, since we can use a model as a cell, this location becomes the insertion point or origin upon placement.

To define the tag, go toElementTagsDefineand click theAddbutton. Youll then need to enter a name for the tag set suchTitleBlockor something similar.

From theTag Setsdialog, poke on theAddbutton on the right side and enter the appropriate information. In this example, I used the tag nameTitleand enteredEnter title of drawingfor the prompt andProjectNameas the default value. Keep in mind that the user needs to be able to see where the tag is, so you should enter at least one character for the default value. Paul recommends using a simple little dash ( – ). The remaining tags can be defined at this time.

Tags are placed in the file using the active text settings, so ensure that theyre to your liking. Then selectAttach Tags, adjust theAssociativeoption and snap to the lower right corner of the borders…this ensures that the tags location is placed correctly atXY=0,0.

then the tags display their names rather than the default tag information as shown below.

, youll need some sort of anchor element to stick it to. A little

will work just fine for this. When this method is used, youll see the default tag values rather than the tag names.

Once the tag is placed, youll notice that it gets placed in the file using the active text settings and that its position is not correct with respect to the title block. To remedy this, use the normal MicroStation element manipulation tools to adjust the position, size and appearance of the tags to suit.

Now for the fun stuff! Since the tag is going to be used as a cell youve got two choices:

Create the cell using the traditional cell creation methods…but remember to use the location

Use the model as a cell…which is what Ill do for the remainder of this tutorial.

In either case, youll need to detach the border reference file from the tag model. To use the tag-cell, makeBordersas the active model, go to theCell Librarydialog and attach the active file as the cell library. Notice that the name of the model containing the tag is displayed as an available cell and that the default tag values appear in the preview window? Cool eh?

Once the tag has been placed as a cell, you can then use theEdit Tagtool to fill-in the correct tag values. Whats neat about all of this is that you only need to poke on one of the tags in order to edit the information about all of them. This may become useful for those tags that dont have any default information in their definition.

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