45 Replies Latest reply on Jan 31, 2018 4:44 PM by Alin Vargatu

    Custom Properties Propagator

    Doug Seibel

      We have always made heavy use of the custom properties in Solidworks.  All of the parts and assemblies for any given job have custom properties that ripple into the drawings and fill in the title block and several notes.  Up until now, we have used Propa-Gator (CustomSolids for Solidworks) to do this.  It was a very easy to use tool, and worked very quickly.  Simply load the files, check-mark the properties that need to be changed, enter the proper value for the properties, and let it run.  Below is a screen-shot of the user interface.  You didn't have to re-enter the properties every time you ran it, all you needed to do was change the property value.  It was very quick, very easy.

       

      We just recently made the jump from Solidworks 2014 to 2016.  And now that we are running 2016, we can no longer use Propa-Gator.  When Solidworks made the jump to being an exclusively 64 bit software, Propa-Gator ceased to work.  This has left us in a bit of a lurch.  Task Scheduler can do the "same" thing, but not nearly as easily since it does not seem to have any way to save the properties that we constantly use/change on each job, so we have to re-enter the property names (and enter them perfectly every time, or they will effectively be "different" properties than what the drawings look for) AND enter the property values...on every job.  Tedious and error-prone.  We are looking in #TASK, and while it appears that it can do what we need...it is an exceptionally cumbersome user interface when compared to what we have been using, or even compared to Task Scheduler.  The one upside to #TASK is that it look like it will actually remember the properties once we have set it up, so all we will need to do is enter the correct property values.

       

      We use 16 different custom properties, shown below.  These properties exist in parts as well as assemblies.  Is there an easier way to "batch replicate" properties & their values to a group of files?  Something that does not require the Property Names to be manually entered every time...just the Value for the property?

       

       

      Just fishing for options/ideas.  Trying to find the quickest, easiest, least error-prone option for doing this...while we mourn the loss of our beloved Gator...

       

      Thanks

        • Re: Custom Properties Propagator
          Christian Chu

          The interface of the program looks like a macro to me. If it's correct, What you do mean you can no longer use this macro after upgrading from 2014 to 2016? what's error message? can you post it here

            • Re: Custom Properties Propagator
              Doug Seibel

              It does not give any error message.  It runs, it looks like it is working, but when you open the parts the property values have not changed.

               

              I found this comment on a YouTube video:

              Using SolidWorks - The Custom Property Propagator with SolidWorks - YouTube

               

               

              Recent attempts at contacting Custom Solids have been unsuccessful...they are not responding to our emails and there is no other way to contact them that we can find.  The "current" version of the software (version 3) is several years old.

                • Re: Custom Properties Propagator
                  Christian Chu

                  Please confirm: Is this a SW macro or standalone written in VB6?

                  • Re: Custom Properties Propagator
                    Christian Chu

                    Doug,

                    From the image you post here, most of  it can be done using SW build-in "Property Tab Builder" and the interface is much better (NET interface)

                    there are few commands like "leave", "delete" which can be done by a simple macro

                      • Re: Custom Properties Propagator
                        Doug Seibel

                        Christian Chu

                        We already make use of Property Tab Builder...but how exactly can it be used to actually propagate properties values to a group of files?

                         

                        We use it to create this:

                         

                        But that doesn't propagate property values, it just creates the properties and an excellent user interface for editing the property values individually.  And while you can go to the assembly level and select all the parts in order to change their properties all at once, you still have to do the same to the assemblies...it is a option for doing what we need but not nearly as simple and thorough as what we had with Propa-Gator.

                          • Re: Custom Properties Propagator
                            Christian Chu

                            Doug,

                            The Properties Tab Builder can be used for editing the custom properties of active document

                            you then need a macro to propagating custom properties between files - I have a similar one which I wrote 5 or 6 yrs ago and don't know where it is now - can give it to you if I find it but I believe others here wrote something similar

                            but basically, the macro just reads all of your 16 cusProp  and you switch file without exitting the macro , click a button to write all 16 cusProp to a new file

                            • Re: Custom Properties Propagator
                              John Stoltzfus

                              I also use CPTB for every project.  The first thing I do is open my master CPTB file, go through all the options and do a save as (Project Number or ECN Number), I do have some automatic property values propagate, however properties like the customer name, job number, dates etc... don't change, so by doing a save as per project you only enter the information once.  When you complete the design all you need to do is pick out which CPTB file you want to use and type in the description and a few other properties if needed and you're done.  -  Again with the CPTB files - you only need to type the information once, if you're doing it for every part then the information isn't quite clear...

                      • Re: Custom Properties Propagator
                        John Stoltzfus

                        Doug Seibel

                         

                        I use the attached Excel macro written by Markku Lehtola every day, pretty self explanatory

                         

                        I did put in your custom properties, so all you should need to do is copy the folder path into cell D4, then you can import all the custom properties already in the part files and alter, or add new and write those changes back to the files, there is one page for parts and sheet 2 is for assemblies... 

                        • Re: Custom Properties Propagator
                          Artem Taturevych

                          Dear Doug,

                           

                          We agree and appreciate your feedback regarding the User Interface for #TASK Add/Edit Properties task. As this is one of the most popular tasks in our library and it is not user friendly we have already decided to completely redo this task introducing new table interface. It will be even possible to edit the fields in the Excel and then import to the table. Here is a bit of the preview of the new interface:

                           

                           

                          I have also attached a short video demonstrating this new UI in action. The task will be added to a library in the next couple of weeks.

                           

                          Thanks again for your feedback.

                           

                          Regards,

                          Artem

                            • Re: Custom Properties Propagator
                              Doug Seibel

                              Artem Taturevich, How will it handle files that already have the property, but the property may (or may not) have a different value?  Will it act like Propa-Gator, and add the property & value if the file does not have it while also replacing the property value in any files that already have the property?

                                • Re: Custom Properties Propagator
                                  Artem Taturevych

                                  It will create the property if it does not exist or change the value of existing property

                                    • Re: Custom Properties Propagator
                                      John Stoltzfus

                                      You guy's are doing an awesome job btw - thanks

                                       

                                      It would really be nice if you could also read all custom properties in the files - as there is a chance of certain Custom Properties being eliminated or changed over the years...

                                       

                                      Also could you use the same properties.txt file that SW uses, that would be a lot more user friendly etc...

                                      • Re: Custom Properties Propagator
                                        Doug Seibel

                                        Artem Taturevich, sounds very promising, especially if you can incorporate the ability to read in a part/assembly/drawing file and capture all the custom properties in it...and then edit the values (if needed) and propagate those properties into other files.  Also, I don't know how familiar you are with Propa-Gator, but it had an "express processing" option that you could use when all you were doing was manipulating custom properties.  Somehow, express processing would make it work without needing to open each file in the background.  It worked FAST!  Any chance that you will be able to incorporate that kind of speed into #TASK?

                                          • Re: Custom Properties Propagator
                                            Deepak Gupta

                                            #TASK has option to do background processing

                                             

                                            • Re: Custom Properties Propagator
                                              Artem Taturevych

                                              Hello Doug,

                                               

                                              We are planning to add a button to read properties from the exiting file/template. I have never used Propagator but the express option you are referring most likely achieved using the Document Manager library (this would also explain why you cannot use this macro anymore as SOLIDWORKS changed the licensing for Document Manager since 2015 and developers need to obtain new key with each release - previously the key was forward and backward compatible and now it is only backward compatible untill version 2015). We are planning to introduce the Document Manager functionality in future versions but as Document Manager can only do limited operations (like managing the custom properties and extracting Tables data)  this functionality is not of high priority in our development plan. As Deepak suggested 'Background mode' will make it quicker but not as quick as Document Manager.

                                               

                                              Hello John,

                                               

                                              Thank you for you feedback. I like your idea very much regarding properties.txt. I will include this into the development plan.

                                              It would really be nice if you could also read all custom properties in the files - as there is a chance of certain Custom Properties being eliminated or changed over the years...

                                              Could you please clarify this? Do you mean you want to read the properties from the template file instead of typing this manually? Or do you want to save all properties from the files in the folder to external file (like Excel) for inspection purposes? If the later one we have a task to report all properties (#TASK - Report Custom .Properties - YouTube)

                                               

                                              Thanks,
                                              Artem

                                                • Re: Custom Properties Propagator
                                                  John Stoltzfus

                                                  Artem Taturevych - I keep my list of properties.txt updated and my thought was to reduce the number of typing errors or the need to type, if you could read that txt file and compile it in your dialog box with the option of selecting them or not. 

                                                   

                                                  Since I use the macro that Markku Lehtola wrote I run that macro on every project and save it in the project folder, then if there is an update it take just a few seconds to make those changes in excel, select a cell, type in the changes and drag down the column and write (export) those changes back into the files as needed.  Just this morning I needed to change a Style Name on 2 recent projects and those changes took less then 5 minutes.  All the Assemblies, Parts and Drawings were updated, much quicker then Task Scheduler....

                                        • Re: Custom Properties Propagator
                                          Doug Seibel

                                          Well...it is official.  Propa-Gator is dead...cue Taps.  Got a response back from the developer.

                                          • Re: Custom Properties Propagator
                                            Robert Conklin

                                            The tool I use the most, all the time,  to do this is a little thing written by  Written by Leonard Kikstra,

                                            called PropertyEditorGlobal.swp

                                            works great   (I am using SW 2016 SP 4)

                                            but do not know where it is to be found now.

                                            I did not find it on his site:

                                            Lenny's SolidWorks Resources

                                              • Re: Custom Properties Propagator
                                                Doug Seibel

                                                Found it here on the forums Robert Conklin

                                                 

                                                Macro to change revision scheme of revision tables

                                                 

                                                Scroll down...Charles Lee put it in a reply.

                                                 

                                                (I also did a little digging around on Lenny's site...found it there too...and some other things that might be handy!)

                                                  • Re: Custom Properties Propagator
                                                    Robert Conklin

                                                    I did find it on Lenny's site after looking a bit

                                                    I have been using this for years

                                                    A great TOOL!!!!

                                                    .

                                                    Again I am using SW 2016 SP 4 on a Win 10, 64 bit Machine

                                                    The great thing is once you set it up for a job you can save the rules

                                                    (involving the use of a text editor and editing the .ini file)

                                                    and then recall the job via the "load preset rule" box pull down

                                                    and just edit a rule or two and your good to go for the next job.

                                                    .

                                                    This is a Great tool when you receive a drawing package from a client.

                                                    A file package that the client had previously received when he bid out via an RFQ

                                                    for an in process machine design and build.  The client subcontracted out the design

                                                    and build to the lowest bidder and he wants you to use his files

                                                    to design a similar machine.But the drawing package is

                                                    messed up by way of the documentation. In that you do not want to go thru and

                                                    change all the info those title blocks manually, just cause that's the way they

                                                    (the original subcontractor/low bidder) entered the data.

                                                    .

                                                    Just use this tool to up date all or some or add new or delete some of the custom properties

                                                    and use another macro to swap out the title blocks on all the drawings with the one that

                                                    can utilize all the "Right" or new fields generated by you.

                                                    (and also the new title block will have the clients "NEW" logo on it

                                                    and it may be even a new company name in the title block

                                                    for the clients' company has been purchased by some other company

                                                    and they want all new documentation to reflect this latest owner.)

                                                    .

                                                    Set it to working go to lunch and your done!!!!

                                                    At least for that part. Then all ya need to do is re design the bits of his machine to handle his new product.

                                                    Then build the new machine, debug it, prove it out, with a run off on your shop floor,

                                                    and hope it all comes in under the price you put on it during the bidding process.

                                                    For your the LOW bidder on this one.

                                                    Don't you love this profession?

                                                     

                                                    Any tool to save time!!!

                                                    PropertyEditorGlobal.JPG


                                                    A screen Shot:

                                                    PropertyEditorGlobal screen shot.JPG

                                                • Re: Custom Properties Propagator
                                                  Viktor Bovzdarenko

                                                  Hi Doug,

                                                   

                                                  Task for custom properties was added to #TASK library. Please look at the video illustration of its work.

                                                  The task will be improved further in the future to implement a few great suggestions from John Stoltzfus (like dropdown of names using properties.txt file)

                                                   

                                                   

                                                   

                                                   

                                                  Regards

                                                  • Re: Custom Properties Propagator
                                                    Peter Anthony

                                                    Hi guys,

                                                    I've just discovered PropaGator whilst looking for a solution to our custom property problem.

                                                    Although it seems I'm a few years too late - as mentioned above, the PropaGator does not work with Solidworks 2015/16.

                                                     

                                                    I've got a case where we have hundreds of files which have an incorrect string of numbers within a custom property value. The custom property value of these files includes the string of numbers and a bunch of other text. I require just the string of numbers to be changed.

                                                     

                                                    The find and replace feature of the PropaGator seemed like the perfect solution.

                                                     

                                                    Does anybody know if there is any other programs/macros out there that can do a find and replace within custom property values?

                                                    I've downloaded #TASK - and it doesn't seem to have find and replace functionality.