When I balloon an assembly the balloons seem to have item numbers that are randomly assigned.Is there a way to reoder the item numbers so similar items can be grouped together?
The initial order is determined by the assembly tree order. After that you can simply drag a row in the BOM to reorder and it will update the balloon number automatically.
If you have multiple BOMs in your drawing do a RMB on the drawing view with the balloons and check the properties and specifially what BOM the view is linked to.
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