New version of title block management software now works on pre-existing MicroStation title blocks.
CLEARWATER, FL, USA — Users of Axiom’s Title Block Manager have always enjoyed fast, automatic updating of their title block information in multiple files at the same time. However, integrating pre-existing title blocks with the Title Block Manager system was not an easy process. CAD shops often have thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands, of active and archived design files that contain title blocks that were placed prior to the existence of Title Block Manager. Previously, the solution for pre-existing title blocks was to place a Title Block Manager cell in each design file. Depending on the number of previously existing drawings, this was not always a practical solution. As a workaround, rather than integrating their existing title blocks, Title Block Manager users would elect to use the utility only on new projects. With Axiom’s latest release, this is no longer necessary. MicroStation users can now make automatic, batch changes to all their title blocks, regardless of when they were originally placed.
The concept of the solution was always clear: Develop software “smart” enough to recognize existing title block information and then update it automatically. However, the obvious question remained “how would a program distinguish between ordinary elements within a design file and those within a title block?” Axiom’s founder and CEO (and Senior Technical Officer), David Greenbaum, came up with the answer!
How it works
The new functionality allows Title Block Manager to intelligently read a design file and distinguish between elements within the design and those within the title block. Once the title block elements are identified, Title Block Manager locates all the values within the title block and attaches a Title Block Manager-specific linkage to them. [Editor's note: In this usage, the term "values" refers to the numbers, text and other data in the fields associated with each label.]
Since there are an infinite number of possible configurations for title blocks, Title Block Manager needs a foundation on which to build an understanding of the user’s title blocks. Therefore, a set-up process must occur before Title Block Manager can successfully update any existing title block information. How does this set-up process work?
First, the user specifies a template or sample title block. This template provides the program with all the necessary information to determine the location and attributes of all labels (like “Design Title:”, “Sheet Number:”, “Revision:”) and their respective values within the title block.
Next, the user defines attributes for each label and its corresponding value. In addition to simple attributes like color, weight, style and level, Title Block Manager utilizes the spatial relationship between the label and the value in order to locate each label-value pair. This relationship between each label and value is essential for Title Block Manager to successfully locate and add the Title Block Manager linkage to the value element. It’s this new functionality that allows Title Block Manager to work its magic — automatically updating the values in any title block. This concludes the set up.
Once the set-up process is complete, Title Block Manager can search through any number of design files, find the elements that meet the specified criteria and place a linkage on the title block value elements within each design file.
In cases where a project or shop uses more than one style of title block, with each style having different locations of labels or values, a separate setup is done for each style. Each title block configuration is savable and can be loaded at a later time.
A new day
Now, CAD shops with thousands of pre-existing title blocks will be able to make automatic, batch changes to individual title block values — yes, even those in files created years and years ago. Title Block Manager has the capability to find every label in a title block, its corresponding value and modify those values to whatever is desired.
This new feature will dramatically cut down the time taken to perform mundane tasks like modifying sheet numbers or adding revision data into a title block. Title Block Manager will now automatically find title block data and modify it according to the user’s needs, eliminating the painstaking task of opening individual design files then modifying text elements manually.