Description Custom Property Splitter (Macro)

Here's another one for the efficiency macro experts.
As do many companies, we used two Description Properties in the drawing
for our title block.
"Description" is the first line, and "Description 2" is the second line.
All of our parts/assys also have these properties, as we use PDMWorks. Great.
I would like to have the Title Block linked directly to the part/assy file, and this is completely doable.
But, here's the rift: The Assy BOM only reads the "Description" property. So if you 'split' the information between the Desc and Desc 2 props to fill in the title block, then the information in the BOM table is incomplete.
Example: In part, fill in Properties "Description": Brkt, Mounting, N2 "Description 2": Valve Assy
So, if I have the Title Block linked to the two properties, it works and looks good.
But, now I make an assy drawing and add the BOM: the description reads: "Brkt, Mounting, N2" -- and that's it.
How do you all work with this?
What I'm trying to do is eliminate the need to have duplicate manual entry of text between parts/assys and drawings -- this is error prone and a time waster.
Here's a solution that could likely be done with a macro:
Enter FULL Description into part/assy "Description" field: Brkt, Mounting, N2 Valve Assy -- this allows BOM to show full desc.
Now, run macro in Drawing. Macro takes the part/assy property "Description" and splits it into two drawing props, "Description" and "Description 2" for the title block.
The macro should be able to be adjusted (internally) for how many characters make up the "Description", and should recognize that a comma at the end of the line belongs in the first prop. It would then write the remainder into "Description 2"
Any thoughts? Is this possible? Does anyone want to give it a try?
If I knew any programming I would do it myself but alas, I don't know how to do this.
Thanks for the read,
Todd
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Hi Todd
I have never used it till now, but it is possible using the Custom Property Manager from http://www.kentcontract.com/swmacros.shtml
The Property Manager Macro lets you to enter the "Return Character" within the description field. This makes the BOM description appear over 2 or more lines.
Jpeg example below
http://www.solidengineering.co.nz/images/2lines.jpg
Regards
John Layne
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It may be possible to enter that character manualy -- someone who remembers DOS better than I could possibly help.
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Thanks John.
I remember a friend mentioning that to me. I'm hesitant to jump in and use the Kent Contract tool out right though, as I'm trying to employ the KISS principle here. Simple in that there's no time or approval to introduce another tool or change process right now.
Your picture is close in concept to what we need, but it's not exactly there.
I need the description to remain a single line in the BOM, but split into two lines in my drawing title.
There must be a way to utilize the "Return Character" without a macro, right?
If not, does anyone have a macro that just inserts the "Return Character"?
Thanks,
Todd
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Ok, how about this.
Create a property called Desc1 with the value "First part" (no quotes.) Create a property called Desc2 with the value " and second part" (note the space before the "and".) Create a property called Description with the value $PRP:"DESC1"$PRP:"DESC2"
I tried it with a BOM and it properly pulls in the full description of "First part and second part" as one line, while still letting you use the two individual lines to propagate into your title block. You also don't have to enter the info twice.
Is this what you are looking for?
WT

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Wayne:
Yah know, I forgot that it's possible to use the properties in the properties!
Yeah, that will do what I need it to do and it's relatively foolproof.
Thanks, this is the kind of KISS thinking that saves the time and money.
Todd
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Yup that's they way to do it, I would have thought of that too but I'm not very bright!
John Layne
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Brilliant, Wayne!
Thanks, Devon T. Sowell www.3-ddesignsolutions.com
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Another approach:
We use the Excel BOM because of its versatility (and I wrote the APIs before the SW BOM). You could make two columns displaying Description and Description2. Then clear the heading in Description2 and the line between the two. The formating will be an isue but the content will be correct. And you will not have to edit the properties in every single part you have. Perhaps usefull for archived and rarely used projects.
Thomas
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Thanks, Thomas.
Not too worried about the legacy work, as the description in the parts was always written for the BOM.
The main issue was that people here have been entering the description in the part (both in the correct field as well as the property summary page as well as on the config page, and they are all different) as well as on the drawing, and there are errors galore.
It'll be easier to have them do it only once and get it right.
I agree that there is some versatility to the Excel BOM, but it is really a pain in the A$$! Here, they like to order the BOMs by part number, and so if ANY changes to Description or Number is done you have to reorder the BOM, and quite often the balloon numbers won't undate, blah blah blah.
Anyway, If you take the time to set up the BOM templates for the new BOM it works well, is predictable(somewhat), and looks OK. We haven't started in on it full-time yet but I'm hoping too in the near future.
Todd
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Guess I am more lucky here. First thing I did was making a company property manager from scratch. It contains descriptions in 3 languages, material, dimensions etc. But more importantly it interacts with a database for drawing numbers (we dont use part numbers for each part) and it creates drawings and - if appropriate - BOMs. So people here find it the easiest to do it the right way. Also because they can access properties whitout opening each specific part. One more isue in Excel vs. SW BOM: SW is WAY to easy to modify manualy in a drawing. I make various lists (all drawings needed, purchased parts, purchase lists etc.) so this is important not to have a total mess. Reorder is only done by rearanging the assembly structure. So I will stick with Excel-BOM as long as possible.
Thomas
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Here I have been using my own properties macro to fill in the Description and Description 2 collumns. I have a form and a textbox for description that allows multiple lines. Then when the user presses enter the single line description is applied to the description property and the multiline description is assigned to Description 2. This way the info is only typed in one place and the macro takes care of the rest. Then on the templates the Title block description text is the description 2 property and you know how the BOM thing works.
Just a note (the advantage to having my own custom Properties manager is that I have it connect to our MRP system and query the part number and propogate the description the material and the material description plus allowing any of the properties to be multi-lined)
Corey
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Here's an Update on my Progress....
Wayne's idea was initially a stroke of genius, Though I wasn't able to use it exactly that way.
Using my already existing Description and Description 2 props I created one which should be a combo of the two called BOMDESC. The value was: $PRP:"Description" $PRP:"Description 2"
This worked well IN the part or assy that I used it in, meaning that it displayed the combo of Description and Description 2 but did not work in the BOM. For some reason, when the props come across into the BOM, it doesn't understand them anymore. Again, this is with the SW BOM.
Every line of my description says: $PRP:"Description" $PRP:"Description 2"
Bummer, I thought we hit a home run here.
COREY:
Your macro seems to do exactly what I'm looking for. Would you be willing to share it?
Thanks,
Todd
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Here's an Update on my Progress....
Wayne's idea was initially a stroke of genius, Though I wasn't able to use it exactly that way.
Using my already existing Description and Description 2 props I created one which should be a combo of the two called BOMDESC. The value was: $PRP:"Description" $PRP:"Description 2"
This worked well IN the part or assy that I used it in, meaning that it displayed the combo of Description and Description 2 but did not work in the BOM. For some reason, when the props come across into the BOM, it doesn't understand them anymore. Again, this is with the SW BOM.
Every line of my description says: $PRP:"Description" $PRP:"Description 2"
Bummer, I thought we hit a home run here.
COREY:
Your macro seems to do exactly what I'm looking for. Would you be willing to share it?
Thanks,
Todd
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That's strange as when I tried it on a SW BOM it worked just fine. Try it on a new part & drawing and with the names I used to see if you can repeat my test and see if maybe you have a syntax error or something. I presume you modified your BOM template to look at the property of BOMDESC rather than the standard Description. There might possibly be an issue there.
WT

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The same thing happened here. We are using SWX2004 sp3. I inserted a comma and a space between the 2 properties so it is now $PRP:"Desc1", $PRP:"Desc2" and the whole thing worked perfectly in the part file or assy file's summary info property box. But only the formula showed up in drawings, BOM, and our pdmworks entry.
stephen
TODD wrote:

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Ok folks, good news & bad news.
I did some more testing and my system worked as I originally said. However, I also realized a difference from others here in that I am on SW2005. When I tried it in SW2004, it did not work. The combination works in a note if done directly, but even telling the note to use the combined property doesn't work. So in SW2004, neither the Excel BOM nor the SW BOM will evaluate the combined property properly. (Isn't that a mouthful?)
But, the good news is that in SW2005, you can put spaces, commas, etc between the property text and it will come through properly - you don't have to put the spaces, etc. inside the individual properties.
WT

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Wayne:
I wondered if it was something like that. I guess SolidWorks recognized a need for this and implemented it into 2005. I'd like to get us started on 2005 soon but with the new company buyout and all that we're in a holding pattern. Thanks for the help though, in the long run this is exactly what we'll do.
Todd
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HEY COREY:
If you're out there, I'd like to discuss how you might be able to help me out with this little issue. I need to implement this new format next week and I'd like to do that as completely as possible. If you're interested please drop me a line at:
tabrake@(diespammer)gmail.com
Thanks!!
Todd
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I am sorry I have been out in the shop quite a bit this week and since I am following the group through Google I haven't been as cought op on it as I used to be. I replied to your personal e-mail, if you don't receive it drop me another one.
Corey
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