Feature index in SW Feature tree ?

Hi,
I am novice user of SolidWorks.
Is there a way to obtain the number / index of a given feature in the SW feature tree ?
e.g. If I have a big part having 20 extrudes and for discussion-purpose, I need to focus on the 13th extrusion of these 20. I can't ask people to count the 13th extrusion from top, and so would like to know if there is provision of uniquely identifying the feature with an index.
It is possible to identify features from their names, but this is not applicable for some of my models which are created in a different language. In that case, the feature-name is seen as "sss-ss-sss" [where s represents a square]
One decent way I could think of is to identify the feature-index of a given feature in the SW feature tree. So while talking about that feature in my communication to others, i can say 'feature with index-no. 54' . But is there something of this kind ? Any suggestions will help.
thanks, aditya
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The features are already identified (Extrude1, Extrude2, etc.). If that doesn't work, you can rename your features but that can be time consuming...
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Hi Jeff,
I dont want to [rather am not allowed to] edit the model. Also, the indexing gets goofed up if there has been any redoing, feature swapping. And most importantly, the foreign lang. strings which are not decipherable at all.
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Jeff,
Please read Aditya's post more carefully. The features may or may not be labeled in a language the CAD operator and operating system can understand. We have this problem with drawings from China where the Chinese characters come across as gobbledy-gook. So what may be Extrude 1 to you would be ΝΝnΜΡ7ΠΡ to his people.
Unfortunately SW does not provide user accessible numbering of features and in fact when you obtain an array of features there is no guarantee that the order will be the same from one time to the next. Naming the feautures is the only way, but he is not allowed to modify the file. I think this problem exists because of the nature of the way objects are stored and retrieved.
Consider for example what happens if you create an extrude. The first time you create it it will be Extrude 1. If you delete it and recreate it it will be Extrude 2 and so on. You can also roll back and create Extrude 3 prior to Extrude 2 in the feature tree.
The only sure fire way I have ever seen to positively identify features was written by Phillipe G. as part of his Assygator software from the now defunct Dynabits company. http://www.solidworks.com/swexpress/dec02/200212_specials_01.cfm
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Select the Part Name at the top of the Feature Tree & Right Click
Go down to the Tree Display/Show Feature Descriptions & make sure it is checked.
Bo
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Hi Bo,
This is a decent way of distinctly marking the feature, but I guess it will help only if part-editing is allowed. Even otherwise, could you tell if SW offers a 'find-feature' kind of provision or a way to zoom-in to the feature that has a given name/ description. I deal with parts having 200+ features some times. Even if I rename or add description to a feature saying 'Distinct_feature', how do I quickly zoom-in to this feature the next time I open the part ?
thanks, aditya
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Right click on the topmost icon in the feature tree and look for GoTo. GoTo is the SW search function.
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I don't quite understand your note of "distinctly marking the feature". One section of the Preference for each feature is a name you can assign, which you noted is in a foreign language. The Second is the name that is ASSIGNED BY SolidWorks so IT can keep internal track of Features.
When a Feature is selected in the Feature Manager, that part of the model is highlighted, and is generally fairly easy to see on most models, but I realize that is a generalization that doesn't always work, so the "GoTo" can work better in that case.
Bo
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Hi TOP/Bo,
Thanks for suggesting 'Go To ...'. That helps.
Coming back to my original problem of finding a way of uniquely identifying a feature in SW feature-tree without editing the model, I guess writing a macro may serve the purpose. Through the macro, i hope it is possible to skim through the feature tree from top to bottom while maintaining the feature-count [ i guess a sketch is also a feature in this context]. When the selected feature is encountered, the feature-count is popped as a message saying 'Index of the selected feature is xy' (say 23)
The person on the other side [to whom the index is conveyed] can also make use of this macro and locate the feature with index 23 on the same part.
Going a step ahead, i guess, it will be possible to get index of extrude-features, fillet features in a given part.
regards, aditya
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Sometimes as a new user somethings are not obvious.
If you click on the first Feature in the part in the Feature Manager tree, then click down the list, you can cycle through all the features one at a time and watch the feature highlight on the screen so you can identify features, whether in wireframe or shaded mode.
If a person missuses the feature name, they can combine their given feature name with the assigned name, and then they are one and the same. I've made that mistake when I first used SolidWorks. In that case, you really need to work with the model creator to separate the "Name" (user assigned) from the Description (Solidworks default) in the Feature's "Feature Properties" (right click on Feature).
Bo
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The API will give a feature count in a model. And you can loop through an array of features. But you are not guaranteed that the same feature will always be in the same place. I was playing with a macro that makes the description a sequential number. It also puts a time stamp on the feature. Once you do this you can tell when something is moved and something of the original history of the part. Subsequent operations can change the order of the features so that the original numbering is lost. There is also a way to invisibly attach data to a feature such that the user would not be able to see it without a special program. This is what greenhex does in swCP.
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