Linking Auto-Text between LayOut documents

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autotext

#1

Hi, I’m a newb and couldn’t find any info on linking Auto-Text between LayOut documents…

I’m using Nick Sonder’s template system from the “SketchUp & LayOut for Architecture” book as a basis for creating my own templates. I’m setting up LayOut templates for all of my future projects and would like to link common Auto-Text fields between the various templates, rather than having to edit the Auto-Text fields in each document or copy the text boxes from one template to another (18 templates…). For example, I would like to use the same project name, client name & address, etc. across a number of different documents, but I’d like to be able to only enter it once per project.

Is this possible or can anyone suggest a workaround, perhaps with external references or similar…?

Many thanks in advance!


#2

You can insert RTF files in text boxes–not Auto-text–then edit those and update the references as needed. You could also relink to new RTF files if you need to make changes later.


#3

Thanks Dave, are you saying that I can link a single RTF with common fields to multiple LayOut templates, then if I copy the templates with the RTF to another folder I could change the text in the common fields and all templates would be automatically updated with the new text? That would be ideal if it’s possible…


#4

Well, a single RTF file can be used in as many LO files as you wish. An LO template is simply a LayOut file you’ve saved with the intent of opening it later and adding more stuff to it.

If you open a new instance of the template, it’s going to point at the original RTF file even if you save it with a new file name to a new location. You could replace that reference RTF file with a new one in a different location if you want. So you might have a bit of generic boiler plate text in the template and replace it with the specific text for the project. You would just go to File>Document Setup>References, select the RTF file and choose Relink. Then you’d select the new RTF file.

As long as you don’t edit the text directly in LO, it will remain connected to the RTF indicate in References. You can right click on the text box and choose Open with [insert your text editor here] and make the changes needed. Save the changes and return to LO to see the text box is updated.

One caveat, though. It’s one RTF file per text box so you can’t make different text boxes which show different parts of the same RTF text.

An alternative to that would be to create single cell tables and put your text into cells in a spreadsheet. I don’t especially care for that option in this case because you can’t do much in the way of formatting the text within the cell of the spreadsheet.

I have asked for the ability to pick and choose sections out of a single RTF file for different text boxes which would make it easier to create multiple columns and text for labels and page or view titles could all be done in a single document. Maybe one of these days…


#5

One work around for time being is to create a ‘Client’-component (for instance : Chris Duzon’s face me -component) in SketchUp and add Dynamic attributes such as ClientName,ClientAddress, ClientZip ,etc , make them ‘user editable’ in the component options dialog and then make a Client-report in the Generate Report , save it as .csv and import as a table in LayOut. That way, changes are being controlled in the SketchUp model itself .You can make scrapbooks of the tables and use them in different LayOut files , provided that you would relink them with (manually) generated .csv files with the generate report in SketchUp. It’s manageable and it will take some time to implement this in your workflow, but still not ideal. I presume there will be some improvement in the auto text features in LayOut or else the LayOut-API will trigger some developers, but for the time being…


#6

@mkrCAD I have made some ‘homework’ ! In the SketchUp file is a Report saved in the model. This Generates a .csv file which you can relink to the Project Info table in LayOut. (Save the LayOut file as scrapbook and drag in your drawings.
The ProjectInfo.skp contains a Dynamic Component in which you can edit some basic info for your project. By importing the info as tables , you can bypass @DaveR caveat . Every text box is a table which range is limited (context click in layout and select range of .csv )



Drawing number is generated by some formulas , which you can edit in the Component Attributes window. Have fun !!
WF_ProjectInfo.skp (71.6 KB)
ProjectInfo.layout (71.6 KB)


Layout Warehouse
Pulling data into LayOut problems
#7

Many thanks both! I can see why Nick Sonder (sketchupbook.com) set his documents up to just modify one title block then copy it across to all other required documents… To keep it simple for now I think I’ll follow that workflow until Custom Auto-Text tags are more “Automatic”…


#8

Is it possible to use this method to have a database platform that I export a .csv (currently only medium to export without much hassle(proprietary)) and based on the table in the .csv create the project info based on the table column names and use that information in each column to then automatically pull specific calculations & images into specific locations within layouts?

This seems confusing but really should not be too difficult, however I currently do not know how I am able to integrate .csv properly into sketchup and take values of each column and based on that value associate to a table that would pull that data into a location that would be predefined.

Any guidance would be most appreciated


#9

The method I used is one way: from SketchUp to LayOut.
The downloaded ‘Generate’ Report contains the information which you have entered in the Component Option Dialog box (as .CSV), but not vice versa.
The .csv which contains the data for the table in LayOut could also be generated by some other program, though, but must have the same order of field names, otherwise, the ranges of the tables in LayOut would be at lost.
In this example, I have copied the table (range set to one field) for ell the different items to mimic the ‘auto text’ feature in LayOut.
The .csv file ‘in between’ SketchUp and LayOut which is linked to the table in LayOut could be altered by any other program, when Layout opens the LayOut document, it checks if the table file is changed since last opening and will prompt you to update (name of the file must be the same)


#10

First off, thank you for such a prompt reply, I was not expecting to receive any.
Secondly I would very much like to speak with you more regarding this through some internet medium if possible.

I was envisioning utilizing excell as a polymorphic table entity based on data that is imported from .csv and using that data, set predefined parameters such as (electrical conduit sizing and wire sizing based on ampacity of lines.) basically charts that are issued by an authority determining regulation for electrical equipment so this covers quite a vast amount of variables, however if I am able to perform this task for 1 entity needed in each layout design I will be able to repeat this same process for multiple variables.

I was thinking of utilizing visual basic for this application because it is integrated into excell and I already have some experience with arrays. If I am able to create table entities in excell will I be able to integrate table references automatically into layout? If so how would I do that; I am thinking that somehow each table would be its own entity in excell and hopefully be bound by name into layout? This is the tricky part yeah?


#11

Tag for notification, check above


#12

The tables in LayOut are just little viewports of the excel sheet /CSV, so for calculations or ‘triggers’ that envoke macro’s, there isn’t a way to do it from within LayOut (one direction only)
It is not that hard to grasp the idea: take for instance a component quantity report, download as csv, import that .csv in excell and perform the calculations, insert the excel file in LayOut, and then rightclick on the table, and set the range of data to display. The trick is that you can set the range only once, so if you have info to be displayed from another location of the sheet, you would have to make a copy of the table in LayOut and set the range differently.
Once set up properly, you can make a template or save the LayOut document as scrapbook. When opening LayOut and choosing the template, go to document setup>references and you can relink the table reference to another excel file. The excel files should always be the same format, or else the display of it in LayOut would be scrambled.

Ps you can tag someone with @Sun


#13

Everything sounds very sound and not too difficult to implement. I have a few more questions but I believe they will have to be addressed when I reach that point in this development process.

I really wish there was some form of macro functionality in layouts.


#14

Thank you for this , very clear.
Where did you create the layout for your table?

I want to input the information generated from the report into this format - is that possible ?TABLE2


#15

Do that in Excel.


#16

PS, what is a Suitability Code and Title :slight_smile: not a term I have seen in a titleblock before… thx in advance